International Boycott-Related Initiatives >
Bookmark and Share         Print   Send Email

the Arab-American News | October 2006

U of M-Dearborn student government demands divestment from Israel

Dearborn - The University of Michigan - Dearborn Student Government (www.umdsg.com) adopted General Assembly Resolution 2006-001 at its September 26th General Assembly meeting. The Resolution is in response to the growing call to demand that the University Of Michigan administration "cease all investment in companies that financially benefit from the actions of the Israeli military in illegally occupied territories."

General Assemly Resolution 2006-001 was adopted by a unanimous roll call vote. The resolution was supported on campus by a number of organizations and individuals including the National Organization for Women, Amnesty International, Arab Student Union, Humanitarian Organization For Palestinian Equality, Thaqalayn Muslim Association, and Philosophy Professor David Skrbina, a candidate for Lieutenant. The body heard testimony from Hussein Ibish, an expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the present situation in the Middle East region. This session was followed by a discussion period in which all present were encouraged to share opinions on the matter.

Student Government will lead a university-wide initiative to collect sufficient petition signatures to convince university administration and the Board of Regents to form a committee to investigate moral or ethical implications of investments in companies and/or institutions that sustain Israel's violations of international law.

Note: UMD Student Resolutions on Divestment can be read at:
[url=http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~skrbina/student_res.html]http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~skrbina/student_res.html[/url]

text is below:

The UM-D Student Government has passed 2 resolutions on divestment, one in 2005 and one in 2006. Both are posted below.

General Assembly Resolution # 2006-001

Adopted Sep. 27th, 2006

Whereas, this wise body has been known to be one of strong moral and social conscience and has in the past supported justice and international law, and

Whereas, U.N General Assembly Resolution 194 resolves that the Holy Places - including Nazareth - religious buildings and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice, and

Whereas, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 further resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible, and

Whereas, many of faith, including but not limited to Palestinians, are denied free access to religious buildings and sites, and

Whereas, Palestinian refugees have still not been allowed to return to their homes and allowed the chance to live in peace with their neighbors and furthermore, most of their property has been either demolished or destroyed by Israel and none have been compensated for their losses, and

Whereas, the aforementioned situations prove that Israel clearly and inexcusably is in continued violation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, and

Whereas, U.N Security Council Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the 1967 conflict and the termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force, and

Whereas, the State of Israel violates dozens of U.N. General assembly and Security Council Resolutions, causing conflict and suffering, and

Whereas, the territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula all were occupied in the 1967 conflict, and

Whereas, all of the aforementioned territories, except for the Sinai Peninsula, are still being illegally occupied by the state of Israel, in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, and

Whereas, the Fourth Geneva Convention states that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies, and

Whereas, Israel has continuously displaced indigenous Palestinian civilians and encouraged Israelis to settle in the illegally occupied territories, and

Whereas, this is reaffirmed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 446, which states that "the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East", and

Whereas, Israel has also imposed degrading, humiliating, and inhumane living conditions upon the indigenous Palestinians and this is unacceptable and cannot be justified or excused by those of strong moral and social conscience or those who support international law, and

Whereas, the complete and conscious disregard for Palestinians living under occupation has resulted in excessive use of force leading to tremendous civilian casualties, curfews imposed on entire communities sometimes for weeks on end, state sanctioned destruction of the environment and agriculture of mostly Palestinian lands (often times to build illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories), banning of books by both Arab authors as well as non-Arab authors (including Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice"), disruption of movement within the West Bank and Gaza Strip at times cutting Palestinians off completely from neighboring areas, loss of the right to an education, organizing, employment, and proper health care, and

Whereas, numerous organizations around the world including but definitely not limited to Amnesty International, the United Nations, the Palestinian Red Crescent, and Israel's B'tselem have highlighted and reprimanded the practices of the Israeli military and the living conditions they impose upon the indigenous Palestinians and deem them to be gross human rights violations, and

Whereas, Israel engaged in a 34 day illegal aggression against the state and people of Lebanon beginning on July 12th, 2006 and ending with a cease fire resolution on August 14th, 2006, and

Whereas, during this 34 day aggression against Lebanon, Amnesty International reported ‚ÄúThe Israeli Air Force launched more than 7,000 air attacks on about 7,000 targets in Lebanon between 12 July and 14 August, while the Navy conducted an additional 2,500 bombardments.(1) The attacks, though widespread, particularly concentrated on certain areas. In addition to the human toll -- an estimated 1,183 fatalities, about one third of whom have been children(2), 4,054 people injured and 970,000Lebanese people displaced‚Ķ In a country of fewer than four million inhabitants, more than 25 per cent of them took to the roads as displaced persons. An estimated 500,000 people sought shelter in Beirut alone, many of them in parks and public spaces, without water or washing facilities‚Ķ The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of public works, power systems, civilian homes and industry was deliberate and an integral part of the military strategy, rather than ‚Äėcollateral damage‚Äô.‚ÄĚ

Whereas, the University of Michigan invests in numerous companies and these investments are worth millions of dollars, and

Whereas, Raytheon, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman are all directly involved in the Israeli occupation, military aggression and profit from many of Israel's questionable policies in the occupied territories, and

Whereas, the investments in these six companies alone are valued at over $12,000,000, and

Whereas, University policy states that if a particular issue regarding the investment portfolio "involves serious moral or ethical questions," then "an advisory committee consisting of members of the University Senate, students, administration and alumni will be appointed to gather information and formulate recommendations for the Regent's consideration."

Therefore be it Resolved, that the University of Michigan- Dearborn Student Government will lead a movement to collect sufficient petition signatures demanding that the University of Michigan Board of Regents create an advisory committee to investigate the moral and ethical implications of the University's investments in companies that directly support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation, and

Be it Further Resolved, that on behalf of the students at the University of Michigan- Dearborn, we urge this committee to demand that the University of Michigan immediately divest from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be unethical. These companies may include Raytheon, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, and

Be it Further Resolved, that until Israel abides by international law, specifically but not limited to U.N General Assembly Resolution 194 and U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242, 270, 347, 425, 426, 427, 450, 459, 483, 481, 555, 586, 587, 599, 617, 768, 799, 938, 1288, and 1701 amongst others, we demand that the University cease all investment in companies that financially benefit from the actions of the Israeli military in illegally occupied territories.


******************************************************


Here is the full text of SR #2005-009, passed on Feb. 22, 2005:

University of Michigan-Dearborn
Student Government Resolution #2005-009
Sponsor: Senator Khuja
Endorsed by Committee for Student and Academic Affairs and the Arab Student Union

Whereas, this wise body has been known to be one of strong moral and social conscience and has in the past supported multilateralism and international law, and

Whereas, U.N General Assembly Resolution 194 resolves that the Holy Places - including Nazareth - religious buildings and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice, and

Whereas, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 further resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible, and

Whereas, many of faith, including but not limited to Palestinians, are denied free access to religious buildings and sites, and

Whereas, Palestinian refugees have still not been allowed to return to their homes and allowed the chance to live in peace with their neighbors and furthermore, most of their property has been either demolished or destroyed by Israel and none have been compensated for their losses, and

Whereas, the aforementioned situations prove that Israel clearly and inexcusably is in continued violation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, and

Whereas, U.N Security Council Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the 1967 conflict and the termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force, and

Whereas, the territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula all were occupied in the 1967 conflict, and

Whereas, all of the aforementioned territories, except for the Sinai Peninsula, are still being illegally occupied by the state of Israel, in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, and

Whereas, the Fourth Geneva Convention states that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies, and

Whereas, Israel has continuously displaced indigenous Palestinian civilians and encouraged Israelis to settle in the illegally occupied territories, and

Whereas, this is reaffirmed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 446, which states that "the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East", and

Whereas, Israel has also imposed degrading, humiliating, and inhumane living conditions upon the indigenous Palestinians and this is unacceptable and cannot be justified or excused by those of strong moral and social conscience or those who support international law, and

Whereas, the complete and conscious disregard for Palestinians living under occupation has resulted in excessive use of force leading to tremendous civilian casualties, curfews imposed on entire communities sometimes for weeks on end, state sanctioned destruction of the environment and agriculture of mostly Palestinian lands (often times to build illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories), banning of books by both Arab authors as well as non-Arab authors (including Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice"), disruption of movement within the West Bank and Gaza Strip at times cutting Palestinians off completely from neighboring areas, loss of the right to an education, organizing, employment, and proper health care, and

Whereas, numerous organizations around the world including but definitely not limited to Amnesty International, the United Nations, the Palestinian Red Crescent, and Israel's B'tselem have highlighted and reprimanded the practices of the Israeli military and the living conditions they impose upon the indigenous Palestinians and deem them to be gross human rights violations, and

Whereas, the University of Michigan invests in numerous companies and these investments are worth millions of dollars, and

Whereas, Raytheon, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman are all directly involved in the Israeli occupation and profit from many of Israel's questionable policies in the occupied territories, and

Whereas, the investments in these six companies alone are valued at over $12,000,000, and

Whereas, University policy states that if a particular issue regarding the investment portfolio "involves serious moral or ethical questions," then "an advisory committee consisting of members of the University Senate, students, administration and alumni will be appointed to gather information and formulate recommendations for the Regent's consideration."

Therefore be it Resolved, that the University of Michigan- Dearborn Student Government will send a letter demanding that the University of Michigan Board of Regents create an advisory committee to investigate the moral and ethical implications of the University's investments in companies that directly support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation, and

Be it Further Resolved, that, on behalf of the students at the University of Michigan- Dearborn, we urge this committee to demand that the University of Michigan immediately divest from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be unethical. These companies presently include Raytheon, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, and

Be it Further Resolved, that until Israel abides by international law and the decisions of the United Nations, specifically but not limited to U.N General Assembly Resolution 194 and U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, we demand that the University not invest in companies that financially benefit from the actions of the Israeli military in the illegally occupied territories.

Passed: February 22, 2005.

http://arabamericannews.com/newsarticle.php?articleid=6441

Posted on 02-10-2006


  Bookmark and Share         Print   Send Email  
   


   
 

 






Advanced search

         

 



About the Campaign

History
Who We Are
PACBI Call for Boycott
Palestinian BDS Call
PACBI Statements

PACBI Guidelines and Positions

Academic Boycott
Cultural Boycott
Risala Editorials
Other Key Documents
Campaign Resources

Reference Documents
Useful Links
Books
Toolkit
FAQ
News & Opinion

Initiatives

Palestinian
International
Contact Us

«Šŕ—»Ū…

PACBI, P.O.Box 1701, Ramallah, Palestine pacbi@pacbi.org
All Rights Reserved © PACBI