UK’s student body endorses divestment
In a historic move, the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK has thrown its weight behind campaigns targeting companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and breaches of international law.
A new page on the NUS website that went online today calls on students to campaign against the campus presence of Eden Springs and Veolia. In the preamble, NUS notes:
In a similar move to the South African Anti-Apartheid movement, activists in Palestine – from Students’ Unions to LGBTQ organisations – have asked international supporters to refrain from supporting companies and institutions that profit from or maintain the occupation.
For both Eden Springs and Veolia, NUS acknowledges the work already done on a number of campuses, and offers “resources and support” to any students wishing to organise their own campaign.
This comes soon after the NUS’ National Executive Committee voted to condemn a collaboration between King’s College London (KCL) and Ahava, an Israeli company located in an illegal West Bank settlement. In fact, NUS President’s subsequent letter to KCL’s Principal is also featured in the ‘Global Justice’ section of the website.
James Haywood, member of NUS’ NEC, commented: “NUS has historically been good on global issues – with the exception of Palestine. This is an encouraging step that Palestinians are being treated as equals in their demand for basic rights and protection from breaches of international law.”
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From the Archives
By Ron Forthofer | Palestine Chronicle | February 18, 2012
Madeleine Albright, former U.S. ambassador to the UN and former Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, once asked General Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
Albright’s statement nicely captures the U.S. approach to dealing with troublesome leaders. By troublesome, I mean those who have the temerity to oppose U.S. positions and who, at the same time, are far too weak to pose a real military threat to the U.S. Examples of nations that had such troublesome leaders include Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The leaders of Syria and Iran are also currently in the crosshairs.
Note the contrast between Albright’s words and those of President Eisenhower in his “Cross of Iron” speech in 1953. Eisenhower addressed the idea of regime change when he said: “Any nation’s right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.” He added: “Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.” Unfortunately the U.S., even under Eisenhower, did not base its actions on these words. … continue
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