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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Historic UC Irvine divestment vote deals stinging defeat to Zionist bullying on campus

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Students face a climate of intimidation on several California campuses

(UC Berkeley SJP)

Just over a year since an Orange County jury, in a politically-motivated prosecution, convicted the “Irvine 11” students for disrupting a lecture by Israeli Ambassdor Michael Oren, the Associated Students of UC Irvine voted unanimously tonight to call for divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation.

The vote deals a major blow to intense efforts by Israel and allied organizations to suppress Palestinian solidarity activism on campus, particularly at UC Irvine, part of the University of California system.

The resolution, passed by 16-0 with no abstentions, calls on the University of California to divest from companies, including Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, Sodastream, Raytheon and L-3 Communications, that assist or directly profit from Israeli occupation and human rights abuses.

In a press release, the campaign group Irvine Divest called the vote, “an historic move that could initiate a domino effect across America’s campuses.”

Sabreen Shalabi, the student representative on the legislative council for the school of social science and co-author of the legislation said, according to the press release, “I am very proud of my fellow council members and of the students at our University. Our work today stands tall in the noble tradition of students advocating for justice, joining the ranks of those brave and visionary students who demanded that our Universities divest from the terrible crimes of South African apartheid.”

A complete failure for Israel’s sabotage efforts

The UC Irvine vote will come as a sharp blow to Israeli organizations such as the Reut Institute, which celebrated the conviction of the Irvine 11 as a “price tag” victory in Israel’s campaign to “sabotage and attack” Palestine solidarity activism.

It is particularly embarrassing that just a week ago, Israel’s Ynet presented UC Irvine as a success story for Israel’s propaganda efforts in an article titled “Israel shines in California campus.”

The article claimed that there had been a “drastic change” in attitudes and that thanks to the efforts of the Israeli consul general in Los Angeles and other Zionist groups, “Pro-Israel activity flourishes in Irvine University merely two years” after what Ynet called the “attack” on Oren.

Israel and Zionist organizations have focused particular efforts on UC Irvine, including inviting the university’s president to Israel.

As The Electronic Intifada has reported, organized intimidation, bogus lawsuits and civil rights complaints and other forms of bullying of students who engage in Palestine solidarity work, have been used to try to shut down activism across California and the United States.

The unanimous support for the divestment resolution among the elected representatives of the student body will be seen, rightly, as a complete failure for these intense Israeli-sponsored hasbara – propaganda – efforts, and serve as confirmation that no amount of intimidation can prevent student bodies from following their consciences and pushing complicit university administrations toward action.

“The decision made by ASUCI’s legislative Council tonight clearly shows the strength and integrity of students utilizing their collective power to protect human rights on a global scale, Traci Ishigo, President of the Associated Student of UCI and a member of the UC Irvine Foundation, was quoted as saying by Irvine Divest, “I stand firmly by the students who believe it is their responsibility to have a voice on matters that urge the UC to be an institution that treasures human dignity.”

Comments

I think we should not be selective. I think we need to boycott companies like Microsoft, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Intel, Motorola, Apple, SAP. Why go half way?

little victories accumulate into big victories. all those corporations that support oppression around the world will surely get theirs eventually. a luta continua!

It is a non-binding resolution. Maybe it makes some people happy to promote and approve of this but no one cares. If the goal was to stir up the right wing Israeli supporters, it may do that, which would be counterproductive.

Passing this sort of thing won't bring people together. It will likely lead to centrists Israeli supporters to circle the wagon and side more with right wing Israeli supporters. There are many centrist and left leaning Israeli supporters who call for the Israelis to negotiate for a two state solution. Actions like this hurt them.

Does the resolution even mention a two state solution? Does it mention Hamas? Does it mention that rockets and mortars have been launched at Israel in the past weeks? It is so one sided that most people will think this is nothing more than an attempt of wantabe dofus dogooders without a clue of what a balanced approach would be that would bring people together for a peaceful two state solution.

There isn't enough of Palestine remaining to form a viable state in a 'two-state solution'. And would Occupied Palestine (often called 'Israel') ever allow a fully-sovereign, possibly nuclear-armed, Palestinian state so close to itself? The best that could be hoped-for is a de-militarised zone that the world would know as 'Palestine'.

But is the so-called 'two-state solution' merely an attempt to trick the exiled Palestinians into relinquishing the right to negotiate their return? That right was granted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution Number 194. Sadly, that resolution has joined the 34 other UN resolutions that 'Israel' chooses to violate.

If it is a confidence trick then it certainly won't be the most spectacular of the region. I believe that distinction belongs to the British Lord Balfour. Let me put it this way: "If some generous benefactor had given me a new home in which to live but, 64 years after moving in, I was still feuding lethally with my neighbours then I might start having very strong suspicions about the benefactor's true motives."

"who cares" is just one more in the 10s of thousands of examples of israel's Hasbara Spin & Smear Team, who are hired and trained by israel's foreign ministry to stalk the internet and denigrate, defame and delegitimize any criticism of israel's brutal land grabbing, illegal "settlements" and barbaric apartheid. You are becoming nothing more than caricatures. Perfect laboratory specimens of israel's zionist perversity.

I am tired of the old Hasbara accusation.

I am for a two state solution based upon the Clinton Parameters. I noticed the resolution does not mention anything about a two state solution.

I am a member of J Street and follow America Peace Now.

I support the America Peace Now stance. Their position:

"APN believes that boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel are misguided and counterproductive.

Misguided, because they target the average, innocent Israeli citizen -- who may well support peace and a two-state solution -- rather than the Israeli government policies that are ostensibly the target of the campaigns.

Counterproductive, because they provoke a "circle the wagons" response. Such a response is understandable, since much of the pressure for such campaigns comes from historically virulently anti-Israel sources that are often not interested in Israeli security concerns or Palestinian behavior."

This in turn creates very real and understandable worries about global anti-Semitism and the perception that the campaigns are not truly (or only) about Israeli policies but rather reflect a deep-seated hatred for and rejection of Israel.

Norman Finkelstein position :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Yeah but Palestine is not yours to divide up so immaterial what your position is and don't retort with "where can the Jews go" its their fault for going there illegally in the first place, refusing to assimilate and you know the rest. Palestinians must decide the fate of their country not outsiders and know alls.

"Where can the Jews go?" Helen Thomas had an answer to that. Remember Helen Thomas, member of the White House Press Corps? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... ) "... back to Poland, Germany, America, and everywhere else [Russia, for instance] ... "

I don't know what happened. I typed a comment and must not have saved it.

I am a member of J Street and follow Americans for Peace Now. The Hasbara accusation is weak.

I support a two state solution based upon the Clinton Parameters. I think measures like this are counterproductive to bringing people together to work for that sort of compromise.

If this non-binding legislation makes Reality Check and others feel good about himslef/herself. Fine.

IMO it isn't the type of measure that leads to building relationships that lead to positive change. I'd much rather see student legislation based upon the Clinton Parameters to show that the majority of both sides are willing to work together. The Reality Checks of the world want to attack people like me who could work towards a resolution of the conflict where a homeland for the Palestinian people would be created that would peacefully co-exist with Israel the homeland for the Jewish people. That is what most people want.

The measure could have been improved by stating something like: Whereas we support a two state solution based upon the Clinton Parameters. But it fails to do that.

The "who cares" of the world pay a lot of lip service knowing that the 2 state solution is virtually dead...then opportunistically and obliquely slip the victim card into the narrative. For 65 years, people like ..."who cares"...and Bibi Netanyahu talk the talk while simultaneously ridiculing any modality that might actually have led to a peace agreement.

So..to reiterate, in the words of Haim Bresheeth (an Israeli peace activist), "They [Israel] will do everything to make you believe that they want peace - I even believed it once and most of you have believed it - I know that. They will do everything to make sure that people in the West believe that they want peace - they will go to meetings, they will sign documents - they will do all that and then they will make damn sure that there is no chance of any of this happening..."

Moreover..."who cares"...Regarding that "average innocent" Israeli citizen who may well support peace and a two state solution: In October, a public opinion poll of Jewish Israelis found that 47% support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel, 58% believe Israel practices apartheid toward Palestinians, and 69% favor denying Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

In "Meet The Israelis", (an article wriiten by Gideon Levy)..He wrote, "Nice to make your acquaintance, we're racist and pro-apartheid. The poll whose results were published in Haaretz on Tuesday, conducted by Dialog and commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund, proved what we always knew, if not so bluntly.." -Gideon Levy (Israeli journalist)

Enough said...

And it definitely was not your land to give away so only they can decide the fate of their land, not outsiders.