Northern Irish students reaffirm support of BDS

The National Union of Students Northern Ireland has told its elected officials they shouldn’t accept paid trips to Israel. The new policies pass to discourage the so-called “free educational visits” to Israel, tackle anti-Semitism and reaffirm support of BDS

NUS-USI, which represents more than 200,000 students in Northern Ireland, passed policy to discourage free educational trips to Israel and the occupied territories, often organised by pro-Israel bodies.

A motion agreed at their annual conference on 4–5 April, resolves “to condemn student executive officers accepting paid trips to Israel provided by organisations that actively advocate against furthering Palestinian human rights, liberation and justice”.

It says: that all “organisations should reveal all their funding sources publicly for transparency and accountability reasons.”

The conference saw the reaffirming of support for boycotts of Israel, a policy initially passed in 2012. In voting for it not to lapse, NUS-USI agree to “implement the BDS campaign using a progressive approach that utilizes an assessed look at companies and products to determine if they fit the Palestinian call to BDS”.

Policy was passed to combat anti-Semitism in the student movement, “regardless of whether an anti-Semitism problem exists or not on our own campuses”.

The motion makes NUSUSI “mandated to work with relevant educational institutions in order to address racism and antiSemitism on campus and methods to alleviate it”.