Divestment is a step towards justice

by Courtney White, Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Stanford have launched major movements towards divestment from Israel, and frankly, San Diego State is falling behind.

Not only is divestment the ethical path for those who identify as global citizens in accordance with international law, but it’s also a movement quickly spreading across the nation and it won’t look good when SDSU is late to the party.

Not only is divestment the ethical path for those who identify as global citizens in accordance with international law, but it’s also a movement quickly spreading across the nation and it won’t look good when SDSU is late to the party.”

To divest is to discontinue investing in companies that profit from Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians. These companies SDSU invests in include: Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Motorola. These companies contribute to violence against Palestinians through their production of weaponry, segregated cell phone systems, targeted radar surveillance and missile pieces.

One company, Lockheed Martin, along with many others, provide bombs and fighter jets for the Israeli Defense Force attacks of innocent Palestinians.

According to a Harvard University Institute of Politics article, divestment from companies — while having little financial impact — has a large role in facilitating public discourse and statistically results in real change.

A prime example of a divestment campaigns succeeding in political pressure is the success of the South African divestment campaign, which ultimately lead to the end of the South African apartheid regime.

Rhetoric and writing graduate student and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) member, Bo Elder, shed some light on the values and consequences of divestment. He said the idea that students can’t help, is a myth.

“It’s ordinary people here responding to the call for solidarity from ordinary people in Palestine,” said Elder.

On Feb. 8, the board of the University of California Students Association passed a historic vote for schools in California, which urged university government to divest from all companies that participate in these human rights violations of Palestinians.

California is making progress, but the fight is not over.

On Feb. 10, Stanford’s Associated Students motion for divestment was defeated with just one vote under the required number. Last November, University of California, Los Angeles passed a vote in the student senate to move forward in the divestment process. All the while, pro-Israel groups have been absent at most of these meetings to protest or pass comment.

There have been reports of unwelcoming behavior towards Jewish pro-Israel activists in the UC system, and divestment, in no way, supports this behavior. It should be obvious that supporting divestment doesn’t equate to supporting harassment and discrimination.

People have different reasons for supporting divestment, and they won’t all be good reasons, but it’s important to focus on the real consequences.

Forth bearing people to push for a more just arrangement

In 2013, the Daily Aztec interviewed SDSU director of Hillel Jackie Tolley, who said, “Students at SDSU would be better served with an effort to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ rather than a resolution that is part of an international campaign whose hidden agenda is to eradicate the Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Elder didn’t see validity in this statement and said that a state cannot be ethically exclusive and democratic.

“The resolution is not about a two state or three state solution. This is just about human rights under the law regardless of race or religion,” said Elder.

For SDSU students who want to make a difference and believe it needs to be democratically decided within the student body—signing the petition on the SJP website is a great first step.

This is the only ethical way to build awareness and collective power to make a change.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email