Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The undergraduate student government at Arizona State University on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill demanding that ASU divest from and blacklist corporations that are complicit in human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Sudan.
This announcement is yet another victory in the global BDS movement to pressure Israel to end its human rights violations against Palestinians and comply with international law.
From the ASU SJP chapter: "Arizona State University, a university with an endowment of over $735 million, aspires to be the 'New American University' with globally engaged students. We, students, at ASU want our university to make socially responsible investment decisions; we also want ASU’s investments to reflect its values as an institution. The bill calls for ASU to divest from and blacklist companies such as Alliant Tech Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, Motorola, United Technologies, Petrochina, China National Petroleum Company, Sinopec, Oil and Natural Gas Company and Alstom."
As the BDS movement continues to grow, there are many ways you can help.
- Learn about the various BDS campaigns the US Campaign and its member groups are involved in
- Sign this letter supporting the divestment recommendation of the Presbyterian Committee on Mission Responsibility through Investment
- Join us for our 11th Annual National Organizers' Conference September 21-23, 2012 at St. Louis University
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The Palestinian Students' Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel has written an open letter calling on their European peers to intensify boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel on university campuses.
An Open Letter from Palestinian Students to Their Peers in Europe: “Time Now to Boycott Israeli Apartheid on University Campuses”
Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine
We Palestinian students of the Gaza Strip wish to send a message to all European student groups in solidarity with the Palestinians to do all they can to increase Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel this academic year.
We also reiterate our support for the recent call by Palestinian Civil Society, of which we are a signatory, to end all collaborative research between European Universities and Israeli universities.  Research centers in Israeli academic institutions are actively involved in fueling Israel's huge weapons industry and tools of its military occupation and siege. It is this apparatus of violence that makes studying in Gaza so difficult, not to mention the daily toils and tragedy of Israeli apartheid policies. We, therefore, call for an end to this compliance on all campuses with those directly complicit in the war crimes and colonial subjugation of us the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank,‘48 Palestine and throughout the Diaspora.
These are crucial times as we youth in Gaza are seeing glimpses of the kinds of mass international movement that we are certain will one day bring us the liberation, justice and equality expected by others but denied to us for so long. Each university that boycotts, divests and sanctions from Israel's apartheid regime is standing on the right side of history, just as students played a huge role in boycotting South Africa’s ugly and similarly racist apartheid regime until it fell in 1994.
Yet apartheid against Palestinians since then has only become more entrenched. In response, our call for boycott from over 170 organisations from Palestinian civil society in 2005  has been a lightning rod for others who can relate to our plight. When endorsing the successful boycott and ending of ties between the University of Johannesburg and Ben Gurion University (BGU) this year, the first of its kind, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:
“While Palestinians are not able to access universities and schools, Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintaining the occupation. BGU is no exception. By maintaining links to both the Israeli Defence Forces and the arms industry, BGU structurally supports and facilitates the Israeli occupation.” 
There was no negotiating with such oppression based on race - there was only one word: BOYCOTT. Just as students around the world were banning Barclays bank from campuses for their investment in South African Apartheid in the 1980s, this year we call on you to take similar steps to end Israel’s systematic brutality. To say, "We will no longer be complicit!", in the decades of ethnic cleansing, military occupation, medieval blockade that has lead to so much tragedy and broken dreams for our youth and students.
Our spirits have been raised by the BDS efforts so far in European Universities, exemplified by Kings College where students and academics have begun a campaign against the research collaboration between their university and Ahava, the cosmetics company based in an illegal settlement. Such long term campaigns are what is required, the cutting edge of international resistance. We ask you to do whatever it takes to isolate and hold Israel to account until it abides by international law and accepts basic premises of human rights and equality for all, including us Palestinians.
This year it is in your hands to see that the tide finally turns across the campuses in Western countries that most enable the Israeli regime's crimes against us to continue. We hope you put BDS at the forefront of your campaigns and join together for the Israeli Apartheid Week ,, the pinnacle of action across universities worldwide. And while the walls around us stop us from meeting in person, we have many students and youth happy to participate in skype conferences and other collaborations. We give you all our solidarity and send you our dearest wishes to do us proud this year.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
*Occupy CU Nov 9* Tell the Regents at the University of Colorado not to support Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid of Palestine. Occupy demonstrations are springing up from Wall Street to Pearl Street. Some of these demonstrations remind me of protests in the ‘80s when students and activists “occupied” CU. The cause then was divestment from South African apartheid and involved rallies, sit-ins, and teach-ins. The students even built shanty towns representing the apartheid Bantustans where white South Africans were intent on segregating Blacks. The civil disobedience on CU’s campus in April 1988 pressured the Regents to change the University’s investment policy. Four months later, in August 1988, the Board of Regents voted to divest.
Now, 23 years later, the Regents are confronted with a similar movement and demand: divestfrom Israeli apartheid.
A local grassroots campaign called CU-Divest! representing students, faculty, alumni, and concerned citizens has collected more than 2200 signatures on a petition demanding the University divest from companies like Caterpillar, Motorola, Northrop Grumman and Veolia - companies that support and profit from Israel’s apartheid of Palestine.
What’s Israeli apartheid? It’s the institutionalized racism that oppresses Palestinians. It’s the military occupation that enforces Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only buses, and walls up Palestinian neighborhoods behind a 25 ft high separation wall.
It’s time to Occupy CU again. On Nov. 9, 1pm, the Board of Regents will meet at CU-Boulder, East Campus, 4001 Discovery Dr. CU-Divest! will be there to meet the regents and present them with our petition. We encourage concerned members of the University Community and persons of conscience all over Colorado to sign our petition and join us on Nov 9 and tell CU, “Apartheid - We Don’t Buy It.”
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Students, Friends and families of Earlham College, past and present, are being called upon to promote ethical investment by divesting from companies like Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard, which are complicit in Israel's human rights violations. BDS Earlham has launched a new initiative called "Earlham Alumni Against Apartheid" to get everyone associated with Earlham College involved.
Below is the a letter from BDS Earlham to all Earlham Alumni, calling on them to join the BDS movement
- Motorola manufactures the Israeli military with encrypted mobile phone technology and manufactures “virtual fences” and surveillance systems for Israeli settlements. These Jewish-only settlements are a potent symbol of Israeli apartheid and are illegal under several international laws, including the 4th Geneva Convention. Motorola also has close ties with Aeronautics Defense Systems (ADS), which makes drone aircraft. Last April Human Rights Watch reported finding debris from Motorola bomb components in the rubble of civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip.
- Caterpillar manufactures weaponized bulldozers that the Israeli army uses to demolish Palestinian homes. Since Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, it has demolished more than 12,000 Palestinian homes, leaving over 70,000 people traumatized and without shelter.
- Hewlett-Packard manufactures the Basel System, a body scanning technology used at Israeli checkpoints at the Gaza borders and inside the West Bank. Israel’s system of checkpoints prevent Palestinians from moving freely, stopping farmers from accessing their land, students from going to school, and sick people from getting medical attention.
Read the rest of the letter and sign the petition here
Saturday, June 25, 2011
- Directly profit from or contribute to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
- Provide products or services that contribute to the construction and maintenance of Israeli settlements and/or the Separation Wall, both of which are illegal under international law; or
- Provide products or services that contribute to or enable violent acts that target civilians.
This decision is a response to ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law and is a rejection of any actions that might support these violations. Consistent with AFSC’s investment screen, this campaign seeks to change Israeli government actions and to end its continued occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
For more information about AFSC’s joining the Jewish Voice for Peace campaign, see our frequently asked questions.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
|CU community members advocate divestment from South Africa in the 1980s.|
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Tell TIAA-CREF: "You can’t censor me!
You can’t continue investing in Occupation!"
TIAA-CREF thinks it can ignore Israeli violations of human rights and international law by censoring discussion among their clients. Activists with retirement funds in TIAA- CREF recently introduced a shareholder resolution about companies in the TIAA-CREF portfolio that profit from illegal Israeli Occupation. TIAA-CREF responded by quashing the resolution and refusing to place it on the shareholder ballot.
Join us in telling TIAA-CREF: You can’t censor us, and you can’t continue investing in Occupation!
On June 1st, 2011, the We Divest Campaign will host a call-in day nationwide. Join activists from across the country in telling TIAA-CREF it’s time to stop censoring discussion and time to start divesting from Occupation!
Take it to the Streets!
Four Easy Action Ideas for the We Divest Call-in Day:
1. Pick up your phone and call TIAA-CREF CEO, Roger Ferguson.
2. Distribute the email call far and wide.
3. Set up a “take five table” in a high traffic area of town.
4. Host a calling party or a phone bank.
DOWNLOAD DETAILS & CALLING SCRIPT...
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Writes the group:
Sabra products are manufactured by the Strauss Group, an Israeli corporation that supports the Givati and Golani brigades of the Israeli army. These "elite" brigades have been cited for numerous human rights violations since 1948, including during Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza that killed over 1,400 mostly unarmed civilians.
For more information about Sabra hummus's support for human rights abuses, click here.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
May 19, 2011
For the past seven years, the US Campaign and many of our coalition member groups, including Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, have dominated Caterpillar's annual Chicago-area shareholder meetings by organizing creative protests inside and outside the meetings, like these actions in 2009 and in 2010 (click to learn more).
Above: Activists protest outside a Caterpillar shareholder meeting. (click image to enlarge).
Apparently CAT has had enough of us all dominating their annual shareholder meeting. Recently, it announced that it is moving its meeting on June 8th to Little Rock, Arkansas. CAT can run 700 miles away for its meeting this year, but we're still watching.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak explained in a recent interview in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that:
Here are some updates and ways for you to advance our collective "Stop Caterpillar" campaign:
Last October, media reports stated that CAT would not deliver bulldozers to the Israeli military during the civil trial brought by Cindy and Craig Corrie against Israel for the 2003 killing of their daughter Rachel by its military with a weaponized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer as she nonviolently tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.
Click here for trial updates from the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a US Campaign member group.
We need to maintain pressure on the Obama Administration and on CAT to make sure no D9 bulldozers -- destined to destroy Palestinian homes and lives -- are delivered ever! In the lead-up to CAT's shareholder meeting...
| Show CAT it can run but it can't hide! |
Join nearly 15,000 people in signing our petition to the Obama Administration demanding the end of D9 Caterpillar bulldozer deliveries to the Israeli military, and an investigation into Israel's violations of U.S. laws committed with Caterpillar equipment.
Above: Video by Earlham College students (click to watch).
| Show CAT it can run but it can't hide! |
Click here to show your support for the Earlham College resolution to divest from Caterpillar.
Dozens of groups around the country, including member groups Jewish Voice for Peace, Grassroots International, and the Palestine Solidarity Committee at UT-Austin, are building campaigns to get TIAA-CREF, one of the largest financial services providers in the United States, to divest more than $250 million from Caterpillar (along with holdings in other occupation-profiteers).
| Show CAT it can run but it can't hide! |
Click here to call for TIAA-CREF's divestment and to find out how you can become a local organizer on this fast-spreading campaign.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Are boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) proving effective at isolating Israel as a form of pressure to end its violations of Palestinian rights? We at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation think so, but you don’t have to take our word for it.
Two recent articles in The Jewish Daily Forward and the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz have affirmed the power of the growing BDS movement in placing a cost on Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. The Forward’s piece, “Survey of Campus BDS Finds Few Serious Cases,” sets out to diminish concern over the recent surge in campus BDS campaigns, but ends up making the case as well as anyone could for how and why ongoing BDS campaigns—on-campus and off—are succeeding!
The Forward’s article reassures BDS opponents that in no instance has a North American BDS campaign resulted in a campus divesting from corporations or de-shelving products. But further down, former human rights director for the American Committee on Africa reflects on the BDS movement against Apartheid South Africa: “It took a good 20 years to get to the height of the movement.” The reality is that within the first five years of the 2005 Palestinian civil society BDS call, the movement had arguably achieved more victories than the corresponding anti-Apartheid South Africa BDS movement could count in its first 15 years, especially taking into account BDS successes worldwide, particularly in Europe.
Apparently, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak agrees that the success of the BDS movement will take time, explaining in an interview with Ha’aretz:
This will not happen overnight.… It will start coming at us like a glacier, from all corners. There are people in the European Council that [sic] deal with export and import, and they are capable, without any government decision, of inflicting significant damage on the Israeli economy. We will see this taking place in academia, we will see this taking place in dockworker unions, consumer groups, and this will seep into governments.… To me, this uncontrollable process looks more dangerous than what the [Israeli] public perceives at the moment.In addition to being a long-term struggle, BDS is much more than economic; it’s about changing the discourse around Israel. On this front, the movement has been wildly successful, pushing the discussion beyond the question of whether Israel is committing crimes to the question about what the world is going to do about it. It frames the discussion around three fundamental, indisputable Palestinian rights—freedom from occupation, equality in Israel, and the right of return—rather than any particular solution. It is proactive in nature, unifying and mobilizing allies around points of unity and a common, concrete way to action.
Far from failing on campuses, BDS has proven itself to be one of the best tools there is to educate people about Israeli occupation and apartheid. Last year’s divestment campaign at the University of California at Berkeley is a case in point. UC Berkeley’s student senate voted overwhelmingly for a resolution calling on university divestment from companies involved in the Israeli occupation. Although the senate president and outside opposition succeeded in stopping the resolution, the battle for the hearts and minds of the UC Berkeley community had already been won. With all the surrounding controversy, by the time the final vote came around, likely every student and faculty member on campus had encountered the association between “Israel” and “apartheid.” This is a tremendous victory. Campus campaigns that fail to pass a resolution often win instead by rectifying Israel’s exceptional status in public discourse as immune to criticism, promoting debate on the real issues and thereby educating people.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee executive director Howard Kohr described the power of BDS during the committee’s 2009 conference:
We need to recognize that this campaign is about more than mere rhetoric. This is the battle for the hearts and minds of the world... left unchallenged, allowed to go unchecked, it will work.As illustrated in The Forward’s article, the effectiveness of the BDS movement has not gone unnoticed, with a new $6 million initiative to counter BDS, funded by the Jewish Federations of North America. The Reut Institute, an influential Israeli think tank, has also called on the Israeli government to direct considerable resources to “attack” and possibly engage in “sabotage” of the BDS movement and related campaigns. Earlier this spring, the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) approved its first reading of an anti-boycott bill, imposing harsh fines on Israeli citizens who call for academic or economic boycott. It is precisely the reactions of BDS opponents that illustrate the effectiveness of the BDS movement.
While failing to convince the reader that campus BDS organizing is not a force to be reckoned with, the article sets up a false and highly problematic distinction between BDS organizers and Jewish groups. The BDS campaigns referred to within the article (including the TIAA-CREF Campaign, initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace) have enjoyed widespread support from the growing number of Jewish individuals and organizations advocating for BDS. The attempts to claim that BDS erases “the Jewish narrative” does a great disservice to American, Israeli, and international Jews and Jewish organizations. Many of these organizations are mobilizing for BDS and challenging the monolithic Jewish narrative co-opted by Israeli official rhetoric. They include, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Jews for a Just Peace, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the Coalition of Women for Peace, and Boycott!: Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within.
The Forward’s article not only ignores Jewish BDS activism but also omits a number of non-divestment campus BDS campaigns that have proven successful, such as last month’s cultural boycott victory at Washington University in St. Louis. Organizers of a Middle Eastern hip-hop event on campus were compelled to disinvite Israeli hip-hop artist Marvin Casey, whose dance troupe is funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel, following opposition from Washington University students, the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, and Arab hip-hop artists also slated to perform.
BDS opponents attempting to downplay the success of the movement in The Forward’s article repeatedly refer to BDS as a delegitimizing campaign, without specifying precisely what is being delegitimized. A rights-based movement focused on equality and freedom for all, BDS indeed delegitimizes occupation, discrimination, and apartheid. Those delegitimizing Israel’s transgressions and impunity have nothing to apologize for. And despite the wishful thinking of some, it is increasingly clear that those trying to hold back this long-established and respected nonviolent tactic of BDS as a vehicle for achieving equality and human rights for the Palestinian people are fighting a losing battle.
Anna Baltzer is an award-winning lecturer, author, and activist for Palestinian human rights. She works as national organizer with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.