LeBlanc rejects SA Senate’s call for divestment from companies doing business with Israel

University President Thomas LeBlanc will not implement a Student Association Senate proposal calling for GW to divest from companies that allegedly contribute to Palestinian suffering, he said in a University release Tuesday.

The SA Senate passed the controversial resolution Monday after a six-hour-long meeting packed with hours of impassioned public comment from more than 80 students on both sides of the issue. The legislation demanded that the University remove its holdings from nine companies that provide weapons and other services to the Israeli government, which allegedly contribute to Palestinian human rights abuses.

“While I support the student senate’s right to express their views in the form of a resolution, I want to be clear to our University community that this does not represent the University’s views, and the University will not implement such a proposal,” LeBlanc said in the release.

Proponents of the resolution said the measure would encourage the University to better support its Palestinian students who often feel excluded on campus, but opponents said the legislation oversimplifies the complex Israel-Palestine conflict and prevents meaningful dialogue about the issue from occurring.

A similar resolution brought before the SA Senate last year failed by just one vote.

LeBlanc said the University “is home to many people who are deeply engaged on the issues inherent to this conflict,” and officials have hosted programming on the topic enveloping both sides of the debate.

“I encourage the GW community to foster an inclusive environment and to continue to engage in open, respectful dialogue,” LeBlanc said.

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