Israel/Palestine: Endorse UC Berkeley bid to divest from companies linked to Israeli occupation

المصدر: 
WLUML Networkers

For the first time in the University of California history, the UC Berkeley Student Senate has approved a bill to divest from two US companies in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and to Israel’s siege and bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The Senate bill directs both the UC Regents and the Student Government to divest from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies*. In addition, the bill creates a task force to look into furthering a socially responsible investment policy for the UC system. However, the bill has been vetoed, and in their campaign to override the veto on 14 April, led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Student Senate are up against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] that has launched a drive to take over student government at the UC Berkeley.

In 2009, Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, became the first US educational institution to divest from companies directly involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Hampshire College action was advocated by the group Students for Justice in Palestine, and ultimately adopted by the Board of Trustees. If its student senate bill overrides the current presidential veto, UC Berkeley may becomes the first large, public US institution to endorse a similar measure.

*General Electric manufactures Apache helicopter engines; United Technologies manufactures Sikorsky helicopters and F-16 aircraft engines, both of which have been tied by human rights organizations to attacks on civilians in Lebanon and Gaza (as the bill explains).

The full text of the approved bill is available here:
 
more details on the resolution can be found here
 
Statement of support from internationally best-selling author, journalist, and cultural critic Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and the Shock Doctrine:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-klein/open-letter-to-berkeley-s_b_520328.html
 
Statements from Jewish Voice for Peace in support of the bill, and responses to some criticisms and misinformation around it, are here:
 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
 
The debate to overturn the current veto of the bill will start at 7 PM at the 7th floor of Eshleman Hall, UC Berkeley on Wednesday 4/12, and may last till the early hours of the morning.
 
If you are not in the Bay Area, think of how you can spread divestment to your church, your synagogue, your mosque, to other schools, to other institutions. Make use of this website that lists companies profiting from the occupation http://www.whoprofits.org/Article%20Data.php?doc_id=762 . And speak up in the press. Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed. Make the media know about the success at Berkeley and the successes to come.
 
Feel free to contact us at admin@calsjp.org for more information, and to let us know how you'd like to get involved in this groundbreaking struggle.