Student Call For Socially Responsible Investment: University of California Santa Cruz

By Students of University of California Santa Cruz

The University Of California, Santa CRuz

The following resolution was passed by the Student Union Assembly at University of California Santa Cruz to reinstate a resolution urging the University of California to divest from companies profiting from Israel’s ongoing human rights violations in the illegally occupied land of Palestine.

Resolution calling for “University Socially Responsible Investment” through Divestment from companies complicit in the severe violation of Palestinian human rights.

WHEREAS, UC Santa Cruz “is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism and fairness” and is “committed to due process, respect for individual dignity and equitable access to resources, recognition and rewards.”1 ;

WHEREAS, it is part of the purpose of the Student Union Assembly to “promote activism, civic participation, discussion, debate, and awareness of public issues from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints”2

WHEREAS, voluntary investment in a company and the earning of direct income from this company’s operations shows support for the decisions and actions of said company;

WHEREAS, UC Santa Cruz has a history of using divestment as a nonviolent strategy, having used it to selectively and publicly divest from companies engaged in unethical acts, most notably in the case of South Africa3 and most recently in the context of fossil fuels4;

WHEREAS, the role of student activists in exposing South Africa’s apartheid system and supporting equality, freedom, and dignity sets an example for us to follow as students of global consciousness;

WHEREAS, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are under a belligerent occupation, and along with Gaza are controlled through military force by the Israeli government5

WHEREAS, Israeli violations of human rights and international law have been observed and condemned by the international community6

WHEREAS, certain companies directly profit from and/or support many of Israel’s ongoing human rights violations, which have been documented by human rights organizations7;

WHEREAS, these ongoing violations of human rights and international law include the following:

As found by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the routing of the Separation Wall to expropriate Palestinian land is illegal under international law; the establishment and expansion of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is also illegal under international law8 and violates the Fourth Geneva Convention.9

6The UN General Assembly in dozens of resolutions; by the UN Security Council; by the International Court
of Justice’s 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Route of the Separation Wall in the West Bank; and by the United
Nations Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, among others;
7 Amnesty International Human Rights Watch, Al Haq, Defence for Children International, Addameer,
B’tselem, Adalah, Badil, and the Israeli Coalition Against Home Demolitions
8 http://www.icjcij.

As found by the United Nations fact finding mission, Palestinians’ rights to freedom of movement,
association, and residence are severely curtailed by Israel’s policies.10

WHEREAS, the US State Department has said, “the legitimacy of continued settlement activity” has not been accepted by any US administration;11

WHEREAS, the following is an illustrative and non exhaustive list of companies,which the university has invested in and directly support or profit from these violations of human rights and international law: General Electric (GE), Hewlett Packard (HP), Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, and Elbit;(see appendix 1)

WHEREAS, current UC Foundation investment in companies which directly profit from or support violations of human rights and international law against the Palestinian people does not represent a neutral stance on the Israeli occupation, but rather a policy of supporting and profiting from egregious violations of human rights and international law;

LET IT BE RESOLVED, that SUA should further examine UC assets for funds being invested in companies that directly profit from or support a) military support for, or weaponry to, support the Israeli occupation; b) the building or maintenance of the illegal Separation Wall or the demolition of Palestinian
homes, farms, or orchards; or c) the building, maintenance, or economic development of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem;

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED, that if it is found that UCSC funds or UC funds are being invested in any of the above mentioned companies that we call upon our University, the University of California Treasury, and the UCSC Foundation, in their discretion as trustees, to divest their holdings from these aforementioned companies. Moreover, we call upon UCSC to refrain from further investments, and to advocate that the UC system not make further investments, in any companies directly supporting or profiting from Israel’s occupation in the above mentioned ways;

LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED, that we, the students, believe that our University should not have a vested interest in companies that perpetuate systematic oppression and exploitation whether based on national origin, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation.

“Movement is restricted by physical obstacles, such as roadblocks, checkpoints and the Wall, but also by
administrative measures, such as identity cards, permits, assigned residence, laws on family reunification
and policies on the right to enter from abroad and the right of return for refugees. The restriction on the ability
to move freely, without obstacle or delay, or without another person’s authorization, is often perceived as a
humiliating experience”


WHEREAS, GE produces the T700GE701 engines of A64 Apache helicopters that are sold to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which are systematically used in attacks on Palestinian civilians, and whereas these attacks constitute severe human rights violations and war crimes as documented by Human Rights Watch
and Amnesty 12 International;13

WHEREAS, GE supplies the LM2500 gas turbine for Israel’s main naval ship Sa’ar 5 used during Operation Cast Lead in 20082009 and was also used to take over the Mavi Marmara ship on its way to lift the blockage of the Gaza Strip which is considered by the International Committee of the Red Cross as collective punishment in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international law;14

WHEREAS, Lockheed Martin provides the IDF with AH64 Apache parts and F16 fighter jets along with associated training, maintenance and parts.15 16

WHEREAS, the technology supplied by GE and Lockheed Martin for Apache helicopters have been implicated in human rights violations around the world including: the assassination of innocent civilians in Iraq including a Reuters camera crew17, the assassination of noncombatants
in Afghanistan18, illegal air strikes on civilian villages in Turkey by the Turkish government1920, and the U.S. government has supplied Apache helicopters to the Egyptian government21, although the Egyptian government has been found to violate the human rights of its citizens.

WHEREAS, HP systems are installed in Israeli military checkpoints specifically designed to control and monitor Palestinian civilian movement and in military prisons, known for torture and the illegal detention of children. HP runs the Israeli Population database and ID systems, routinely used for ethnic profiling, segregation and discrimination. HP also takes part in the development of the ‘Smart City Project’ which is illegally building settlements in the West Bank City of Ariel Produces and manufactures biometric ID cards;22 23

WHEREAS, in 2009 HP was awarded a multimillion dollar contract by California Department of Corrections Rehabilitation to create an “Electronic Cfile” for inmates and provide the opportunity for electronic data exchange with Jails, Courts, and the Office of Prison Healthcare Services. In 2010 HP


was awarded a contract by the US Department of Homeland Security ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) to speed up the internal process of deciding a person’s documentation status;24

WHEREAS, HP provides technological support for monitoring civilians around the world including the United States, China, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, and Syria;25

WHEREAS, Caterpillar’s tools have been used in demolitions of Palestinians' houses in the occupied territories, in the construction of the separation wall and settlements on Palestinian land, in military incursions and as weapons;26

WHEREAS, The Israeli army has used unmanned D9 bulldozers (Dawn Thunder) in the Dec 2008 attacks in Gaza, and has been using an unmanned version of the company's smaller tools (Front Runner) specially developed for urban warfare;27

WHEREAS, Elbit has been heavily involved in the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. The company supplies this project with a range of systems and products for border security and surveillance, including observation systems and smart fences. Elbit and its subsidiaries Elbit ElectroOptics
(ElOp) and Elbit Security Systems (Ortek) supply surveillance systems such as the LORROS (LongRange Reconnaissance and Observation System).28

WHEREAS, In the 2008-2009 attacks on Gaza, Elbit's Hermes 450 and 900, equipped with two SpikeMR missiles, were used to conduct attacks in Gaza that resulted in civilian casualties. In the 23day assault on Gaza, missiles fired from drones were directly attributed to the killing of 78 Palestinians, including 29 children, and wounding 73 others;2930

WHEREAS, In 2006, Elbit's subsidiary, Kollsmann, was contracted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to supply border security technology to the U.S.Mexico border.31