My Jewish values, my belief in social justice and my feelings about Israel are all intertwined. I believe that it is because of Jewish values such as repairing the world, the pursuit of justice and many more, that I feel so deeply rooted in social justice. It’s the combination of these values, my people’s history and my social justice beliefs that influences my feelings about the state of Israel.

My feelings about Israel include love and criticism, pride and disappointment. I am critical of many of the decisions the current government has made concerning settlement building, socioeconomic status divides and issues concerning refugees. But I am also so proud of Israel’s expression of LGBTQ rights, commitment to sustainability and secular gender equality. I believe in, and am committed to, building Israel into a light onto the nations, held to a high standard of a Jewish democracy, which includes justice for the Palestinian people.

It is also for these reasons that I am opposed to Boycott, Divest and Sanctions and the resolution calling for divestment of Israeli companies proposed to the Central Student Government. BDS is a one-sided tactic that strives towards justice for one people, without acknowledging other narratives and other efforts towards a sustainable peace process that would ultimately lead to justice for two peoples. I am opposed to BDS because I believe in positive change. I am opposed to BDS because I believe in working toward collaborative efforts with Palestine and Israel. We can create positive change on our campus with more collaboration, dialogue and partnership among students invested in this issue. BDS inhibits this opportunity.

The recent language on campus, including this resolution, articles in the Daily and mock eviction notices, has been dividing the campus, shutting out dialogue and the opportunity for narratives not only to be told, but to be understood and exchanged. I want to hear more stories and learn more of the lived realities of my own fellow students on this campus concerning the issue of Israel and Palestine. I believe there should also be a respected place for my narrative in this circle. But when language is used to block dialogue and the exchange of multiple narratives, it’s hard for me to envision the campus climate I wish to belong to.

I want multiple and diverse narratives to come together in peaceful and safe spaces on campus — where all voices have a space and are respected — and this polarizing resolution is bringing about just the opposite. I believe we need to continue to strive for acknowledgement, representation and respect for all of our students on this campus and justice for all citizens of the world — and I believe this includes a space for shared diverse narratives. Only through such collaborative efforts do I believe we can achieve the deserving peace for two peoples, the deserving states for two peoples, the deserving self-determination for two peoples and a promising, socially just future by two peoples.

Michele Freed is an LSA junior.

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