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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

After hard-fought battle, students celebrate divestment vote victory at UC San Diego

After a hard fought battle, Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) claimed a major victory last night when the Associated Student Council passed a resolution calling for divestment from companies profiting from Israeli occupation.

The result – 20 in favor, 12 against and 1 abstention – was announced to loud cheers, the video above shows.

The resolution, proposed by Students for Justice in Palestine, is similar to recent resolutions passed at UC Irvine and UC Riverside and names Boeing, General Dynamics Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Ingersoll-Rand and Raytheon among other companies that “profit from Israel’s military occupation and violence against Palestinians in violation of international law and human rights.”

The vote is not binding on the university, but is another indicator of growing support for divestment among students, which is why Zionist groups have vigorously opposed such resolutions whenever they have been proposed and have supported draconian measures to suppress student activism at the University of California and other campuses.

The issue has been hotly contested at UCSD; last week, the Council postponed a vote on the divestment resolution that was due to take place after a marathon eight-hour debate in a packed auditorium.

Echoing false and inflammatory claims that have been made by opponents of divestment, UCSD senior Mikhail Imanovich had told the Council, “This marginalizes the Jewish students on campus and makes them feel unsafe and unwanted.”

The divestment resolution victory dealt a defeat to campus group Tritons for Israel that had organized opposition to divestment claiming it would be divisive.

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine refuted such accusations in the campus newspaper, arguing that, “All political issues are divisive. But already, UCSD is taking a side on this issue by having money invested in companies that are integral to maintaining the Israeli occupation. That is divisive.”

Zionist organizations had even marshaled the support of two members of Congress who wrote to the student councillors to urge a vote against the resolution.

It would seem that the arguments in favor of divestment won out against political muscle.

Comments

Fantastic divestment victory at UCSD today!

This victory follows divestment resolutions approved by the student governments of UC Riverside (http://tinyurl.com/bbmekqv ) , and UC Irvine (http://latimesblogs.latimes.co... ).

It also follows earlier student government votes for divestment at:

* Evergreen State College in 2010 (http://electronicintifada.net/... ),

* Wayne State University's Student Council voted for total divestment against Israel (at http://tinyurl.com/85r6um2 ),

* Arizona State University in 2012 (at http://electronicintifada.net/... )

* The University of Michigan-Dearborn (at http://michigandaily.com/conte... ),

* Carleton University graduate students in 2012 (at http://electronicintifada.net/... )

Also:

* The University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty senate approved its own divestment resolution (at http://michigandaily.com/conte... ),

* MEChA, voted overwhelmingly in 2012 to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel ( http://www.nationalmecha.org/a... ),

* South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, voted to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel part of its official policy in December 2012 (at http://panafricannews.blogspot... ), and

* The Olympia Food Co-op, in 2010, voted to boycott all Israeli products (at http://www.theolympian.com/201... )

Fantastic news regarding UCSD. I am however very disappointed (though sadly not surprised) that my (Dem) Congresswoman, Susan Davis, personally tried to intervene to prevent this. Especially as she represents the most liberal district in San Diego County, with a predominant ethnic minority constituency which includes many people of Middle Eastern descent!

Thank you for the info re: this Ali - I will definitely contact her regarding this issue and make sure all my fellow voters are aware of her disgraceful support for Israeli apartheid!

Congrats at educating others and not giving in to others ranting and raving. U r an inspiration to us in Vermont <vtjp.org/ice cream> who are educating about Ben and Jerry's ice cream plant in the Negev.

Your comment on the history of BDS and student activism is really well-informed.

Here is a great article on wikipedia for all those interested in a detailed history of student activism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Congrats to the student council and to those who campaigned for divestment.

But why did the first words of celebration invoke religion, as if the dispute at the school was religious, or as if the conflict over Palestine is about religion? Religious triumphalism doesn't appeal to me; what triumphed was support for human rights.