On Wednesday, April 14th, the UC Berkeley Student Senate voted on the bill to divest from Israel (essentially to override the UC Berkeley President's veto of the passed divestment bill).
Good news: The bill failed with 12 in favor of divestment, 7 against divestment, 1 member abstaining. (The Senate needs over a 2/3 majority to pass the bill).
Not so good news: The vote was reconsidered and tabled until next week. The Senate will have its final vote on Wednesday, April 21. Of course there is the possibility that Senators could change their minds for better or worse.
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The University of California Berkeley Student Senate accused Israel of war crimes and is attacking companies that support Israel. On March 17, the Student Senate passed a resolution that the University should divest itself of any companies in which it owns stock that does business with Israel. The resolution targets over $130m invested in companies that supply jobs, parts and electronics to Israel.
On March 24th, the Student Body President of UC Berkeley vetoed the bill. The President called the resolution: “a symbolic attack on a specific community” that is “being used as a tool to delegitimize Israel.”
The Student Senate voted to override the veto on April 14th 12-7-1; however the vote was then tabled again until Wednesday, April 21 where the final vote will take place Until then, local campus groups such as UC Berkeley Hillel are meeting with members of the Senate.
Thomas Friedman wrote, "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."
Elie Wiesel wrote, " Israel is not pre-Mandela South Africa. One may disagree with certain decisions of its government, but they do not constitute a policy of Apartheid. I have witnessed Apartheid and fought it wherever I spoke throughout the world. I ask you to believe me: any such comparison is malicious and untrue."
- Article on details of vote
- See the full text of the Student Senate's resolution
- See the full text of the UC Berkeley President’s veto
"Campus Hypocrisy" by Thomas Friedman
- jWeekly Article
-OpEd Update: U.C. Berkeley vote on divestment reveals a misguided student senate
-Freedom House Rankings of the world's most free countries
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