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Gayle Salamon

Overview

Gayle Salamon supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement at Princeton University (Princeton), where she is an associate professor of English and Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Salamon has signed a BDS statement put forward by the Modern Language Association Members for Justice in Palestine (MLA MJP), which has called on the MLA “to pass a resolution endorsing the boycott of Israeli academic institutions."

In January of 2017, the resolution failed to pass at MLA’s annual meeting.

Princeton Divests Campaign

In April of 2015, Salamon was part of Princeton Divests — a coalition of Princeton students and faculty “committed to divesting from companies committing human rights violations in occupied Palestine" — that initiated a BDS referendum at Princeton. The referendum, voted on by Princeton students, was narrowly defeated.

Faculty Divestment Petition

On November 5, 2014, Salamon signed a petition entitled “An Invitation to the Tenured Faculty at Princeton" that was featured in Princeton’s student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. The petition invited tenured faculty to support divestment from companies “that contribute to or profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank until the State of Israel complies with UN Resolution 242, ends its military occupation of the West Bank and lifts its siege of Gaza."

The faculty petition was rejected by the Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community, because it did not meet guidelines for consideration. It was reported that organizers of the faculty petition “plan to press on."

According to Professor Max Weiss, a co-founder of the faculty divestment initiative, the “faculty petition urging divestment set the stage for the student referendum."

BDS

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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