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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, September 25, 2023

Passage of divestment resolution sparks strong reactions, emotions

TCU Senate met in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room on April 9.
Disclaimer: Nesi Altaras is a columnist at the Daily and Noah Habeeb is a former executive copy editor at the Daily. Neither was involved in the writing of this article. The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate calling for divestment from four companies it says are involved in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories Sunday South African apartheid Palestinian Civil Society’s call to boycott corporations and institutions that profit off of injustice and a 1979 vote that encouraged Tufts to divest from apartheid South Africa Tufts to divest from Elbit Systems, G4S, Northrup Grumman and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for their ties to Israeli military and prison technology Tufts although Tufts' specific investments are unclear Tufts Noah Habeeb

"I want this to be the beginning of a conversation," Habeeb, a fifth-year, said. "We don't see it as the end of the process but the beginning. We also would love to receive more information from the Board of Trustees or others that could help us make this human rights screen a reality."

Senate Sunday but also took place the day before the Jewish holiday of Passover, leading some to worry that opponents of the resolution could not attend Sophomore Class Senator Nesi Altaras, who strongly opposed the resolution, senior Hannah Freedman Passover.  In an interview she Freshman Class Senator Pedro Lazo-Rivera Passover Lazo-Rivera Habeeb Passover In addition, Tufts Friends of Israel Co-President Jenna Friedman Friedman, a senior Friedman Sophomore Eva Kahan Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement Kahan Altaras Altaras

Student safety was also a central concern of the discussion. To protect students from possible harrassment, the Senate livestream of the resolution meeting was audio-only, and senators and audience members were not referred to by name. Photography and video recording were also prohibited inside the Sophia Gordon Hall Multipurpose room during discussion of the resolution.

"There have been numerous recent incidents regarding groups like the Canary Mission, who publish public information about people who support BDS and other anti-Israel measures, and we wanted to ensure that we maintained the safety of everyone in the room," Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel told the Daily in an electronic message.

At one point during the meeting, a student was seen videotaping the meeting. The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) was called and the student was asked to delete the video and leave the room. Another student was accosted for having his phone out, and people in the room were asked to refrain from using their phones during the rest of the meeting.

Habeeb Freedman Palestinian

"Students and faculty on this campus that have been involved in Students for Justice in Palestine have profiles on a McCarthy-era scare tactic website," Freedman said.

Habeeb Habeeb