On Thursday, April 25, 2013, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) presented a co-authored proposal that attempted to persuade UC Davis student government to adopt a resolution to recommend that the university divest from Israel. The bill suggested that UC Davis divest from Caterpillar, Cement Roadstones Holding, General Electric, and Raytheon for “the occupation.” The authors said the resolution was about human rights violations and that it was only going to sanction one perpetrator at a time, and furthermore, claimed that the resolution had nothing to do with the BDS movement, but the BDS influences were clear. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and SJP proudly supported the proposal, and both organizations openly support the BDS movement. The corporations that the resolution asks to divest from are the same ones from which the BDS movement recommends to divest. NGO Monitor’s Chief Programming Officer, Yitzhak Santis, commented on JVP’s profile on NGO monitor’s website, saying, “JVP’s tactics include boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), a sustained campaign of demonization against Israel, and support for a Palestinian claim to a ‘right of return.'” Finally, BDS claims that the reason why people should boycott, divest and sanction Israel is because of the ongoing human rights violations. However, they offer very little evidence to back up their claims and fail to mention how poorly women, homosexuals, and other minorities in the majority of Arab countries in the Middle East are treated.
The authors of the bill claimed to single out Israel because it had the most UN Resolutions levied against them and because of the overall “suffering” of Palestinians. They referred to the “Separation Wall,” Operation Cast Lead, the International Court of Justice claims against Israel, a list of 65 UN resolutions that Israel violated, the use of bulldozers to destroy Palestinians homes, and plenty more one-sided reasons.
While there are multiple issues with proposal SR30, the biggest problem is that it is not a resolution because the student population was not given the opportunity to vote on this issue. Additionally, Aggies For Israel (AFI), or any of the pro-Israel students, were not given the opportunity to look over the proposal. AFI, the Davis Democrats, Davis Republicans, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Economics majors, and past ASUCD officials opposed the BDS proposal.
Contributed by CAMERA author Josh Arons