Jewish Voice for Peace is puzzled by University of California President Mark Yudof’s statement on the recent divestment efforts at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.
President Yudof has either not read the text of the bills or is choosing to misinterpret them, as neither bill called on “divestment from companies that are doing business with Israel.” Rather, the bills called for divestment from companies that,
“a) provide military support for or weaponry to support the occupation of the Palestinian territories or b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the illegal wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes, or c) facilitate the building, maintenance, or economic development of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories.”
President Yudof further states that the UC Regents will only “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.”
This policy is doubly wrong.
First, because we believe divestment should not wait until a situation has reached the point of genocide.
Second, because the very reason that divesting from the Israeli occupation is so urgent is because the United States government has failed so far to pressure Israel to end its occupation and bring its action in accordance to international human rights standards.
If one were to follow Mr. Yudof’s standard, the University of California would not have been able to divest from Nazi Germany before the outbreak of Second World War. This makes no sense.
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