The Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO) created a petition last week to oppose a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) resolution that will be introduced to the Student Association (SA) Congress on Tuesday.

The petition, which characterizes the BDS movement as antisemitic, has garnered over 5,800 signatures. If passed, the resolution would prohibit the SA from partnering with organizations supporting the Israeli government, proclaim the SA’s support for an immediate, permanent humanitarian ceasefire and recognize the Israeli military offense in Gaza as an act of genocide under international law. BDS, which was founded in 2005, has come under heavy criticism from pro-Israel advocates, who allege it unjustly demonizes the world’s only Jewish state.

“BDS is a movement rooted in antisemitism,” wrote Saul Hakim, BUZO’s president, an off-campus college representative in the SA Congress and a junior double-majoring in political science and Judaic studies. “Instead of fostering dialogue, it is intended to divide our campus and inflame tensions. BDS jeopardizes the safety and well-being of Jewish students on campus and has been proven to cause an increase in antisemitic harassment and attacks. It must not be allowed to pass under any circumstance.”

BUZO’s petition says because the resolution’s authors did not consult the University’s Jewish community, it was not written in good faith. It implores the SA Congress’ representatives to not entertain the effort, also alleging that the effort is designed to divide the campus community against stated SA policy.

“[The BDS movement] is extremely divisive and politically charged, forcing students to ‘take a side’ in a foreign conflict on which they may not be well educated,” the petition reads. “As evidenced by the strong emotions and opinions on both sides of this issue, BDS is divisive and controversial. The point of the SA is not to divide the student body, but to unite them. Passing this resolution is antithetical to that intrinsic value.”

An open letter to the SA, calling on the SA Congress to reject the resolution and co-signed by leaders of the University’s Jewish community was published Friday on Instagram. Addressing representatives in SA Congress, it says, “as elected officials, it is your job to represent all [students], including the Jewish ones.”

“The [BDS] movement claims to use economic and academic means to put pressure on Israel to ‘end the occupation,’ but in actuality, their goal is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state,” it reads, adding that the movement is antisemitic because of its efforts to delegitimize, impose double standards on and demonize Israel.

The petition’s supporters have expressed concerns that antisemitism has increased across college campuses nationwide. The open letter mentioned several incidents across the country, including last month, when a Jewish student was harassed outside of Emory University’s Chabad house. A Rutgers student’s face was printed on posters in their dorm with text reading “vote yes to divest.” The petition argues that these incidents can be traced to BDS activism and says that BU will experience a “significant spike in antisemitism” should the divestment resolution pass.

Though the SA and University administration have not responded to the petition, the amount of signatures continues to increase. Hakim urged SA Congress representatives to reject the resolution.

“The SA Congress must recognize BDS as the hate-filled, divisive movement it is and ‘SAY NO,’” Hakim wrote.