Student union freezes aid money to Palestine - Macleans.ca

Student union freezes aid money to Palestine

UBC Israeli group petitions against funding aid flotilla

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Student group money destined for a Canadian aid flotilla to Gaza has been frozen by the University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society (AMS). UBC student group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) was to receive $700 from a students’ union resource centre to donate to the  aid flotilla that is set to sail in the Spring.

However, after students complained to the AMS executive, the transfer of funds to the SPHR was frozen. A petition against sending student money to the flotilla has also been circulated by the Israeli Awareness Club.

AMS president Bijan Ahmadi­an told the Ubyssey that executives were nervous about approving the transaction without consulting student council, which will be reviewing the decision on Dec 1. “The bud­get for the boat is $300,000 so it’s not like the boat won’t sail if they don’t get the money in two weeks,” he said.

The resource centre objects to the AMS position and claims that it has the authority to provide funding for outside causes. “A lot of groups at UBC rou­tinely donate to outside causes, and other resource groups do as well. That’s not a reasonable case at this point,” Ari­elle Friedman, treasure of the resource centre, said.

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