It's not often that one gets to bear witness to the start of a movement. It's even rarer when you get the chance to help make it happen.
But here we are, faced with the beginning of a campus-led movement to divest from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestinian people and land. A movement made up of people of every race, ethnicity and religion all compelled by an overwhelming sense that divestment is the right, the moral, and the just thing to do. A movement that started with a call from Palestinians, moved to places of higher learning in the US like Hampshire College and the University of Michigan, and is now catching on in places like Georgetown, Brown, and the campuses of the University of California.
On Wednesday April 28, in just one day, not one but two separate college campuses - the University of California at Berkeley and at San Diego- will be voting on the question of divestment and occupation.
Students at UC Berkeley will again try to overturn a veto of their original 16 to 4 pro-divestment vote. And the students at UC San Diego will put their resolution- nearly identical to that of UC Berkeley--before the student senate for the first time.
Already nearly 6,000 of you have shown your support of UC Berkeley students by signing this statement and making sure we represent your name on a bright green statement at the hearing. Let's do the same for the students at UC San Diego.
We have just 1 day to demonstrate our support and solidarity with these amazing people who are standing for justice for all people in Palestine and Israel. I urge you to stand with them and let them know that they are not alone.
The UC San Diego students need your support. They need to know that Jews and our allies support divestment from companies that profit from the occupation.
They need to hear that we all stand proudly together:
With Palestinian student Ibrahim Shikaki and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein;
With student organizations representing every race and ethnicity;
With dozens of professors, Nobel prize winners, and rabbis;
With Archbishop Desmond Tutu, George Bisharat, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, 9 Israeli peace groups
With thousands of grandmothers and grandsons, Muslims and Jews, Christians and atheists, fathers and daughters.
What happens tomorrow in Berkeley and San Diego is critical. Students are watching, studying, planning their own campaigns. These campaigns are politicizing an entire generation of college students who see each other and those in Israel and Palestine as equals. Let UC San Diego senators know that we support a courageous vote that says "The Occupation ends with me."
All our best,
Jewish Voice for Peace