The New York University (NYU) moved one step closer to participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), with a resolution presented to the NYU Student Government Assembly today, November 1st. The “Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians” calls for divesting from corporations who violate Palestinian human rights, and was presented by three students: Bayan Abubakr and Rose Asaf along with Alternate Student Senator at-Large Leen Dweik. Asaf, Abubakr, and Dweik are all seniors at NYU and members of Students for Justice in Palestine. Additionally, Asaf is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. The resolution will be voted on December 6th.
Targeting three corporations – Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric – the resolution brings attention to the ways in which these corporations violate Palestinian human rights. The resolution calls on the university to divest from these companies as well as others complicit in human rights abuses of Palestinians and globally. The resolution ultimately calls on the university to implement a socially responsible investment model, which would put in a place a screen to ensure the university’s investments that uphold human rights for all.
The resolution is supported by 53 undersigned student groups, including the Black Student Union; Mosaic: The Interfaith Students of Color Coalition at NYU; NYU College Libertarians; the Muslim Student Association; and NYU Young Democratic Socialists of America. In addition to these clubs, there are 34 faculty endorsements who are listed in Appendix B of the resolution. The presentation of the resolution comes only a week after more than thirty student groups at NYU pledged non-cooperation with the NYU Tel Aviv campus.
The resolution will be voted on at the December 6th meeting of the Student Government Assembly. As determined by a previous vote in the Student Government, the vote will be held by way of secret ballot to ensure that people can vote on the resolution without falling under the influence of outside pressure.
Just a few days ago, 11 Jewish people were murdered by a white supremacist in Pittsburgh. The authors of this resolution are in unyielding solidarity with the Jewish people and unequivocally oppose anti-Semitism. The rise of nationalism worldwide has contributed to the upsurge of anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia that has manifested globally. The authors of this resolution believe that the only way forward is solidarity with all oppressed peoples.
“As a Palestinian, this resolution is deeply personal to me. As an NYU student, it hurts and shocks me that the university would continue to invest in companies that directly contribute to the human rights violations of my family and my people.” – Leen Dweik, Alternate Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine
“As an American-Israeli Jewish person, I am co-authoring this resolution because of my identity– not in spite of it. I believe that I, as a Jewish person, have a responsibility to support Palestinians in their struggle for justice and liberation. NYU likes to give the illusion that it is a progressive institution, but how progressive can it actually be when it is actively funding human rights violations?” – Rose Asaf, Senator at-Large and Jewish Voice for Peace-NYU
“I co-authored this resolution because I have a role and stake in the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice. To quote Lilla Watson, all of our liberations are bound together. As a first-generation Sudanese-American Muslim, I cannot idly stand by as the institution that I attend perpetuates imperial violence in Palestine and beyond. I want NYU to reckon with the fact that it profits off of the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods, communities, and homes.” – Bayan Abubakr, Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine NYU