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"

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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