Simon Wiesenthal Center Denounces Loyola (Chicago) Student Vote Endorsing Anti-Israel Boycott

March 20, 2014
Chicago, Illinois

"Not a vote for peace, nor is it about justice"

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO, denounced the Loyola (Chicago) Student Senate for voting 26-0 to divest holdings in eight companies providing equipment that is used by Israel on the West Bank.

“Let’s be clear. This is not a vote for peace, nor is it about justice”, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights group. “This vote fits neatly in the ongoing international campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel. It applies a hypocritical and anti-Semitic double standard that singles out only Israel for blame and punishment, without improving the life of a single Palestinian. “Indeed, the closing of SodaStream, one of the companies singled out by a group allegedly committed to a ‘social mission’ and promotion of ‘social justice’, would throw hundreds of Arabs out of work--people who currently receive equal pay and benefits as their Jewish co-workers-- and take food out of the mouths of thousands of Palestinians.”

“This vote comes at a time when more than 140,000 Syrian civilians have been murdered by a genocidal regime that has deployed poison gas against its own people and is using starvation as a tool of war, “ Cooper asked. “Has Loyola’s Student Senate taken action to divest from companies doing business with Crimea-occupying Russia, or China over its Tibet policy or companies abetting the murderous North Korean regimes who target citizens who dare practice their Christian faith?”

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who directs the Wiesenthal Center’s Interfaith activities urged concerned students to reflect on “two models are available to activists. One is based on direct negotiations between the parties, while improving the lives of Palestinians and incentivizing Israelis and Palestinians to seek peace by bringing them together through economic cooperation and investment. The other is to pressure Israel alone through delegitimization and divestment. The former is the ethical model of Scarlett Johansson and Soda Stream; the latter the ugly face of the BDS movement. Loyola students who choose the latter need to check their vision, their moral compass – and the facts.”

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).