UC San Diego student government to vote on divestment

(JTA) — The student government at the University of California, San Diego is set to vote on a divestment bill targeting two companies that do business with Israel.

The Associated Students is scheduled to hold discussion and vote Wednesday evening on a resolution that calls for student organizations and the university system to stop investing in companies that provide technology and equipment to warring countries, specifically Israel.

Sponsored by several campus organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine and the Student Sustainability Collective, the resolution identifies by name General Electric and United Technologies, "companies that materially support the occupation of the Palestinian territories."

The measure is similar to one that was passed by the student government at the University of California, Berkeley, and then vetoed by the Associated Students’ president. However, the UC San Diego resolution also condemns human rights violations around the world.

Seven of the resolution’s 13 points specify Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians.

“We really tried to make the bill more universal and clarify that to uphold the ideals of corporate social responsibility, we should divest from U.S. companies that are benefitting from occupancies elsewhere,” UC San Diego senior Leena Barakat told the student newspaper, The Guardian. “The bill is really watered down from the one at Berkeley, which directly targeted Israel, but we mention other areas such as Iran and Morocco. It is not anti-Israel.”

Opposition on campus is being led by the Tritons for Israel student organization. A Facebook page called Students Against ASUCSD Anti-Israel Bias and Resolutions has more than 1,000 members.

A final vote on the UC Berkeley bill also is scheduled for consideration this week. A vote April 15 failed to overturn student government President Will Smelko’s veto of the bill, which was adopted 16-4 in March. However, following several procedural votes the bill was tabled, making it available again for reconsideration.

Four women Nobel Peace Laureates on Wednesday sent a letter to the Associated Students at UC Berkeley in support of the divestment bill. 

 

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