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US student body backs divestment from Israel

Al Akhbar | June 5, 2012

The student body of an American university has become the latest Western institution to back divestment from companies involved with the Israeli army.

Arizona State University’s student union unanimously passed a bill demanding the university divest from and blacklist companies that continue to provide the Israeli army with weapons and militarized equipment.

Among the companies that work with the Israeli army are Boeing, Motorola, United Technologies, Petrochina, Sinopec, and Alstom.

A statement from the university’s student body said the decision was part of a wider movement to encourage Western companies to stop supporting the occupation of Palestinians.

“This announcement, coming on the last day of the 2012 school year, is another victory in the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel as well as other global solidarity movements calling for the end to human rights violations.”

“Arizona State University, a university with an endowment of over US$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.”

Omar Barghouti, a human rights activists and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, hailed the decision as the beginning of a wider anti-Israel campaign at US universities.

“This qualitative BDS victory is truly inspiring as it opens the door to similar measures across US and possibly European campuses,” he said.

“As the BDS movement has shown in the cases of Veolia, Alstom, G4S and Adidas, the price of corporate complicity in Israel’s grave and persistent violations of international law is steadily – and rapidly – going in one direction: upward.”

The BDS campaign has been targeting institutions and companies directly involved with Israel’s occupation, which many activists consider as apartheid, for a number of years.

Inspired by the international boycott of apartheid in South Africa, BDS aims to mimic a similar worldwide movement to pressure the Jewish state to end its oppression of indigenous Palestinians.

June 5, 2012 - Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , ,

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