STOP the UC Regents from Investing in the Occupation of Palestine!

The UC Regents’ investment portfolio includes investments in corporations that play an active role in committing ongoing human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, thereby making the university a complicit third party. Based on the principles of corporate social responsibility, we call upon the UC Regents’ to stop further investments in corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    The bill reads as follows

    "An ASUCD Senate resolution urging the Board of Regents of the University of California (UC Regents) to undertake practices of corporate social responsibility through divesting from corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights; WHEREAS the State of Israel’s prolonged subjection of the occupied Palestinian population to military rule, and while settlers in the same territory enjoy full political and civil rights, violates customary international law, and treaty law including the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and, WHEREAS these ongoing violations include: (A) the annexation and separation wall that divides Palestinian land, deemed illegal in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in 2004, violates the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination; (B) the establishment and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; (C) restricting Palestinians’ freedom of movement; (D) forms of ill-treatment employed against Palestinian prisoners in violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture; and (E) illegal exploitation and pillage of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories that among other things, cut off access to primary water resources; and, WHEREAS several corporations, including Caterpillar Inc., G4S PLC and Veolia Environnement play an active role in committing the aforementioned human rights violations in the manner described below: Caterpillar provides the Israeli military with bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian property, including houses, refugee camps, basic infrastructure and agriculture through the uprooting of olive trees within the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as to expand illegal settlements and the illegal wall in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act; G4S PLC provides resources furthering human rights violations and systematic discrimination: the technology and equipment for Israeli checkpoints that impede Palestinians’ freedom of movement and transportation within the occupied Palestinian territory; security equipment, personnel, surveillance and maintenance services to Israeli prisons and juvenile detention facilities where violations of the rights of prisoners are committed, including medical negligence, torture, ill-treatment and solitary confinement of children and administrative detainees; Veolia Environnement subsidiaries hold permits to transfer waste from Israel and its illegal settlements into the Tovlan landfill in the occupied Palestinian territories, in violation of UN General Assembly resolutions. Veolia helped construct, owns shares in, and operates: (A) a light rail line linking illegal settlements in East Jerusalem with Israel, in violation of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 13/7 declaring its operation to be illegal; and (B) Ayalon wastewater treatment plant in Modi’in Ilit, an illegal Israeli settlement; and, WHEREAS these corporations have dismissed previous petitions to end the sale of their services and goods that facilitate these human rights violations; and, WHEREAS, the investment portfolio of the University of California’s endowment and pension fund includes holdings in these corporations, making the University of California a complicit third party in the aforementioned human rights violations of the Palestinian people; and, WHEREAS the UC Regents have adopted a Policy Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct that sets forth the expectation that members of the University community “exercise responsibility appropriate to their position and delegated authorities. They are responsible to each other, the University and the University’s stakeholders both for their actions and their decisions not to act;” and, WHEREAS through a demand of corporate responsibility and in affirming the inherent dignity of all, we believe that divestment is a nonviolent means of advocating for social justice, international law and peace, and is a time honored tactic that contributed significantly to ending apartheid in South Africa, among other global and domestic injustices. THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT, the Associated Students, University of California, Davis (ASUCD) calls upon the UC Regents to implement its Policy Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct and end its complicity in the violations of the rights of the Palestinian people by divesting from companies held within separately managed equity portfolios of the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) and the General Endowment Pool (GEP). The proposed policy would apply to both indexed and actively managed, publicly-traded equity portfolios THEREFORE LET IT BE FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, we urge the UC Regents to begin halting any future purchases of investments in the aforementioned companies and any other companies deemed to be (A) facilitating the building and maintenance of the illegal separation wall and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, (B) profiting from the exploitation of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories, and (C) engaging in practices that institutionally discriminate against individuals or groups based on ethnicity or religion."
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