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Students lay out official 'pro-Israel' stance among UNC groups

Co-president of UNC Hillel, Noa Havivi, said various members of the Jewish community voted on the document.

Havivi said students discussed their stances on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an attempt to create a unified pro-Israel front.

“To me, being pro-Israel is supporting Israel physically, financially and politically, regardless of what’s going on there,” she said. “I think a lot of times I don’t necessarily agree with everything that’s done, but I think my support and being very vocal about my support matters.”

President of J-Street UNC-CH, Brooke Davies, was also present at the signing of the document.

Davies said the document advocated for a two-state solution, something she said was not a break from the norm.

She said the resolution was focused on how to quickly establish peace in the region.

“It lays out a secure economic future for Palestine, it establishes the Green Line as a defensible border, and establishes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as part of the state of Palestine,” Davies said.

Though only pro-Israel students met to create the document, Havivi said it does not target students who support Palestine.

“To a lot of people at UNC, this might be the first interaction they have with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on a campus where they probably hear the other side more,” she said.

Havivi said the document was intended to provide support to Jewish and pro-Israeli students, not to start an argument.

“It’s very much for us,” she said. “We aren’t at all trying to fight (Students for Justice in Palestine). I think, just like us, they are completely entitled to their opinion.”

Students for Justice in Palestine declined to comment.

Professor of political science Jeff Spinner-Halev said proposing a two-state solution is nothing out of the ordinary — the idea has been around for decades.

“Some two-state solution is usually on the table with the Palestinian groups de-militarizing and then some land currently held by Israel being given to a new state of Palestine,” he said.

Spinner-Halev said because of the length and severity of the conflict, public perception has become skewed.

“The conflict is often divided into pro-Israel and anti-Israel, which I think is a shame,” he said. “You can be critical of Israel and not be anti-Israel, just like you can be critical of America and not be anti-America.”

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story was unclear about the groups present at the vote. Members of UNC Hillel, Heels for Israel and J-Street UNC were present at the vote, attending as individuals, not as formal representatives of the groups. The article has been updated to clarify this.

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