Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel massacres humanitarian aid convoy 80 miles from Gaza.

See the full interview with Free Gaza Movement co-founder, Great Berlin, below.


May 31, 2010

On the Web at:

At least 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed after Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying supplies for the Gaza Strip on May 31.

Greta Berlin, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, an organizer of the convoy, spoke with RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service correspondent Anna Zamejc about the deadly event.

RFE/RL: What happened this morning?

Greta Berlin: We were attacked by Israeli militaries. We were flotilla, six civilian ships and about 4:30 this morning Israeli "commandos," if that's what you want to call them, rappelled down off a helicopter and landed at least on the deck of the Turkish [ship], not sure about the other one, looked around and started to shoot at us.

They have killed 10 people that we know of -- that's the number I'm going to stick with right now until I get further confirmation. Then they commandeered the ships and forced them to go in the Ashdod port. They were several members of parliament on board, including MPs from Sweden, Norway, and Germany. We were 70 miles off the coast of Israel, they attacked us. That is a crime; they committed a crime on international waters.

RFE/RL: The Israeli officials say there were weapons aboard the flotilla to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, which was the reason Israeli commandos stormed the ship. Is that true?

Berlin: I suppose, if you consider the paper and wheelchairs and crutches weapons, then the Israelis might have a point. Look, everyone on those ships was inspected before we left.

The only weapons that were on board belonged to the Israelis. They might have planted them -- after all they stormed us and they killed us.

All you have to do is to look at the statistics what actually happened. We have at least 10 people dead, they were civilians! They stormed our boats! We have manifest on every one of those boats that say what is on those boats. And it was 4:30 in the morning when everybody is sleeping.

I will venture to say that Israel is lying about this, because the weapons that I saw coming on board this morning belonged to Israel.

RFE/RL: So you claim Israel planted the weapons after they stormed the ship?

Berlin: If there were weapons, they planted those weapons.

RFE/RL: You said that so far 10 people have been confirmed dead. What nationalities were they?

Berlin: I don't know yet, we have heard nothing. We have heard nothing from the ships, they've jammed all our communication, they took all our cell phones away, we have not been able to communicate with anybody since 3:30 this morning, Cyprus time.

RFE/RL: They were also rumors that Muslim leader Raed Salah is among the casualties. But this is something you haven't confirmed yet, right?

Berlin: Yes, it's what I've heard but we haven't confirmed it. Nobody has any firm information about people who were killed and wounded.

RFE/RL: This was not the first time you went to Gaza with aid. How many times have you sent those ships to the Gaza Strip and why was the last convoy stormed by Israel?

Berlin: Since August 2009 the Free Gaza Movement has gone nine times to Gaza. The first five we entered Gaza, we took members of parliament on our yard and nothing was done to us. There were many, many threats. Israel has threatened us all along, the last thing they want is for the people of Gaza to be free and to be able to rebuild their society. We went in five times, the last three were brutally stopped and we only had one boat.

A pro-Palestinian activist is evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem.So the Free Gaza Movement along with four other partners said: "We would not go back to Gaza again unless we have a flotilla. We need to take something substantive, not just sort of a token that says: 'we support your desire to be free.' We want to take back a substantive amount of supplies and take them into Gaza." And that's what we get.

Israel is terrified that if we open up a sea route to Gaza, Gaza eventually will be free and will have its own might to do its own trade. Gaza is the only territory in the world that has no access to its sea. Every other territory that borders water or an ocean has the right to its territory except for Gaza. We were trying to say to the world: a million and half people who live in Gaza are in outdoor prison and Israel has no right to do it.

RFE/RL: What kind of supplies do you carry on the ships and what goods were onboard the last flotilla sent to Gaza?

Berlin: That's another reason Israel is terrified. Because the small amount of supplies we brought in on the yard was very small, they were just tokens. We're coming in with 10,000 tons of supplies Israel refuses to allow into Gaza. Israel only allows 81 items into Gaza. They won't allow any rebuilding supplies, they don't allow paper, they don't allow crayons for the children, they don't allow jam, they don't allow chocolate.

We didn't bring anything in on those ships except items that were already forbidden by Israel and were forbidden for the people of Gaza could not rebuild their infrastructure. We had cement, water-purification systems, prefab homes, 20 tons of paper -- Israel doesn't allow the people of Gaza to print their own books.

So there wasn't any way that Israel was going to take this easily because we have said to the world that Israel occupied Gaza and they are treating people as so they have the right to commit a slow-motion genocide on them and it hasn't gotten in and we will still continue to try to do that, then we will be successful opening a sea lane from Gaza to the rest of the world.

RFE/RL: When it comes to people on board the ships, do you have full control over who enters them? There were six ships in the flotilla; Israeli media claim that people related to terrorism were on board one of the ships. What's your response to that?

Berlin: I can only speak for the Free Gaza Movement, we are one of five partners. Every single one of our passengers has been vetted. They had to have two recommendations before they get on board and we know exactly who was on board. But frankly, as far as I'm concerned, the only terrorist we saw this morning was Israel.

RFE/RL: So can you acknowledge from your side, that there were no people on board you would know of who had any links to terrorism?

Berlin: I'm the wrong person to ask, you need to ask the Turks. Because the people Israel is accusing of being terrorists, were on the Turkish ship. We are responsible only for our own passengers.

No, I don't acknowledge any of that. The terrorists that came on board that boat last night were Israelis. They came armed to the teeth, they killed at least 10 of us, none of them were killed.

For all I know, there was one wounded in some kind of a scuffle. But they do this all the time, they kill a hundred Palestinians to every one Israeli.

Now they're killing 10 peaceful activists who were showing up in blue jeans. That is no excuse. If they thought there were any terrorists on board, they could have boarded the boat the way they did last summer, arrested the passengers, taken them off to jails. They did not need to have this kind of force.

RFE/RL: What kind of consequences will this morning's event have?

Berlin: I do think that Israel is becoming ostracized among the world community the way South Africa was. Between the Lebanon war, Operation Cast Lead last year, and now attacking civilians on board what I call "ships of mercy," I think it's probably high time for the governments of the world to tell Israel, "You can't do this anymore."

We're doing this because the governments have refused to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes. So when governments don't do that, then civil society has an obligation do that.

This is why the Free Gaza Movement has been, in fact for the last two years to begin with, is to tell the world that Israel has no right to practice collective punishment on a people that are occupied. And Israel in fact is occupying them because they don't get anything that doesn't go through Israel first.

So this is a real challenge for Israel, because we are challenging their status quo of being able to hold 1.5 million people in prison.


Monday, May 24, 2010

University of Johannesburg may break all ties with Israeli university--

University of Johannesburg Senate considers breaking its ties with an Israeli university (May 17, 2010)

-- The President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) says:
"What Israel is doing in Palestine amounts to apartheid."


"Varsity row over Israel links"

by LIONEL FAULL, in the "Mail & Guardian" (South Africa)

May 21, 2010


The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is considering cutting academic ties with Israel's Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in protest against Ben Gurion's alleged association with Palestinian human rights abuses.

An "extraordinary" meeting of the university's senate debated the matter on Monday.

The university's current partnership with Ben Gurion dates from August when the two signed an academic cooperation and staff exchange agreement, relating to water purification and micro-algal biotechnology research.

This re-established a relationship forged between the former Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) and Ben Gurion in the apartheid 1980s. RAU merged with Technikon Witwatersrand in 2005 to form the University of Johannesburg.

In October, 52 academic staff members signed a petition opposing the current partnership. It states in part: "The Palestinian people are currently victims of an Israeli occupation, which violates their human rights as well as international law. Their plight has been repeatedly compared with that of black South Africans under apartheid."

Professor Steven Friedman presented the pro-boycott argument in the senate on behalf of the petitioners. "We are not asking UJ to join a boycott campaign against Israel," said Friedman, who is the director of the joint UJ-Rhodes University Centre for the Study of Democracy.

"But we are asking them not to sign agreements with institutions which collaborate with governments that commit human rights violations," he told the Mail & Guardian.

Friedman argued that:

* Israel has 53 apartheid-style laws that discriminate between Jews and non-Jews;

* The Israeli occupation of Gaza is a colonial exercise; and

* The Ben Gurion offers stipends and partial exemptions from its degree requirements to members of the Israeli military, and tenders for Israeli Defence Force research contracts.

The partnership was defended in the senate meeting by Professor Ilan Troen, the Ben Gurion's founding dean of humanities and social sciences, and South African advocate David Unterhalter.

Troen flew to South Africa from Israel for the meeting; Unterhalter appeared pro bono. Their participation was organised by the South African Associates of Ben Gurion University, the president of which, Bertram Lubner, is vice-chairperson of Ben Gurion's board of governors. Lubner is an honorary life member of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.


Troen told the M&G he was "surprised" that a "water purification project that is of manifest benefit to South Africans and an academic cooperation of 20 years' standing between two institutions" should be questioned. He said the proposed boycott was reprehensible. "It is understandable that South Africans should interpret other societies in terms of their own experiences, but the apartheid metaphor is a fallacy."

Petition signatory Salim Vally, a senior researcher in UJ's Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, said: "RAU played a particular role in cooperating with apartheid. It was on the wrong side of history then and we don't want UJ to be on the wrong side now."

The university's SRC president, Emmanuel Mapheto, echoed this: "We cannot allow our institution to partner BGU. What Israel is doing in Palestine amounts to apartheid," he said.

The senate unanimously resolved that a nine-member committee, led by UJ deputy vice-chancellor Adam Habib, should make recommendations on the matter to the senate within three months.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boycott-Israel Resolution Wins at Dublin City Council -- Unanimously.

Major victory for pro-Palestine boycott campaign:

Dublin City Council passes anti-Veolia motion

May 10, 2010


The international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement today scored a major victory as Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project. Veolia operate Israeli rail, bus and waste services in the illegally occupied West Bank, making them complicit in Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The resolution, tabled by Cllr. Joan Collins (People Before Profit), was passed by unanimously at the sitting of Dublin City Council this evening (May 10th 2010) and is an important statement of solidarity with Palestine by the elected representatives of a European capital city.

This solidarity mirrors the deep empathy that exists throughout Irish society for the Palestinian people and the widespread revulsion at the behaviour of the apartheid Israeli state.

Commenting on the motion’s passage, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) chairperson Dr David Landy said: “This is a monumental victory for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The passing of this motion represents the elected representatives of a European capital city clearly standing up and saying ‘No’ to companies that collaborate with Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. It is doubly welcome coming as it does on the same day that Israel was scandalously accepted into the OECD.”

Dr Landy continued: “Furthermore, this is just the latest in a string of such defeats that Veolia has suffered as a result of their active participation in Israel’s apartheid policies – victories for the BDS movement have been seen in Sweden, Holland, Australia, Iran, France and elsewhere in Ireland. The IPSC once again urges Veolia to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and divest now from its Israeli operations in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, until it does so, the IPSC will continue to campaign for Veolia not to be granted contracts in Ireland.”

“The IPSC will now be working with other local councils to ensure the passage of similar motions nationwide. The IPSC will also now step up the pressure on the Rail Procurement Agency, which is responsible for awarding the highly lucrative Dublin Metro North contract. The city of Dublin has spoken loudly and clearly, and it says no to collusion with Israeli apartheid. The RPA should listen carefully - the Palestine solidarity movement is not going to quietly stand by while such companies are given Irish taxpayers’ money. It’s not on.”

Dr Landy concluded: “Finally, on behalf of the IPSC, I would like to thank all of the councillors who supported this motion, not least People Before Profit’s Cllr Joan Collins whose motion it was. I would also like to thank everyone who contacted their councillors in support of the motion, and those who came out on the many demonstrations and actions over the past three months that the IPSC held in the run up to this momentous vote.”

Details of Veolia’s illegal operations in occupied Palestine can be viewed on the IPSC website:

[1] The full text of the motion reads as follows:

Dublin City Council recognizing

1. That Veolia is a leading partner in the consortium contracted to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem
2. That the Irish government and the U.N does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated their views that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law
3. That Veolia’s involvement in the project is in contravention of the UN’s stated demand that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported;
This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign any new or renew any existing contracts with Veolia as it would be in contravention of the wishes of this council. Galway and Sligo city/county councils have supported similar motions.

Cllr Joan Collins


* Veolia is set to merge with Transdev, who are one of the two final tenderers for the Dublin Metro North contract.

* Dublin City Council is the third Irish council to pass such a motion, following on from Sligo and Galway.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Advertisement in the Guardian (U.K.)--

"Boycott Israeli Goods"

Click on the ad the enlarge it.

It was published March 27, 2010 in the Guardian.


In Jordan: The professional associations push for boycott against all Israeli products.

Israeli flag is burned at protest in Amman.

This boycott-Israel sign says the following:

"The price of each piece of fruit from Sharon's farm = the price of a bullet lodged in the chest of each Palestinian.

"--Jordanian Professional Unions, Anti-Normalization Committee."


Professional associations to publish list of ‘normalisers’

By Mohammad Ben Hussein

May 12, 2010

AMMAN - The professional associations are planning to publish a list of individuals and companies who allegedly deal with Israel, an anti-normalisation activist said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes as part of a new anti-normalisation campaign launched in light of an unsure peace process and Israel’s ongoing unilateral measures in the Palestinian territories, according to Badi Rafaya, head of the anti-normalisation campaign at the professional associations.

“We are preparing a comprehensive list containing the names of individuals and companies who insist on maintaining ties with the Zionist enemy,” Rafaya told The Jordan Times in a phone interview yesterday.

“This is not a defamation campaign; we want to pressure those who have turned a deaf ear to our calls over the years. It is time for the public to know who deals with Israel so they can boycott their products,” he added.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Muslim Student Union: A Call to Boycott Apartheid Israel.

Every May, the Muslim Student Union (MSU), with the support of many progressive and diverse student organizations, presents a week-long series of events dedicated to sharing the story of a people subjected to 62 years of statelessness and oppression.

Because the mainstream media rarely portrays the plight of the average Palestinian living under occupation and the violence of the occupying state of Israel, bringing awareness to the conflict is achieved through extensive activism for all those denied their human rights. Yet every May, support of the Palestinians has drawn criticism, ranging from mild reprimands to baseless accusations, which deem the week “highly controversial.”

However, it seems that the only reason it is “controversial” is because it criticizes Israel. This week has been called everything from “Hate Week” to Anti-Semitic, and the conflict has been portrayed as an argument between two sides, which are equal in nature; that is not the case.

This week’s events, entitled, “Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction,” call attention to the inhumane and illegal occupation by Israel and emphasize that it should be internationally resisted with the same strategies that helped end the apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid is the denial of legal rights to one group of people, usually indigenous, for the purpose of ensuring the dominance of another group. South African apartheid was defeated by the efforts of people of conscience through boycott, divestment from and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid state. Similarly, the grass roots BDS movement today can pressure Israel to end its apartheid policies.

Israel has violated more than 101 UN Resolutions since its inception on May 14, 1948. It has been condemned by, and refuses to comply with, the UN Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during its recent siege on Gaza, which left 1400 people dead, most of whom were women and children. Israel implements its apartheid with the continuous establishment of Jewish-only settlements in occupied territories, a move criticized by President Obama, and with the construction of a wall that cuts through the West Bank, dividing the area in a manner similar to the Bantustans of South Africa.

Furthermore, Israel has placed the Gaza Strip under a continuous land, air, and sea blockade, hindering the passage of food, medical aid and other basic necessities of life. It is clear that Israel aims to separate and isolate the Palestinians from each other and the rest of humanity.

But you do not have to take my word for it, and in fact you probably should not. That is why you should expose yourself to the perspective on the issue that is rarely publicized. Speakers this week include Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor and peace activist; Dr. Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer from UC Berkeley; Dr. Norman Finkelstein, son of two Holocaust survivors and renowned scholar who was denied tenure because of his criticisms of Israel; Allison Weir, an activist and the founder of; Dr. William Robinson, a professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara who was almost denied tenure after comparing photos of the Gaza massacre with the Holocaust; Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a community activist based out of Oakland; and Omar Shakir, a BDS activist.

Come with an open mind, do your own research and, more importantly, resolve to take action to help end this humanitarian crisis. To enclose the issue into political rhetoric and campus politics undermines the tragedies that the Palestinians endure. There are hundreds of people who are suffering and dying, and getting lost in the politics will not help them achieve the peace and justice that they, and every human being, deserve. Come learn for yourself, and then you can be the judge of whether or not this issue is as controversial as some would like us to believe.

--Aminah Galal is fourth-year history major and a member of the Muslim Student Union. She can be reached at ♫

Related posts:

  1. Apartheid State of Israel Carries Out Holocaust
  2. News in Brief
  3. Anti-Zionism Week Ends on Negative Note
  4. ‘Death to Apartheid’
  5. Prison Break: Gaza Wall vs. National Will


Monday, May 10, 2010

Divestment movement roars ahead at University of New Mexico --

"Activist groups:

"No funds for Israel"

By Andrew Beale | DAILY LOBO

University of New Mexico (UNM)

May 10, 2010

A group of students at UNM is following the University of California Berkeley’s trend by starting a “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign against Israel.

This means the removal of school funds from groups that make a profit in Israel, said Nada Noor, a spokeswoman for UNM’s Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

“Our aim is not to target Israel for the sake of targeting Israel but rather target companies engaging in and profiting from illegal, destructive and inhumane behavior,” she said.

“Unfortunately, this will take a lot more than a Google search to locate.”

UC Berkeley and UC San Diego students recently brought motions to their student senates, but both were ultimately shot down, Noor said.

“A senate vote in favor of a divestment resolution would be nice, but a silent vote in favor is less significant than a prolonged debate. If you think about it, that’s why UC Berkeley’s campaign was still a great success,” she said.

The group is working to investigate which companies that have contracts with UNM are profiting from illegal activities in Israel, Noor said. She said the wave of student movements from the campaign is similar to student movements against the South African apartheid.

“As we know, the BDS campaigns against South Africa’s apartheid system began with students at universities around the country,” she said...


Rethink This Veto!

Ibrahim Shikaki at Berkeley Divestment Vote

Monday, 10 May 2010
At: can study about colonization for 4 years but you cannot see it in Palestine. I can, because while you study it, I am living it... There can be segregated streets, people stopped from going to religious sites, illegal settlements being built, an apartheid wall cornering human being like animals, and you would call that Israel defending itself.

...We won because 6 universities in the US are proposing divestment bills, because all the Palestinian universities’ student senates have signed a statement following BDS and calling on us to do the same. Tens of thousands of emails were sent to us from around the world,

Dear Intelligent senators, the same narrative capturing you was the narrative that called Mandela and Malcolm X terrorist. If nelson Mandela and Malcolm X are terrorists then listen to me carefully, I am A PROUD INDIGNOUS PALESTINIAN FREEDOM FGHTER, because that’s what we are.

Rethink your terminology, rethink your narrative, rethink injustice and rethink this veto.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Demand Full Divestment" --

1985 divestment poster.
Click to enlarge it.


1986 divestment poster.
Click to enlarge it.
Ad Hoc University of California Divestment Coalition.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Divestment Resolutions spreading:

"I’m just going to keep bringing it up again and again and it might take 10 years, but divestment will pass."

At the University of California's San Diego and Berkeley campuses:

"BDS Movement grows despite UC-Berkeley divestment veto"


May 1-7, 2010


After a 16-4 original vote by student senators for divestment from two companies (General Electric and United Technologies) that are allegedly providing military technologies to Israel that were used in alleged war crimes, the University of California-Berkeley’s student senate seemed on its way to passing a historic bill.

But a March 24 veto by Associated Students of the University of California-Berkeley (ASUC) President Will Smelko put the passage in jeopardy.

The UC-Berkeley divestment bill saga ended at about 4 a.m. on Thursday April 29 when subsequent efforts to override the veto by two-thirds majority fell one vote short for a second time by a 13-5-1 vote with student action senator Anish Gala not participating. The meeting originally began Wednesday night and was reportedly attended by about 500 people.

Despite the inability to override the veto due to changed votes from ASUC members, ASUC Student Senator Emily Carlton said that the pro-divestment crowd on campus and in California remains upbeat and satisfied with the attention the proposed bill brought to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"The bill was an encouragement for the region to divest and to start a movement so n that sense the veto was a really good thing," she said.

The divestment saga drew international attention as well as coverage from many local California outlets including the popular Democracy Now! radio show. Carlton said that the show refused to cover the divestment issue until Smelko issued the veto.

"When the veto happened, people started getting interested, we got 25,000 e-mails and the support of more than 40 student groups on campus."

Student Action Senator Parth Bhatt, who opposed of the bill, took issue its specificity according to The Daily Californian, Cal-Berkeley’s student newspaper.

"I personally disagree that this is just an issue regarding divestment from war crimes," he said.

The bill received support from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization, notable authors Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, whose hunger strike at the Gaza Freedom March in Egypt in January attracted the attention of the New York Times.

Carlton anticipates that the bill will be re-written and re-submitted at a future date.

In other campus BDS news, UC-San Diego’s student council voted 13-10-4 in favor of a similar bill on Wednesday night in favor of divestment, but a decision was delayed until next week after a meeting attended by "hundreds of students" according to The Guardian, UC-San Diego’s student newspaper.

Similar measures recommending divestment from companies that allegedly provide military support for Israel have also been passed during the 2009-2010 school year by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Wayne State University's student council has also voted for total divestment from Israeli military suppliers in the past and the Irish Confederation of Trade Unions is also currently searching for ways to support the BDS movement.


At Georgetown University:

"Divestment Coalition Receives Negative Response from GU"

By Elizabeth Rowe | Apr 30 2010

THE HOYA (Georgetown University; Washington, DC), at:

The administration dealt a blow to Georgetown, Divest!, a coalition of students on campus that wants the university to divest from companies that may profit from human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine, on Tuesday.

Assistant Vice President for Business Policy and Planning LaMarr Billups wrote a letter to Georgetown, Divest! stating that the administration would not modify its investment practices.

Referencing the coalition’s April 9 meeting with a senior team of administrators, Billups wrote, “At that meeting you asked if Georgetown University would divest from managed funds that own stocks in certain companies that do business with Israel. The answer to that question is no.”

The question of divestment is a difficult one, since the university does not invest directly in companies, but rather in managed funds. The Investment Office does not make its investments public.

“Georgetown’s investment practices do not include the selection of individual securities,” Director of Media Relations Andy Pino said. “As a result, the question of divestment does not apply.”

Still, Georgetown, Divest! member and Vice President of Students for Justice in Palestine Jackson Perry (COL ’12) said he knows Georgetown, Divest!’s struggles are not for nothing.

“First of all, [Chief Investment Officer Larry Kochard] told us that he believed we were invested in Caterpillar,” Perry said. Caterpillar is one of the companies that Georgetown, Divest! has asked the university to divest from.

Perry added, “Condoms and cohabitation are not permitted on campus because they are not in keeping with the Jesuit values of the institution, yet the administration thinks our Jesuit values shouldn’t play a role in investment decisions at all? This is hypocrisy.”

Other schools around the country are also pushing university administrations to divest.

According to a press release from the chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Berkeley, students have been working to pass a bill through the UC Berkeley Student Senate on divestment since March.

On Wednesday, the Georgetown University Student Association Senate met to vote on a bill that would urge the university to divest from two companies that profit from the manufacture of weapons for the Israeli Army. The student senate failed to override the veto on the bill, falling short by just one vote.

Other American universities that have called for divestment include the University of Michigan Dearborn, Hampshire College and the University of Wisconsin.

“Changing the status quo is one of the hardest things for anyone to do,” Perry said. “However, we are optimistic that the right amount of pressure from various directions, including especially the constant reminder of the moral values of our university itself, will break through the bureaucratic inertia and amoral mindset that is currently dominating the way the university has responded.”


At the University of California - San Diego,

“I’m just going to keep bringing it up again and again":

"Council Delays Decision On Human Rights Violations:

"After emotional public input and a complete rewrite of the divestment resolution, proponents plan to reintroduce original language next week."

By Angela Chen

April 29, 2010

THE GUARDIAN (University of California at San Diego)


Hundreds of students gathered at the A.S. Forum last night to watch the council debate a controversial resolution calling for the University of California to stop investing in companies providing military technology to Israel. The resolution identified the Palestinian territories as being occupied by a military force guilty of committing human rights violations against the Palestinian people. The council ultimately voted 13-10-4 to create a committee to further discuss the resolution.

The resolution, which was modeled after a similar effort at UC Berkeley, called for the UC Board of Regents to divest endowment funds from corporations such as General Electric and United Technologies. According to the resolution, these companies manufacture technology used in military weapons and vehicles, such as helicopters, used in war crimes in the Middle East.

According to Associate Vice President of Enterprise Operations Rishi Ghosh — who helped draft the document — the resolution is not the first of its kind. However, Ghosh said, if it had passed, it would have been the first recognition of Israel’s war crimes to be approved at a public university. Hampshire College, a private college in Massachusetts, has already divested entirely from the state of Israel. (The resolution considered by the council last night only advocated a break from corporations said to profit from Israel’s alleged war crimes....)

...Ghosh said that he would bring up the resolution again at the 2009-10 council’s final meeting of the year, which will be held next week.

“Next time I won’t bring up the compromised document but instead the original document,” he said. “I’m just going to keep bringing it up again and again and it might take 10 years, but divestment will pass."