Written by Student Rights on 25 November 2009 at 8pm

Update: LSE SU passes motion to twin with Islamic University of Gaza

univer6Today, the students of the London School of Economics and Political Science voted in favour of the motion put forward at the UGM for, "Twinning with the Islamic University of Gaza". This contentious motion caused largescale controversy this afternoon as various groups protested for and against the motion on Houghton Street. The motion was passed by 161 for and 131 against, a very small margin which may lead to a second vote on the issue.

For the most part, the UGM was very civil and well handled, with an interesting amendment put forward to also twin with various other institutions around the world who experience varying degrees of academic access problems. Student Rights attended the  event and upon discussing the issues, we found that most LSE students actually found the issue too overtly political and thought it may be intended to strike up controversy and make a political statement on behalf of the LSE. Another issue raised was the fact that the motion was only declared two days before the UGM.  This led to a lack of discussion, discourse and the ability to effectively campaign for or against the issue. photo
The Islamic University of Gaza has been accused of being an institution that is used as a base for Hamas, however those in favour of the motion cited the Goldstone Report in direct dismissal of this accusation. An LSE student who wishes to remain anonymous has stated "I am horrified that a motion to align the LSE SU with that of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) is even being considered. This resolution is especially worrisome for Jewish or Israeli students at the LSE who will now have to attend Student Union meetings knowing that their Union supports an organization [Hamas] that calls for their deaths."

Student Rights will be hosting a complimentary event on the 3rd of December with guest speakers Douglas Murray, Prof. Eric Heinze and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to debate the issue that, "Student Unions should take political stances." See details here. --- Developing ---