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Letter of Support for SDSU Divestment

March 7th, 2014

The Student Union for Representation and Justice at San Diego State University launched a campaign in 2014 to pass a resolution through their student government calling on their university to divest from corporations that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid. The corporations being targeted in the resolution include Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon, CEMEX, and G4S.

Take action to support the campaign here!

Learn more about their campaign at http://www.calicampusdivest.com

Dear Student Union for Representation and Justice,

As a national coalition of more than 400 groups around the country that support freedom, justice and equality for all, we are writing to thank you for your efforts to pass a resolution at San Diego State University (SDSU) calling for divestment from companies that profit from occupation and apartheid and are complicit in Israelís crimes against the Palestinian people.

Every day Palestinians suffer ongoing displacement, discrimination, and exile as a consequence of Israelís abusive policies. Whether itís Palestinians living under brutal military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, or Palestinian refugees who cannot return to their lands because they have the wrong ethnic or religious background, or Palestinian citizens of Israel who face more than 50 laws enshrining their status as second-class citizens, Palestinians have been denied their rights and dignity by Israel for several decades.

In 2005 more than 170 Palestinian civil society groups issued a call for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel and institutions complicit in its oppressive policies towards Palestinians until it complies with international law. With the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions, BDS promotes time-honored and respected tactics used to achieve justice, including in the U.S. Civil Rights and South Africa Anti-Apartheid movements.

In the past nine years, people of conscience worldwide, especially students, have responded to the Palestinian call for action by pursuing local BDS campaigns. Campuses have been at the forefront of social justice struggles throughout history, even when doing so was unpopular. It is a legacy that we are inspired to see you continue by taking a stand and demanding that your university not invest in those companies unwilling to end their involvement in the brutal and ongoing violations of Palestiniansí basic rights.

As with all social justice movements, there will be those who oppose your efforts by accusing you of being divisive and pushing for the need to be neutral. The fact is that refusing to divest is in itself a political stance in support of human rights abuses. There is no ďnot taking a sideĒ in this situation: there is the side of justice and the status quo of injustice. Those working for Palestinian rights are not the ones singling out Israel. It is the U.S. government that singles Israel out by funding its occupation and apartheid with billions of dollars in military aid annually. It is university student governments that single Israel out when they pass resolutions about fossil fuels, the prison industrial complex, and human rights abuses in other countries but decline to take up Israelís very clearly documented violations of international law.

After the end of apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela made clear: ďThe UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.Ē

We cheer you on in your stand with Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation, apartheid, and colonization and hope that you always remember that in the past student activists played an important role in exposing apartheid in South Africa. This is the example to follow now.  We applaud your efforts to ensure SDSU lives up to its mission to contribute to knowledge and the solution of problems through passing a divestment resolution from those companies that enable Israelís violations of Palestinian rights.  

Sincerely,

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition working to end all U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians. 

Endorsed by: 

1. American Jews for a Just Peace- Boston
2. Bay Area Women in Black
3. Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
4. Chico Palestine Action Group
5. Citizens for Palestinian Self Determination (Lincoln, NE)
6. Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (New York, NY)
7. Culture and Conflict Forum (San Jose, CA)
8. Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement (San Diego, CA)
9. Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network (Ithaca, NY)
10. Friends of Palestine (Germantown, WI)
11. Helena Service for Peace and Justice
12. Interdenominational Advocates for Peace (Ann Arborn, MI)
13. Israel Palestine Mission Network
14. Jewish Voice for Peace- Bay Area chapter
15. Justice First Foundation, Inc. (Richmond, RI)
16. Justice for Palestinians (Houston, TX)
17. Justice for Palestinians (San Jose, CA)
18. Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land (Portland, OR)
19. Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
20. Methodist Federation for Social Action (Washington, DC)
21. Middle East Peace Now (Minneapolis, MN)
22. MidEast: JustPeace (Cedar, MI)
23.  Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign
24. Muslim American Society (La Jolla, CA)
25. Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of UCC (Pleasant Hill, TN)
26. New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership
27. NH Veterans for Peace
28. North Texas BDS
29. Northwest BDS Coalition (Seattle, WA)
30. Palestine Solidarity Committee- Seattle
31. Project Peace- Imagining a World without War (Tiffin, OH)
32. Sabeel-- Northern CA Sacramento Region
33. Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
34. Salaam Shalom (Chapel Hill, NC)
35. Sonomans for Justice and Peace in Palestine
36. Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
37. UMUNY Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel (Horseheads, NY)
38. United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (Cambridge, MA)
39. United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force
40. Utahns of a Just Peace in the Holyland
41. Vancouver for Peace
42. Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
43. WI Middle East Lobby Group
44. Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace

PDF of letter here