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.