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SG resolution passes amid concerns

Student Government passed a resolution condemning and seeking to eliminate anti-Semitism on campus. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

An anti-Semitism resolution was presented to the Student Government (SG) Senate last week in support of Jewish students. But some SG senators were weary because, based on their comments, it potentially steered in the direction of Israeli and state politics. After deleting a political line from the resolution, it passed, with 45 senators voting yes and one no.

However, Jewish students and authors of the anti-Semitism resolution were not fully satisfied.

A line in the resolution that said “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic” was considered unfavorable.

Members of the gallery in support of the resolution disapproved of the Senate's decision to not include that Israel is a Jewish country by sharing personal anti-Semitic stories.

Sen. Courtney Dash said the Relations Committee felt that the resolution was heavily politicized and did not align with the intent of the proposal.

A line that said “. . .the State of Israel, which is conceived as a Jewish collectively" was also removed from the bill. Author and SG Senator Isabella Perello said removing "Israel" alters the purpose of the resolution and heightens the concerns of Jewish students.

“Whether people like it or not, anti-Semitism is, unfortunately, political and we cannot deny that,” Perello said in an interview with The Oracle on Tuesday. “I understand that a political debate could take hours since everyone has different views, but that takes away the importance of the issue.”

Sen. Ethan Tassinari, along with other senators, said they are in full support of combating anti-Semitism and hate. However, he was not keen on bringing state politics into the conversation. He said the topic of the state of Israel may result in creating more issues than solving any.  

Senators ultimately agreed to erase the Israel comment since many said it had little to do with the morals of the resolution bill.

The resolution states, “SG Senate supports efforts to eliminate any form of anti-Semitism on campus and reinforces the protection of other Jewish Bulls, standing in solidarity with Jewish students and faculty.”

Perello told the Senate that anti-Semitism did not just end after the Holocaust and it is instead being presented in new ways across college campuses, the United States and in Israel.

Perello said that due to rushed voting procedures and a limited number of senators having an opportunity to speak during the discussion period, she does not think the resolution was presented to its full potential.

As one of the two of 60 senators who openly identify as Jewish, Perello said she wanted to provide the minority voice to represent the concerns of Jewish students on campus.

According to Perello, the resolution will allow SG to stand in solidarity with the 3 percent of  Jewish students on campus.

Senate President Sarah Lucker told The Oracle on Tuesday that resolutions play a pivotal role in starting a conversation. She said the statements can make people more aware of issues that students face on campus and allow the student body to come together as a community to determine next steps.

After a resolution is passed, it is printed, laminated and sent to whomever the authors address the resolution to, according to Lucker. She said since the timing of this particular resolution falls during Thanksgiving break, it will be sent by next week.

“Sometimes, a resolution is all that is needed to show our students’ support for something,” Lucker said in an email to The Oracle. “This resolution is a great first step towards promoting acceptance and standing against discrimination, one that hopefully will be followed with continued outreach.”