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PACBI-A Salute to SUPER UW on their Divestment Resolution

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22 April 2014

A Salute to SUPER UW on their Divestment Resolution

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes Students United for Palestinian Rights and Equality at the University of Washington (SUPER UW) for their principled efforts in submitting a resolution for consideration by the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) senate. The resolution calls on the University of Washington to divest its endowment from companies profiting from the Israeli government’s abuses of human rights and violations of international law. [1]

The divestment resolution amounts to a clear attempt to challenge the notion that complicit companies and investments in Israel’s abuses can be "normal" business partners of any self-respecting institution or association. Over the past 20 years, Israel has intensified its construction of illegal colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory.  It continues to bomb and kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza and maintains its medieval siege of 1.8 million Palestinians there.  Its wall, condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, is still standing and expanding, separating Palestinians from their livelihoods, schools and farms.  Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in the Naqab (Negev), East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley was condemned by a ranking UN official as constituting a strategy of exclusion and discrimination [2].  Its policy of home demolitions, uprooting trees and denial of freedom of movement have intensified in recent months.  It still maintains more than 50 racist laws [3] that are condemned by international and local human rights organizations.  Even the U.S. Department of State has censured Israel’s system of “institutional, legal and societal” discrimination against Palestinian citizens of the state. [4] Investments in Israeli companies or companies that benefit from Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights cannot be ethically defended or justified.

SUPER UW has proven beyond doubt that effective solidarity with the oppressed is the most morally and politically sound contribution to the struggle to end oppression and to promote human rights and justice. And solidarity starts with “withdrawing support,” as a fundamental first step, from a system of injustice, as Martin Luther King Jr. says. We are certain that this outstanding expression of solidarity and support for the Palestinian BDS movement will further galvanize academics across the United States as well as in other countries to issue similar calls for the boycott of the Israeli academy and its complicit institutions.  As in South Africa during apartheid, only by isolating these institutions can there be any chance of ending their complicity in Israel’s multi-tiered system of oppression against the Palestinian people.

PACBI wishes to acknowledge, with gratitude, the determined efforts of all the students who are diligently and strategically working on passing this resolution. Considering the prevailing climate of intimidation in the US academy when it comes to voicing the slightest criticism of Israel’s violations of international law, it indeed takes courage to advocate for divestment from companies profiting from the human rights abuses of the Palestinians.  








Posted on 22-04-2014

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