Trinity College Dublin has rejected the motion for a “college wide boycott of the state of Israel”.
On Tuesday, April 4th Trinity students voted against the motion that called for “student led Palestinian solidarity” as well as to lobby for “the divestment of university funds from Israel”. The motion further sought to create an affiliation with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
A conversation surrounding Israel and Palestine arose on the TCD campus after a connection between the college and Israel was brought to light and coincided with an event organised by SoFIA, the Society for International Affairs, where the Israeli ambassador was intended to speak. However the event was cancelled due to protests by the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who were, thereafter, fined by their college administration.
Founder of the SJP, Ciarán O’Rourke stated that he was “doubly shocked and ashamed” when he discovered Trinity’s ties to Israel and that if the college cared “about academic freedom, many freedoms and human rights of Palestinians are violated on a daily basis.”
TCDSU Communications and Marketing Officer, Glen Byrne had previously stated that the SU has little to no effect on such a topic saying “this is a motion which the Students’ Union has negligible impact on”.
This clashes with the opinion of Conor Reddy, Trinity Science Class Rep who originally proposed the motion. Reddy stated: “College set a precedent by supporting the boycott of Apartheid South Africa and that the SU acknowledged this precedent by renaming House Six, Mandela House in 2013”.
Some, such as TCDSU Welfare Officer Aoihinn Loughlin, believed that the vote was too important and required more time and information then was given to voters.