Thursday, June 3, 2010

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

"Northland Protestors Speak Out Against Israel"

June 1, 2010

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

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


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

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

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

Activists in Duluth say they are demonstrating in solidarity with protestors in the Middle East and around the world.

The U.N. says Israeli forces boarded a six-ship convoy, inbound towards Gaza. The purpose of the fleet was to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and to break the Israeli blockade.

However, Israel attacked the fleet and protestors say they're outraged.

"As an activist for peace and social justice, I am shaken and hurt to the core by Israel's actions," said Carl Sack, an activist.

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

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


"Time for CUNY to Divest from Israel"

by The Editor
CUNY Graduate Center Advocate

June 1, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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