Loyola University Chicago student union passes resolution to divest from Israeli occupation

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
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The following press release was sent out by Loyola University Chicago Students for Justice in Palestine:

On Tuesday March 18, 2014, Loyola University Chicago became the first Jesuit University in the United States to pass a student government resolution to divest from companies complicit in aiding the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. The Senate legislation calls upon Loyola University Chicago to remove its holdings from eight specific companies that play active roles in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli Government.

The first corporation listed, Caterpillar, sustains the occupation by providing tools and bulldozers to destroy Palestinian infrastructure such as homes, neighborhoods, and agricultural fields. Caterpillar tools also aid in the expansion of illegal settlements as declared by the United Nations. The second corporation, General Electric (GE), manufactures engines used for the same helicopters that violate human rights violations by attacking Palestinian civilians. Hewlitt-Packard Company (HP), similar to the aforementioned companies, also aids in the systemic oppression of Palestine. HP provides discriminatory identification systems used by the Israeli militarycheckpoints and profits from mass incarceration. Group 4 Securicor (G4S), Raytheon, Elbit Systems, SodaStream, and Veolia are the remaining companies that complete the list.

560223_368324726608042_2075523873_nBy passing this piece of legislation, the student body at Loyola University Chicago is asking for further and constant examination of Loyola’s assets for future investments. In the policy statement on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), the Board of Trustees claims to commit to a social mission with the promotion of social justice. Divesting from these companies remains true to this statement and ensures that Loyola is not profiting from companies that contradict Jesuit traditions and values.Senator Nashiha Alam supports this in her speech of affirmation by saying, “…the university has a responsibility to filter our investments and have an investment screen. We [the students] are responsible for making these ethical investments.”

Students for Justice in Palestine at Loyola University Chicago (SJP) has been working on a divestment campaign since 2012. After gathering over 800 undergraduate student signatures in support of divestment, SJP introduced the legislation to the Unified Student Government Association (USGA) for deliberation. The Senate meeting was full of outside community supporters as well as current students passionate about the cause. USGA Senator Melinda Bunnage speaks in favor of the Divestment legislation “I think this piece of legislation has potential to be really effective. USGA worries about the community and student support but it’s clear that passing this is very important to our student body.”

SJP LUC hopes that this success signals the beginning of future successes for other universities and Jesuit institutions across the United States. It is the students’ responsibility as crucial members of society to draw attention to these immoral acts against an entire population and by passing divestment, Loyola University Chicago is making an influential difference.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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32 Responses

  1. American
    March 19, 2014, 10:38 am

    Hoorah!
    Score one for the Jesuits.

  2. amigo
    March 19, 2014, 10:43 am

    This is good news and lets hope these actions increase exponentially as people are less and less concerned about accusations of antisemitism.

    Zionism is on the run so lets up the pressure on this most vile of beasts until it is slain.

    • Naftush
      March 20, 2014, 4:38 am

      So who’s next? Who’s the next-vilest beast? Do you have one in mind? Whoops.

  3. hophmi
    March 19, 2014, 11:47 am

    LOL, put on the agenda by surprise without a debate. What is the SJP afraid of?

    • Sumud
      March 20, 2014, 2:02 am

      Since the campaign has been active since 2012 and they have a public petition up with 800 signatures, no-one should be claiming surprise.

      What’s your source for claiming the resolution was put on the agenda “by surprise”? Update from hasbara central?

      Fake LOL hophmi, this is another nail in zionism’s coffin.

      • hophmi
        March 21, 2014, 1:05 pm

        “Since the campaign has been active since 2012 and they have a public petition up with 800 signatures, no-one should be claiming surprise.”

        I’m not talking about the signatures (and lord know that it is easy to get kids to sign things in college). There was no notice that the student government was going to consider it, as there has been with these things in the past.

    • Ecru
      March 20, 2014, 2:47 am

      Thanks for that Hoppy, I’ll now just copy and paste your comment every time a Jewish organisation with Zionist donors pulls or bans somebody critical of Israel from speaking.

      And btw I’m still waiting for that admission that you lied, and you did; REPEATEDLY; in your representations of that internet survey on perceptions of anti-semitism in Europe. You know that xenophobic bigoted little blood libel you’ve been trying to peddle…..

    • ziusudra
      March 20, 2014, 3:39 am

      Greetings Hophmi,
      … what is the SJP afraid of?…..
      Why fear on their part ?
      They are putting fear into the Zio Heart.
      J. Joyce quipped, you fearful Zio!
      ziusudra

  4. Ellen
    March 19, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Loyola, Holy Cross, Gonzaga University, Fordham, Notre Dame, Georgetown. All Jesuit institutions. Within two years, similar resolutions will likely be adopted by all.

    How will the Zio machine handle it? Withhold donations? Demand the the federal government withhold funding and support? Cries of Jesuit anti Jewish indoctrination. (The Jesuits did not have it so great under the inquisition and were almost just as suspect as the Conversos. They thought too much.)

    • JeffB
      March 19, 2014, 1:11 pm

      @Ellen

      How will the “zio machine” handle a bunch of Catholic universities with about $10b in total assets pulling out? They won’t do much. They don’t have leverage over Catholic liberals they don’t have Jewish students or Jewish donors. They just aren’t holding cards for that hand. And there aren’t a substantial number of Catholic Christian Zionists so no hope for support from the right on that one. So no direct fight on campus.

      If we assume that $200m of that is in companies with strong Israeli ties, and Israel has to attract new investors with higher returns then Israel takes a hit of lets say 1.5% at most on that $200m. So around $3m / yr financially from the divestment. It does nothing financially.

      Symbolically obviously it is a bigger deal. The Vatican has usually been mildly to moderately hostile to Israel. Jewish / Catholic reconciliation likely grinds to a halt. So my guess is nothing happens BDS gets a PR win there because it is such an unequal playing field.

      I don’t think they would hit back, but if they were going to then they would hit the Vatican hard in a field where they have leverage. For example stronger explicit ties between the American Jewish community and Latin American Pentecostal communities, which are already pro-American. Latin American Jews are already generally allied with the Latin American right but until now the American Jewish community has not wanted to endorse quasi fascist groups. In an environment where American Jews saw the Catholic church uniformally as anti-Zionist rather than just leftwing LA leaders as anti-Zionist this could change. That creates a real opportunity the Jewish community would become a way for the CIA to wash interference:
      CIA -> American Jews -> Latin American Jews -> rightwing LA parties

      Of course there is likely to be genuinely anti-Semetic backlash against the LA Jewish population from the left but that is only going to make them more Zionist in their orientation….

      Again that’s just an example. My guess is they do nothing.

    • tontitonti
      March 19, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Notre Dame is not run by Jesuits.

      • Ellen
        March 19, 2014, 11:00 pm

        Indeed, Notre Dame was neither founded by the Jesuits nor run by the Jesuit order. Thanks.

        When Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan was denied entry into the US to take his faculty position at ND due to still-unexplained “Security” issues, the University got a good taste of the dark forces behind the “homeland” cult and it’s agenda to keep Muslims and Arabs out to “protect us.”

        http://news.nd.edu/news/7343-tariq-ramadan-resigns-from-faculty/

        That disgraceful episode is not forgotten at Notre Dame.

      • chuckcarlos
        March 19, 2014, 11:10 pm

        congregation of the holy cross

        notre dame, our lady, and university of portland oregon

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfASU07tQM4

        of which i am neither but erin go bragh

    • Les
      March 19, 2014, 8:28 pm

      Marquette.

  5. JusticeForPalestine
    March 19, 2014, 1:07 pm

    As an alum of Jesuit schools, I applaud this brave and principled decision by the Loyola Student Union. Awesome!

    Of course, Christians are taught to love our “enemies” as ourselves, which is why Martin Luther King always reminded his audiences, whether black or white, that his ultimate goal was not to “beat” or “overcome” whites but rather for black and whites to be united in brotherly love — what King called “a beloved community.”

    As a graduate of Jesuit schools, I can assure you that such a goal also applies in the case of this Loyola resolution both to the resolution’s corporate targets and, even more importantly, to any and all Israelis operating unjustly toward Palestinians.

  6. thetruthhurts
    March 19, 2014, 1:39 pm

    how will the ziomachine handle it?
    you’ve got to be kidding, right?
    i’m quite sure the masters of deception and truth perversion will come up with some masterful work of evil satanic creativity. just wait and see.

  7. Rational Zionist
    March 19, 2014, 2:19 pm

    I am waiting to see if every Jesuit school will be turning off their computers because they have Israeli-designed INTEL processor chips. Probably not.

    • Les
      March 19, 2014, 8:30 pm

      Rational zionism that dooms Palestinians dooms Judaism in the process.

    • Ellen
      March 19, 2014, 11:11 pm

      Yeah right, all Intel chips are designed in Israel. Maybe they will switch to ADM.

    • puppies
      March 19, 2014, 11:52 pm

      Rationalzionist – Very rational. As if we hadn’t heard the same about German products before the war, for everything from pharmaceuticals to cars and food processing.
      Only they really were the inventors and sole manufacturers.

  8. Don
    March 19, 2014, 3:15 pm

    Maybe irrelevant, but…
    Of all Catholic orders, none were more influenced by Jews than the Jesuits…
    Robert Aleksander Maryks
    http://www.jewishjesuits.com/

    Tablet Article by Marc B. Shapiro (Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton)
    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/127310/is-a-jesuit-good-for-the-jews
    “My own experience, having taught at a Jesuit university for the past 17 years, is that Jews can ask for no better friends than the Jesuits with whom I have been privileged to work. They have welcomed me and encouraged me to share in the ideals of Jesuit education, which is often characterized as “finding God in all things,” a sentiment that can also be found in many classic Jewish sources. Not long after I arrived in Scranton I was invited to deliver a lecture to the exceptional students who are part of my university’s Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. The title of my talk was “A Jesuit University as Seen Through Jewish Eyes.” That a Jewish professor would be invited to share Jewish wisdom on what he saw as the strengths and weaknesses of Scranton’s Jesuit education illustrates more than anything else how far we have come.”

    • ziusudra
      March 20, 2014, 3:51 am

      Greetings Don,
      …Jewish wisdom…..
      Now just what is Jewish wisdom?
      The vile Talmud &/or the fairy tale O.T.?
      From 536BC to 21014AD, 2,5 K yrs of
      philosophizing about, God said, …. nothing.
      ziusudra

  9. yonah fredman
    March 19, 2014, 5:20 pm

    I am an alma mater of Loyola U of Chicago. (Cuz they’re Jesuits, they appreciate pilpul and gave me credit for Torah studies.) Now this pilpul note: they didn’t divest from Israel but from the occupation.

    • Sammar
      March 19, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Yonah, just FYI:

      You are not an alma mater but an alumnus of Loyola U. The university is your alma mater.

      To support the Israeli occupation kind of runs against everything a good Christian would stand for – I am wondering what took them so long to pull their money out?

      • American
        March 19, 2014, 6:29 pm

        I think the Churches are just beginning to come out from under the ether of the Holocaust blame game.
        And even if you heavily into faith you can only deny the reality of Israel’s I/P for so long.

      • yonah fredman
        March 19, 2014, 7:49 pm

        I’m the alumnus and the school is my alma mater. Thanks Sammar. I hope the correction sticks in my brain.

      • puppies
        March 19, 2014, 11:06 pm

        @Friedman – If those years at a Catholic school couldn’t provide you the rudiments nothing will now, with advancing sclerosis.

    • ziusudra
      March 20, 2014, 4:06 am

      Greetings yonah,
      …they didn’t divest from Israel……
      They didn’t divest from Judaism.
      They are divesting from Israel & their occupation since 67.
      Your Governments, since 48, don’t care about Judaism.
      ziusudra
      PS One mo’ once, Israel’s zio ideology is the occupation.
      A religion is not an ideology.
      PPS i’m well within the mark by saying that there are enough
      citizens in Israel, who don’t practise Judaism or Zionism.
      You ‘be de’ believer of the latter, Bubbala.
      Ideology overrides religion in temporal profit.

    • Naftush
      March 20, 2014, 4:46 am

      Further on pilpul: They didn’t divest from anything; they urged the university authorities to divest.

  10. Judy
    March 19, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Woo hoo! My Arab-American daughter is a student here! So proud!!

  11. Mayhem
    March 19, 2014, 9:55 pm

    Using retribution instead of reconciliation will only exacerbate the situation. The pro-BDS nongs seem to have a lot of trouble realising this. They operate from an inapplicable model that their old school adherents have copied from the South African situation. Confrontation will lead to failure of the Palestinian cause – history has proven that.

  12. Sumud
    March 20, 2014, 10:56 am

    Mayhem –

    Confrontation will lead to failure of the Palestinian cause – history has proven that.

    Uh huh.

    In that case you should take the day off as this latest BDS success is actually another victory for zionism, right?

    Thank you for explaining that to me. The evidence you have given is so compelling. Your argument is flawless. Your reasoning is …sublime.

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