The All Student Vote ‘Peace through Education’ has reopened. It proposes to renew links with Al-Najah University and to provide an annual scholarship for a student from there.
Voting has opened for the December All Student Vote. Students can vote to decide policies of the Students’ Union.
Students can vote on these two following questions:
Should the Students’ Union campaign to strengthen the Women in Science programme and ensure it remains a women-only programme?
Should the Students’ Union support the Right to Education of students in Palestine by implementing the following changes?
The All Student Vote on the latter question was postponed earlier in the year due to a breach in budget rules by the campaign against the ‘Right to Education for students in Palestine’—‘No to #TwinningwithTerror’.
At the time it was postponed General Secretary Charlotte Cook said: “The Returning Officer has ruled that the over-expenditure of the No campaign has already unduly influenced how people are voting on the referendum and as such, the referendum result would be invalid.”
All votes previously cast were nullified and are now being recast.
The Students’ Union proposes implementing a series of changes in order to support the Palestinian students:
Firstly they propose lobbying the university to provide an annual scholarship for a student from Al-Najah National University in West Bank, Palestine to study at the University of Manchester.
They also propose renewing our twinning partnership with Al-Najah National University.
Finally they propose the university commemorate the annual Right to Education Week and retain the Right to Education plaque in the Union foyer.
The No campaign ‘No to #TwinningwithTerror’ made a statement on Facebook on the 8th of December regarding Al-Najah claiming that “40% of its student leadership [are] elected from the Hamas group and 50% of its representation from the “Mass Martyrs” group.
“Both groups regularly glorify terrorism and suicide bombings on their Facebook pages and videos. University of Manchester Students’ Union can find a better alternative than Al-Najah to foster ‘Peace Through Education’.
The Manchester students for the Right to Education in Palestine made a statement on their Facebook page today saying: “The accusation that students at Al-Najah are ‘supporters of Hamas’ is deplorable and goes to show the utter desperation of the Vote No campaign to gain votes.
“Their tendency to deploy negative stereotypes against the Palestinian student population, which amounts to saying ‘they are all terrorists’ is precisely what sets their campaign apart from ours. While we proudly oppose political repression by Israel, they implicitly support it by dehumanising the very people whose human rights are being abused.”
Student Chris Cotter, speaking to The Mancunion, said: “The University of Al-Najah is working in occupied territory to educate a new generation in the most difficult circumstances and to completely cut links with them and label them all as ‘terrorists’ is sickeningly backward and ignorant.
“The fact that ‘educated’ people can hold such backwards views at a historically liberal university is beyond me. Labelling an entire university as ‘Hamas-dominated’ and implying that the large majority of students are ‘terrorists’ strikes me as the biggest load of Zionist propaganda I have ever seen on campus.”
Voting is open until 12 noon on Friday the 12th.
To vote go to http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/allstudentvote or access via MyManchester.