USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Berkeley Divestment, Finkelstein USC Controversy, etc

Posted by uscsjp on April 12, 2010

Attack on Berkeley divestment bill dishonest and misleading

“A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill at the University of California, Berkeley (Troubling UC Berkeley Student Senate Bill on Israel, 5 April 2010). The ground-breaking bill calls for divestment from companies that profit from the perpetuation of the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza. They refer to the bill as ‘dishonest’ and ‘misleading’ and ‘based on contested allegations.’

Yet it is their letter that is both dishonest and misleading.

The bill is based on extensive, footnoted research (see A Bill in Support of UC Divestment from War Crimes).

Yet this coalition of Jewish groups does not contest any of the facts. Without offering any evidence, they dismiss findings by reputable organizations like the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Instead of condemning these human rights violations, they prefer to misinform the public by suggesting that it is somehow wrong to ‘take sides’ against universally-recognized injustice. In so doing, they effectively defend illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli military occupation that continues to disrupt everyday features of Palestinian life: education, health care, economic life and art and culture.

Further, they claim that the Berkeley bill calls on the university ‘to divest exclusively from Israel.’ They imply that the bill calls for divestment ‘from any company doing business with Israel.’

But this is simply not true.

The Berkeley bill focuses specifically on the Israeli occupation, not on Israel. While a vibrant and necessary debate on the merits of a total boycott and divestment from Israel continues around the world, it is not at issue here.

In reality, the bill divests only from two American companies that make money by equipping the occupation, General Electric and United Technologies — but no Israeli companies. It also announces an intention to divest from any company — whatever the nationality, and only after further research — that similarly profit from the occupation…”

-Sydney Levy and Yaman Salahi, The Electronic Intifada, 12 April 2010

And From CounterPunch:

The Anat Kamm Affair

The Dark Underbelly of Israel’s Security State


in Nazareth.

“Next week 23-year-old Anat Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.

Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel’s security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.

This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.

Not a word about the case leaked in Israel until this week when the security services, who had won from the courts a blanket gag order — a gag on the gag, so to speak — were forced to reverse course when foreign bloggers began making the restrictions futile. Hebrew pages on Facebook had already laid out the bare bones of the story.

So, now that much of the case is out in the light, what are the crimes committed by Kamm and Blau?

During her conscription, Kamm copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig Gen Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank…

–Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch, 9-11 April, 2010

See also The Electronic Intifada:

Israel gags news on extrajudicial killings
Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 5 April 2010

Also, From The Daily Trojan

Regarding Dr. Finkelstein

“The news article published March 11 in the Daily Trojan under the title, ‘USG-funded speaker event draws criticism,’ was a misleading piece of journalism rife with bias against USG-funded guest speaker Dr. Norman Finkelstein, whom Students for Justice in Palestine hosted for a speech that night…”

–Letter to the Editor, The Daily Trojan, 23 March, 2010

USG should sponsor both sides of debate

“The university setting is an ideal forum for viewpoints from all political, cultural and ideological arenas; colleges across the country have a storied history of rigorously defending the right to free speech.

Tonight, controversial political scientist Norman Finkelstein will be lecturing at an event co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Levantine Cultural Center and the Undergraduate Student Government…”

–From the Editors of Daily Trojan, 10 March, 2010

Finally, a local event from Jeff Warner

Saturday, April 24, 2010, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

The Rebuilding Alliance 2nd Annual Peacemakers Dinner

at the Red Rock Chateau, Silverado Canyon, Orange County, CA
1   Cindy and Craig Corrie, Parents of Rachel Corrie, Advisory Board members
2   Congressman Brian Baird, Visited Gaza to see for himself, a clear advocate for Palestinian and Israeli human rights
3  Professor Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights

Info and reservations: Mary Bentley Abu-Saba, Rebuilding Alliance Outreach Director
510 205 1469,


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