Because the world should know

Nils Gilbertson


Nils Gilberston co-authored and co-sponsored an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement resolution at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) in 2013.

Gilberston was acting in his capacity as a student senator of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC).

As of August 2018, Gilberston’s LinkedIn page said he was a law student at Georgetown University Law Center (Georgetown), slated to graduate in 2018. He graduated UC Berkeley in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government.

BDS Campus Activity

In 2013, Gilberston co-authored and co-sponsored SB-160, a BDS resolution calling on UC Berkeley to divest from “companies that have an active role in materially aiding Israel’s illegal occupation and the resulting human rights abuses."

The resolution passed on April 18, 2013, by an 11-9 vote.

On May 26, 2013, the ASUC Judicial Council ruled that SB-160’s clauses requiring the ASUC to divest from companies affiliated with the Israeli military were unconstitutional, since the ASUC had no constitutional power to craft specific investment policies.

Shortly thereafter, George Kadifa, who co-authored and co-sponsored of the divestment bill with Gilbertson, reportedly thanked Gilbertson and the other ASUC senators who supported the BDS resolution — and admitted none of the companies targeted for divestment were actually held by the ASUC.


The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."

BDS initiatives include compelling institutions and individuals to divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, academic boycotts, anti-Israel rallies and protests.

The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.

BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.

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