Berkeley student: ‘A vote in favor of the divestment bill is a small cry for common sense’

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The final vote on Berkeley divestment will be taking place tomorrow, April 28. Here is Matthew Taylor, a Jewish UC Berkeley Peace and Conflict Studies student, making yet another appeal to school Senators at the Daily Kos:

When will the University of California stop funding war crimes against Palestinian civilians and the occupation of Palestinian land? How much longer will grieving mothers have to wait for justice?

Zinad Samouni is still waiting. She is a 35-year-old Palestinian mother of eight who lost 48 of her family members in Israel’s assault on Gaza in January 2009, including her four-year-old son Ahmed.

"The soldiers came early on the morning of Sunday January 4th. [My husband] Atiyeh went to the door with his hands raised holding his ID but they shot him in the doorway," said Zinad. "I shouted ‘children, children’ in Hebrew but they started shooting," said Zinad’s nephew Faraj.

After the massacre, Israeli soldiers left messages for the dead Samounis on the walls of a neighbor’s house. The graffiti read: "Arabs need 2 die," "Arabs are pieces of shit," and "1 is DOWN 999,999 TO GO." . .

Senators, how do you think it feels for us students to know that our tuition dollars are paying to kill our friends, family members, and colleagues in Gaza? Israel should not be entitled to special treatment and a free pass to commit war crimes just because it promotes itself as a Jewish state and certain defenders of Israel can’t bring themselves to see the reality of war crimes.

A vote in favor of the divestment bill is a small cry for common sense and ethics in UC investments, and removes the current UC bias toward funding Israel’s military. Any other vote will continue the status quo of this University funding yet more war crimes against Palestinian civilians. A yes vote will finally begin the process of justice for Zinad Samouni’s 48 dead family members.

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