ADL Disappointed by UAW Divestment Resolution

Calls on International Union President to Speak Out

Berkeley, CA, December 11, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep disappointment at the vote by the UC Student-Workers Union, UAW Local 2865, in favor of a resolution urging the University of California Regents to join the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement against Israel.

“The boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign does nothing to advance the cause of peace or justice,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Its advocates deepen divisions between Israelis and Palestinians and make the possibility of reconciliation less likely, and it undermines and contradicts the spirit of solidarity that exists among the members of the labor movement in the United States and Israel.”

In a letter to Dennis Williams, International President of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, ADL reiterated its call on the union’s national leadership to condemn BDS initiatives and to make clear the labor movement’s opposition to such tactics.

Although more than 52,000 graduate students reportedly were eligible to vote, only 2,168 votes were cast.  Of those, 65 percent supported the resolution. Informed Grads, the UC-wide student group opposing the resolution, has raised legitimate concerns about the referendum process.

The passage of this resolution will likely have no practical impact as the University of California has repeatedly stated that it does not support divestment from Israel, and is opposed to the academic boycott of Israeli institutions. 

ADL previously wrote to Mr. Williams to urge him to publicly reject BDS initiatives, noting that a previous UAW president had signed onto a 2007 letter by labor leaders condemning anti-Israel boycotts. 

ADL commended Informed Grads for their tremendous continuing campaign to educate the California university community about the shortcomings of BDS, and to mobilize graduate students to advocate and vote against this measure.