UCSD Next in the sights of the BDSD People
After the Boycott and Divestment forces failed at Berkeley last week, where the student body president, Will Smelko, vetoed an initial resolution demanding divestiture from investments in two American arms manufacturers, General Electric and United Technologies, because of their supposed participation in Israel’s actions against the Palestinians, Stand with Us reports that UC San Diego is up next. A virtually identical bill to Berkeley’s has been proposed and is up for a vote with the student senate on April 28th.
Here is what the Berkeley student body president wrote in his veto of the bill, a veto that was held up after extensive lobbying by both pro and con forces:
Whereas, The act of singling out Israel, a sovereign nation involved in an incredibly complex, intense, and historic conflict over land and borders, without providing adequate context, creates an array of questions and issues that compel the ASUC Senate to thoroughly examine and reconsider features of the bill:
1) Major divestment strategies deserve substantial scrutiny and deliberation, for example the consideration of testimony or evidence regarding: (a) the likely or probable impact of mandatory divestment on existing or future ASUC or UC Finances; (b) the likely or probable effect on the safety or security of human beings in Palestine and Israel; and (c) the overall effectiveness of a blanket divestment policy in achieving the aims of peace and security for any human being or group of people
2) Given that some ASUC Senators and others have compared the Israel/Palestine conflict with that of South African apartheid in the 1980s, it should be noted that a) the analogy itself is highly contested, and b) the divestment strategies employed against the apartheid government were not introduced and agreed upon after mere hours of discussion, but involved lengthy and serious deliberation and analysis
3) To achieve and maintain campus unity and peace, the perception of the bill as a symbolic attack on a specific community of our fellow students and/or fears of the bill being used as a tool to delegitimize the state of Israel cannot be understated; and
Whereas, While the ASUC as a body has stated convincingly that it does not want ASUC and UC dollars going to fund weapons, war crimes, or human rights violations, this veto has to do with the mechanism by which the ASUC achieves its mission of building peace and goodwill in a way that avoids the shortcomings of the bill (a selective, one-sided focus on a specific country that lacks important historical context and understanding)…
Smart guy, is Mr. Smelko.
Well, the Palestinians are also smart and they have taken virtually the verbatim attack at Berkeley and have reconstructed it for a vote in one day at UC San Diego.
The pattern is obvious and it seems as if along with Israel Apartheid Week, Jewish students as well as non-Jewish supporters of Israel on California campuses and beyond, can now expect their university lives to be hijacked in yet another way by the unholy alliance between the Muslim and leftist students who seek to harm Israel.
A few weeks ago, the chancellors of the UC system were up in arms over the actions of a couple of anonymous students who participated in a small number of racist incidents. At that time, these chancellors did not take into account the activities that single out Jewish students on these campuses. It is time now to put a stop to this campaign. It is led by the Palestinian Authority, under the guidance of the Fatah Sixth Congress which determined that the Palestinians would employ methods against Israel that resemble the struggle against South Africa. Seriously, read the final platform of the Palestinian Sixth Congress which includes the statement that they are committed to implementing:
â€œactivities for escalating the international campaign for boycotting Israel, its products, and its institutions, utilizing the experience of South Africa.â€
In other words, student bodies and university campuses are being hijacked by one of the parties to this Middle-East conflict. It is naive to think otherwise. It would be contentious, to say the least, if they permitted these political activists to have a victory on one of their campuses when these chancellors and leaders are in a position to stop the instigation.
Without snarling, swearing or doing anything that entails making an enemy out of a potential friend, those of you who are reading this should write letters to the leaders of the UC system and in the next day to the leaders of UC San Diego.
Whatever happens with this vote, I believe that we now know that this type of advocacy is only going to increase. We know what the agenda is and how they plan to execute. I think it’s time to figure out similar tactics that target Muslim and Arab countries and make it a point to make those countries pay a price every time (and in advance) anti-Israel forces single out Israel.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Link and address to UCSD’s Chancellor, Mary Anne Fox.
UPDATE: If somebody is going to update my posts without asking, please check your spelling first so that I don’t look bad in a post about university education.