Friday, March 8, 2013

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
University of California student newspaper
March 8, 2013


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.”




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

March 7, 2013

...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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