To the UCSA Board Members,
We, the signatories of this letter, a coalition of student organizations, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty of the University of California, proudly endorse the forthcoming Resolution in Support of Divestment from Corporations Violating Palestinian Human Rights.
The targeted companies are intricately involved in Israel’s ongoing system of military occupation that denies Palestinians their basic rights. Companies such as Caterpillar, Cement Roadstone Holdings, CEMEX, and Hewlett-Packard help produce, service, and sell equipment used in the systematic violation of Palestinian human rights, through the construction of the Separation Barrier deemed illegal by the United Nations, the forced demolition of Palestinian homes, and the establishment of inhumane checkpoints throughout the the West Bank. These measures, enacted by the Israeli government and enforced by the military, deprive Palestinians of their freedom of movement and their rights to own property and to access education and healthcare. Other companies, including Boeing, General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and United Technologies, manufacture and sell arms used in attacks against Palestinian civilians and infrastructure, as was the case in the horrific assault on Gaza this past summer, when hospitals, schools, and homes were destroyed, resulting in the death of over 2200 Palestinians, over 500 of whom were children. These attacks have been decried by major human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who have described them as gross violations of international law.
It is unthinkable that companies would willingly enable and profit from such atrocities, but it is worse still that the University of California would invest UC funds into such companies, in turn profiting from and perpetuating the violence inflicted upon Palestinian communities. In light of the UC Regents’ ongoing investment in companies involved in systematic oppression, student governments of the University of California have voted in support of divestment of UC funds from said companies. These include Davis, Berkeley, Irvine, San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles (Santa Cruz also took a majority vote, which was stricken by its president). In addition to these undergraduate bodies, the UC Graduate Student Worker Union, UAW 2865, recently voted to support the call for divestment. These votes are the culmination of years of activism by thousands of students across the University of California, particularly Palestinians, who have worked tirelessly to educate and mobilize campuses in support of divestment.
As the collective voice of the University of California’s student body, it is your responsibility to advocate on our behalf. After having secured the votes of a majority of undergraduate student governments at the University of California and the UC Graduate Student Worker Union, we call upon you, as the elected representatives of the student body, to recognize these votes and carry this call to the UC Regents.