Sussex University students vote to boycott Israeli goods

The following press release was issued by the University of Sussex Students’ Union on 5 November 2009:

Students at the University of Sussex, England have voted to boycott Israeli goods. The decision follows the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, which calls upon the Israeli state to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine.

In a campus-wide referendum, 56 percent of students voted in favor of the boycott.

The referendum was held by the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU), which represents the institution’s 11,000 students.

Goods from Israel will no longer be stocked in USSU shops on the university campus, and USSU will be lobbying the university administration to observe the boycott.

Tom Wills, USSU President, said “Israel has broken more UN resolutions than any other state. No other Western-backed democracy has committed such egregious violations of international law, but the international community has failed to hold Israel to account.

“Sussex was one of the first universities to boycott South Africa during apartheid, and we hope that this will help kickstart an international movement on a similar scale to put pressure on Israel to end its oppression of the Palestinian people.

“We call on students at other universities to table boycott motions in their own unions.”

Earlier this year the Israeli attack on Gaza triggered a resurgence in student activism in the UK, with a wave of sit-in protests at universities including Sussex. The student boycott comes after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) backed a boycott of Israeli settlement goods in September.

USSU currently also boycotts Coca-Cola and Nestle in protest at unethical business practices by those corporations.