Boca House rejects bill that would “show support” for Israel

House members voted against a bill that would symbolically endorse the nation of Israel and declare SG’s stance against anti-Semitic groups.


Courtesy of yeowatzup on Flickr.

Sophie Siegel, Contributing Writer

A bill titled “House of Representatives Stand with Israel” was struck down 17-25 in the Boca House on Friday.


Governmental Relations Director Jon Carter authored the bill and expressed how Israel is “on the forefront of social issues” as well as citing that Israel is “under much stress, being targeted in the United Nations and having high tensions with neighboring countries in the region.”


The intention of the bill was to take a stand against anti-Semitic groups and support the State of Israel during the heated political climate in the Middle East.


“America is better everyday because of the alliance with Israel,” Carter said. 


Both Carter and Kevin Buchanan, who co-authored the bill, attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington D.C, a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the U.S. Congress. This Inspired them to write the bill.


The bill initially had a positive reception in the House.


“Israel is a very diverse country and so is FAU,” said Noah Goldberg, a House representative and sponsor of the bill.


“This is about saying the decision that Israel is the nation and the capitol is in Jerusalem,” representative Elijah Colas said in support of the bill.


Some members were opposed to the idea of taking a side to a religious and politically-charged feud in another country.


“We are not taking a stand on the conflict,” representative Jared Stern said in regard to the bill.

All sponsors acknowledged that there were not “taking a side” and explained advocating for Israel didn’t mean they were in opposition to anywhere else.


Lindsey Sigal, President of Owls for Israel and Leah Avni, President of the Jewish Student Union attended the meeting to voice their support for the bill.


“FAU is one of the most diverse campuses and Israel is one of the most diverse countries in the Middle East,” said Sigal. “[Israel] is one of the first to come in times of distress,” said Avni.


However, there were also negative reactions to the bill.


Representative Kerete Paul and former candidate for Boca Governor said she was concerned how this changes the way Student Government “feels” about other countries in the future.


“Why is Israel being put on spotlight,” Paul asked.


In the past, Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian group, staged a protest on the Boca campus by posting eviction notices on dormitory walls, doors, and cars.


House speaker Marianne Alex said she doesn’t want something like that to happen again.


“This was a way to ban Jewish groups on campus,” said Alex.


The final House meeting of the semester will be held Friday April 20 at 3:30 pm in the Boca House Chambers.


Sophie Siegel is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].