Arizona State University student government votes to divest from Israel

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Students for Justice in Palestine

At the last Senate hearing of the year, the undergraduate student government at Arizona State University unanimously passed a bill demanding that ASU divest from and blacklist companies that continue to provide the Israeli Defense Force with weapons and militarized equipment or are complicit with the genocidal regime in Darfur.

This announcement, coming on the last day of the 2012 school year, is another victory in the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel as well as other global solidarity movements calling for the end to human rights violations.

Arizona State University, a university with an endowment of over $735 million, aspires to be the “New American University” with globally engaged students. We, students, at ASU want our university to make socially responsible investment decisions; we also want ASU’s investments to reflect its values as an institution. The bill calls for ASU to divest from and blacklist companies such as Alliant Tech Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, Motorola, United Technologies, Petrochina, China National Petroleum Company, Sinopec, Oil and Natural Gas Company, and Alstom.

This is not the first time ASU has divested from companies supporting human rights abuses. In 1985 Arizona public universities supported divestment from apartheid South Africa. The undergraduate student government has also supported the idea of the creation of an Advisory Committee for Socially Responsible Investing on campus in the past. This is just another step in the right direction for the New American University. The bill concludes, “that the [ASU] Undergraduate Student Government supports on-campus divestment from and blacklisting of corporations that are complicit in human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Sudan.”

Lina Bearat- ASU SJP President, ASU USG Senator

Aman Aberra- ASU SJP Vice President, ASU USG Senator

Shifa Alkhatib- ASU SJP Media/PR

Here is the bill that passed:

THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT SENATE
NINTH LEGISLATURE
<XXXX> REGULAR SESSION
<XXX XX>, 2012

SENATE BILL 53

INTRODUCED BY
SENATOR LINA BEARAT, SENATOR AMAN ABERRA, SENATOR LAILA ALKAHLOUT

An act imploring human rights divestment

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate,

WHEREAS, ASU aspires to be a New American University with “socially embedded” students who are “engaged globally.”

WHEREAS, Our investments impact conflicts and human rights situations world-wide, including the Israel-Palestine conflict and the genocide in Darfur.

WHEREAS, although over 300,000 have been killed in Darfur and 5.6 million civilians have fled from violence, although some corporations continue to prop up the genocidal regime of Omar al-Bashir.

WHEREAS, corporations continue to provide the Israeli Defense Force with weapons and militarized equipment, despite the Israeli occupation being found a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, the charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law, and repeated United Nations resolutions (UN Res. 3414).

WHEREAS, our investments should reflect our values as an institution.

WEHREAS, ASU invests over $735 million through the ASU Foundation.

WHEREAS, Other universities, including Harvard, Yale, Amherst College, Hampshire College and Stanford, have divested from either the genocide in Sudan or the Israel-Palestine conflict.

WHEREAS, Arizona public universities have a history of supporting divestment from human rights abuses, being among the first universities to divest from apartheid South Africa in 1985.

WHEREAS, Arizona State University Undergraduate Student Government has previously supported the idea of socially responsible investment on campus.

WHEREAS, Arizona State University Undergraduate Student Government specifically supports the call for an Advisory Committee for “Socially Responsible Investing.”

LET IT BE RESOLVED that Arizona State University Undergraduate Student Government supports on-campus divestment from and blacklisting of corporations that are complicit in human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Sudan. These companies include Alliant Tech Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, Motorola, United Technologies, Petrochina, China National Petroleum Company, Sinopec, Oil and Natural Gas Company, and Alstom.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 11 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. I hope that students nationwide will be planning the rapid introduction of bills to divest from Israel, before it has a chance to bomb Iran, Gaza, Lebanon, and God only knows where else.

  2. confession, i literally wept this morning when news of this landed in my inbox.

  3. It’s very encouraging when students can glean the facts themselves apart from the accepted narrative. I remember when I was of the mindset that Israel was the “good guys” (pre-9/11) and I went to a Stand with Israel rally on my campus as they handed out Star of David stickers. I overheard some young men who appeared to be of some middle eastern descent commenting on the speakers and said, “they’re just not telling the real story.” It was years later that I learned for myself just how correct they were and felt quite guilty that they did not have an equal forum (at least in terms of the organizational powerhouse the Jewish student groups have amassed).

    More recently they did have a Nakba display that was well received and there was a student (hasbarist?) who walked up behind people (myself included) reading the photo captions and tried to engage them in debate by saying, “this is not the real story.” I ignored him because I was more than familiar with the one-sided narrative he and his “camp” had been able to disseminate for so long.

    I look forward for the momentum of justice to become like a runaway freight train (unstoppable).

    The Palestinians have been long suffering and far too patient for what they actually deserve.

    • Kathleen says:

      Daniel Pipes group Campus Watch as well as a few other groups had been successful at keeping the I/P issue under wraps on campuses for a solid decade or more. No longer

  4. Fredblogs says:

    Wow, they couldn’t get a clean bill passed to attack Israel so they lumped it in with Darfur. Classy. So what is the impact of this, do they have the authority to get the school to do it or are they just blowing smoke? I wonder what percentage of the “unanimous” Senate even knew they were voting an anti-Israel bill and what percent thought they were just voting an anti-Darfur bill. Also what percentage just voted for it because of the title.

    • I wonder what percentage of the “unanimous” Senate even knew they were voting an anti-Israel bill

      it may interest you to know this didn’t all happen at the drop of a hat. a little googling around and scrolling link to sjpalestine.com (i actually research on occasion, you might try it)

      National M.E.Ch.A. Endorses Palestinian Boycott Call Against Israel

      Latin@ Groups Across US Take Historic Stand at 19th Annual Conference; Decision Announced on National César Chávez Day

      March 30, 2012 — At the 18th annual national conference of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán), the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, chapter leaders voted by a landslide decision to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, due to its military occupation and settlement of Palestine.

      The announcement that M.E.Ch.A. chapter leaders endorsed BDS comes on the coinciding international observances of “César Chávez Day” and “Land Day,” commemorating ongoing civil rights and anti-colonial struggles for Latin@s and Palestinians. The chapter delegations (including some 600 delegates) met in Phoenix, AZ, last weekend, the site of the very first M.E.Ch.A. conference in 1993.

      The local ASU M.E.Ch.A. chapter, who hosted the conference this year, was the first to endorse the BDS call prior to the conference. Â Before M.E.Ch.A. could endorse BDS at a national level, ASU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) President, Lina Bearat, attended an ASU M.E.Ch.A meeting to discuss BDS and ask for their endorsement. Â Without that crucial vote of endorsement and support from ASU M.E.Ch.A. prior to the conference, ASU SJP could not have been able to ask for the endorsement of BDS by the national M.E.Ch.A. ASU SJP was also required to hold a workshop on BDS to educate the national members on the issue. Erin McGough, ASU SJP member, had the opportunity to discuss and hold a workshop on BDS at the national M.E.Ch.A. conference. The University of Arizona SJP collaborated with ASU, in all, on three educational workshops on Palestine given at the conference.

      i think students knew exactly what they were voting for. and one might assume they did a little research on darfur too. there are probably multiple activists groups on campus who focus on multiple human rights issues.

  5. Sumud says:

    Another defeat for BDS, right ziobots?

    Well done ASU, 35 years after the Sharpeville Massacre to divest from SA, but only 7 years after the 2005 BDS call to divest from Israel.

  6. This BDS call comes only 9 years after the pioneering Wayne State University Student Council resolution for total divestment from Israel:

    link to 4.bp.blogspot.com

    Yes, a total divestment resolution against Israel.

    Why not?

  7. joec says:

    A friendly tip to the editors: When the first image in a post is unusually-shaped, like the one above, no thumbnail will appear alongside it when readers post it to Facebook. I’m told that this is known to drastically reduce the clicks it will receive.

    Perhaps you could keep a folder of normally-shaped, often-useful images, like the ones I’ve linked below, on hand?

    link to bdsmovement.net
    link to imemc.org