University of California execs say they’ll only divest from occupation if US gov’t finds genocide

by Jeff Blankfort and Phil Weiss on May 11, 2010

Yesterday Weiss wrote that Elena Kagan’s nomination calls on American Jews to recognize our prominence in the elite of American society. Here’s some more evidence. According to wikipedia, Marc Yudof, an educator who is president of the University of California, is Jewish and has sterling Zionist credentials:

In 1993, he and his wife, Judy, were the co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award. Judy Yudof became the first female international president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in 2002

The Jewish National Fund was the chief means of taking former Palestinian lands and making them Jewish in Israel and Palestine.

Sherry Lansing is vice chair of the University of California Board of Regents. The big movie executive, she is also Jewish. We don’t know if she is a Zionist.

But yesterday, responding to Blankfort’s email, Yudof sent back a statement signed by himself, Lansing and Russell Gould, who is chair of the board of regents, slamming the divestment-from-the-occupation campaign by students at two schools in the system:

…In 2005, the Regents stated that a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. It was also noted at the time that divestment is a serious decision that should be rarely pursued.

We share The Regents’ belief that divestment needs to be undertaken with caution. We firmly believe that if there is to be any discussion of divestment from a business or country, it must be robust and fair-minded. We must take great care that no one organization or country is held to a different standard than any other. In the current resolutions voted on by the UC student organizations, the State of Israel and companies doing business with Israel have been the sole focus. This isolation of Israel among all countries of the world greatly disturbs us and is of grave concern to members of the Jewish community.

We fully support the Board of Regents in its policy to divest from a foreign government or companies doing business with a foreign government only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. The U.S. has not made any declaration regarding the State of Israel and, therefore, we will not bring a recommendation before the Board to divest from companies doing business with the State of Israel.

Note the concern for the Jewish community. Note the deference to the US government (we thought college was supposed to teach you to think for yourself!). Note that if such a line had been held in the ’80s, no one would have divested from Apartheid South Africa.

I'm a teacher, writer, and activist based in Bangalore. I am dedicated to various issues including #BDS and Palestine, living Zero Waste, and reversing the effects of climate change.

Posted in Divestment, Student Organizing, U.S. Academica
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