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

March 23, 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.

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.

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.[1]

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)

[1] For the full resolution, see: http://info.umdunderground.org/

March 23, 2010
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