Bill Urging UC Divestment in Israel Passed by ASUC Senate

Photo: More than 100 students attended a Wednesday night meeting at which ASUC senators passed a controversial bill urging the university to divest from companies who supplied Israel with materials used in alleged war crimes. The meeting had to be moved to Eshleman Library to accommodate the record number of attendees.
Catherine Shyu/Staff
More than 100 students attended a Wednesday night meeting at which ASUC senators passed a controversial bill urging the university to divest from companies who supplied Israel with materials used in alleged war crimes. The meeting had to be moved to Eshleman Library to accommodate the record number of attendees.

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ASUC senators passed a controversial bill urging the university to divest from companies who supplied Israel with materials used in alleged war crimes at a meeting Wednesday night which drew a record number of attendees from the campus community.

The meeting venue had to be moved to the Eshleman Library to accommodate the more than 100 students, faculty and staff in attendance. Senators voted 16-4 to pass the bill following four hours of discussion involving about 80 speakers.

"You can make sure that when the next bomb lands on families and children that not a cent of UC Berkeley money is on it," said Liz Jackson, a second-year student at Boalt Hall School of Law who said she was Jewish.

Student Action Senator and presidential candidate Noah Stern and Student Action Senators Sandra Cohen, Parth Bhatt and Anish Gala voted against the bill.

President Will Smelko could not be reached for comment as of press time to determine whether he would veto the bill.

While the final bill included an amendment urging divestment from all nations accused of alleged attacks on civilian populations throughout the Middle East, some students still disapproved of the bill that was passed.

Rachel Horning, a sophomore sociology major, said that she was deeply disappointed in the senate for passing the bill.

"Not only is the bill one-sided and a completely biased account of a controversial question about Middle Eastern politics, but the ramifications of the bill are rooted in an anti-Semitic stance that Cal should be ashamed to support," she said.

Stern said he felt the bill failed to represent all student views on campus and that the ASUC should not sponsor a bill that divides the student body.

"This bill upset a lot of students on campus and that is why I could not support the bill," he said. "I'm pro-peace, pro-negotiation and pro-reconciliation, and in no way does this bill foster any of those."

Tags: ISRAEL, TIKVAH: STUDENTS FOR ISRAEL, STUDENT FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE, PALESTINE, ASUC SENATE


Contact Allie Bidwell at [email protected]



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