By Caleb Smith
A new poll by The Stanford Daily reveals that a majority of Stanford undergraduates would oppose a hypothetical ASSU ballot initiative urging the university to divest from companies supplying the Israeli Defense Forces.
According to the survey, 58.2 percent of undergraduates would oppose the measure, with 41.8 percent in favor. The poll was conducted Oct. 3 through Oct. 7. With 256 responses, the poll has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 7 percent.
Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine and the Stanford Israel Association both declined requests for interviews.
The issue of whether Stanford’s endowment should divest from companies supplying weapons and equipment to Israel has been a contentious issue in the recent past. During the 2014-15 academic year, the Undergraduate Senate approved a resolution urging the University to divest from some companies contracting with Israel. The action was controversial as that Senate had initially voted against divestment in a packed public meeting the week before. Stanford declined to act on the Senate’s recommendation and divest from any company in connection with the issue.
With the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War falling in June 2017, it remains to be seen whether a referendum might be presented to the students on the question of divestment. If such a referendum does go before the student body, it appears to face a steep climb to victory.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly identified the Stanford Israel Association as the Stanford Israel Alliance. The Daily regrets this error.