Holding Antisemites Accountable.

Close this search box.

Tufts University Becomes Latest University to Pass Antisemitic ‘BDS’ Referendum

Tufts University in Massachusetts on Monday expressed disappointment that its student government — Tufts Community Union Senate — passed three resolutions falsely accusing Israel of apartheid and genocide, as well as demanding that the university stop selling Sabra food products, a priority of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We’re disappointed that a majority voted to pass three of the resolutions,” Tufts University spokesman Patrick Collins said in a statement to the campus newspaper, The Tufts Daily. “To be clear, as we have done in the past, we reject the boycott, divest, and sanction movement; we wholeheartedly support academic freedom and all our academic exchange and affiliated study abroad programs; and we will continue to work with all companies that we engage with and do business with now.”

The resolutions — written by a group which calls itself “Coalition for Palestinian Liberation” — divided the campus body, The Daily reported, noting that over 300 students packed the Joyce Cummings Center, where the senate convened, to spectate or deliver presentations on why senators should vote one way or the other.

Jewish students reported being verbally abused for sharing their opinions. After several said that anti-Jewish sentiment on campus is redolent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and that they had personally lost family during Hamas Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, an anti-Zionist student told them, “Stop using generational trauma to justify another genocide.” Other Jewish students were heckled while speaking and another was allegedly spit on, prompting all of them to exit the Cummings Center early, according to campus media.

As they did so, according to a report later posted by Jewish on Campus (JOC), anti-Zionist students assailed them with antisemitic comments, vulgar expletives, and, JOC added, hand gestures. The Daily reported that Tufts spokesman Patrick Collins addressed the anti-Zionist students’ antisemitism, but also denounced “Islamophobic words” which were not witnessed by the paper’s reporters nor detailed in their article.

“This is entirely unacceptable and should be met with condemnation from the entire community, regardless of individual perspectives on the resolutions,” Collins said. “We will be investigating these accusations thoroughly and will hold accountable any student found to engage in these behaviors.”

After hearing from students, lengthy debate ensued, and a vote did not take place until three in the morning, at which time the senate closed the session to the public and recorded their votes via secret ballot, thereby concealing from the students who elected them their stances on one of the most pressing political issues of their generation. Tufts Community Union Senate, considered four anti-Zionist motions in total, passing them nearly unanimously. A fourth, demanding the cancellation of study abroad programs in Israel, failed to pass — 16-16-3 — for not achieving a simple majority.

“These resolutions do nothing to bridge difference on campus, nor do they invite a critical exchange of ideas regarding the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” Tufts Hillel executive director Rabbi Naftali Brewer said in a statement on Monday. “Instead, they caricaturize [sic] and demonize Israel and only further marginalize so many in the Jewish community at Tufts.”

Arguing that the resolutions “force a binary choice,” Brewer added, “Either one is in sympathy with the suffering Gazans and wholeheartedly rejects Israel’s right to exist, or one is supportive of Israel’s right to exist and wholeheartedly rejects the plight of innocent Gazans. I am here to tell you that this is a false and dangerous dichotomy.”