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U Cal Student Gov’t votes to divest from most of world, including U.S.

U Cal Student Gov’t votes to divest from most of world, including U.S.

Self-parody, as anti-Israel divestment morphs — Can we divest from U. Cal?

We have covered anti-Israel student government divestment votes the past couple of years.

Groups, typically led by Students for Justice in Palestine assisted by Jewish Voice for Peace, try to get student governments to vote to divest from specified companies doing business in Israel, such as Caterpillar and HP. Sometimes they succeed, mostly they fail. In the end, it’s purely symbolic, since student governments have no such power.

Symbolism matters, though, because the campus movement is part of a larger goal of demonizing and dehumanizing Jewish Israelis.  Even when they lose a vote, the BDS crowd claims victory because they forced people to talk about their issue.

Last academic year there were a series of divestment initiatives that failed, but recently in the U. California system, several have passed. The anti-Israel groups are very strategic, taking the time to elect their supporters to student councils, and that long-term strategy has paid off in places like UCLA, which rejected divestment last spring, only to see it pass this fall after a change of board membership.

One thing that slowly is coming to light, however, is that the anti-Israel movement is not the grassroots, student-led movement it purports to be. In fact, it has a highly coordinated, well-funded action plan assisted and coordinated by outside groups.

A column in the UCLA Bruin newspaper details what is happening, Co-author of UCSA resolution needs to disclose affiliations:

In 2014, Kurwa [the student leader who drafted the UCLA boycott resolution] joined the leadership of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. This is particularly relevant to student government because this same organization has published a handbook about orchestrating campus divestment against Israel. The handbook encourages students to contact university administrators as part of their campaign, but avoid revealing their full intentions during these interactions. And while the handbook states that divestment was “introduced in North America as a stepping stone toward a broad, comprehensive boycott of Israel,” it tells students to publicly claim that divestment only targets “Israel’s occupation.” Kurwa should explain why an off-campus group he helps lead is instructing activists to deceive university administrators and students.

Furthermore, Kurwa should have disclosed that outside interests are extremely involved in running campus divestment across America. In the spring of 2013, divestment lobby groups created the National Campus BDS Support Team to “streamline and enhance support for campus campaigns” by providing research, talking points, texts and professional legal reviews for student divestment resolutions. These off-campus organizations have a combined annual budget of at least $42 million. Kurwa is listed on Support Team materials as a contact for SJP chapters around the country.

To stage their national conferences, Kurwa and SJP’s leadership use money from an off-campus organization called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)….

The anti-Israel movement had another success today, at the University of California system-wide Student Council, where two divestment motions passed, 9-1-6.

The first Resolution was the usual divestment from Israel, and the Israel motion was the focus of heated protest.

Pro-Israel students walked out in protest (see Featured Image)

Outside, the pro-Israel students sang the U.S. and Israeli national anthems.

Inside, the anti-Israel students also voted to support a boycott of the U.S., among other countries, through a second Resolution calling for divestment from American, Mexican, Russian, Turkish, Indonesian, Brazilian, Sri Lankan, and Egyptian government bonds.

As to the U.S., the grounds for divestment were:

WHEREAS, The government of the United States of America is engaged in drone strikes that have killed over 2,400 people in Pakistan and Yemen, many of them civilians. The government oversees, by far, the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement agencies, particularly for drug­ related offences. 400,000 undocumented immigrants are held in detention centers every year, and millions have been
deported since the current Administration took office, and the government is directly supporting and propping up numerous dictatorships around the world with weapons sales and foreign aid.

WHEREAS, The University of California conducts research and accepts funding from the United States Department of Defense and the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), institutions actively involved in the United States’ military actions worldwide, on its Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego, San Francisco, and Merced campuses, thereby furthering and enabling military agendas;

The Resolution demands:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association calls upon the University of California to withdraw investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in the aforementioned governments, at such time and in such manner as fund trustees may determine; and that the University of California maintain the withdrawal of investments, in accordance with trustees’ fiduciary duty, until these governments are no longer engaged in the violation of human rights and other behavior that fail to adhere to the University of California endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student
Association determines if it is found that UC funds are being invested in any of the above mentioned governments, the University of California Student Association calls upon the University of California to divest all stocks and securities of such governments, at such time and in such manner as fund trustee may determine, and maintain divestment from said governments, in accordance with the fund trustees’ fiduciary duty, until they meet the University of California endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment;

The second Resolution is sufficiently broadly worded to also require divestment from almost every Muslim-dominated country in the Middle East, were discrimination against Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities is rampant and institutionalized:

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association calls upon our university to dissociate itself from governments and companies that engage or aid in systematic prejudiced oppression, whether this system targets people based on their religion, nationality, gender, race, or orientation, by divesting from governments and companies that participate in or profit from human rights violations.

If you consider the Palestinian Authority (in the West Bank) and Hamas (in Gaza) a “government,” regardless of whether it is a “state,” then the resolution forbids investment or any form of association with those groups, who practice gross discrimination, including against gays.

Think about that. If they had their way, the student government of the U. Cal. system would require divestment from U.S. Treasuries and most of the world.

The U. Cal. student government has proven a point I’ve made repeatedly in terms of the academic boycott: If you are going to boycott Israel, then you need to apply those standards to the whole world, which will result in boycotting yourselves.

I’m not glad that the Israel divestment passed, but at least it passed combined with a resolution which made the anti-Israel students and U. Cal student government look like fools.

Update 2-9-2015: And they celebrated (was it the victory over Israel, or the victory over America?):

Twitter UC Student Government Anti Israel Students Celebrate

Twitter UC Student Government To All The Zionist Scum

Back in the real world, sanity prevails:


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One of the problems in combatting this movement is, in my view, that it is so much easier to tear down and destroy than it is to build and nurture. So much easier to rebel than it is to be civilized.

It reflects just how delicate civilized society is. We take it for granted at our peril.

There are two things I think we should be doing that I believe would do more than just about anything else to steer America’s troubled youth in the right direction:

1) Require all Americans serve a two-year stint in the military, a la Israel, Singapore, South Korea, etc.

2) Require that any classes outside the three R’s first begin with personal finance and investing. Get kids interested in, and make them feel they have a stake in, the success of American business.

I think all this kiddie posturing would wither on the poisonous vine.

    Coercion is not a solution. I think the broader solution is to remove the fat thumb of uncle sam from the scales of the market for education. Forcing people to do things using the brute force of the government creates the type of insanity that we are seeing in the colleges now. Doing more of it makes things worse not better.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Shane. | February 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      The kind of coercion I would get behind would affect the populace and the electorate in ways so as to make coercion less and less necessary.

        The means NEVER justify the ends unless of course you are a progressive, which I think that you are NOT 🙂

          LukeHandCool in reply to Shane. | February 8, 2015 at 8:56 pm

          I am definitely not a progressive.

          There is a degree of coercion in all governing forms of government.

          Requiring your children be vaccinated is a form of coercion. I can live with that.

          There’s nothing wrong with military service. I’m not saying it would necessarily be to the degree where it would preclude you from other simultaneous pursuits. But think of the dividends of instilling self-discipline, self-respect, and other values leading to a successful life into America’s underclass. Think of the benefits of everyone learning first hand about the defense of our country and the use of weapons for defense, both personal and societal.

          And saying if there are to be K-12 school electives, that personal finance and investing be first in line, has to be one of the more benign instances of coercion in history.

          If you agree that a large part of our society has gone off the rails, then we need ideas to get them back on the rails. If you believe that the facts of life are indeed conservative, then a little such coercion until things are fixed is a solution pointing towards greater freedom, not less.

          I don’t see anything else in all practicality breaking this entrenched, never-ending cycle of failure and dysfunction of huge swaths of our population.

          And related, this dysfunction is now morphing and manifesting in socioeconomically stable children as a contagion of radical silliness in our educational system, especially at the university level, which, although silly and absurd, is nonetheless extremely dangerous if and when completely played out.

          I’ve gone on so long I’ve now forgotten what point I was driving at. Time for dinner.

          Walker Evans in reply to Shane. | February 8, 2015 at 9:14 pm

          As a 22 year veteran of our military I concur; conscript armies don’t work well. However with that said, Luke has a good point, with one modification as outlined in Heinlein’s Starship Troops*. Make that two years completely voluntary but restrict the franchise and any, repeat, any government job and political office to those who have successfully completed that two years of voluntary service. Further, the volunteer has no choice as to what that service will entail; it could be some job in a nice office, or testing new survival gear in the Arctic, or toting an M-4 in some very unpleasant location swarming with unfriendly natives!

          *The book, not that horrid mess Hollywood turned out using the name and a couple of characters and not much else.

    We have the finest military in the world, with the best trained military personnel. Why you would wish to ruin it with forced servitude is beyond me. There are no shortage of highly qualified young people joining the military. The last time we did that it worked poorly.

    Do not make the mistake of comparing our country with smaller populations like S. Korea or Israel. Do you have any idea just how many 18-20 year olds there are?

>>”but at least it passed combined with a resolution which made the anti-Israel students and U. Cal student government look like fools.”

They don’t care. It’s doubtful anybody does, really. Coherence doesn’t matter much anymore. It’s all emotion. “The worst are full of passionate intensity…” It’s all coming apart, and “looking like a fool” is not the big deal it once was.

David R. Graham | February 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Paul Tillich in The Theology Of History, pps. 37 and 39:

“The God of time is the God of history. This means, first of all, that He is the God who acts in history towards a final goal. History has a direction, something new is to be created in it and through it.

“Synagogue and Church should be united in our age, in the struggle for the God of time against the gods of space. This is a period in which more than ever, since Christianity has overcome paganism, the gods of space show their power over souls and nations. If this would happen, if all those who struggle for the Lord of history, for his justice and truth, are united even under persecution and martyrdom, the eternal victory in the struggle between time and space will become visible once more as the victory of time and the one God who is the Lord of history.”

Seems apropos this feeble-minded common thievery from the BDS gods of space.

Again: get taxpayers out of the business of funding and subsidizing higher education institutions, faculties, and students. Then let them do whatever stupid things they wish with their own money.

I have a hunch half the anti-Israel crowd wouldn’t be there, and the parents of the rest might insist they work on their schooling instead of wasting time on crap like this.

Accepted as factual, the “Daily Bruin” column is very well done, enlightening, and should be worrisome to the student body at large and the administration. Members of the UC (UCLA?) student government probably consider themselves exceptionally enlightened, however, in light of the column in the “Bruin” it would be interesting to know if any of them have ever given serious thought to the notion that they are viewed as rubes and being used as patsies by Kurwa and his backers. Just a thought.

The Friendly Grizzly | February 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

One way to end a lot of this nonsense is for taxpayers to demand their education money be spent on that which will potentially return value to the taxpayer.

Taxpayer-funded institutions, if they exist at all, should offer STEM courses, with some fine arts COURSES offered in order to offer a rounded education. But! No art MAJORS, no drama MAJORS, or that sort of thing.

As for [grievance-group] Studies: shut ALL of that nonsense down. Every last bit of it.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | February 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Add to it that, in lieu of liberal arts majors, those students should ALL be taking business courses – and WORK TO PAY THEIR TUITION during the rest of the week. A college in Missouri already does that, and students there graduate without a penny’s worth of debt.

    Why? Old-time, homespun wisdom comes to play here: “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.”

    Keep these students WORKING and LEARNING how to earn a living, and they will be WAAY TOO BUSY to even dream about “social justice”, Socialism, anti-Americanism or anti-Zionism.

    (Let us all remember that Karl Marx promulgated his “theories” as a pampered, lazy man who starved his kids to death.)

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | February 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm

We should bring back the draft, which would make our politicians much less willing to go to war than they are now. But more importantly, the draft would have many more citizen’s with skin in the game, which is part of the problem today; no skin in this game of real life politics. It really has come down to how do our citizens participate in the governing of the country when many have little idea, or concept, of what our country is, what its role in the world is, and what their lack of involvement really means to them and to us all.

Really didn’t like the draft back then, even when I was a willing volunteer in the ARNG and then the Regular Army. Still it worked, draftees were pissed, especially the recent college graduates, but most served well and were a credit to themselves and the US.

That spirit of participating in the US seems a distant concept, little accepted by many today.

That all said, the draft back then was not fair when local draft boards were corrupt, or not, depending on local politics; stories of improper drafts existed; racial injustices too.

It was the existence of that draft more than anything else that caused the cries to end the Vietnam War, which was LBJ’s war of choice to build his image; a true phony Brian Williams type image.

Lastly, would “W” gone into Iraq if the Military had draftees? Perhaps, or not. My guess is no! Afghanistan, heck yes!

If one wants to divest from America, why not start with buying an airplane ticket. Go to Iran perhaps?

There are some caves in Afghanistan that would be the perfect domicile for these imbeciles.

[…] Jacobson of the conservative pro-Israel blog Legal Insurrection wrote of the resolutions: “The U. Cal. student government has proven a point I’ve made repeatedly in […]

they need to boycott electricity, turn out the lights and go home.

Eventually moonbat liberals will run out of things to boycott, so they’ll boycott boycotts and that’s the end of that.


[…] At the conservative blog Legal Insurrection, Cornell law professor William Jacobson offered an odd sort of praise for UCSA’s action, noting that at least critics of Israel were finally looking at other countries as well. […]