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Major written statements and reports published
by churches, governments, organizations
and the United Nations. 
  
Jewish Statements of Support for Divestment
The following letters and statements are responding to an effort by the UC Berkeley Student Senate to pass a resolution for their school to divest from two companies that are involved in sustaining and profiting from the Israeli occupation.  The national organization Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org), provided support and encouragement for the students in this effort and collected the letters and statements of support on this page. We have printed below some of the full collection; click here to download the full document.

Jewish Letters of Support for
Divestment from the Occupation
download this collection of letters and statements

Contents of the full document:
Rabbi Brant Rosen: One of Newsweek's top 25 U.S pulpit rabbis
Richard Falk: Milbank Professor of International Law & Practice Emeritus, Princeton
Noam Chomsky: MIT Linguist, writer, activist
Judith Butler: UC Berkeley, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and
Comparative Literature
Israeli supporters of Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, including
Ofra Ben Artzi, sister-in-law of Israeli Prime Minister
Naomi Klein: Journalist and syndicated columnist
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb: One of first woman rabbis in the United States
8 Israeli Peace Groups in Support of UC Berkeley Divest Bill
Gush Shalom: One of Israel's best known peace groups
Jeff Halper, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Advertisement: 263 Jews in support of UC Berkeley Divestment Measure
Jewish Voice for Peace: Leading American Jewish organization that supports full equality
for Israelis and Palestinians
Independent Jewish Voices, Canada
Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmud, Department of Near Eastern Studies and Department
of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley.
Chicago chapter of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Jonathan Simon (AB '82; JD '87; PhD '90) A personal statement as an alumnus of the University
of California, Berkeley, on the ASUC Divestment debate
Avraham and Ruchama Burrell, members of Berkeley's Congregation Beth Israel
Hajo G. Meyer PhD, Auschwitz survivor
European Jews for a Just Peace
Addendum: Am I My Brother's Keeper If My Brother Lives Halfway Around the World?


Rabbi Brant Rosen:
One of Newsweek's top 25 U.S pulpit rabbis

Why I Support the Berkeley Student Divestment Resolution

I'm sure many of you have been following the huge communal dust up that has been brewing
in reaction to a resolution recently passed by the Associated Students of UC Berkeley.
Known as SB118, it calls for the ASUC to divest its holdings in General Electric and United
Technologies because of “their military support of the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

The bill further resolves:

(That) the ASUC will further examine its assets and UC assets for funds
being invested 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 illegal wall or the demolition of Palestinian
homes, or c) facilitate the building, maintenance, or economic development
of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories
(and)

(That) if it is found that ASUC and/or the UC funds are being invested in
any of the abovementioned ways, the ASUC will divest, and will advocate
that the UC divests, all stocks, securities, or other obligations from such
sources with the goal of maintaining the divestment, in the case of said
companies, until they cease such practices. Moreover, the ASUC will not
make further investments, and will advocate that the UC not make futher
investments, in any companies materially supporting or profiting from Israel's
occupation in the above mentioned ways.

On March 18, after eight hours of dialogue and deliberation, the resolution
passed by a vote of 16-4. After a barrage of criticism from Jewish
community and Israel advocacy groups, the resolution was vetoed by the
President of the ASUC on March 24. As things currently stand, the veto
can be overridden by 14 votes. The final decision will be made on
Wednesday April 14 at 7:00 pm (PST).

The most prominent Jewish statement of condemnation against the resolution came in the
form of a letter co-signed by a wide consortium of Jewish organizations (including J Street,
the ADL and The David Project) that called the bill “anti-Israel,” “dishonest” and “misleading.”
Supporters of the resolution have mobilized as well: Jewish Voice for Peace recently
responded to the consortium's letter with a strong public statement and other prominent public figures, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Naomi Klein have voiced their
support of the Berkeley resolution.

As I've written in the past, I do believe that the longer Israel's intolerable occupation continues, the more we will inevitably hear an increase in calls for boycott, divestment and
sanctions (BDS). I'm certainly mindful of what these kinds of calls mean to us in the Jewish
community - and I know all too well how the issue of boycott pushes our deepest Jewish
fear-buttons in so many ways. Despite these fears, however, I personally support the ASUC
resolution.

While I understand the painful resonance that boycotts historically have had for the Jewish
community, I truly believe this bill was composed and presented in good faith - and I am
troubled that so many Jewish community organizations have responded in knee-jerk fashion,
without even attempting to address to the actual content of the resolution.

It is also unfair and untrue to say that this resolution is “anti-Israel.” The bill makes it clear
that it is condemning a crushing and illegal occupation - and not Israel as a nation. The
wording of the resolution leaves no doubt that its purpose is to divest from specific companies that aid and abet the occupation - and not to “demonize” Israel itself. If a group of
students oppose the occupation as unjust, then why should we be threatened if they ask
their own organization to divest funds that directly support it? This is not demonization -
this is simply ethically responsible investment policy.

Why, many critics ask, are the Berkeley students singling out Israel when there are so many
other worse human rights abusers around the world? To answer this, I think we need to
look at the origins of the BDS movement itself. This campaign was not hatched by the Berkeley students, or even by international human rights activists. It was founded in 2005 by a wide coalition of groups from Palestinian civil society who sought to resist the occupation
through nonviolent direct action.

In other words, BDS is a liberation campaign waged by the Palestinian people themselves -
one for which they are seeking international support. By submitting this divestment resolution, the Berkeley students were not seeking to single out Israel as the world's worst human rights offender - they are responding to a call from Palestinians to support their struggle against very real oppression.

The JVP statement (see above) makes this point very powerfully:
Choosing to do something about Israel's human rights violations does not require
turning a blind eye to other injustices in the world as these groups suggest; but
refusing to take action because of other examples would indeed turn a blind eye
to this one. Now is the time to support Palestinian freedom and human rights.
Berkeley students have done the right thing. Others should follow suit and divest
from the occupation, as part of their general commitment to ethical investment
policies.

I believe that the actions of these Berkeley students represent an important challenge to
those of us who believe that Israel's occupation equals oppression. Quite simply, we cannot
stay silent forever. Sooner or later we will have to ask ourselves: when will we be willing
to name this for what it really and truly is? When will we find the wherewithal to say out loud that this policy of home demolitions, checkpoints, evictions, increased Jewish settlements,
and land expropriations is inhumane and indefensible? At the very least, will we
be ready to put our money where our moral conscience is?

I know that this debate is enormously painful. And I respect that there are members of the
Jewish community who disagree with this campaign. But I must say I am truly dismayed
when I witness the organized Jewish community responding to initiatives such as these by
simply crying “anti-Semitism.” For better or worse, we are going to have to find a better
way to have these conversations. Because whatever happens with the ASUC resolution tomorrow, we haven't heard the end of this movement by a longshot.

This summer, in fact, the Presbyterian Church General Assembly will be taking up a number
of resolutions related to Israel/Palestine, including one that recommends divestment
from Caterpillar because the company knowingly supplies Israel with bulldozers that are
used for illegal (and deadly) home demolitions in the West Bank and Gaza. I'm sad to see
that the organized Jewish community is already gearing up for another major confrontation…


Judith Butler: UC Berkeley, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of
Rhetoric and Comparative Literature

You Will Not Be Alone

Let us begin with the assumption that it is very hard to hear the debate under consideration
here. One hears someone saying something, and one fears that they are saying another
thing. It is hard to trust words, or indeed to know what words actually mean. So that is a
sign that there is a certain fear in the room, and also, a certain suspicion about the intentions
that speakers have and a fear about the implications of both words and deeds. Of
course, tonight you do not need a lecture on rhetoric from me, but perhaps, if you have a
moment, it might be possible to pause and to consider reflectively what is actually at stake
in this vote, and what is not. Let me introduce myself first as a Jewish faculty member here
at Berkeley, on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, on the US executive committee of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, a global organization, a member of the Russell Tribunal on Human Rights in Palestine, and a board member of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin. I am at work on a book which considers Jewish criticisms of state violence, Jewish views of co-habitation, and the importance of 'remembrance' in both Jewish and Palestinian philosophic and poetic traditions.

The first thing I want to say is that there is hardly a Jewish dinner table left in this country--
or indeed in Europe and much of Israel--in which there is not enormous disagreement
about the status of the occupation, Israeli military aggression and the future of Zionism,
binationalism and citizenship in the lands called Israel and Palestine. There is no one Jewish
voice, and in recent years, there are increasing differences among us, as is evident by
the multiplication of Jewish groups that oppose the occupation and which actively criticize
and oppose Israeli military policy and aggression. In the US and Israel alone these groups
include: Jewish Voice for Peace, American Jews for a Just Peace, Jews Against the Occupation, Boycott from Within, New Profile, Anarchists Against the Wall, Women in Black, Who Profits?, Btselem, Zochrot, Black Laundry, Jews for a Free Palestine (Bay Area), No Time to Celebrate and more. The emergence of J Street was an important effort to establish an alternative voice to AIPAC, and though J street has opposed the bill you have before you, the younger generation of that very organization has actively contested the politics of its leadership.

So even there you have splits, division and disagreement.
So if someone says that it offends "the Jews" to oppose the occupation, then you have to
consider how many Jews are already against the occupation, and whether you want to be
with them or against them. If someone says that "Jews" have one voice on this matter, you
might consider whether there is something wrong with imagining Jews as a single force,
with one view, undivided. It is not true. The sponsors of Monday evening's round table at Hillel made sure not to include voices with which they disagree. And even now, as demonstrations in Israel increase in number and volume against the illegal seizure of Palestinian lands, we see a burgeoning coalition of those who seek to oppose unjust military rule, the illegal confiscation of lands, and who hold to the norms of international law even when nations refuse to honor those norms.

What I learned as a Jewish kid in my synagogue--which was no bastion of radicalism--was
that it was imperative to speak out against social injustice. I was told to have the courage to
speak out, and to speak strongly, even when people accuse you of breaking with the common understanding, even when they threaten to censor you or punish you. The worst injustice, I learned, was to remain silent in the face of criminal injustice. And this tradition of
Jewish social ethics was crucial to the fights against Nazism, fascism and every form of discrimination, and it became especially important in the fight to establish the rights of refugees after the Second World War. Of course, there are no strict analogies between the Second World War and the contemporary situation, and there are no strict analogies between South Africa and Israel, but there are general frameworks for thinking about co-habitation, the right to live free of external military aggression, the rights of refugees, and these form the basis of many international laws that Jews and non-Jews have sought to embrace in order to live in a more just world, one that is more just not just for one nation or for another, but for all populations, regardless of nationality and citizenship. If some of us hope that Israel will comply with international law, it is precisely so that one people can live among other peoples in peace and in freedom. It does not de-legitimate Israel to ask for its compliance with international law. Indeed, compliance with international law is the best way
to gain legitimacy, respect and an enduring place among the peoples of the world.

Of course, we could argue on what political forms Israel and Palestine must take in order
for international law to be honored. But that is not the question that is before you this evening.

We have lots of time to consider that question, and I invite you to join me to do that
in a clear-minded way in the future. But consider this closely: the bill you have before you
does not ask that you take a view on Israel. I know that it certainly seems like it does, since
the discussion has been all about that. But it actually makes two points that are crucial to
consider. The first is simply this: there are two companies that not only are invested in the
Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and peoples, but who profit from that occupation,
and which are sustained in part by funds invested by the University of California. They are
General Electric and United Technologies. They produce aircraft designed to bomb and kill,
and they have bombed and killed civilians, as has been amply demonstrated by Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch. You are being asked to divest funds from these two
companies. You are NOT being asked to divest funds from every company that does business
with Israel. And you are not being asked to resolve to divest funds from Israeli business
or citizens on the basis of their citizenship or national belonging. You are being asked
only to call for a divestment from specific companies that make military weapons that kill
civilians. That is the bottom line.

If the newspapers or others seek to make inflammatory remarks and to say that this is an
attack on Israel, or an attack on Jews, or an upsurge of anti-Semitism, or an act that displays
insensitivity toward the feelings of some of our students, then there is really only one answer
that you can provide, as I see it. Do we let ourselves be intimidated into not standing
up for what is right? It is simply unethical for UC to invest in such companies when they
profit from the killing of civilians under conditions of a sustained military occupation that
is manifestly illegal according to international law. The killing of civilians is a war crime. By
voting yes, you say that you do not want the funds of this university to be invested in war
crimes, and that you hold to this principle regardless of who commits the war crime or
against whom it is committed.

Of course, you should clearly ask whether you would apply the same standards to any
other occupation or destructive military situation where war crimes occur. And I note that
the bill before you is committed to developing a policy that would divest from all companies
engaged in war crimes. In this way, it contains within it both a universal claim and a
universalizing trajectory. It recommends explicitly "additional divestment policies to keep
university investments out of companies aiding war crimes throughout the world, such as
those taking place in Morocco, the Congo, and other places as determined by the resolutions
of the United Nations and other leading human rights organizations." Israel is not singled
out. It is, if anything, the occupation that is singled out, and there are many Israelis
who would tell you that Israel must be separated from its illegal occupation. This is clearly
why the divestment call is selective: it does not call for divestment from any and every Israeli
company; on the contrary, it calls for divestment from two corporations where the
links to war crimes are well-documented.

Let this then be a precedent for a more robust policy of ethical investment that would be
applied to any company in which UC invests. This is the beginning of a sequence, one that
both sides to this dispute clearly want. Israel is not to be singled out as a nation to be
boycotted--and let us note that Israel itself is not boycotted by this resolution. But neither is
Israel's occupation to be held exempt from international standards. If you want to say that
the historical understanding of Israel's genesis gives it an exceptional standing in the world,
then you disagree with those early Zionist thinkers, Martin Buber and Judah Magnes among
them, who thought that Israel must not only live in equality with other nations, but must
also exemplify principles of equality and social justice in its actions and policies. There is
nothing about the history of Israel or of the Jewish people that sanctions war crimes or asks
us to suspend our judgment about war crimes in this instance. We can argue about the occupation at length, but I am not sure we can ever find a justification on the basis of international law for the deprivation of millions of people of their right to self-determination and their lack of protection against police and military harassment and destructiveness. But
again, we can have that discussion, and we do not have to conclude it here in order to understand the specific choice that we face. You don't have to give a final view on the occupation in order to agree that investing in companies that commit war crimes is absolutely
wrong, and that in saying this, you join Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and so many
other peoples from diverse religious and secular traditions who believe that international
governance, justice and peace demand compliance with international law and human
rights and the opposition to war crimes. You say that you do not want our money going into
bombs and helicopters and military materiel that destroys civilian life. You do not want it in
this context, and you do not want it in any context.

Part of me wants to joke--where would international human rights be without the Jews! We
helped to make those rights, at Nuremberg and again in Jerusalem, so what does it mean
that there are those who tell you that it is insensitive to Jewishness to come out in favor of
international law and human rights? It is a lie--and what a monstrous view of what it means
to be Jewish. It disgraces the profound traditions of social justice that have emerged from
the struggle against fascism and the struggles against racism; it effaces the tradition of taayush, living together, the ethical relation to the non-Jew which is the substance of Jewish
ethics, and it effaces the value that is given to life no matter the religion or race of those
who live. You do not need to establish that the struggle against this occupation is the same
as the historical struggle against apartheid to know that each struggle has its dignity and its
absolute value, and that oppression in its myriad forms do not have to be absolutely identical
to be equally wrong. For the record, the occupation and apartheid constitute two different
versions of settler colonialism, but we do not need a full understanding of this convergence
and divergence to settle the question before us today. Nothing in the bill before
you depends on the seamless character of that analogy. In voting for this resolution, you
stand with progressive Jews everywhere and with broad principles of social justice, which
means, that you stand with those who wish to stand not just with their own kind but with
all of humanity, and who do this, in part, both because of the religious and non-religious
values they follow.

Lastly, let me say this. You may feel fear in voting for this resolution. I was frightened coming
here this evening. You may fear that you will seem anti-Semitic, that you cannot handle
the appearance of being insensitive to Israel's needs for self-defense, insensitive to the history of Jewish suffering. Perhaps it is best to remember the words of Primo Levi who survived a brutal internment at Auschwitz when he had the courage to oppose the Israeli
bombings of southern Lebanon in the early 1980s. He openly criticized Menachem Begin,
who directed the bombing of civilian centers, and he received letters asking him whether
he cared at all about the spilling of Jewish blood. He wrote:
I reply that the blood spilled pains me just as much as the blood spilled by all other human beings. But there are still harrowing letters. And I am tormented by them, because I know that Israel was founded by people like me, only less fortunate than me. Men with a number from Auschwitz tattooed on their arms, with no home nor homeland, escaping from the horrors of the Second World War who found in Israel a home and a homeland. I know all this. But I also know that this is Begin's favourite defence. And I deny any validity to this defence.

As the Israeli historian Idith Zertal makes clear, do not use this most atrocious historical
suffering to legitimate military destructiveness--it is a cruel and twisted use of the history of
suffering to defend the affliction of suffering on others.

To struggle against fear in the name of social justice is part of a long and venerable Jewish
tradition; it is non-nationalist, that is true, and it is committed not just to my freedom, but
to all of our freedoms. So let us remember that there is no one Jew, not even one Israel, and
that those who say that there are seek to intimidate or contain your powers of criticism. By
voting for this resolution, you are entering a debate that is already underway, that is crucial
for the materialization of justice, one which involves having the courage to speak out
against injustice, something I learned as a young person, but something we each have to
learn time and again. I understand that it is not easy to speak out in this way. But if you
struggle against voicelessness to speak out for what is right, then you are in the middle of
that struggle against oppression and for freedom, a struggle that knows that there is no
freedom for one until there is freedom for all. There are those who will surely accuse you of
hatred, but perhaps those accusations are the enactment of hatred. The point is not to enter
that cycle of threat and fear and hatred--that is the hellish cycle of war itself. The point is to
leave the discourse of war and to affirm what is right. You will not be alone. You will be
speaking in unison with others, and you will, actually, be making a step toward the realization
of peace--the principles of non-violence and co-habitation that alone can serve as the
foundation of peace. You will have the support of a growing and dynamic movement, intergenerational and global, by speaking against the military destruction of innocent lives and against the corporate profit that depends on that destruction. You will stand with us, and
we will most surely stand with you.

About Judith Butler
Judith Butler is currently a Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Human Values at Princeton.
She is the author of several books on feminist theory, continental philosophy and contemporary politics.



Israeli supporters of Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement,
including Ofra Ben Artzi, sister-in-law of Israeli Prime Minister

April 5, 2010

Dear Friends at UC Berkeley SJP,

Two weeks ago news of the vote to divest UC Berkeley from companies that provide military
support for the Israeli occupation has reached us here in Israel. Like many who have
been working hard to liberate Palestine and restore justice to Palestinians, we were very
happy to hear of your decision.
We witness the extent to which Israeli society becomes increasingly radicalized and indifferent
to the systematic brutality it employs against Palestinians. As it does, the prospects
for an internal change in Israeli society are almost nil. The efforts of friends like you stand
the best chance to exert the necessary pressure to secure the full rights of Palestinians.

There is enough evidence today which allows one to safely state that the only pressure Israelis
are sensitive to these days is that put forth by BDS activities. Boycott, sanctions and
divestment from Israel and from companies invested in Israel are perceived by Israelis as
questioning the legitimacy of Israeli policies and Israeli society. This indeed seems to be a
cost Israelis are not willing to pay.

For example, in October 2009,!Aluf Benn, Haaretz correspondent testifies: “Only one thing
does bother the Israelis, according to the!polls:!fear!of a diplomatic embargo and an international boycott. The Goldstone Report and the International Court of Justice in The Hague are arousing concern and interest, far more than Obama's peace speeches.

However, as long as relations with the rest of the world are satisfactory, Israelis see no reason to emerge from indifference and listen to the president of the United States.”!
(http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1116923.html).!

A month later, mainstream journalist,!Sever Plocker, admits that “Israel's image has hit a
nadir; it is isolated, unwanted, and perceived as bad. The world is telling us that should we
continue along the same contemptible path, we will!lose our legitimacy.”
(http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3798761,00.html)

Along the same lines,!Yoav Karny who writes in Globes estimates: “Israel will not continue
to exist if the educated middle class of the West turns against it. The experience of South
Africa has taught all the boycotters in the world that!there isn't a more effective tool to
weaken a society's stamina!than the withdrawal of foreign investments”.
(http://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?QUID=1056,U1259349558910&did=10005174
67). (For more information on the impact of BDS activities on Israel and Israelis, see
http://boycottisrael.info/content/milestones-history-israeli-bds-movement-brief-chronology).

We believe that actions such as yours will make Israelis face the fact that the people of the
world will not be silent when human rights are crushed. We therefore applaud your efforts
and thank you for them. They are not only the best hope for Palestinians but also for
Israelis.!

In solidarity,

Ronnie Barkan
Ronnen Ben-Arie
Ofra Ben Artzi
Adi Dagan!
Shiri Eisner
Prof. Rachel Giora
Yoana Gonen (Coalition of Women for Peace)
Prof. Lev Luis Grinberg
Chaya Hurwitz
Peretz Kidron
Yana Knopova
Yael Lerer
Eytan Lerner
Yossef Lubovsky
Ya'acov Manor
Eilat Maoz (Coalition of Women for Peace)
Dr. Anat Matar
Rela Mazali
Inna Michaeli (Coalition of Women for Peace)
Dr. Dorothy Naor
Ofer Neiman
Dr. David Nir
Jonathan Pollak
Deb Reich
Ayala Shani
Tal Shapira
Yonatan Shapira
Yasmin Sivan
Dr. Kobi Snitz
Kerstin Sodergren
Sonya Soloviov
Gideon Spiro
Jonatan Stanczak

Members and supporters of
BOYCOTT! Supporting the!Palestinian


8 Israeli Peace Groups in Support of UC Berkeley Divest Bill

April 12, 2010

Dear Members of UC Berkeley's ASUC:

We, Israeli organizations, comprised of Jewish and Palestinian women and men, dedicated
to building a just peace, promoting human and civil rights in Israel/Palestine, join the call
made to the UC Berkeley Senate to overturn the veto of Senate Bill 118A and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

It has come to our attention that the UC Berkeley student Senate voted 16 to 4 to divest
from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies, whose activities
materially and militarily support and maintain the Israeli occupation, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. We understand that the vote also advises divestment of ASUC and UC assets from companies that a) provide military support for the
occupation of the Palestinian territories, b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the illegal
apartheid wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes, or c) facilitate the building,
maintenance, or economic development of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We see UC's investments in these corporations as contradictory to UC Berkeley's commitment to international law, and the university community's long standing commitment to peace, justice and democracy.

As Jewish and Palestinian Israelis, we know better than most the long standing injustices of
the occupation. On a daily basis we confront human rights abuses committed by the Israeli
government such as land theft, blockades on civilian food supplies, systematic arrests and
indefinite detentions of nonviolent demonstrators, and targeted destruction of Palestinian
farm land and homes. Far from serving to protect Israelis, these actions serve the interests of
an Israeli extremist agenda which dehumanizes Palestinians, fuels rampant racism, and
jeopardizes the safety of both Palestinians and Israeli citizens.

Further, as Israelis, we reject the unsubstantiated argument that divestment delegitimizes
Israel. We believe that the opposite is the case. Just as various civil rights movements
served to strengthen and improve American society, our human rights groups are an integral
part of the movement here which seeks to strengthen Israel/Palestine by making it a
place for all of its citizens. Apartheid in South Africa and the Jim Crow laws in the United
States did not end because of silence. They ended because thousands, including students
like you, took action to say NO. Like South Africa and the United States, we need citizens
around the world to stand up and say NO to occupation, apartheid and oppression.

We recognize that members of the US Congress are far behind most US citizens who recognize that Israel's illegal behaviors fuel anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish and anti-American hatred
throughout the world. That is why, for the good of Israel, for the good of the United States,
outside pressure from principled people, including students is needed to reverse the 43
year policy of illegal occupation. Israel is unlike other countries that violate international
law--, the US government does not hold Israel accountable for its illegal actions, making
efforts like divestment necessary in encouraging corporate actors to do the right thing and
in communicating to our political leadership that young people are disenchanted with US
support for Israel's occupation.

We therefore urge ASUC to overturn the presidential veto and to remove all corporations
that support and maintain the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories from its investment portfolio. Do it for a better Palestinian future. Do it for a better Israeli future.

Coalition of Women for Peace
http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english

Shministim
http://december18th.org/

Yesh Gvul
http://www.yeshgvul.org.il/index_e.asp

Hithabrut - Tarabut
http://www.tarabut.info/he/home/

Union of Progressive Women
(Affiliated with the National Progressive Assembly party - Tajamoa)
http://www.tajamoa.org/?mod=arch&ID=38

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
http://icahd.org/eng/

New Profile - Movement for the Civilization of Israeli Society
http://www.newprofile.org/english/

BOYCOTT Supporting the Palestinian


Gush Shalom: One of Israel's best known peace groups
Tel-Aviv - April 10, 2010

Dear Members of UC Berkeley's ASUC,

We, hereby join the call to stop "investing in the occupation".

It has come to our attention that the UC Berkeley student Senate voted 16 to 4 to divest
from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies, because of their
activities helping to maintain Israeli military rule in the territories occupied since 1967. We
see this as a vote for Israeli-Palestinian peace, for the upholding of human rights! and a
stricter implementation of international law and thus as fitting with a university community!
committed to peace, justice and democracy.

As longtime Israeli peace activists, we know the injustices of the occupation and we have
confronted them for decades.! We did that out of solidarity with the occupied Palestinians
but also out of enlightened self- interest. The future of Israel and its citizens is not served by
land robbery and oppressing another people. As long as Palestinians are oppressed and
don't have their own state, the future of the state of Israel is at risk; there is no viable alternative to peace with the neighbors and integration in the region.

We therefore urge ASUC to overturn the presidential veto - for a better future for Israelis,
Palestinians and the entire world.

On behalf of Gush Shalom,
Adam Keller
pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033
adam@gush-shalom.org


Jeff Halper, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
April 11, 2010


Dear ASUC Members,
As the head of an Israeli peace and human rights organization, The Israeli Committee
Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), I would like to add our voice to those
who have urged you to overrule the veto of the Senate President and reaffirm the
decision to divest in companies profiting from the Israeli Occupation.

ICAHD, like many other Israeli and Jewish organizations in the US and other countries,
endorses the call of Palestinian civil society to divest from companies profiting
from the Occupation - and especially those like General Electric, United Technologies,
Motorola, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar who are so heavily invested
in the Israeli military. After more than four decades of diplomatic and grassroots
efforts aimed at inducing Israel to end its Occupation while watching it grow
ever stronger, more permanent and increasingly violent and repressive, we believe
the time is overdue for people the world over to tell Israel in no uncertain terms that
it cannot be expect to be a part of the international community as long as it violates
human rights, international law and dozens of UN resolutions with impunity.

And what we know as Israelis actively struggling alongside Palestinians “on the
ground” in the Occupied Territories is that Israeli actions are motivated not by security
concerns but by a pro-active intention of expanding into the West Bank and
East Jerusalem in order to claim that land as it own and thereby foreclose the establishment
of a viable, truly sovereign Palestinian state. The demolition of more than
24,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories since 1967, the expropriation
of more than half the land of the West Bank, the building of 150 settlements housing
a half-million Israelis, the uprooting of almost two million olive and fruit trees,
the devastation of the Palestinian economy and the immiseration of its people and
the construction of a wall twice as high as the Berlin Wall through Palestinian
communities - all this, together with the bloodshed, cannot be explained by “security.”

As Bishop Tutu and others in South Africa who have visited the Occupied Territories
- including the Jewish Minister Ronni Kasrils - will testify, Israel is constructing
an apartheid regime that in many ways is more oppressive that was the
South African regime.

Now as then, governments were moved to action only when civil society raised its
voice. Berkeley has always been one of the strongest and principled of those
voices, and has often spurred the rest of us into action. Your reaffirmation of the decision
to divest in GE and UT will once again lead the way.
In appreciation and solidarity,

Jeff Halper
ICAHD Director


Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmud, Department of Near Eastern Studies and Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley.
Professor Boyarin is one of the world's foremost Talmudic scholars, an orthodox
Jew, and a dual citizen of the United States and Israel.


You will hear this evening, I'm sure, many arguments for and against this divestment bill. I
am strongly in favor of it, but I am not going to explain right now my reasoning for that
conclusion. I want to talk about something else in my brief opportunity, some that I think
few others will address, namely who gets to speak for “the Jews.”
In yesterday's Daily Cal, you will, no doubt, have noticed that there were two “paid advertisements.”

You might have noticed that the one supporting the bill was deemed a “paid
political advertisement,” while the one attacking the bill was just a “paid advertisement.”
This distinction may very well have been inadvertent, but it is, I think exemplary. The Jewish
organizations, including something called Christians United for Israel, do not seem to
realize that they are making political statements.

For them, including the Evangelical Christian members of the Jewish community, unthinking,
obedient support for all of Israel's actions and policies is religion, not politics, so anyone
who disagrees with them is attacking their religion, or even worse, promulgating antisemitism.

You have heard that from them in the last weeks from many sources, including
the consul of the very government who policies and actions are being criticized.
Can you imagine a student group or organizations being pressured behind closed
doors by a representative of the Sudan not to protest genocide in Darfur, a representative of the apartheid South African former government behind closed doors telling students who protested apartheid that their actions or speech were an attack on all Dutch people everywhere in the world? I am here with one message and one message only.

As the second paid ad in yesterday's Daily Cal makes clear, there are many Jews, including
professors of Jewish studies, members of Orthodox and other synagogues, practitioners of
Jewish arts, people who have dedicated their lives to the promotion of social justice the
name of the Torah and Jewish history, who support this measured and careful bill. The selfappointed, so-called 'Jewish Community,' that most political of imaginary entities, does not speak for us, and ethical, political judgments are not ever to be construed as anti-semitism. It is, rather, anti-semitic to assume that all engaged Jews and Israelis have only one opinion. And if there is any marginalization that is going on and delegitimation, it is precisely the attempt at excluding dissenters from the Jewish community itself.