Friday, December 6, 2013

Academic institutions "are increasingly endorsing boycotts against Israel's occupation"


"Palestinian activism grows at US universities:
"Despite heavy backlashes, academic institutions are increasingly endorsing boycotts against Israel's occupation"

AL JAZEERA
December 6, 2013

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/12/palestinian-activism-grows-at-us-universities-20131268268601383.html

"...December 4, the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) endorsed a boycott condemning the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians..."

"...a sort of backlash to the backlash is gaining momentum. Over the past couple years there has been an upsurge in pro-Palestinian human rights activism on college campuses across the US.

"In November 2012, UCI’s student council unanimously-and defiantly-voted in favor of the college pulling its investments from Israeli companies. In a matter of months, student councils at UC Berkeley, Riverside, and San Diego had done the same, and a bill that would have thwarted student action at UCLA, by placing a blanket ban on divestment measures at the school, failed."

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"Canadian Protestant church launches settlement boycott campaign"

Jewish Telegraphic Agency
December 6, 2013

http://www.jta.org/2013/12/06/news-opinion/world/canadian-protestant-church-launches-settlement-boycott-campaign

"Canada’s largest Protestant church launched a campaign to boycott goods made in the West Bank.
The United Church of Canada campaign, dubbed 'Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel,' encourages 'economic action' against three Israeli companies: Keter Plastic Ltd., SodaStream and Ahava, which all have factories in the West Bank..."

 
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"American Studies leaders endorse Israel boycott..."

"American Studies Association leaders endorse boycott of Israeli universities"
Jerusalem Post
December 5, 2013
At: http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/American-Studies-Association-leaders-endorse-boycott-of-Israeli-universities-334042

___________________________________________________

"American Studies leaders endorse Israel boycott, refer issue to members for vote:
"Boycott resolution was approved unanimously by the 20-member national council..."
Ha'aretz
December 5, 2013
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.561928

___________________________________________________

"Big Win for Boycott Movement"
Inside Higher Ed
December 5, 2013
At: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/05/council-american-studies-association-backs-boycott-israeli-universities


The National Council of the American Studies Association announced Wednesday that it has unanimously endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and other Israeli institutions -- and urged its members to vote to make the boycott official policy of the association.

The move by the council, even if awaiting approval by the membership, is seen as a major victory for the movement for an academic boycott of Israel. The academic movement to boycott Israel has considerable support in Europe, but has been largely opposed by major academic associations in the United States, citing longstanding objections to countrywide boycotts as antithetical to academic freedom. But in April, the Association for Asian American Studies became the first disciplinary group to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, and the American Studies Association now appears to be the second.

Supporters of the boycott have argued that just the discussion of the idea at a meeting as large as the American Studies Association marks a significant departure for American academe. A post on the pro-Palestinian site The Electronic Intifada said that the debate over the proposal indicated that "the taboo on boycotting Israel has been broken." And a piece on the same site shortly after the American Studies Association announced its decision Wednesday declared victory, saying that "the energy, the devotion, the compassion, the vitality [of the boycott movement] – all were palpable and invigorating, as was the sense that Zionist functionaries are now whistling past the cemetery."

Academics who support the boycott movement have been working for several years to build support within the American Studies Association to make such a move. At the group's annual meeting last month, there was heated debate on the boycott proposal -- with supporters arguing that the council should not hand the decision to the full membership for a vote. But at the time, the assumption was that setting up a vote would basically involve the association's leaders avoiding taking a stand on the issue.

Since the council called for a vote, but also urged members to endorse the boycott, the boycott supporters generally applauded the move. Most of those who spoke at the annual meeting were in favor of the boycott, but the council -- which met on the issue the Sunday before Thanksgiving -- held off on making a decision.

When it announced its decision Wednesday, the council offered strong support for the boycott. "The council voted for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions as an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians," said the statement issued by the association...


...What's Next?

Supporters of the boycott movement have talked about taking the proposal to other disciplinary associations -- and both the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association (both of which share some members with the American Studies Association) have meetings coming up in January..."

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"The unspoken alliance: Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa"

 
"The unspoken alliance: Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa"

MONDOWEISS
Dec. 6, 2013

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/alliance-relationship-apartheid.html

-----------------------------------------

Also see:

"Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria"

THE GUARDIAN

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel


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Saturday, June 8, 2013

" ‘Boycott Israel’ Ad Barred From Ann Arbor Buses" - 7 recent articles:



1. WWJ 950 AM News (Detroit) - " ‘Boycott Israel’ Ad Barred From Ann Arbor Buses"
June 6, 2013

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/06/06/boycott-israel-ad-barred-from-ann-arbor-buses/

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2. Michigan Radio, 91.7 FM (NPR affilaite): "AATA does not have to put anti-Israel ad on its buses"
June 5, 2013

http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aata-does-not-have-put-anti-israel-ad-its-buses

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3. Michigan Daily (Ann Arbor) - "Judge approves AATA decision to not run controversial ad"
June 6, 2013

http://www.michigandaily.com/news/judge-approves-aata-decision-not-run-controversial-ad

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4. Ann Arbor.com - "Judge rules AATA had grounds to reject anti-Israel ad after revising its policy"
June 5, 2013

http://annarbor.com/news/judge-rules-aata-had-grounds-to-reject-anti-israel-ad-after-revising-its-policy/

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5. Ann Arbor Chronicle - "Judge: No Anti-Israel Ad on Bus for Now"
June 6, 2013

http://annarborchronicle.com/2013/06/06/judge-no-anti-israel-ad-on-bus-for-now/

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6. The Jewish Press.com - "Ann Arbor TA Bars 'Boycott Israel' bus Ads"
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ann-arbor-ta-bars-boycott-israel-bus-ads/2013/06/07/
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7. The Blaze - "Banned: Activist Loses Court Battle Over ‘Boycott Israel’ Bus Ad That Accuses the Jewish State of ‘Apartheid’ "
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Monday, May 6, 2013

At Oberlin College: Resolution is approved for divestment, against six companies which profit from Israeli occupation of Palestinian land -

"Oberlin College student senate passes divestment resolution, targets six companies"


Oberlin College, the historically progressive liberal arts institution in Oberlin, Ohio, successfully passed a divestment resolution on Sunday, 5 May.

In a press release sent to The Electronic Intifada, the Oberlin College Students for a Free Palestine (SFP) group say that after a three-hour plenary session, the student senate voted “by majority” to support the resolution, with several modifications from the original draft.

The resolution calls for divestment from six companies which profit from Israel’s occupation; including companies in the settlement industry (SodaStream) and Israel’s checkpoints and prison system (G4S). The resolution was supported by a wide variety of student groups on campus.

With Oberlin College passing a divestment resolution, this marks yet another university in North America to hold or pass such a resolution in the student senate during the 2012-2013 school year.

In California alone, student senates at the University of California at Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley have all held divestment votes (with UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley passing and upholding the resolutions). The undergraduate student union at York University in Toronto, Canada, passed a divestment resolution in March.

Oberlin College Students for a Free Palestine’s press release is below:

In a historic moment on Sunday May 5th, Oberlin College Student Senate voted to divest from a set of 6 companies that profit from the occupation and oppression of Palestinians. Oberlin College Students for a Free Palestine (SFP) presented a resolution calling for divestment and a supporting petition. After a three-hour plenary, Student Senate voted by majority to support the resolution with several modifications.

“We are thrilled that this resolution has passed. We’re proud that our senate has decided to stand on the side of justice,” says Lucia Kalinosky, OC ‘13, a member of SFP.

This is a major milestone in SFP’s Oberlin Divest campaign, which follows the principles of the 2005 Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). Next semester, SFP will take their resolution to the Oberlin College Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee, which will determine if Oberlin adopts the financial policies outlined in the resolution.

Oberlin’s divestment campaign provides students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members with an opportunity to raise the cost of the Israeli government’s human rights violations in a non-violent initiative to effect change. It has been endorsed by Oberlin’s Responsible Investing Organization, Student Labor Action Coalition, Mexican American Students Association, La Alianza Latina, South Asian Students Association, Oberlin Queer Wellness Coalition, Edmonia Lewis Center for Women and Transgender People, and Multicultural Resource Center.

Oberlin SFP specifically calls for Oberlin College divestment from Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar, Veolia, Elbit Systems, G4S, and SodaStream. These six companies represent a wide range of injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people by Israel. By endorsing the resolution, Oberlin College will join a growing global movement for justice in Israel/Palestine. This resolution comes on the heels of similar resolutions at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Brown University.

Four modifications were made to the resolution by the Senate. First, “Palestinian Territories” was defined as The West Bank, The Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Second, the Palestinian BDS Call was removed from the stated reasons for divesting. Third, a clause stating that the list would be updated to include other companies doing similar actions was removed, and senators asked SFP to write a detailed plan forming a committee to update the list, which will be voted on in the fall. Finally, senates added the word “directly” to the clauses giving criteria for divestment.

“The Palestinian people called on all people of conscience throughout the world to take action to advocate for justice,” says Hannah Elhard, OC ‘13. “By voting for divestment, Oberlin lives up to its progressive history and reputation.”


Students for a Free Palestine is a Palestine solidarity group at Oberlin College. It is a nonhierarchical organization of students with a variety of backgrounds and points of view. We all agree, however, that Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and that all sides must respect human rights. Students for a Free Palestine is the oldest student Palestine solidarity organization in the United States.
 


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

At UMass Boston Student Senate:

Divestment bill is approved against Boeing for supporting military onslaught against the Gaza Strip -

[An earlier divestment victory from 2012 --]

 
UMASS BOSTON STUDENT SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION CALLING FOR DIVESTMENT FROM BOEING


CITING BOEING’S INVOLVEMENT IN ISRAEL’S OPERATION CAST LEAD, STUDENT-LED COALITION DEMANDS DIVESTMENT FROM BOEING AND OTHER COMPANIES PROFITING FROM WAR CRIMES & HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
 
 
 
University of Massachusetts Boston, MA, April 18th, 2012 -
 
The UMass Boston Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a bill demanding that the UMass Foundation, the university’s investment fund, divest from Boeing and other companies profiting from war crimes and/or human rights violations. This motion is a resounding victory for student activists nationwide and contributes to broader international solidarity movements, including the movement for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel (BDS) as called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

Building on UMass’s tradition of student protest and ethical divestment, a coalition of concerned students, student groups, and faculty presented the bill to the Undergraduate Student Government. As one of the first American Universities to divest from apartheid South Africa in 1978, and having recently divested its funds from Sudan in protest of the genocide transpiring in Darfur in 2007, students sought to continue this tradition of ethical integrity by demanding divestment from Boeing, a company that has actively manufactured and sold weapons, which have been used in direct attacks on Palestinian civilians, a violation of international humanitarian law and human rights....
 
...The bill specifically highlights the connection between Boeing and Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 3-week military onslaught against the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, during which 1,300 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, including 412 children. Boeing produces the Hellfire missile and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, both of which are documented to have been used in Operation Cast Lead. Israel’s actions during Operation Cast Lead have been condemned by multiple international NGOs and humanitarian organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch....
 
 
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The UC Berkeley student government just voted for divestment against the Israeli military:

Exactly 10 years after the Wayne State University Student Council began the campus movement for total divestment against Israel ( http://tinyurl.com/85r6um2 )--

--the UC Berkeley student government has just voted for divestment against the Israeli military:

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"ASUC Senate passes divestment bill SB 160 11-9"

http://www.dailycal.org/2013/04/18/asuc-senate-passes-divestment-bill-11-9/

Daily Californian (University of California at Berkeley)
April 18, 2013

"In a dramatic vote that was emotional for all sides, the ASUC Senate voted 11-9 to divest from companies affiliated with Israel’s military early Thursday morning.

"The heated debate began Wednesday evening and carried on for 10 hours, continuing into Thursday. Anna Head Alumnae Hall overflowed with hundreds of UC Berkeley students, faculty and community members engaging in a contentious debate regarding the bill, SB 160.

"SB 160, authored by Student Action Senator George Kadifa, calls the UC system a 'complicit third party” in Israel’s “illegal occupation and ensuing human rights abuses' and seeks the divestment of more than $14 million in ASUC and UC assets from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Cement Roadstone Holdings. According to the bill, these companies provide equipment, materials and technology to the Israeli military, including bulldozers and biometric identification systems.

"The final vote, which occurred just before 5:30 a.m., was met with cheering, stomping and cries of joy by supporters of the bill.

"Independent Senator and bill co-sponsor Sadia Saifuddin said she saw the vote as the culmination of years of struggle..."

-END OF EXCERPT-

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"After all-night debate, Berkeley student senate calls on university to divest from 3 companies profiting from occupation"

Mondoweiss, April 18, 2013

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/04/california-profiting-occupation.html


"Huge news. A victory for the BDS movement, in Berkeley, at 8:30 a.m. today EST...

"...Today, congratulations poured in from around the world..."

 

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"The First Resolution for Total Divestment from Apartheid Israel - at Wayne State University"

BDS at Wayne State University: 10th anniversary
 
The First Resolution for Total Divestment from Apartheid Israel - at Wayne State University

 
Students Movement for Justice

April 17, 2013
 
 
ANGRY ARAB NEWS SERVICE
 
On this day ten years ago Wayne State University’s student council became the first in the US to pass a resolution calling on its school to divest from companies doing business in Israel. The resolution passed 9 to 7 following a year-long solidarity campaign on the Detroit campus, organized by Students Movement for Justice (SMJ), in the form of protests, mock refugee camps, mock apartheid walls, guest speakers and a“die-in.” Subsequently, similar resolutions were passed by student councils at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Hampshire College, Evergreen State College and more recently UC San Diego, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine.
 
The tenth year anniversary prompts us to reflect on the divestment resolution and make a few observations. First, the resolution’s language, like the discourse adopted by SMJ throughout its activism on campus, was unequivocal. It expressly referred to “violent ethnic cleansing,” the annihilation of “thousands of occupied Palestinians” and “apartheid.” The group had no interest in adopting a “strategy” of calling for the liberation of only 22% of historic Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza. Its language clearly rejected the “strategy” of dialogue with Zionists. This uncompromising approach predictably resulted in verbal and physical hostility from Zionists on campus. These incidents were documented on the pages of The South End, the campus newspaper. But we were not deterred. Zionists’ sensibilities were not on our list of priorities.
 
Second, until it was actually passed, SMJ’s members had no way of guessing how the Wayne State student council would vote on the resolution. Regardless, there was no reason to postpone presenting the resolution pending our certainty that it would pass. Had the resolution failed, it would have been to the university’s historical discredit. At least the divestment resolution would speed the day when the university finally bent to the unpopularity of investment in land theft, just as apartheid South Africa became an increasingly unpopular investment throughout the 1980’s.
 
Third, SMJ was an egalitarian grassroots movement, not a hierarchical organization. It believed in all students’ right to participate in political activism equally. For example, no one person had a monopoly on chants at on-campus protests. Instead, a platform was offered to everyone who wanted to address the protesters. This empowered students to participate. Decision-making at meetings was democratic. The group wasn’t concerned with titles or electing officers to executive positions.
 
Fourth, SMJ refused to sever Palestine from the other causes it stood for, even if that resulted in a slightly smaller number of members. SMJ chanted for Palestine’s freedom at the on-campus antiwar protest it held on the first day of the invasion of Iraq. It worked with Black leaders on campus and supported their fight for affirmative action. The Black students were among Palestine’s staunchest allies on campus. This is no surprise considering the anti-Zionist legacy of Malcolm X, of the Black Panthers and of SNCC starting in 1967. This also enabled us to connect Detroit to Palestine.
 
The tight Israeli alliance to apartheid South Africa is not forgotten in Detroit. We pointed out the bitter irony of living in a forcibly impoverished U.S. inner city while the U.S. government spent billions of dollars to prop up apartheid Israel and its Klan-style occupation forces. A decade later, we are optimistic about the future of Palestine activism on US campuses. Pro-Palestine activists can connect more easily now; social networking didn’t exist when the Wayne State resolution passed in 2003. Now in 2013, a string of campus divestment resolutions are shattering the illusion of Zionists’ invincibility, and are building the self-confidence of pro-Palestine activists.
 
We wish to thank the Palestinian people, who were waging the second intifada ten years ago, for inspiring us to deliver their message to our fellow students. Their brave example guided our political activism culminating in a victory we will remember for a long time.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Divestment against Apartheid Israel is debated at Berkeley:

"Divestment bill to proceed to senate floor after approval by committee"

Daily Californian (At the University of California-Berkeley)
April 16, 2013

At: http://www.dailycal.org/2013/04/16/divestment-bill-to-proceed-to-senate-floor-after-approval-by-committee/

 
"After passing through the ASUC Senate’s external affairs committee Monday, two opposing bills on divestment from companies associated with Israel will be considered by the senate at its upcoming Wednesday night meeting.
 
"The bill in support of divestment, SB 160, authored by Student Action Senator George Kadifa, calls for targeted divestment of ASUC and UC assets from any companies that provide support to Israel’s military in the Palestinian territories or contribute to the building, maintenance or economic development of Israeli settlements on the West Bank..."


------------------------------------------

"Divestment debate: Echoes of Apartheid"

By
Daily Cal
April 16, 2013

At: http://www.dailycal.org/2013/04/16/why-the-organization-of-african-students-supports-divestment-from-israeli-occupation/


Last Monday, after much dialogue and debate, the Organization of African Students unanimously decided to support the ASUC bill that calls for divestment from companies profiting from, or investing in, the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The decision to support divestment is a result of our concerns about the continued marginalization of Palestinians. As a people with a history of colonization, occupation and human rights violations, we can directly sympathize with the Palestinian people. Some of us have directly experienced such marginalization, and others learned of them from parents or secondary sources. Knowledge of this history makes us opposed to the mistreatment of any group based on physical characteristics, ethnicity or creed.

The house demolitions, the daily intimidation of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Forces, the dehumanizing restrictions on movement of Palestinians, the mass imprisonment of Palestinians (including children) and the ongoing confiscation of Palestinian land and water remind us of the repressive European colonial tactics in many of our homelands as well as apartheid South Africa.

We understand that South Africa is not exactly the same as Israel but we believe that they are comparable enough to make this claim. Seeing as the African National Congress, the group that led the Anti-Apartheid Movement, has decided to support divestment from Israel assures us that we are not wrong in making such a comparison.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and South African anti-Apartheid leader Desmond Tutu’s experience during his visit to Palestine summarizes the reason for our unwavering support for divestment. Writing to UC Berkeley in 2010, Archbishop Tutu stated:

"I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government....”

...As a pan-African Organization, we believe we have an appointment now, to divest and state our disapproval of the racist policies of the Israeli government. The intellectual and moral character of this university is being called into question. Let us not be late in deciding what this campus stands for....


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Divestment and boycott against Apartheid Israel, from Berkeley to Sydney University:

"ASUC Senate bill urges divestment from Israel"

The Daily Californian (UC Berkeley)
April 10, 2013

http://www.dailycal.org/2013/04/10/210116/


The ASUC Senate will be revisiting one of UC Berkeley’s most contentious issues with the introduction of a bill that calls for the divestment of all ASUC and UC funds from any companies associated with the Israeli military or settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The bill — which appeared on the agenda for Wednesday’s senate meeting — calls for divestment of ASUC and UC assets from any companies that provide support to Israel’s military in Palestine or contribute to the building, maintenance or economic development of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

The bill will go to the senate’s External Affairs Committee for consideration, after which senators may call for a vote.

A similar bill attempting to divest from Israel in 2010 led to heated debates, drawing sometimes hundreds to senate meetings and bringing international attention to campus. This bill was passed but then vetoed by then president Will Smelko. The senate failed to gather the majority two-thirds vote necessary to override the veto.

The current bill, authored by Student Action Senator George Kadifa, calls the UC a “complicit third party” in Israel’s “illegal occupation and resulting human rights abuses.” It identifies and seeks divestment from at least $14 million in UC Retirement Program and General Endowment assets in companies such as Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard....


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Also, April 12th...


"Students call for Israeli uni boycott"

by:Ean Higgins
April 12, 2013

 


SYDNEY University's student representative council has called for the academic institution to cut ties with at least one Israeli university, in a move likely to reignite fierce debate over proposed academic boycotts of the Jewish state.

At what one SRC member, Patrick Massarani, described as a sometimes ugly debate on Wednesday night, the council passed resolutions that among other things called for all academic co-operation to be cut with Technion University in Haifa.

 

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Another victory for boycott & divestment against Israeli apartheid -

- at University of Toronto:

April 6, 2013--


"For Immediate Release:

"The University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus Student Union has voted to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid. The meeting was long and intense, and passionate arguments were made by both sides.


"But in the end, the board members voted 9 Yes, 3 Abstain, 3 No, and the motion was carried. University of Toronto Scarborough will now join other universities, organizations, and unions in Canada in standing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle."


Click on photo below to enlarge it:


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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Boycott campaign blasts ahead at York University:

"One of Canada’s largest student association endorses BDS against Israel"

Ha'aretz, April 1, 2013
At: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/one-of-canada-s-largest-student-association-endorses-bds-against-israel-1.512800


One of the largest student association in Canada passed a resolution endorsing the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

With the passage late last week of the resolution, York University's student association joins two others in Canada - the University of Toronto and Concordia University graduate student associations - in endorsing the BDS campaign, according to the York University Excalibur.

The campaign calls for universities to divest from holdings in companies that do business with Israel and to cut ties with Israeli academics.

The vote by the council of the York Federation of Students was 18-2 in favor and was advocated for by the Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York....



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Monday, March 25, 2013

Epidemic of birth defects in Iraq following its bombardment:


1. See the BBC News report, released March 21, 2013. These birth defects have been attributed to war munitions, by interviewees at the Iraqi Health Ministry & also at Basra Maternity Hospital: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21873892 .

2. See the BBC documentary, first broadcast March 22, 2013, with longer interviews, including Dr. Muhsin Al-Sabbak and Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. The BBC also interviews Iraqi Health Ministry staff members. They confirm that a World Health Organization report will show an increase of birth defects following the bombardment of Iraq: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3csrmz9 .

3. See also CNN: “Birth defects on the rise in Fallujah”, March 20, 2013, at: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2013/03/20/pkg-damon-iraq-fallujah-deformities.cnn#/video/world/2013/03/20/pkg-damon-iraq-fallujah-deformities.cnn

4. See also ABC News (U.S.A.): "Birth Defects Plague Iraq, But Cause Unknown", March 25, 2013, at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/birth-defects-plague-iraq-10-years-us-invasion/story?id=18793428
(The ABC report states that "the Federal Ministry of Health of Iraq and the World Health Organization have yet to release their joint study exploring the prevalence of birth defects in Iraq.")

5. See also SBS World News Australia: “Iraq’s epidemic of birth defects linked to war”, March 21, 2013, at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/video/22742595799/Iraqs-epidemic-of-birth-defects-linked-to-war .

6. See also Al Jazeera:
“Epidemic of birth defects in Iraq and our duty as public health researchers”, March 15, 2013, at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/2013312175857532741.html .

7. See again Al Jazeera: “Iraq: War’s legacy of cancer”, March 15, 2013, at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/03/2013315171951838638.html .

8. See Democracy Now: “Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq with Mass Displacement & Epidemic of Birth Defects, Cancers”, March 20, 2013, at http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/20/ten_years_later_us_has_left
.

9. See also MSNBC: “Bush promised Iraqi civilians a better future. What are their lives like now?”, March 18, 2013, at http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/18/president-bush-promised-iraqi-civilians-a-better-future-what-are-their-lives-like-now/ .

10. See also the Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2013, in the column "Soul Poison", at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/sns-201303201630--tms--rkoehlerctnbk-a20130321-20130321,0,1598481.column

11. See also BBC Arabic, March 21, 2013: هل فاقمت حرب العراق سرطان و تشوهات الاطفال؟ , at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/multimedia/2013/03/130321_iraq_children_cancer.shtml


(Note: The BBC news report is also on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewpV2OBxLAc )

Monday, March 18, 2013

Boycott Spreads, in Defiance of Apartheid Israel:

The boycott against Apartheid Israel has spread to three local councils in the U.K.

Clackmannanshire Council has now joined W. Dunbartonshire & Stirling in approving boycott resolutions against Israel.

See:
http://bit.ly/114zbtP


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And today's Daily Californian (UC Berkeley) has another article on the latest campus victory for the movement to divest from Israel:

"UC San Diego student government calls on UC Regents to divest"

DAILY CAL
March 18, 2013

At: http://www.dailycal.org/2013/03/17/uc-san-diego-student-government-calls-on-uc-regents-to-divest/

"The Associated Students Council at UC San Diego passed a resolution Wednesday calling on the University of California to divest from companies doing business with the Israeli government.

"The final resolution passed in a secret ballot by a vote of 20 in favor, 12 against and one abstention after more than five hours of debate and amendments...."



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Friday, March 15, 2013

"UC San Diego student government passes divestment"

___________________________________________

"UC San Diego student government passes divestment"

Arab American News
March 15, 2013

At: http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=USA&article=6535


San Diego — After a four year campaign, the University of California, San Diego's undergraduate student government has passed a resolution urging the university to cease its investments in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
 
The bill was cosponsored by multiple student government members and was similar to previous bills that have been discussed since April 2010. The bill had previously failed to get approval last year, but that same version received a vote of 20 in favor, 12 against, and 1 person who abstained.
 
The issue of divestment has gained major momentum in Student Governments across the country in recent years. Similar bills passed by student governments at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and UC Riverside are raising pressure on the University of California (UC) administration to divest from companies profiting from war crimes and human rights violations in the region.
 
Student activists say that the UC has a long history of using divestment as a tool for positive social change — starting with cigarette companies to companies profiting from apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s.
 
But UC President Mark Yudof dismissed these allegations, stating that he sees no reason for the university to divest from Israel when the U.S. has not taken a stance on the issue either.
 
“The U.S. has not made any declaration regarding the State of Israel and, therefore, we will not bring a recommendation before the Board to divest from companies doing business with the State of Israel,” Yudof told the press.
 
Yudof is expected to resign this upcoming August, and students are hoping that will position the university to look into a more ethical investment scheme for funding.
 
 
 
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Los Angeles Times:

A "widening movement" to divest from Israeli occupation.

______________________________

"UC San Diego council seeks divestment from firms with West Bank ties"

Los Angeles Times

March 14, 2013

At: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/03/uc-san-diego-council-joins-calls-for-divesting-firms-with-west-bank-ties.html



"UC San Diego’s student government joined a widening movement urging the university system to divest from companies that some student activists contend are violating the human rights of Palestinians and aiding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

"After a sometimes angry debate that went past 1 a.m. Thursday, the Associated Students’ council voted 20 to 12 with one abstention to endorse a resolution that seeks to end UC investment in such companies as Northrop Grumman, Alliant Techsystems and General Electric. The students contend that these companies provide technology, weapons or other products the Israeli military uses in the Palestinian territories.

"Last week, a similar measure was passed by the student government at UC Riverside and one was approved at UC Irvine in November. However, those advisory measures have no power over the UC regents, who control the university’s massive portfolio and have said they will not take any divestment action involving Israel.

"Supporters of Israel complained that the UC San Diego measure was unfair and divisive. Leaders of the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine, which lobbied for the resolution, issued a statement that applauded the vote, saying it was 'in solidarity with Palestinians seeking freedom and justice.' ”



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Students' divestment resolution at UCSD strikes a blow against Israeli occupation and violence:

"After hard-fought battle, students celebrate divestment vote victory at UC San Diego"

by Ali Abunimah

Published in ELECTRONIC INTIFADA (Chicago, Illinois)

03/14/2013 - 19:32

At: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/after-hard-fought-battle-students-celebrate-divestment-vote-victory-uc-san-diego


After a hard fought battle, Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) claimed a major victory last night when the Associated Student Council passed a resolution calling for divestment from companies profiting from Israeli occupation.

The result – 20 in favor, 12 against and 1 abstention – was announced to loud cheers, the video above shows.

The resolution, proposed by Students for Justice in Palestine, is similar to recent resolutions passed at UC Irvine and UC Riverside and names Boeing, General Dynamics Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Ingersoll-Rand and Raytheon among other companies that “profit from Israel’s military occupation and violence against Palestinians in violation of international law and human rights.”

The vote is not binding on the university, but is another indicator of growing support for divestment among students, which is why Zionist groups have vigorously opposed such resolutions whenever they have been proposed and have supported draconian measures to suppress student activism at the University of California and other campuses.

The issue has been hotly contested at UCSD; last week, the Council postponed a vote on the divestment resolution that was due to take place after a marathon eight-hour debate in a packed auditorium.

Echoing false and inflammatory claims that have been made by opponents of divestment, UCSD senior Mikhail Imanovich had told the Council, “This marginalizes the Jewish students on campus and makes them feel unsafe and unwanted.”

The divestment resolution victory dealt a defeat to campus group Tritons for Israel that had organized opposition to divestment claiming it would be divisive.

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine refuted such accusations in the campus newspaper, arguing that, “All political issues are divisive. But already, UCSD is taking a side on this issue by having money invested in companies that are integral to maintaining the Israeli occupation. That is divisive.”

Zionist organizations had even marshaled the support of two members of Congress who wrote to the student councillors to urge a vote against the resolution.

It would seem that the arguments in favor of divestment won out against political muscle.



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"UC San Diego Student Government calls for divestment from Israeli Occupation"

The student government of the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) just voted, March 14, 2013, to approve a resolution for divestment against corporations who profit from violent conflict in Israel and Palestine --

* "UC San Diego Student Government calls for divestment from Israeli Occupation"

March 14, 2013
At: http://www.clickrally.com/ucsd-divestment-from-israeli-occupation/


* See also: "UCSD Divestment 2013 Vote"

March 14, 2013
Start watching 4 minutes in, at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzVkNHWpNfw


The UCSD divestment resolution was approved by a large majority of 20 in favor, only 12 against, and 1 abstaining.

Finally, students for Palestinian rights have a reason to feel self-confident and empowered.

---------------------------------------------------------

This victory follows recent divestment resolutions approved by the student governments of UC Riverside and UC Irvine, and many others listed below.

On March 6, 2013, the student government at the University of California-Riverside voted overwhelmingly for divestment against Israeli Apartheid.

The vote was 11-5, and it overrode a veto that attempted to kill the divestment resolution.

That followed a recent vote for divestment at UC-Irvine's student government (in the L.A. Times at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/uc-irvine-student-leaders-urge-uc-to-divest-in-some-companies.html ).


It also follows earlier student government votes for divestment at:




* Wayne State University's Student Council voted for total divestment against Israel (at http://tinyurl.com/85r6um2 ),








Also:


* The University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty senate approved its own divestment resolution (at http://michigandaily.com/content/faculty-senate-wisc-passes-divestment-bill ),


* MEChA, the largest association of Chicano youth in the U.S., voted overwhelmingly at its 2012 national conference to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel ( http://www.nationalmecha.org/archives/2012/03/national_mecha_endorses_palestinian_boycott_call_against_israel.php ),


* South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, voted to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel part of its official policy in December 2012 (at http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2012/12/anc-takes-firm-position-in-solidarity.html ), and


* The Olympia Food Co-op, in 2010, voted to boycott all Israeli products (at http://www.theolympian.com/2010/07/21/1310754/israel-cleaned-from-co-op-shelves.html )


* Ann Arbor, Michigan's Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice voted for a resolution favoring divestment against the Israeli military, and now Ann Arbor City Council is faced with demands to boycott Israel entirely:

http://www.annarbor.com/news/protesters-ask-new-ann-arbor-city-council-member-to-spearhead-resolution-to-boycott-israel/




In these votes, every argument that apartheid could make was rejected. After all, the arguments favoring Apartheid Israel are identical to the arguments made to preserve the old dead Apartheid State of South Africa.

Furthermore, Apartheid South Africa was tighly allied to Apartheid Israel. (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel )

 
In closing, look at the ecstatic tweets this morning, from UCSD and UC Berkeley students:



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Saturday, March 9, 2013

L.A. Times reports on UC Riverside divestment victory:

"UC Riverside student Senate urges divestment from firms working in West Bank"
 
Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2013, 6:38 PM
UC Riverside’s student Senate this week passed a controversial resolution urging the university system to divest from nine companies that the students contend are violating the human rights of Palestinians and aiding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

The move is part of a wave of similar measures under consideration, some successful and some not, at other UC campuses.

However, those advisory resolutions have no power over UC finances. The UC regents and other administrators have said they have no intention of any divestments focused on Israel.

Nevertheless, the UC Riverside matter passed the student Senate in an 11-5 vote, enough to avoid a veto by the undergraduate student body president, Liam Dow, who said he opposes the matter. In a letter to the campus, Dow said the divestment resolution “encourages biases instead of reconciliation, and creates counter-productive hostilities that divide the UCR campus.”

General Electric, Raytheon, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard are among the firms the resolution described as aiding the Israeli repression of Palestinians. The document said it was important for UC to promote values “of human rights, equality and dignity for all people without distinction.”

The student Senate at UC San Diego debated a similar item this week and delayed action until next week. In November, a UC Irvine student panel approved divestment and in 2010 so did a UC Berkeley student government group, only to have it vetoed by the student president there.


--Larry Gordon


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Friday, March 8, 2013

Che Guevara in the Gaza Strip, 1959:

 
Che Guevara in the Gaza Strip, 1959.
 
 
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The Daily Californian reports: "UC Riverside student government asks University of California to divest from Israeli companies"

Berkeley student Senator favors divestment at Berkeley campus too:


"UC Riverside student government asks University of California to divest from Israeli companies"

By D.J. Sellarole | Staff Reporter
THE DAILY CALIFORNIAN
University of California student newspaper
March 8, 2013

At: http://www.dailycal.org/2013/03/07/uc-riverside-student-government-asks-university-of-california-to-divest-from-israeli-companies/


UC Riverside’s student government passed a resolution Wednesday night asking the University of California to divest from Israeli companies.

The UC San Diego student government also discussed a divestment resolution at its weekly meeting Wednesday night but tabled its version of the bill until next week.

UC Riverside’s resolution passed by a two-thirds majority, with 11 senators in support. A similar bill was introduced at UC Berkeley in 2010, causing national outcry from pro-Israeli groups both on campus and nationwide.

ASUC President Connor Landgraf acknowledged the issue’s presence on UC Berkeley’s campus but declined to comment on how the actions taken at UCSD and UC Riverside may affect divestment at UC Berkeley.

“I’m not really sure what the fallout will be,” Landgraf said. “There have definitely been murmurs of divestment (at UC Berkeley), but it remains to be seen how those pan out and what effect the UCSD resolution will have here.”

ASUC Senator Sadia Saiffudin said that she supports UC Riverside’s divestment move and would like to see similar action at UC Berkeley.

“I think that it will also open the doors to communication from all sides of the conversation,” she said in an email. “I think there will be a lot of dialogue about what it means to divest from a conflict zone and how students on campus are (affected) by these issues. It is time that we hold the UC Regents accountable to where our money and fees are invested.”


-END-


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Also:


"California BDS debate heats up: Riverside campus passes divestment measure as Stanford rejects the same"

MONDOWEISS (New York)
March 7, 2013
At: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/california-riverside-divestment.html


...The win at UC Riverside is the second recent divestment victory for BDS advocates in California. In November 2012, the UC Irvine student government unanimously passed a bill calling for divestment from a number of companies that assist the Israeli military and help build the separation barrier and illegal West Bank settlements.

The successful vote prompted the Irvine administration to say that “such divestment is not the policy of this campus, nor is it the policy of the University of California. The UC Board of Regents‘ policy requires this action only when the U.S. government deems it necessary. No such declaration has been made regarding Israel.” Local Jewish groups also weighed in and blasted the student resolution at UC Irvine.

UC President Mark Yudof, who is stepping down from his post in August, has similarly disavowed divestment, saying that "the isolation of Israel among all countries of the world greatly disturbs us and is of grave concern to members of the Jewish community."

Next week, it will be UC San Diego’s turn to vote on divestment. Their bill targets a number of companies and decries Israeli apartheid and “the continued human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.”

Last night, UC San Diego’s Associated Students met for another marathon debate session that was supposed to end in a vote, though a mix-up with security prevented the vote from taking place, according to the school newspaper. 200 students attended the meeting last night, with both SJP and Tritons for Israel giving public presentations on the topic.

“This marginalizes the Jewish students on campus and makes them feel unsafe and unwanted — passing a resolution that will have no actual effect besides making Jewish students on campus feel like they don’t belong is not okay,” one student in opposition to divestment said, according to a report in the school newspaper.

An SJP member said that “it’s a common misconception that divestment is too harsh and that we should just invest in Palestine instead. But Palestine’s economy is tightly controlled by Israel and heavily dependent on humanitarian aid, making it an unlikely candidate for growth through investment....”

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Divestment victory at the University of California-Riverside:

Another Student Government Enters the History of the Palestine Freedom Movement --


The student government at the University of California-Riverside has just voted overwhelmingly for divestment against Israeli Apartheid.

The vote was 11-5, and it overrode a veto that attempted to kill the divestment resolution.

This follows a recent vote for divestment at UC-Irvine's student government (in the L.A. Times at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/uc-irvine-student-leaders-urge-uc-to-divest-in-some-companies.html ).


It also follows earlier student government votes for divestment at:
 
 
* Wayne State University (at http://tinyurl.com/85r6um2 ),
 
 
 
 
Also:
 
* The University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty senate approved its own divestment resolution (at http://michigandaily.com/content/faculty-senate-wisc-passes-divestment-bill ), 
 
* MEChA, the largest association of Chicano youth in the U.S., voted overwhelmingly at its 2012 national conference to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel ( http://www.nationalmecha.org/archives/2012/03/national_mecha_endorses_palestinian_boycott_call_against_israel.php ),
 
* South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, voted to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel part of its official policy in December 2012 (at http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2012/12/anc-takes-firm-position-in-solidarity.html ), and
 
* The Olympia Food Co-op, in 2010, voted to boycott all Israeli products (at http://www.theolympian.com/2010/07/21/1310754/israel-cleaned-from-co-op-shelves.html )


In these votes, every argument that apartheid could make was rejected. After all, the arguments favoring Apartheid Israel are identical to the arguments made to preserve the old dead Apartheid State of South Africa.

Furthermore, Apartheid South Africa was tighly allied to Apartheid Israel. (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel )

Another divestment vote is coming at UC San Diego next week.
UCSD just adjourned their meeting following eight hours of divestment debate last night (see http://www.ucsdguardian.org/news-and-features/campus/item/26498-divestment-vote-postponed )


Here is the latest divestment news from UC-Riverside:

 
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