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[Boycott - Divestment]

The BNC Applauds the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government for its Decision to Promote Divestment


Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee
23 March 2010

Palestine, 24 March 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) congratulates the student government of the University of Michigan-Dearborn – an institution with 8,600 enrolled students in metropolitan Detroit – for its efforts to secure the university’s divestment from companies that support the illegal Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

"the University is known to have several million dollars of investment in corporations that sell weapons, goods, and services to Israel—including BAE, Raytheon, Boeing, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, among others–whom in turn uses the weapons, goods, and services inhumanely.."

University of Michigan - Dearborn Student Government General Assembly Resolution # 2010-003


On February 25, University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government issued a statement delineating the Israeli state’s many violations of international law and resolving to a) carry out a petition to secure an advisory committee on campus, in order for this committee to officially investigate the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s investments and determine if any are ethically unsound – which is to say, if any are designated for companies that sell weapons, goods, and services to the state of Israel; and, b) urge the advisory committee to immediately divest from any companies that violate the university’s ethical foundation.

The BNC commends the courageous and historic stance of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government, applauding both their political vision and their concrete steps in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Their divestment resolution is in line with Palestinian civil society’s call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as a means of non-violent pressure on the state of Israel to end its violations of international law.

Israel has altogether rejected the conclusions of the UN Fact Finding Mission, articulated in the Goldstone Report, regarding Israeli war crimes (and possibly crimes against humanity) during its attack on Gaza. Other UN resolutions and international human rights experts – such as Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights – have condemned the Israeli blockade of Gaza as nothing less than “slow genocide.” Yet Israel continually rejects and ignores these voices: clearly, we cannot stand by and simply wait for change. Looking back to the resistance effort against apartheid South Africa and the gradual victories won by boycott campaigns and solidarity work, the impact of initiatives like this one, carried out by the student government of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, becomes all the more apparent – and all the more crucial in the resistance against Israel’s apartheid regime.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an enormous growth of divestment campaigns on US college campuses. In February 2009, Hampshire College became the first in the US to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. Divestment campaigns have been launched more recently on a number of other US and Canadian campuses, including the University of Arizona, Rutgers University, and Carleton University in Canada, just to name a few.

With the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government’s resolution, students have proven once again that they are skilled at organizing, rallying and pressuring their schools to divest from companies that violate international law. We hope that this divestment motion will be one of many steps forward in concrete and effective student-led campaigns against the illegal policies of apartheid Israel.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)


Source: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/671



University of Michigan -
Dearborn Student Government
General Assembly Resolution # 2010-003



25 February 2010


General Assembly Resolution # 2010-003


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 all 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 provided for the destroyed properties of those choosing not to return and for loss of, or damage to property that under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible, and

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

Whereas, Israel is further in violation of many related U.N. resolutions, including Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 446, and

Whereas, Israel is further in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which calls on all occupying powers to protect the rights and well-being of the occupied population, and

Whereas, the U.N.’s own assessment, the Goldstone Report, found evidence of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity, and

Whereas, University of Michigan Regent policy, as expressed in their meeting of March 16, 1978, states:

“If the Regents shall determine that a particular issue involves serious moral or ethical questions which are of concern to many members of the University community, 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 Regents’ consideration.”; and

Whereas, there are serious moral and ethical questions concerning the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and

Whereas, the University is known to have several million dollars of investment in corporations that sell weapons, goods, and services to Israel—including BAE, Raytheon, Boeing, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, among others–whom in turn uses the weapons, goods, and services inhumanely and

Whereas, any University investments in entities contributing to human rights violations by either Israelis or Palestinians is inappropriate,

THEREFORE be it Resolved, (1) that the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government will lead a movement to collect petition signatures calling on the Board of Regents to form such an advisory committee, and

Be it further Resolved, (2) that the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government calls on the Board of Regents to create an advisory committee to determine if any University investments are questionable and in need of appropriate corrective actions, and

Be it further Resolved, (3) that on behalf of the students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, we will urge this committee to recommend immediate divestment from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be profoundly unethical and in direct conflict with the mission of this University.

Source: http://info.umdunderground.org/



UM-D Student government approves divestment resolution


Khalil AlHajal, The Arab American News
26 February 2010

The University of Michigan—Dearborn's student government body passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for investigation into ethical implications of University investments in companies that do business in Israel.



Yusif Barakat, who was displaced from his Palestinian
home as a child after Israel was established in the 1940s,
speaks at a U-M Dearborn event Tuesday about a recent visit
to Gaza, currently under siege by the Israeli military. As
Barakat spoke, Student Government members in an adjacent
room voted to pass a resolution calling for investigation
into University investments in companies that support
ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Yusif Barakat, who was displaced from his Palestinian home as a child after Israel was established in the 1940s, speaks at a U-M Dearborn event Tuesday about a recent visit to Gaza, currently under siege by the Israeli military. As Barakat spoke, Student Government members in an adjacent room voted to pass a resolution calling for investigation into University investments in companies that support ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The measure came after more than a week of events on campus that discussed human rights issues in the occupied Palestinian territories and efforts to broaden boycott and divestment movements modeled after those once used to fight South African apartheid.

The body passed similar resolutions calling for divestment from the Israeli occupation in 2005 and 2006, but failed to do so again over the last few years, meeting opposition from members who said the wider student population didn't know enough about the issue, and that a divestment effort could be perceived as anti-Semitic.

Speaker of the student Senate Rashid Baydoun said student groups like the Arab Student Union and Students for Socially Responsible Investing with the help of community groups like Jewish Voice for Peace made a special effort this year to hold a series of informative events advocating for divestment.

"..on behalf of the students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, we will urge this committee to recommend immediate divestment from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be profoundly unethical and in direct conflict with the mission of this University"


"We had people who opposed it last year that voted on it yesterday," Baydoun said.

The resolution cites several U.N. resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention and a University of Michigan Regent policy that states "If the Regents shall determine that a particular issue involves serious moral or ethical questions which are of concern to many members of the University community, 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 Regents' consideration.

The resolution calls for the formation of such an advisory committee.

"Any University investments in entities contributing to human rights violations by either Israelis or Palestinians is inappropriate," the document states, naming several companies in which it says the University is known to have millions in investments, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

"... on behalf of the students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, we will urge this committee to recommend immediate divestment from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be profoundly unethical and in direct conflict with the mission of this University," the resolution reads.

Baydoun said student government and several student groups plan to follow through with the effort by gathering petition signatures to present to the Board of Regents.

He said the movement has gained support from several faculty members.

Philosophy professor David Skrbina, who has encouraged the effort and advised the students, said passage of the resolution was an impressive and meaningful achievement.

"This is an important accomplishment, given how few student bodies around the country have been able to pass a definitive statement on the injustices in Israel/Palestine," he said. "This reaffirms the student resolutions from 2005 and 2006, with a focus on the practical next step, which is to form an investigatory committee.

Skrbina said a campus divestment petition currently has 1,500 student signatures and 120 faculty signatures.

"There will be requests for follow-up meetings with Chancellor Dan Little, and the U-M Regents in Ann Arbor, to discuss how to proceed," he said.

Similar efforts on the university's Ann Arbor campus have not been successful, facing fierce opposition stemming from perceptions of anti-Semitism.


Source: http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=2902


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