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[Boycott - Divestment]

The BNC salutes Arizona health professionals standing up for Palestinian human rights


The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)
29 March 2010

Palestine, 29 March 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) salutes the initiative taken by medical and health advocates in Arizona, United States in calling for the University of Arizona (UofA) to divest from Caterpillar and Motorola, two companies that perpetuate and profit from Israel's policies of violence, apartheid and occupation towards Palestinians.




Earlier this month, 52 signers including local physicians, medical professors, public health professionals, students and humanitarian aid workers issued an open letter calling for UofA to divest from the two firms and for other health professionals to join their campaign. Today, as part of a global BDS day of action to mark Land Day, the health advocates are highlighting the fact that the relationship that UofA holds with Caterpillar and Motorola contradict the university's own Policy on Corporate Relations and its overall Mission statement, particularly that of its College of Medicine.


Caterpillar provides bulldozers that have been used in the demolition of Palestinians' houses in the occupied Palestinian territory, in the construction of the apartheid Wall that was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, and as weapons in the 2008/09 attacks in Gaza. US peace activist Rachel Corrie was also smashed to death by an Israeli army Caterpillar bulldozer while she was peacefully protesting Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes. Motorola provides communication systems used by the Israeli military and surveillance systems used in illegal Israeli colonial settlements.


To date, all forms of negotiation and intervention by the international community to bring any meaningful justice for Palestinians have failed. In fact, this semblance of a peace process provided a cover for Israel to continue its brutal occupation of Palestinian territories, its apartheid policies towards Palestinian citizens inside Israel, and its persistent denial of Palestinian refugee rights. It is therefore vital that people of conscience everywhere answer the call by Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as a means of non-violent pressure on the state of Israel to end its impunity and its violations of international law and human rights.


The Palestinian BDS National Committee offers its unreserved praise and appreciation to the students and professionals who have launched this divestment campaign in Arizona to uphold human rights and end complicity in their infringement. Divestment from companies that are profiting from injustice and human rights abuse is not just a concrete and effective form of solidarity with the Palestinian people in our pursuit of justice, freedom and equal rights; it is also crucial in to pressure corporations to comply with ethical and socially responsible investment guidelines of academic, health, trade union and other institutional funds.


In February 2009, Hampshire College became the first academic institution in the US to divest from companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation. Divestment campaigns are ongoing at a number of other US and Canadian campuses, including the University of Berkeley and Rutgers University in the US and Carleton University in Canada, just to name a few.


The BNC calls upon the University of Arizona to heed the demands of these health advocates, to bring its investment activities in harmony with its own stated ethical principles and to end its implicit support for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

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

Source: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/675


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