UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Hundreds of Jewish students protested Wednesday night, saying their input wasn’t included in the drafting of a resolution to deal with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus.
Tonight, the student government voted on a resolution regarding the dangers of equating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as a student body, but Jewish students on campus say no major Jewish student groups or organizations were asked about what that definition should look like. Hundreds protested by walking out of the student government meeting.
“We are not here to negotiate the definition of anti-Semitism. We are not here to let anyone other than members of our community define what makes me and what makes everyone on this campus that is Jewish feel unsafe and unheard and unwelcome and that’s something that is a Jewish right,” said Student Senator Ian Katsnelson.
Katsnelson says he was shocked when he found out the resolution was composed without the input of any major Jewish organizations. “I took it directly as a means to silence the Jewish voices on this campus.”
A student senator who helped draft the resolution said they did consult with Jewish students. He says they understand it’s hard to define the hatred against a group of people because it can be felt in many ways, and that is why this resolution was geared toward the dangers of equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism instead of an attempt to define anti-Semitism. The student government’s goal in this resolution was to protect student rights and their freedom of speech. It passed with 24 yay’s, four nay’s and 4 abstaining.