UC Berkeley faculty launch divestment petition

Faculty at UC Berkeley have initiated a petition for divestment from Israel that includes all of the University of California campuses. By signing this petition, UC faculty, alumni, staff, students, and community members are asking the University to use its influence - political and financial - to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of the Palestinian people. The campaign for divestment from Israel follows the precedent set by the anti-apartheid campaign of the 1980’s, when students, professors, and employees called for an end to university investment in South Africa. Please go to www.ucdivest.org to sign the petition and forward this email to your colleagues.

So far, 194 UC Faculty have signed the petition, which continues to gain recognition. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work against apartheid, has endorsed the campaign, while In a Daily Bruin editorial, UCLA’s newspaper has come out in support of the petition.

Text of the Petition:

We, the undersigned are appalled by the human rights abuses against Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government, the continual military occupation and colonization of Palestinian territory by Israeli armed forces and settlers, and the forcible eviction from and demolition of Palestinian homes, towns and cities. We find the recent attacks on Israeli civilians unacceptable and abhorrent. But these should not and do not negate the human rights of the Palestinian people.

As members of the University of California community, we believe that our university ought to use its influence - political and financial - to encourage the United States government and the government of Israel to respect the human rights of the Palestinian people. We therefore call on the US government to make military aid and arms sales to Israel conditional on immediate initiation and rapid progress in implementing the conditions listed below. We also call on the University of California to divest from Israel, and from US companies that sell arms to Israel, until these conditions are met:

1. Israel is in compliance with United Nations Resolution 242 which notes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and which calls for withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories.

2. Israel is in compliance with the United Nations Committee Against Torture 2001 Report which recommends that Israel’s use of legal torture be ended.

3. In compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention (“The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies”; Article 49, paragraph 6), Israel ceases building new settlements, and vacates existing settlements, in the Occupied Territories.

4. Israel acknowledges in principle the applicability of United Nations Resolution 194 with respect to the rights of refugees, and accepts that refugees should either be allowed to return to their former lands or else be compensated for their losses, as agreed by the Palestinians and Israelis in bilateral negotiations.

SIGN THE PETITON AT www.ucdivest.org