A Resolution To Divest From Companies that Profit From Apartheid

A Resolution To Divest From Companies that Profit From Apartheid – April 2, 2013
Resolution #377
by Miya Sommers & Second: Genesis Herrera

Student Sponsor: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
Resolution Liaison:

Result: No Status by a vote of: on

A Resolution To

Divest From Companies that Profit From Apartheid

WHEREAS: it is the University of California, Santa Barbara’s duty to maintain the values of intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitments, and empathy, which includes the promotion of human rights, equality, and dignity for all people; and,

WHEREAS: the Mission Statement of UCSB states, “Our commitment to public service is manifested through the creation and distribution of knowledge that advances the well-being of our state, nation, and world[i];” and,

WHEREAS: students have a legacy of standing against oppression and injustice at University of California, Santa Barbara and across the U.S.; and,

WHEREAS: investment by UCSB in corporations that profit, from the military Occupation of Palestine, for the purpose of sharing in those profits, undermines UCSB’s commitment to fostering the well-being of our state, nation, and world, by supporting institutions that act contrary to the UCSB Mission Statement; and,

WHEREAS: the role of student activists in exposing South Africa’s apartheid system and supporting equality, freedom, and dignity sets an example for us to follow as students of global conscience; and,

WHEREAS: as the example of South Africa shows, it is imperative for students to stand unequivocally against all forms of racism and bigotry globally and on campus, including but not limited to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, patriarchy, and Israel’s violations of human rights; and,

WHEREAS: as the example of UCSB’s divestment from fossil fuels shows our commitment to socially responsible investment as well as the empowering of students to make a difference that will positively affect future generations[ii]; and,

WHEREAS: the occupied Palestinian Territory is not only militarily, but also economically controlled by the Israeli government; and,

WHEREAS: the University of California, Santa Barbara is built on Chumash indigenous land, so has Israel been built on indigenous Palestinian land; and,

WHEREAS: certain companies have promoted and been complicit in human rights violations by the Israeli government, as detailed below and documented by human rights organizations including, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’tselem, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International, Addamer, Adalah, Badil, and the Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions; and,

WHEREAS: according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), “the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated regime are contrary to international law[iii];” and,

WHEREAS: according to the same ICJ decision, the establishment and expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is also illegal, under international law; and,

WHEREAS: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13 states, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each…everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country[iv]”; and,

WHEREAS: according to the UN General Assembly’s application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to occupied Palestinian territory, the establishment and expansion of settlements in “….in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially settlement activities…remain contrary to international law and cannot be recognized, irrespective of the passage of time[v]”; and,

WHEREAS: former, U.S., Secretary of State, Clinton said that the US policy “on Israeli settlements has not changed and will not change. Like every American administration for decades, we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity”; and,

WHEREAS: under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the exploitation of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory is also illegal; and,

WHEREAS: these violations of human rights and international law have been recognized and resulted in the condemnation of the state of Israel by the international community in the UN Security Council, Human Rights Council Fact-Finding mission in Gaza, and the above mentioned governmental bodies and organizations, which consequently resulted in dozens of resolutions, condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians; and,

WHEREAS: our university invests in companies which have an active role in the human rights abuses, against the Palestinian people; thereby making it a complicit third-party; and,

WHEREAS: Motorola has manufactures and provided MotoEagle Surveillance, the radar detectors’ system has been installed in 20-27 Israeli settlements in occupied West Bank, and include radars and cameras to detect human movement outside the settlements and is used on the Separation Wall complex[vi]; and,

WHEREAS: the MotoEagle Surveillance system has been used to restrict the movement of Palestinians and used in the illegal Occupation of Palestinian Territories; and,

WHEREAS: Caterpillar manufactures and provides bulldozers and civil engineering tools to expand illegal settlements and the construction of the Wall and checkpoints, and the D9 bulldozer is used for the systematic and ongoing destruction of Palestinian houses, neighborhoods, and agriculture[vii]; and,

WHEREAS: General Electric is an American manufacturer of engines for military vehicles and the company produces the TT700-701 engines for the Boeing A64 Apache helicopter; and,

WHEREAS: These Boeing A64 Apache helicopters are extensively used by the Israeli military in attacks against Palestinian civilians in both the West Bank and Gaza[viii]; and,

WHEREAS: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for Boeing to suspend their sales of the Apache AH-64 helicopters that have been used to attack residential areas of Al-Khalil and invade the refugee camps of Deheishe and Aida; and,

WHEREAS: Hewlett Packard Company has supported the restricted freedom of movement, as cited in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, through providing biometric identification systems used in the Israeli military checkpoints; and,

WHEREAS: Hewlett-Packard Company has provided services and technologies to the Israeli army, among which is the administration of the Israeli navy’s IT infrastructure[ix]; and,

WHEREAS: The Israeli navy enforces naval blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007; and,

WHEREAS: Raytheon is the largest producer of missile weapons in the world, and sells small and large guided missiles to Israel, including: AGM 65 Maverick, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM 9 Sidewinder, and AIM 120B ARAAM[x]; and,

WHEREAS: These missiles have been used in the attacks in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (December 2008-2009); and,

WHEREAS: In June 2005 the Advisory Council on Ethics for the Norwegian Government Petroleum Fund recommended “to exclude Raytheon from investment because of Raytheon’s involvement in the production of cluster bomb munitions and missiles[xi]”; and,

WHEREAS: Northrop Grumman is a American designer, systems integrator, and manufacturer of military aircraft, defense electronics, precision weapons, and commercial and military aerostructures and, specifically, produces radar and Apache Longbow systems for the Israeli military[xii]; and,

WHEREAS: The Obama administration has blocked the sale of Apache helicopter Longbow systems to the Israeli military after the 2008 attack on Gaza due to the systems Hellfire missiles, which have proved to be especially lethal in urban areas due to its maneuverability[xiii][xiv]; and,

WHEREAS: the most recent UC Annual Endowment Report shows University of California, Santa Barbara holding in Caterpillar, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard, and Raytheon, whose military technology is used by the Israeli Defense Forces to maintain Israel’s military occupation and siege of the Palestinian territories[xv]; and,

WHEREAS: The UCSB Associated Students Investment Committee is invested in Hewlett Packard; and,

WHEREAS: many of these companies, such as Motorola, have been previously engaged by various solidarity campaigns and concerned investors about their complicit involvement in the previously mentioned human rights violations of the Palestinian people, to no avail; and,

WHEREAS: the University of California Student Association (UCSA), a body that represents all UC student governments, passed a resolution “recognizing the legitimacy of boycotts and divestments as important social movement tools, and encouraged all institutions of higher learning to cleanse their investments portfolios of investment companies, supporting or profiting from violations of international human rights law, as unethical, without making special exemptions for any one country[xvi]”; and,

WHEREAS: our investments are not fostering the “well-being of our state, nation, and world”; therefore,

LET IT BE RESOLVED that ASUCSB will examine its assets and UC assets for investments in companies that a) provide military support for, or weaponry to support, the occupation of the Palestinian Territories, or b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the Separation Wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes, or c) facilitate in the building, maintenance, or economic development of Israeli settlements on annexed Palestinian territories; and,

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that we call upon the UCSB Associated Students Investment Advisory Committee to divest all investments in Hewlett Packard, determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion; and,

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that we call upon our university, the University of California Treasury, the UC Regents, and the UCSB Foundation to divest their holding from each of these aforementioned companies, as determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion; and,

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that we, the students, urge the UCSB Foundation to explore its investments and to utilize socially responsible corporations, with the goal of restricting the use of companies that profit from human rights violations; and,

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that if it is found that UCSB funds or UC funds are being invested in any of the aforementioned companies, UCSB will divest, as soon as feasible, as determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion, until these companies cease these specific practices. Moreover, UCSB will not make further investments, in any companies materially supporting or profiting from Israel’s occupation in the above-mentioned ways; and,

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that we demand more transparency in UC investments and accountability in investment practices, through the involvement of students in the UCSB Foundation; and,

LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED that we, the students, call upon our university to dissociate itself from companies that promote systematic discrimination, inequality, and human rights violations, where this system targets people based on religion, gender, race, or orientation, by divesting from companies that participate in or profit from human rights violations.

[i] http://www.ucsb.edu/campus/mission.shtml

[ii] http://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2013/03/fossil-fuel-divestment-resolution-passed

[iii] http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/palestine/wall-illegal-adop-sum.htm

[iv] http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a13

[v] http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E29F7195C53CDDA905256729005035E4

[vi] http://www.whoprofits.org/company/motorola-solutions

[vii] http://www.investmentscreen.org/company-detail/3

[viii] http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/israel050602.html.

[ix] http://www.whoprofits.org/company/hewlett-packard-hp

[x] http://www.mediamonitors.net/joshruebner3.html

[xi] http://www.mediamonitors.net/joshruebner3.html.

[xii] http://www.investmentscreen.org/company-detail/175

[xiii] http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2009/ss_israel0424_05_27

[xiv] http://www.ucop.edu/treasurer/_files/invpol/GEP_Holdings_12-31-11.pdf

[xv] http://www.ucop.edu/treasurer/_files/invpol/UCRP_Holdings_12-31-11.pdf

[xvi] http://ucsa.org/document/view/236

Fiscal Impact: $ from the account.

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