DePaul University students vote to divest from apartheid Israel

Hats off to the students of DePaul University in Chicago, USA.

According to the university students’ newspaper, Depaulia, a majority of students approved in a referendum a resolution calling for divestment from Israel.

Students voted in favour of an SGA [Student Government Association] referendum calling on DePaul to withdraw its investments in companies that do business with Israel’s military and corporations that work in the West Bank and Gaza, easily passing by 54.2 per cent. A total of 2,908 votes were cast, with 45.8 per cent against the referendum.

The vote, dubbed “DePaul Divest”, followed weeks of campaigning by the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and counter demonstrations by several campus Jewish groups opposed to the measure.

According to the Electronic Intifada news website,

The question approved by students calls on the university to divest its funds from “corporations that manufacture weapons and provide surveillance technology to the Israeli government, army and prison services,” including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar.

These companies, the question states, “profit from Israel’s violation of the human rights of Palestinians and minorities within Israel” and help “violate people’s rights to life, movement, healthcare, education and freedom.”

“It is clear that Palestinian human rights, the rights of minorities within Israel and ethical investment are issues that concern the DePaul student body,” DePaul Divest, the student coalition supporting the initiative, state in a press release sent to The Electronic Intifada.

“This victory did not come without immense outside interference by pro-Israel lobbyist group StandWithUs, whose paid staff frequently presented themselves as individuals affiliated with DePaul University, canvassed the student body in a counter campaign to DePaul Divest,” the release states.

“Scare tactics were used to deter the student body from voting to affirm the human rights of Palestinians, but our victory today is evidence that this was not enough to stop DePaul students from standing on the side of justice,” campaign organizer and DePaul Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) member Areej Hamdan is quoted as saying in the release.

The noose is tightening on the world’s only surviving apartheid state.

That is clear to anyone who cares to look.

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