Statement from UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine

DESPITE the regrettable decision made by the ASUC Senate tonight, we have never been more confident about our success or more optimistic about the future.

Our first act after this vote, therefore, is to invite our peers, who today are paralyzed by their fear, to open their eyes and hearts to the grave injustices in Palestine: to recognize that they must make a choice between eternal fear, and equal human rights.

We are ready for them to join us in building the future, instead of preserving the past.

We therefore invite them to join us now to think critically and act effectively to stop Israel”s persecution of the Palestinian people. While the debate on this bill is temporarily over, Palestinians will still wake up to tanks, assault rifles, bulldozers, and uniformed soldiers policing their lives and harassing them as they walk to their schools, jobs, and farms tomorrow.

The kind of activism we choose to engage in is not only a matter of intervening to stop human rights violations. It is also a reflection of the kind of world we want to live in. It is a thus an overwhelmingly positive sign that we have garnered a solid majority of student support both inside student government and amongst the student population in general. Arab, Jewish, Black, Latino, Christian, Indian, Pakistani, American, Queer, Asian, White, Israeli, Palestinian, South African students and community members all came forward to support this initiative to divest from Israel”s occupation.

The moral imperative is clear. We must respond to the calls of the international community and of the Palestinian people to unequivocally condemn what Israel is doing. If we cannot follow up on calls from the International Court of Justice, the United Nations, Red Cross International, Palestinian civil society, and many other human rights organizations, no one else will.

We call, then, on all our supporters today, at Berkeley and around the country, to spread the divestment initiative in solidarity with our brothers in sister struggling until they are free in their own homeland, Palestine.

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