Princeton graduate students back Israel occupation divestment by wide margin

Building on student votes this spring, Princeton students will continue to pressure the administration to divest in the fall. (via Facebook)

Graduate students at Princeton University have voted by a wide margin in favor of divestment from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation in Palestine.

The initiative won with 56 percent (417 votes) in favor, to 39 percent (292 votes) against.

In April, undergraduates narrowly defeated a divestment initiative by a margin of 52.5 percent against, to 47.5 percent in favor.

But combining the two results, 1,382 Princeton students have now voted for divestment, beating out the 1,359 who have voted against.

“Turnout in the graduate student poll was much higher than we had anticipated,” organizer Naima Hammoud, a mathematics graduate student, said in a press release from the Princeton Divests Coalition. “More than twice as many graduate students voted on the divestment question as voted in the graduate student government elections held earlier this year.”

She said this was an indicator of the level of political engagement generated by the debate over Palestine.

Princeton Divests said the “shift in public opinion” on campus “is a historic achievement.”

“Ultimately, we see this combined majority as a mandate from our fellow students to press forward with the divestment campaign,” said Kelly Roache, co-founder of the Princeton Divests Coalition and a graduate student in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The coalition will present the results of the vote to the university’s resources committee next academic year and continue to campaign for divestment.

More than 80 tenured faculty are backing the divestment initiative, which has also garnered the support of Princeton emeritus professor Cornel West.

For more information, visit princetondivests.org.

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Turnout was 27.5 percent. Please note that in article. That's still not very high. Also, you can't combine two separate polls in order to get the result you want. That's statistical malpractice and blatant dishonesty. Also the grad student poll said explicitly that it was a nonbinding poll and not a referendum.

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Thanks to "Statistical Malpractice" for your perceptive comments.

The "malpractices" notes are a constant ingredient in US electoral campaigns
which are now in full motion. (Prediction: Somebody will win. Prediction 2:
Those in support of Palestinian Rights have yet to see any hope for better
days whoever the victor may be. Prediction 3: Unless the US goes to war
(against somebody), foreign policy/international relations will not be
priority issues. Fact: The real narrative regarding US-Israeli-Saudi coalition
goals has not been adressed in public discourse. (No surprise.)

---Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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Young people are the future direction of this country and that is a good thing. It was young people who ended apartheid in South Africa by BDS. It was young people who led the way to civil rights and the end of segregation in the USA. It was young people who protested the Vietnam War to its conclusion. Young people see Israel for what it is and it will be young people to bring Israel's genocide to an end.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.