Divestment passes

Resolution gains majority vote, campaign continues

Shahrizad+Hamdah%2C+SJP+steering+committee+member%2C+raises+her+hand+for+a+chance+to+speak+during+open+floor.+The+weekly+SG+meeting+was+moved+to+the+Student+Union+Auditorium+and+lasted+about+three+hours.+During+that+time%2C+both+senators+and+committee+members+were+given+the+chance+to+speak+on+the+divestment+resolution.
Shahrizad Hamdah, SJP steering committee member, raises her hand for a chance to speak during open floor. The weekly SG meeting was moved to the Student Union Auditorium and lasted about three hours. During that time, both senators and committee members were given the chance to speak on the divestment resolution.

Shahrizad Hamdah, SJP steering committee member, raises her hand for a chance to speak during open floor. The weekly SG meeting was moved to the Student Union Auditorium and lasted about three hours. During that time, both senators and committee members were given the chance to speak on the divestment resolution.

Abigail Sullivan

Abigail Sullivan

Shahrizad Hamdah, SJP steering committee member, raises her hand for a chance to speak during open floor. The weekly SG meeting was moved to the Student Union Auditorium and lasted about three hours. During that time, both senators and committee members were given the chance to speak on the divestment resolution.

Colleen Anderson, Associate News Editor

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Read about the previous Student Government meeting concerning divestment here: SJP resolution ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by University of Toledo SG


Shouts of joy and excitement erupted from the supporters of the divestment resolution as it passed in an overwhelming majority vote of 21-4 during the weekly University of Toledo Student Government meeting.

At the start of the meeting, 94 attendees were present, not including the 27 senators and 7 SJC members in attendance. Five uniformed officers were also present throughout the room.

The senate heard speakers from numerous organizations. Representatives from Students for Justice in Palestine, UT Hillel, Community Solidarity Response Network, Christians United for Israel, and Jewish Voices for Peace, among several others, gave their opinions on the renewed divestment resolution being proposed at the meeting.

The speakers talked from a few seconds to several minutes over almost two hours. Two speakers, Rob Vincent and Sam Aburaad, were asked to sit down after overstepping the boundaries of open floor.

SG President Clayton Notestine encouraged senators to vote yes or no rather than abstaining.

“Vote yes or vote no. You can choose which one you believe in, but stand by your choice. You can choose to go and abstain and not vote at all, but I am imploring that you go ahead and make a decision to stand up for what you believe in, and vote yes or vote no,” Notestine said.

Those in support of the resolution spoke on the human rights violations against Palestinians by Israel, and were supported by members of numerous outside student organizations and religious institutions. Anecdotes, personal testimonies and statistics were all used as support for the resolution.

Robbie Abdelhoq, SJP steering committee member, spoke about his time spent in Gaza, focusing on an encounter with some of the boys from the host family he was living with.

“The young men had become accustomed to frequent raids and random house searches in the middle of the night by the Israeli occupation forces,” Abdelhoq said. “They had become so frustrated with spending night after night — sometimes in the winter, sometimes not — in the middle of the street in their pajamas that they began to remain dressed all day and throughout the night.”

Derek Ide, SJP steering committee member, said Israel is not being singled out by the resolution.

“It is not us [SJP] who singles out Israel. It is Hillel and AIPAC and every other defender of Israeli crimes who wants Israel to maintain a special status, a status that places them above international law and unaccountable to the norms and standards of justice.”

It is not us [SJP] who singles out Israel. It is Hillel and AIPAC and every other defender of Israeli crimes who wants Israel to maintain a special status, a status that places them above international law and unaccountable to the norms and standards of justice.”

— Derek Ide, SJP steering committee member

Ide also criticized the statements by the opposition that they were pro-Palestinian.

“To ignore Palestinian voices and to claim that you are pro-Palestinian is not only arrogant and patronizing, but is a pernicious lie,” Ide said.

Shahrazad Hamdah, SJP steering committee member, also expressed her disapproval for the opposition’s pro-peace statement.

“Peace is not the perpetuation of the status quo for your own benefit,” Hamdah said.

Joel Reinstein, a representative of Jewish Voices for Peace, said he does not agree with the claim that the divestment resolution will encourage discrimination against Jewish students, or that the resolution singles out Israel.

“To say that their struggle for survival is about ‘singling out the Jewish state’ is to ignore their 70 years of unspeakable suffering at the hands of a single state: Israel,” Reinstein said. “Demanding that Palestinians address all oppression in the world before fighting their own is just another way of telling them to shut up and accept being erased.”

The opposition for the resolution reiterated their original fears of discrimination against Jewish students on campus. Several students focused on a desire for peace and dialogue, saying a reversal of the decision would be a mistake by SG.

“I’m not afraid of disagreements, but this resolution does not leave any room for the civil dialogue that we so desire and encourage on and off campus,” said Jacob Ritchart, a freshman at UT.

Ritchart also said Israeli citizens have also been attacked, and talked about a specific instance in which rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza.

Jessica Moses, president of UT Hillel, said she fears the resolution will encourage discrimination against Jewish students on campus and limit dialogue.

“I believe that the honest discussion should be taking place, but by voting yes on this resolution today, you are taking this option off the table,” Moses said.

According to Moses, the reversal of SJC’s decision on the resolution’s constitutionality “undermines the function of Student Government.”

Kelly Market, president of Christians United for Israel, agreed and said “a change in the outcome of the vote tonight from anything other than a decision consistent with last week’s decision would make a mockery out of Student Government by proving that our senators can be intimated into changing their vote.”

Sara Federman, a member of Hillel, said voting for divestment would mean supporting Israel’s destruction.

“The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that this resolution is a part of seeks the destruction of the state of Israel, and the homeland of the Jews. If the senate chooses to pass this resolution, the University of Toledo becomes part of the international effort to see the elimination of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state,” Federman said.

A motion to vote on the resolution by secret ballot failed. Notestine said voting by secret ballot is in violation of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, an issue that members of SJP brought to his attention. Shortly afterwards the senators voted by standing up at their place in favor of yes or no, and the resolution was passed.

“I feel it was unfair, just the advantages they [SJP] may have been given today,” Moses said. She went on to say Hillel has no current plans considering the divestment resolution, but they may campaign if a referendum on the issue is proposed.

“Yes, this is definitely a little bit of a loss, but we wake up tomorrow, we are going to be the same organization that we were. We don’t have one sole purpose like SJP does,” Moses said. “We are a safe place for Jewish students on campus, and we will continue to do so by giving many more events than just debates in Student Government.”

SJP wants the debate on the issue to be an “open, democratic, transparent process,” according to Ide, who said the next step in the divestment campaign is a referendum. “We believe the entire student body should vote on it regardless, but we wanted to have this battle first in Student Government.”

Correction: This story was updated to correctly attribute a quote to Jessica Moses, which was formerly attributed to Sara Federman.

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65 Comments

  • Jay

    The whole session last night was a disgrace to the University and a disgrace to democracy. Two weeks ago the same premise of the resolution was rejected by student government calling it, ‘Discriminatory.’ All of a sudden it isn’t? Shame on the those that caved in to a campaign by SJP of intimidation and lies and shame on those community members who manipulated the student leaders with untruths and lies. All you did last night is marginalize a minority and endanger a group of students. I think it it speaks volumes that the Vice President of SGA in his closing congratulated SJP for having their resolution passed. Glad there was no bias there then. Shame on you all.

    [Reply]

    Mohamed Abushaban Reply:

    Intimidation and lies? Please do explain. Endanger a group of students? I’d like to hear this one. You talk about and want democracy? This is the democratic process, or does it not work now that it’s fair?

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    The motion talks about the divesting from any company that is complicit with human rights violations yet the rest of the motion conveniently leaves out countries with well documented significant human rights abuses.
    Where are the motions to divest from Saudi Arabia, where journalists are systematically flogged for speaking out against the government’s inhumane treatment of women and the gay community?
    Where is the motion talking about divesting from Syria, a country that has had over 200,000 people killed in the most recent conflict, including a total of 1,807 Palestinians? SJP remains silent.
    In Egypt as of today there are 290 Palestinians who are still being held in detention by the Egyptian authorities, with no hope for a trial and no hope for justice and no reason given for their imprisonment. Where is the SJP outrage? Where are the condemnations and motions to divest from Egypt?
    Where is SJP’s outrage for the Palestinians living on the Egyptian side of the Rafa border crossing that saw over 1000 homes demolished by the Egyptian government recently, in order to create a buffer zone between its border with Gaza?
    In Jordan, there are over 3 million Palestinians that live there. Although Palestinians constitute around half of the population, they remain vastly under-represented in Jordanian government. Nine of the 55 Senators appointed by the King are Palestinian, and in the 110-seat Chamber of Deputies, Palestinians have only 18 seats. Of Jordan’s 12 governates, none are led by Palestinians.
    Discrimination against Palestinians in private and state-sector employment remains common and a quota system limits the number of university admissions for Palestinian youth.
    Government security operations disproportionately target Palestinians, especially operations conducted in the name of fighting terror. Amnesty International reported in July 2006 that Jordanian security services were more likely to torture detainees if they were Palestinian.
    Where are the SJP motions, protests and calls from them to Divest from Jordan Where is the outrage?
    In Lebanon, Palestinians are denied education, property ownership, many forms of employment and medical attention.
    I could go on and on and mention many more countries where Palestinians suffer greatly.
    What is SJP’s response for justice for these Palestinians? Do nothing, say nothing.
    However we know the reason why. This very motion explains the true meaning of targeting the only Jewish state in the world and conveniently leaving out the countries I have previously mentioned. It is because this motion and its specific targeting of Israel at its purist form is anti semitic.

    [Reply]

    mxm123 Reply:

    Please feel free to submit a divestment motion for Egypt. Nobody is holding you back.

    Jay Reply:

    True! Would you oppose it? What if it included the countries I mentioned?

    mxm123 Reply:

    I wouldn’t oppose it. When are you drawing it up ?

    Will Johnston Reply:

    lol. win for you mxm

    Jay Reply:

    The win would of been including countries that treat the Palestinians far worse. But that completely goes against your discriminatory motion.

    mxm123 Reply:

    That is pretend that the Palestinians are citizens of those “other countries”.

  • Erik Gable

    Delivering a slap in the face to the only free democracy in a region otherwise controlled by brutal fundamentalist regimes … what could possibly go wrong?

    [Reply]

    mxm123 Reply:

    Who do the Palestinians from the West Bank vote for ? Oh wait. Never mind.

    [Reply]

    Erik Gable Reply:

    And yet, amazingly, they’re more free than they would be in any of the Middle East’s Muslim theocracies. What’s the excuse for that?

    [Reply]

    mxm123 Reply:

    Who do they vote for ? Why don’t you answer that question. Freedom for me is to be able to vote ?

    Why create phony red herring arguments.

    Erik Gable Reply:

    What about the freedom to not be sentenced to flogging for “sexual deviance,” like happens to women in Saudi Arabia? Or arrested for dancing, or jailed for apostasy? Israel isn’t perfect — nor is any nation — but they have more respect for freedom and basic human dignity than any other nation in the region.

    mxm123 Reply:

    I thought Israel was just like America. Oh wait. Now you’re comparing it to Saudi Arabia. I wonder why.

    Erik Gable Reply:

    Who said it was just like America? It’s not. It is, however, the only country in the Middle East that doesn’t impose draconian and often brutal theocratic law on its citizens.

    mxm123 Reply:

    Really ? Gosh if you’re kicked out of your home based on your religion its not brutal and its not theocratic. Great.

    Erik Gable Reply:

    Are you seriously denying that Israel’s human rights record is far better than any of its neighbors?

    mxm123 Reply:

    Are you denying that Israel’s actions against some of its residents are not based on theocracy. Ya the very theocratic model you condemned until i pointed out that Israel does the same thing.

    Human rights for whom ? Palestinians ? Are you preaching how wonderful being a stateless citizens on their own land is ?

    Jay Reply:

    Typical not answering the question.

    Truthonaplate Reply:

    The ones that your ancestors massacred inhumanely?

    Rusty Curling Reply:

    When it comes to how they treat Palestinians that is self evident.

    Jay Reply:

    I assume your giving your home to the Native American Indians then.

    mxm123 Reply:

    At least Native Americans are equal citizens on this land. Next talking point ?

    Jay Reply:

    Are you kidding me? You know nothing. American Indians face more issues in their society than Non natives. Electricity is not always hooked up to where they live, water is tough to come by. They have a disproportionate amount of alcoholice than the rest of America. Just stop talking out of your behind. You really are making an idiot of yourself.

    mxm123 Reply:

    But they are free. You seem to avoid that teeny tiny point in your ceaseless blather.

    Jay Reply:

    You seem to avoid that the Palestinian leadership is to blame for their current situation. Seems Egypt understands that. I love how you and the Pally’s always leave out the there is a boarder crossing with Egypt that is closed because Egypt doesn’t trust Pally’s no to bring back weapons. Plus I can go all day against your arguments. It’s easy. Clearly you do not have a clue about anything.

    mxm123 Reply:

    Because Israel is the Occupational Authority. And Egypt knows that. Next talking point ?

    Jay Reply:

    I am now convineced that you are just putting random words together. It’s clear you have no idea what you are talking about. Don’t even bother responding. Your killing your own brain cells and something tells me that you are going to need as many of them as possible.

    Rusty Curling Reply:

    Yep, blame the victim. Palestinian leadership did what to bring about their current situation? What, please elaborate. And the current Egyptian government is not exactly a group I would take as an example about anything. Oh, but Israel likes them because they are anti – Hamas. So, why do Palestinians vote for Hamas? Someone keeps asking that question. I’ll give you the answer I’ve heard in one form or another from many ordinary Palestinians. If a member of Fatah comes to me asking for money for an orphanage (put in hospital, clinic etc.) and I give them a thousand shekels may 5 shekels will get to the orphanage. I someone from Hamas asks me for money for and orphanage and I give them a thousand shekels, a thousand shekels will go to the orphanage. 5% of Hamas’ budget goes to their “military”wing. I wish only 5% of the US budget went to our military. Yes, Gaza is an open air prison created by Israel to collectively punish them for supporting Hamas. So, they fight back with whatever they can come up with. Nothing else has been left to them. Oh, that is the other reason Palestinians vote for Hamas, they actually want to fight for Palestinian rights rather than do Israel’s bidding for them like Fatah and the PA have done for the past few decades.

    Robman139 Reply:

    Well, of course Israel ‘punishes’ the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza for supporting Hamas. We had to punish the Germans for supporting Hitler. I think this is called…WAR. Oh, you forget to mention that the only reason Hamas actually builds the orphanage is so they can have a place to store the rockets they shoot at Israeli civilans.

    khalidkafeelkhan Reply:

    Are you joking! Just ask the Palestinians and especially Gazans who faced the phosphorus bombs from the benevolent Israeli Military. Gazans living as the Torah defines for the non believers.

    khalidkafeelkhan Reply:

    Israeli brutality surpasses with all the brutality in the world. Equating Saudi Arabia`s with Israel is sheer non sense. It is like equating Nazi Germany with egypt of SISI.

    Rusty Curling Reply:

    Erik, you seem like a pretty intelligent guy. Go to the West Bank, talk to the people (without an Israeli tour guide with you, I’ll get you in touch with people who can show you reality if you want), see what living under Israeli occupation is like for Palestinians. When you have done that, then you can tell me that they are better off than in surrounding Arab nations. I was very excited about the Arab Spring because I hoped that leaders in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc. would be over thrown and there would be a chance for real democracy. Did AIPAC go to Washington and lobby our government to support the movements for democracy in those countries. You and I both know they did the opposite. Saudi Arabia, the current leaders in Egypt and many other dictatorial Arab leaders are just fine with Israel and the US for that matter. Palestinian society was one of the most liberal and secular of any in the middle east. Almost 70 years of oppression by Zionist has hardened the Palestinians, but give them just a little window of opportunity for a real state of their own and watch what a democracy they will create. If you doubt this, you don’t know Palestinians.

    Will Johnston Reply:

    lol at more free in gaza blah blah blah… You can make these claims in right wing pro zionist echo chambers, but no one is falling for that sh!t here Erik

    Season555 Reply:

    call your zionist bosses and ask for the latest talking points. The one’s you are using are old, have used and thrown out because they don’t work.

    Jay Reply:

    when you say Zionist you mean Jew. Come on you can admit that.

    Season555 Reply:

    Yes Jews who are Zionist. What did you think I was going to get scared and not answer, so then you would declare that I anti sematic. If were head of the Israeli ” propaganda” office, I fire you because you are so bad at this. TSK TSK TSK

    Jay Reply:

    Well I think the world is greatful that you have no power at all. Enjoy your life flipping burgers considering that’s the best it’s going to get. TSK TSK TSk!

    Season555 Reply:

    LOL that is the best you can do? No logical points to support your beliefs? Just insult and copypaste? Your not the first Zionist who can not back up their beliefs nor will you be the last. No wonder MOSES CURSED your people over and over and over again, he is the ONLY Prophet to curse his own people. He also said that Zionist ( not Jews who are fighting for human rights) will go back to Egypt and try to sell themselves back into Slavery. HA! Look it up it is in YOUR holy books, unless you don’t know where to look. Then ask me. Any way I won’t keep you, you are probably late for the killing of Palestinian pregnant women and their babies or molest a little boy the IDF picked up. How ever you are doing you bid for Israel.

    Jay Reply:

    What are you going on about. Clearly you are injecting yourself with something. What an idiot you are. Nothing you said made any sense. Are you really this stupid? Please find a brain and a logical argument and come back and play with the big boys.

    Season555 Reply:

    Yes I play with men not babling boys,

    Jay Reply:

    Terrorists. Simple answers are always the best.

    [Reply]

    mxm123 Reply:

    You mean Jewish Settler Terrorists. Great. You learn something new every day.

    Jay Reply:

    Lol you really are an idiot aren’t you. Pretty sure there’s a village missing it’s idiot. Happy to pay your bus fare to go back to it.

    mxm123 Reply:

    Cockroaches don’t like sunlight.

    Jay Reply:

    That’s why you and your family live in caves. Lol

    mxm123 Reply:

    Did you visit ?

    YourMom9999 Reply:

    Erik My poor Boy, Israel is reaping what it has sown.

    Letters to the Editor
    New York Times
    December 4, 1948

    TO THE EDITORS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our
    times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom
    Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization,
    methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist
    parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former
    Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

    The current visit of Menachem
    Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated
    to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming
    Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist
    elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have
    lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who
    oppose fascism throughoutthe world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s
    political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to
    the movement he represents.

    Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial
    contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation
    in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports
    Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to
    the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement. The public avowals
    of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they
    speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently
    they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions
    that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions
    we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

    Attack on Arab Village

    A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village
    of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish
    lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands
    who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES),
    terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military
    objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants ? 240men, women,
    and children – and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through
    the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at
    the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah
    of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act,
    were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the
    foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses
    and the general havoc at Deir Yassin. The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies
    the character and actions of the Freedom Party.

    Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture
    of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like
    other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves
    pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have
    proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model. During the last
    years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated
    a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten
    up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children
    join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread
    robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy
    tribute.

    The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the
    constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built
    no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their
    much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to
    bringing in Fascist compatriots.

    Discrepancies Seen

    The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made
    by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine
    bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable
    stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British
    alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a “Leader State”
    is the goal.

    In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative
    that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country.
    It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has
    refused to campaign against Begin’s efforts, or even to expose to its own
    constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

    The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly
    presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging
    all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.

    ISIDORE ABRAMOWITZ
    HANNAH ARENDT
    ABRAHAM BRICK
    RABBI JESSURUN CARDOZO
    ALBERT EINSTEIN
    HERMAN EISEN, M.D.
    HAYIM FINEMAN
    M. GALLEN, M.D.
    H.H. HARRIS
    ZELIG S. HARRIS
    SIDNEY HOOK
    FRED KARUSH
    BRURIA KAUFMAN
    IRMA L. LINDHEIM
    NACHMAN MAISEL
    SEYMOUR MELMAN
    MYER D. MENDELSON
    M.D., HARRY M. OSLINSKY
    SAMUEL PITLICK
    FRITZ ROHRLICH
    LOUIS P. ROCKER
    RUTH SAGIS
    ITZHAK SANKOWSKY
    I.J. SHOENBERG
    SAMUEL SHUMAN
    M. SINGER
    IRMA WOLFE
    STEFAN WOLF.

    New York, Dec. 2, 1948

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    Please the NYT is as left as it gets. Taking anything from them is an insult to intelligence.

    [Reply]

    mxm123 Reply:

    How “intelligent” of you. The NYT did not write that letter.

  • Robman139

    Rob Vincent here. For the record, it was never explained to me how it was that I had “overstepped the boundaries of the open floor”. I had questioned the student president on this afterwards, who only said that I had engaged in “dark humor” that he considered inappropriate, and that I was “too aggressive”. Since when does “dark humor” overstep anything? I never heard of that violating some rule of order. And after hearing some of the other speakers, it is amazing that I was considered “too aggressive”. That was pretty rich after seeing my fellow Jews of Hillel being screamed at for allegedly engaging in a campaign of “pernicious lies”, etc. Heck, I barely had a chance to talk at all.
    What I was going to say is that yes, the Palestinian Arabs are oppressed…but mostly by their own leaders. Palestinian leaders pocket untold millions in their Swiss bank accounts, pay off their cronies and hired thugs, and use the rest to amass weapons and promote openly crude and anti-Semitic propaganda, calling for the total destruction of Israel, calling Jews “apes and pigs”, etc. This is easily verified by any reader here; just look at Palestinian Media Watch, to see it in their own words. Meanwhile, average Palestinians live in squalor. Their internal press is rated as among the least free in the world by Reporters Without Borders. Yeah, the Palestinian political entities, such vanguards of “freedom” and “justice” they represent…
    In addition to that, they deliberately target Israeli civiians. Consider that the population of the U.S. is roughly 40 times that of Israel. So, proportionately, if one Israeli is killed, that is like 40 Americans. During the Second Intifada, 1000 Israeli civilians were deliberately killed by Palestinian terrorists. Not “collateral damage”, not happend to be passing by when soldiers were shot at, but DELIBERATELY killed. This would be like 40,000 American civilians being murdered…or 13 9-11s.
    So, while we heard many heartrending stories about checkpoints and “the wall” (which is mostly a high-tech security fence, not an actual ‘wall’), there was no discussion – and apparently NO DISCUSSION WAS TO BE ALLOWED – as to WHY there are these checkbpoints and the wall. What do you suppose we would do here in the U.S. if 40,000 of our civilians were murdered?
    Israel is defending herself against a ruthless and barbaric enemy with no moral floor. The Palestinian terrorist forces use amblances to ferry ammunition, they use child warriors, and they routinely employ civilians as human shields (including children); all of this is well known and readily verified. It is hypocritical in the extreme to condemn Israel for causing civlian deaths…when the Palestinian leaders are setting their own people up as targets!! And since their combatants often do not wear uniforms identifying them as such, one must be suspicious of the counts of “civilian” casualties, as it is very hard to determine who among them are indeed civilians or combatants (yet another war crime under international law).
    This divestment resolution officially aligns the UT student body with one of the most repressive, corrupt, and cynical political entities on earth. Rather than promote the cause of peace, this simply allows those who carry out barbaric acts – such a the recent bloody slashing attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem – to rationalize what they are doing. Terrorism – and Israel’s reactions to defend herself from the same – is thus enabled. This does the opposite of promoting peace; it is prolonging tragic suffering on both sides.
    Anyone who really cared about the welfare of Palestinian Arabs would instead advocate for democratic reform in Jordan. Their Palestinian Arab majority population has been ruled over – and viciously repressed – by a minority Hashemite monarchy installed by the British approximately 90 years ago. We heard a lot of speakers for the other side last night talk about “colonialism”…now the situation in Jordan, THAT’S the result of “colonialism”!! But don’t take my word for it: Google Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian democracy activist friend of mine, who now lives in exile in the UK because if he returned to his native Jordan, he’d be jailed or worse. HE “speaks truth to power”. HE is fighting the good fight. Anyone who really does care about the truth, again I urge you to Google that name and read his articles: MUDAR ZAHRAN
    The first thing the Nazis did when they came to power in Germany was to organize boycotts of Jewish businesses. Today, groups like UTDivest and SJP want to pressure American businesses to boycott the Jewish state. It is the same idea: dehumanize a group of people by declaring them ufit to do business with. It may be dressed up in a costume of “social justice”, but what the SJP and UTDivest in fact represent is nothing more than an anti-Israel lynch mob.
    And the UT student government just caved in to the ‘lynch mob’.
    Those of you in the UT student government who voted for this, I guarantee you one thing: 20 years from now, you’ll be ashamed to admit what you did last night.

    [Reply]

    Will Johnston Reply:

    ITS THE OCCUPATION, STUPID

    [Reply]

    Rusty Curling Reply:

    Why are there check points and these walls? Because Israel now resides upon 78% of the land of historic Palestine. The 22% left (the West Bank and Gaza) have been settled by over 400,000 Israelis who have special privileges in the land, like roads only they can use, all the water they can use in a desert and subsidized housing to draw them into the settlements. When Palestinians negotiate peacefully Israel confiscates more land and build settlements. When there is a peaceful intifada like the first one, it is met by breaking bones and more land confiscation and settlement building. When there is an Oslo agreement or any of the others that have followed there is more land confiscation and settlement building. When there is a more violent intifada there is more land confiscation and settlement building. Why the check points and walls? To control people you are oppressing to keep them from fighting back. I ask you, what haven’t the Palestinians and the world community done to try to get a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict in Israel/Palestine? Nothing has worked, Israel keeps on taking more and more land, abusing Palestinians, arresting people without charge or trial, killing people in the streets, demolishing homes obstructing legitimate economic activities and allowing settlers to run crazy and protecting them while they do. What will change Israel’s behavior short of divestment? What? When yo have a good answer to that and it is implemented the BDS movement will not be needed.

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    Robman139 Reply:

    Your whole premise is false. Where do you get this “historic Palestine” from?
    First, until the British Mandate following WW1, there was NEVER a specific, concrete, piece of real estate with defined borders known as “Palestine”. That was the name given to the region from which the Romans expelled native Jewish inhabitants, in order to add insult to injury by naming it after the people the Jews had fought millenia ago, the Philistines – roughly translates into ‘sea people’ – who are believed to have originated in Crete or Cyprus. Palestine was a region there, just as Appalachia is a region here. It was controlled by a succession of empires, the longest reign being that of the Ottomans. The only time it EVER had home rule by indigenous people was under the Jews. Why they heck do you suppose it is called Judea? That is the proper name; “West Bank” was invented by Jordan when they controlled the area between 1949 and 1967.
    British Mandatory Palestine originally included all of present-day Jordan. So, if you want to discuss “historic Palestine”, the history begins there. Because of Arab objections at the time, the British devised a “two state solution” by using the Jordan River as a border, and calling the lands east of that “Transjordan” (i.e., ‘across the Jordan), later simply shortened to “Jordan”. It is a country named after a river, and does not reflect any distinct national ethnic group. (Are there ‘Elbans’? ‘Vistulans’? ‘Volgans’?) The Arabs who lived there were – and are – “Palestinian” Arabs, to the extent that a distinct people as such exists. That is their homeland, if they have one at all.
    Israel is in J&S because of a defensive war. J&S, at worst, is a disputed – NOT “occupied” – territory between Israel and Jordan, just as Silesia was a disputed territory between Germany and Poland and Alsace/Lorraine between Germany and France. Germany lost all of her claims to these areas due to her aggression against her neighbors. Similarly, in 1967, Jordan shelled Israel from J&S without provocation at the onset of that war, bringing in the Israeli army. No country in history that has ever obtained land in a defensive war was subsequently compelled to forfeit all of said land; that would only reward aggression. And, since no one in the international community outside of the UK and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s control of J&S between ’49 and ’67 as legitimate, and since Jordan herself forfeited all claims to J&S as part of their peace treaty with Israel, by any serious legal or historical standard, there IS NO OCCUPATION. Never mind the hysterical claims and sloganeering, there is no actual international law or convention by which Israel is bound to give up one square millimeter of J&S. They are fully within their rights to build there as much as they damn well please, at least unless and until some future agreement comes about that changes the legal environment.
    So, what really stands in the way of such an agreement? First and foremost, Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state. This requirement on the part of Israel should be seen as no more controversial than the idea of Turkey recognizing Greece as a Greek state, or Russia recognizing Poland as a Polish state (both controversial issues in their day). But the Palestinians won’t do even this, because to do so would force them into a position where they can be held accountable for not honoring an agreement. As long as Israel, as the homeland of the Jewish people, can be maintained as “illegitimate”, as per the Palestinian National Charter, then the Palestinians – WHEN, not IF, they renege on an agreement (as they have all past agreements) – can claim that they can’t be bound to the terms of an agreement made with an “illegitimate entity”, in the same way that one can’t be bound to the terms of a contract signed with a minor.
    Your claims of violent oppression of Palestinians by Israeli authorities are grossly exaggerated, another false premise of your argument above. Fact is, 95% of Palestinian Arabs residing in J&S live under PA administration. That means PA courts, police forces, etc. And yes, Palestinian Arabs are often brutally repressed by the PA, and by the governments of Israel’s neighbors (e.g., Jordan; have you looked up Mudar Zahran yet?). But I have been to Israel, and I have seen with my own eyes thriving, prosperous Palestinian Arab communities in pre-’67 Israel, I had dinner with an Israeli family near the Lebanese border in an apartment complex in which Arabs also lived, I toured an Israeli hospital in which local Arabs were getting the same care as Jews. So why are things so different in the territories? COULD IT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT THE 95% WHO LIVE UNDER PA ADMINISTRATION ARE FED A CONSTANT DIET OF THE MOST VICIOUS ANTI-SEMITIC INCITEMENT IMAGINABLE?
    Rusty, the Palestinians aren’t “fighting back”, they’re simply fighting, and in an incredibly cold-blooded manner, goaded into doing so by their corrupt leaders who cannot justify their existence any other way. They’re “fighting back” in the same way that, back in the pre civil rights U.S., poor ignorant whites were convinced by the KKK to “resist” the idea of having to accept blacks as equals, in a way that bears a striking resemblance to the present-day terror tactics of the Palestinians and their local allies.
    In Israel, Palestinian Arabs serve as mayors, as officers in the IDF, in the legislature, and in all the professions. Those who have Israeli citizenship and who are not subject to PA rule have more freedom, more rights, and a higher standard of living than any other Arabs in the region. Their lives may not be perfect, and perhaps there are injustices within Israeli society that still need to be addressed, but can’t the same be said for many minority groups in many countries, including here in the U.S.?
    The Palestinians fighting Israel from Gaza and the PA-ruled areas of J&S are nothing but cannon fodder, being cynically used as a battering ram against Israel. Their leaders, and the supporters of their movement, don’t really give a damn about the welfare of the average Palestinian Arab. If they did, rather than trying to arrange for the dismantlement of Israel, they’d be lobbying for democratic reform in Jordan, or at the very least, holding the PA accountable for their own many human rights abuses, and their refusal to take even the most elemental steps towards peace (e.g., recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, ending incitement).
    All BDS does is penalize Israel for defending herself; the main difference between Israel and the U.S. is that for Israel, their equivalent to Al Quaida is not halway around the world in Afghanistan, but is right next door. The message that BDS sends to the worst elements on the Palestinian side is that whatever they do is OK, only Israel will be punished. So, there is more terrorism, more bloodshed, Israel is forced to clamp down even more, and you wind up perpetuating the war that those in the BDS movement claim they want to end.
    And if the BDS’ers got what they say they ultimately want – a complete Israeli withdrawal from J&S – there is no way J&S doesn’t turn into a new Hamastan…right on the doorstep of Israel’s most important population, trade, and industrial centers Anyone who would seriously dispute that is living on another planet. That will lead to unprecedented bloodshed on both sides, and depending on how events ultimately unfolded, quite possibly the end of Israel.
    But that is the idea, isn’t it? The young ladies from Hillel are right. It isn’t simply a tired old talking point. BDS really IS about ultimately destroying Israel. I don’t think it will succeed – I’m confindent that Israel is never going to commit national suicide, and that most who trade with Israel will not be significantly influenced by the BDS movement – but if you believe BDS is really going to contribute to peace, you are seriously miguided and ignorant.

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  • Moath Elhady

    I am as PROUD a Rocket there is, starting yesterday night. This is history in the making. The South African Boycott Divest Sanction Movement wasn’t the popular thing to do per the status quo in the ’60s and ’70s, and Nelson Mandela was actually labeled a “terrorist” at the time. Looking back at it now, we know that “those people” that weren’t with this essential movement to eliminate the Apartheid State of South Africa back then were in the wrong. Give it a decade or two and history will repeat itself. We consider Nelson Mandela the epitome of human rights activists nowadays! GO ROCKETS!!!
    T-O-L…

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  • mxm123

    “Sara Federman, a member of Hillel, said voting for divestment would mean supporting Israel’s destruction.”

    Boy, these talking points get old. Israel is destroying a two-state solution and then worries a one-state will destroy it. Ha Ha Ha, the hypocrisy is hilarious.

    And of course the Hillel will not speak a whit about Israeli settlements.

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  • YourMom9999

    To equate fighting Israeli genocide as Anti-Jewish is to say, standing against German Nationalism is ‘anti-German’. Sorry, but the World is sick of Israeli’s professional victimhood and we recognize that strong measures, peaceful measures, are necessary to break this status quo.

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    Jay Reply:

    Worst point ever.

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    Azul97 Reply:

    nothing worse than proud ignorance. you’re such an idiot.

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  • AmusedAgain

    I think the University should take the investment it had in Israel and invest it in Palestine. Or they could save the effort and burn the money.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    The only investment that is made in ‘Palestine’ is in rockets and arms.

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  • stannadel

    “Robbie Abdelhoq, SJP steering committee member, spoke
    about his time spent in Gaza, focusing on an encounter with some of the
    boys from the host family he was living with.

    “The young men had become accustomed to frequent raids
    and random house searches in the middle of the night by the Israeli
    occupation forces,” Abdelhoq said. “They had become so frustrated with
    spending night after night — sometimes in the winter, sometimes not — in
    the middle of the street in their pajamas that they began to remain
    dressed all day and throughout the night.”

    Abdelhoq is clearly lying as Gaza hasn’t been occupied by Israeli troops for many years.

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    mxm123 Reply:

    Using your logic a prison is not occupied/controlled by the guards. And further pretend that Israeli troops don’t conduct raids into Gaza.

    [Reply]

    stannadel Reply:

    prisoners don’t maintain their own armed forces with rockets and mortars–and Israeli troops don’t conduct “frequent raids and random house searches” in Gaza.

    [Reply]

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