Thursday, June 3, 2010

Major divestment victory at Evergreen State College,

Whole student body votes for divestment against Israeli occupation, at Evergreen State College!

That successful divestment resolution is here:
More details below--

Jewish Voice for Peace

Watch the video - UC Berkeley divestment supporters speak.

The video starts with Berkeley testimony from a student from Gaza: why the siege must end.

Spread the word!


Just minutes ago, the students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the alma mater of Rachel Corrie, announced that the whole student body voted overwhelmingly in favor of divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and in favor of making their campus Caterpillar-free.

What's more remarkable is that the decision was not made by a student council and thus vulnerable to veto by just one person, as we saw in Berkeley. No, it was decided through a campus-wide vote. No one, not the promoters of the divestment policy, not its detractors, knew how the students would vote in complete privacy.
The results? The divestment vote won by a landslide 79.5%! The Caterpillar vote by an equally impressive 71.8%!

The Evergreen College Board of Trustees and Board of Governors actually hold the purse strings of the Evergreen College and the Evergreen Foundation respectively. You can imagine the pressure that will be brought upon them to ignore the student votes.

We need you to email them right and ask them to respect the voice of the students and divest!

Board of Turstees Direction Carver T. Gayton (
Foundation Vice President Lee Hoemann (

Also, go to to sign a petition in support of the students!
Immediately after the student vote, the student union passed a unanimous resolution requesting full disclosure of all corporations, including those held through mutual funds, in which The Evergreen State College Foundation and The Evergreen State College are invested and asking the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors to make public a plan of action for divestment from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine.

Please email Mr. Gayton and Ms. Hoemann today and ask them to divest.
Many of you followed with baited breath the struggle for divestment at the University of California at Berkeley and San Diego. We sent you this report about the inspiring students from Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Well the attacks on the bill's supporter's, including Jewish Voice for Peace, were vicious and predictable, so we decided to respond and also document what we had learned about how the anti-divestment groups work.

We think it's important reading for those working on other campuses.

Most important, we interviewed the UC Berkeley student supporters of divestment so you could hear them in their own words. We can't possibly convey how incredibly inspired we were by them, but we think this
ten-minute video clip will do the job for us. One thing is certain.

If you want to know where today's smart, compassionate, curious and socially engaged students of all backgrounds are gravitating to, it's the campus divestment movement.

Congratulations Evergreen. During these very painful times when we see peacemakers being attacked on the seas outside Gaza, in B'ilin and N'ilin and Sheik Jarrah, it's hugely inspiring to see that real change is happening with an entire new generation.

Sydney Levy
Director of Campaigns
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS: A lot of information and misinformation is going around about the Gaza flotilla. Here's a good primer to share with friends and family: Lying About The Gaza Flotilla Disaster

  • Contact us directly at Jewish Voice for Peace. 1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 550. Oakland, CA 94612 510-465-1777

Divestment demanded against Israel-- at Duluth, Minnesota, and at City University of New York (CUNY)

"Northland Protestors Speak Out Against Israel"

June 1, 2010

Northland's NewsCenter, KBJR-TV, NBC 6, KDLH-TV, CBS3, KRII-TV Range 11, Northland CW, MY 9
Duluth, Minnesota

The attack on a humanitarian aid convoy by Israel off the coast of the Gaza strip has caused outrage among some here in the Northland.


A group of protestors assembled outside the Duluth Federal Building to have their voices heard.

The protest is sponsored by the Northland Anti-War coalition and the Twin Ports Break the Bonds Campaign.

The United Nations reports that at least 10 civilians were killed when Israeli forces attacked the convoy. Many more were wounded.

Activists in Duluth say they are demonstrating in solidarity with protestors in the Middle East and around the world.
The U.N. says Israeli forces boarded a six-ship convoy, inbound towards Gaza. The purpose of the fleet was to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and to break the Israeli blockade.
However, Israel attacked the fleet and protestors say they're outraged.
"As an activist for peace and social justice, I am shaken and hurt to the core by Israel's actions," said Carl Sack, an activist.

Protestors say they're asking the State of Minnesota to divest from financial bonds they have with Israel. Demonstrators are also calling upon the U.S. government to send a message in light of what happened.

They're asking the feds to stop sending aid to Isr


"Time for CUNY to Divest from Israel"

by The Editor
CUNY Graduate Center Advocate

June 1, 2010

“It always seems impos­si­ble until it’s done.“
–Nel­son Mandela

Israel’s unwar­ranted and out­ra­geous attack upon the flotilla of ships car­ry­ing human­i­tar­ian aid to the Gaza Strip is another sad reminder that the lead­ers of Israel are deter­mined to indef­i­nitely con­tinue and defend the pun­ish­ing and ille­gal block­ade of the Gaza Strip and the con­tin­ued iso­la­tion of the West Bank, which has caused and con­tin­ues to cause immense suf­fer­ing and loss of life for the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple.

Deaf to the cries and con­dem­na­tions of the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity, Israel has pur­sued a cal­cu­lated pol­icy of pun­ish­ment and humil­i­a­tion against the Pales­tini­ans, explic­itly designed to cre­ate a per­ma­nent cri­sis in the region, thus fur­ther jus­ti­fy­ing Israel’s con­tin­ued pol­icy of sep­a­ra­tion and apartheid.

From the ter­ri­ble 2008 Gaza Mas­sacre to Monday’s pre­med­i­tated assault upon the Mavi Mar­mara, Israel has sent a clear sig­nal to the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity that it has no inten­tions of either abid­ing by inter­na­tional or human­i­tar­ian law, or of nego­ti­at­ing in good faith with the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. Faced, like South Africa in the 1980’s, with a clear demo­graph­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage, Israel has cho­sen to iso­late its minor­ity pop­u­la­tion in a last ditch effort to main­tain its implic­itly racist pol­icy of Zion­ist rule.

Because of this, it is now more impor­tant than ever, that the insti­tu­tions respon­si­ble for sup­port­ing and abet­ting Israel’s con­tin­ued aggres­sions against the Pales­tini­ans, includ­ing the City Uni­ver­sity of New York, be forced, at the very least, to end their invest­ment in any com­pany that aids in any way the block­ade, iso­la­tion, and occu­pa­tion of the Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­ries. Since Hamp­shire College’s suc­cess­ful and ground­break­ing dis­in­vest­ment in com­pa­nies that sup­port the occu­pa­tion of Pales­tine in 2009, there has been a grow­ing stu­dent dis­in­vest­ment cam­paign, which has spread to uni­ver­si­ties across the nation from UC Berke­ley and UC San Diego, to Colum­bia and NYU. This move­ment is ded­i­cated to con­vinc­ing their col­lege and uni­ver­sity bud­get and finance com­mit­tees to rearrange their invest­ment port­fo­lios so as to dis­in­vest from com­pa­nies such as: United Tech­nolo­gies, which man­u­fac­tures Black­hawk heli­copters used by the Israeli mil­i­tary, Gen­eral Elec­tric, which sup­plies the propul­sions sys­tems for Apache heli­copter gun­ships, also used by the Israeli Defense Forces, ITT Cor­po­ra­tion, which pro­vides night vision gog­gles to the Israeli mil­i­tary, Motorola, which is engaged in a $400 mil­lion project to pro­vide radar sys­tems for enhanc­ing secu­rity at ille­gal West Bank set­tle­ments, Terex, which pro­vides trucks for logis­ti­cal sup­port to the Israeli mil­i­tary, and Cater­pil­lar, which pro­vides many of the bull­doz­ers and con­struc­tion equip­ment used to build new set­tle­ments and to destroy Pales­tin­ian homes in the West Bank and Gaza.

While this kind of dis­in­vest­ment is a good start, the cur­rent intran­si­gence of the Israeli gov­ern­ment calls for more aggres­sive forms of dis­in­vest­ment. Uni­ver­si­ties and other insti­tu­tions should be encour­aged not only to dis­in­vest in com­pa­nies that sup­port the Israeli occu­pa­tion and iso­la­tion of Pales­tine, but any com­pa­nies that engage in direct busi­ness with or pro­vide invest­ment to Israel in any capacity.

Last March, The UC Berke­ley Stu­dent Sen­ate passed a res­o­lu­tion, sup­ported in large part by the UC Berke­ley Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine, (the res­o­lu­tion is reprinted below), urg­ing the uni­ver­sity to end all invest­ments related to Gen­eral Elec­tric and United Tech­nolo­gies. The res­o­lu­tion passed the Stu­dent Sen­ate but was cal­lously vetoed by the Stu­dent Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Noah Stern. Cur­rently UC Berke­ley stu­dents are cam­paign­ing to over­turn that veto, but UC Pres­i­dent Mark Yudof, the same indi­vid­ual who recently raised UC tuition by 32%, has issued state­ments this month mak­ing it clear that the uni­ver­sity pol­icy sup­ports dis­in­vest­ment only in the case of geno­cide — a ridicu­lous and incred­i­bly irre­spon­si­ble high bar to set for tak­ing action. While this may sound like a defeat, the res­o­lu­tion has gained steam and is being pro­posed at sev­eral other cam­puses in the UC sys­tem includ­ing UC San Diego and UC River­side. It is time that the stu­dent gov­ern­ment at CUNY includ­ing the Doc­toral Stu­dents’ Coun­cil, The Uni­ver­sity Stu­dent Sen­ate and the Uni­ver­sity Fac­ulty Sen­ate, took up the res­o­lu­tion as their own.

In the mean­time, it will be imper­a­tive these next few weeks that those of us who care about the suf­fer­ing and humil­i­a­tion tak­ing place in Gaza remain vocal and out­spo­ken crit­ics of Israel’s pol­icy, and that we call on the US Gov­ern­ment to unre­servedly and crit­i­cally con­demn the attacks on the Mavi Mar­mara and the con­tin­ued block­ade of Gaza.

Click here to see the full ver­sion of the “Bill in Sup­port of UC Dis­in­vest­ment from War Crimes”


Dearborn protesters demand divestment against Israel, and a cut-off of all aid to Israel --

Click on photo to enlarge it.


"Dearborn protesters decry Israeli raid"

by Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News

June 2, 2010


Dearborn -- About 200 protestors are gathering this afternoon at Dearborn City Hall, protesting the attack of a flotilla reportedly carrying aid to Gaza.

They carried signs reading "Divest in Israel" and "Stop All U.S. Aid to Israel Now" at the rally that began at 4 p.m. Maha Mustafa of Dearborn carried a small Palestinian flag as she protested the Monday attack by Israeli forces that reportedly killed nine people.

"This is about humanity," said Mustafa, who came with her teenage daughter. "This doesn't have a religion. This doesn't have a color. That ship was under siege and denied to take aid."

The rally is the first of a handful of events this week in Metro Detroit condemning the raid, which has sparked an international outcry against Israel. Student groups at local universities also plan a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dearborn City Hall.

Israel implemented the blockade against Gaza in 2007 to protest the area's takeover by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Richard Nodel, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, said the local Jewish community "continues its strong support of Israel's right to defend itself, including its blockade on Gaza, a terrorist-controlled enclave on its border."

"That blockade -- in which Egypt participates -- prevents more sophisticated arms from reaching the hands of the Hamas terrorists who continue to plan terror attacks and fire missiles at Israel. For Israel and Israelis, the blockade is a life-and-death situation," Nodel said in a statement Tuesday.

Nodel said video shot during the operation "clearly shows, Israeli seamen were ambushed yesterday while attempting to board a ship trying to get through the Gaza blockade."

A Metro Detroit native who was arrested Monday during the raid, meanwhile, has been released, her sister said.

Huwaida Arraf, who grew up in Roseville and graduated from the University of Michigan, was aboard the Gaza-bound ship Challenger 1 when Israeli soldiers stormed the ship. No one on Arraf's ship was killed.

Mariam Arraf, who lives in Clinton Township, said her sister told her that she was assaulted during the detention in an Israeli prison.

"She told me that they would use a lot of physical force," said Mariam Arraf today. "She told me they used Tasers on them and that she was elbowed in the jaw."

Mariam Arraf said her sister told her she didn't know why the flotilla came under attack.

"They had white flags and they were in international waters," Mariam Arraf said. "They had no weapons and they were not doing anything wrong."

Mariam Arraf said her sister was taken to an unknown location and thrown from a moving car by Israeli soldiers.
She said an ambulance took her to Jerusalem where she was given assistance.

"She did not know where she was," Mariam Arraf said. "She had no cell phone money."

Huwaida Arraf, who lives in New York City, will remain in Jerusalem and continue her mission on behalf of the Free Gaza Movement, her sister said.

"She said she's staying there because she still has a lot of work to do," Mariam Arraf said. "My sister is very brave and fearless even though we worry about her safety."

From The Detroit News:


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