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Monday, April 26, 2010

Israel Divestment Vote at UC San Diego

Here we go again. These moves to pass resolutions on divestment of firms doing business with Israel are spreading all over the nation. The latest is UC San Diego. The Jewish advocacy group Stand With Us has sent me this letter asking supporters of Israeel to e-mail the student government of UCSD urging them not to pass this resolution that, while symbolic, has great symbolic importance. These motions are organized by pro-Palestinian and Middle East Studies departments aligned with far-left elements among students and professors.

You can help. During the recent UC Berkeley divestment move, the student government received tens of thousands of messages from both sides. The information needed for those who would like to send a message to the ASUCSD is is the letter below.
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"Dear Friends of Israel

We are once again facing the threat of divestment. This time at UCSD.

The pro-Israel student group at UCSD, Tritons for Israel, has mobilized. Among other things, they have already created a Facebook page to rally pro-Israel students to voice opposition, and they have created a petition for students and community members to sign to urge the student senate to vote against divestment.

Please write a short note to the Associated Students President, the UC San Diego Chancellor, and the President of the University of California in regards to the divestment bill at UCSD. This Wednesday, April 28, 2010 their will be a senate vote on divestment from Israel and your note could possibly make a difference. The subject of the email can be "Please say NO to the unfair divestment bill". Send your note to aspresident@ucsd.edu, chancellor@ucsd.edu, president@ucop.edu.

Please send a copy of your letter to info@standwithus.com.

Below is a sample letter:


Sample Letter:
I urge you to veto the anti-Israel Divestment Bill. The bill violates the rights of thousands of UCSD students, who have no choice but to pay their student fees and they are legally entitled to be assured that these mandatory fees are not used to empower the political aims of an extremist and hostile group that seeks to promote one sided propaganda against Israel.

Student fees must be invested in a non-discriminatory way without regard to the political whims of a block of students. This could become a legal battle over the rights of ALL students.

Thank you so much for your urgent consideration."
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17 comments:

Findalis said...

Why bother? Let them divest and watch the fun when their investments tank.

Gary Fouse said...

Findalis,

Even the business types at the universities have enough business sense to know this. The students can crow all they want. It won't happen. But there is a symbolism involved.

PatriotUSA said...

I can understand where Findalis
is coming from but I am so
sick and tired of the "fair
minded people" that keep on
trying to do this. I went ahead
and sent a letter to the UC San
Diego. Time for this B.S. to
stop.

Gary Fouse said...

Thanks, Patriot. Believe me, the thousands of letters sent to the student govt at Berkeely made a difference. I also note that this posting is getting lots of hits from UCSD computers.

Jodi said...

I didn't see the form letter on the Stand With Us site (which I've been following for a few years, since my kid ill-advisedly decided on UCI). I copied it from your post (after correcting the grammar). You are right that the symbolism is important - perhaps even more important than the furor over cartoons.

Gary Fouse said...

Thanks Jodi,

It's good to know I'm helping spread the word in a small way. The eventual goal of this movement is the dismantling of the Jewish state.

Findalis said...

I sent off my letter, but fear it will fall on blind eyes.

Anonymous said...

Sent my email.

Thanks for the notice.

Gary Fouse said...

Thank you, Sir.

Anonymous said...

have you seen the powerful and courageous letetr written by the UC San Diego Student president, Utsav Gupta?

"Consideration of this resolution today will only prove again for us one thing: that it is divisive. It is dividing our students, pitting groups against each other who are fighting to be represented by their student association. They should not have to fight for the voice of our Association. We could not call any resolution approved through this process representative of the students at our university. And thus, I do not believe our student association can or should take a stance on this resolution.

I am not here to choose or argue sides. For me, the most important consideration is the welfare of the student body at the University. Passage of this legislation will create a divide that violates the goals and purposes of our Association. To this end, I will be voting against the passage of this resolution. I urge my colleagues to do the same."

Full text here:

http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/2010/04/uc-san-diego-asuc-presidents-statement.html

Gary Fouse said...

Anonymous,

Indeed, as you were commenting and attaching it, I was posting it as you can see. I would have had an easier time copying and pasting had a seen your link first.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Divestmnet loses at UC San Diego
Divestment loses at UC Berkeley.

Its a good night for the forces of truth and justice

Jen said...

Our aim is NOT the dismantling of Israel (though most of us object object to the notion of a state defined in terms of racial identity). It is freedom and justice for the Palestinian people, who now live on only 12% of their original territory.

Gary Fouse said...

Jen,

Sorry, but the aim IS the dismantling of the state of Israel. As for a nation built on a religious identity, you should worry about your own country going that direction. If Israel or Saudi Arabia or Iran truly want to be religious states, that is for them to work out.

Justice for the Palestinians? There could have been a two state solution in 1948. Instead the arab world went to war. Since then, the Palestinians have embraced terrorism. They don't want justice-they want it all. Freedom? The people in Gaza and the West Bank are not living under Jewish occupation. They are living under corrupt (PA)/autocratic(Hamas) regimes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the aim IS the dismantling of the state of Israel

You are absolutly right. Last night, at the UC Berkeley divestment hearing (Go Bears!), one of the Senators brought up the concept of creating a bill to divest from ALL companies creating weapons of war. You would think that would have been met by a standing ovation in the room full of haters, er, civil rights activists. Nope. Instead there was just silence.

Methinks they doth protest too much. It was precisely about dismantling Israel.

Anonymous said...

New Divestment bill at Berkeley
http://www.dailycal.org/printable.php?id=109361

In an attempt to come to a compromise in the ongoing divestment battle, the ASUC Senate will consider a new bill seeking to divest from 100 arms manufacturers at their Wednesday meeting.

The bill, authored by Student Action Senator and President-elect Noah Stern, seeks to create a commission to ensure that the student government, the UC Board of Regents, UC system and UC subsidiaries' assets do not include investments in the top 100 companies listed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Proponents of the original divestment bill said the new bill is too generalized and does not address concerns brought up during the month and a half of debate about the previous bill.

"The new bill takes a more universal stance against war and suffering caused by these companies," Stern said. "This bill makes a stand against profiting off of war, not taking sides in any conflict."

If passed, the ASUC would recommend that the regents initiate an immediate overview of the UC system's financial assets and compile a report within 90 days detailing UC investment in individual weapons manufacturing companies.

Student Action Senator Sandra Cohen, a co-sponsor of the bill, said she hopes to avoid the controversy that followed the previous bill because the new bill does not single out any countries.

"It addresses the concerns of the people that were against the last bill," she said. "I don't think we'll have to worry about this one passing. I don't expect it to be controversial."

The bill states "the ASUC understands that pacifism is not in all circumstances a worthy policy, but is certain nonetheless that the ASUC and UC must be invested in companies that increase human potential and happiness, and not in those which degrade humankind by facilitating armed conflict and war."

However, SQUELCH! party Senator Emily Carlton, a co-sponsor of the original divestment bill, said she will not be voting for this bill and feels it does not address any of the concerns listed in the previous bill.

"It's a political ploy to say, essentially, I support divesting from war but not war crimes committed by Israel," she said. "It's worthless, to be honest. I'm not a pacifist. War is sometimes necessary, but it should be conducted according to the internationally agreed upon rules of war."

Stern said the bill aims to ensure that the ASUC is not investing in conflicts and does so without taking specific sides.

CalSERVE Senator Rahul Patel said he is concerned with the generalized nature of the bill and does not believe there was an adequate amount of research performed. He said the new bill complicates many of the arguments surrounding the previous bill, making a compromise more difficult.

"This bill puts a blanket statement over several companies," he said. "If this bill was presuming the stock we own in these companies was enough to seriously jar any efforts of war, then we're doing the exact same thing that those against the previous bill argued. We'd be preventing countries from defending themselves. Who else would they turn to buy arms from?"

The bill will be reviewed and possibly amended in committee meetings Monday night and will be voted on at Wednesday night's senate meeting.

Anonymous said...

Has Yudof squashed divestment like a bug? Sure seems that way

Statement from the UC President

University of California
Statement on Divestment
Russell Gould, Chairman, Board of Regents
Sherry L. Lansing, Vice Chair, Board of Regents

Recently, there have been two bills put forward for a vote before student organizations within the University of California that call on the University to divest from companies doing business with Israel. Understandably, these bills have received considerable attention from the public and the media.

The overarching question of the University of California divesting from any company is a complex one and any action considered must conform to State and federal laws, as well as to the University’s fiduciary responsibilities as a public entity to protect the security of its pension and endowment funds. In 2005, the Regents stated that a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. It was also noted at the time that divestment is a serious decision that should be rarely pursued.

We share The Regents’ belief that divestment needs to be undertaken with caution. We firmly believe that if there is to be any discussion of divestment from a business or country, it must be robust and fair-minded. We must take great care that no one organization or country is held to a different standard than any other. In the current resolutions voted on by the UC student organizations, the State of Israel and companies doing business with Israel have been the sole focus. This isolation of Israel among all countries of the world greatly disturbs us and is of grave concern to members of the Jewish community.

We fully support the Board of Regents in its policy to divest from a foreign government or companies doing business with a foreign government only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. The U.S. has not made any declaration regarding the State of Israel and, therefore, we will not bring a recommendation before the Board to divest from companies doing business with the State of Israel.