As socialists, we are committed to fighting for a world free from oppression and for the self-determination of all people. We therefore stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their anti-colonial struggle for liberation and will fight until they can live in their homes without the everyday terror of military occupation; blockade and second-class citizenship in Israel; incessant waves of state-protected settler violence and execution by Israeli Defense Force soldiers; and separation from one another by Israel's colossal apartheid wall.
On our own campus, we fully support Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Columbia University Apartheid Divest in their struggle to divest our university's endowment from Israeli occupation. We believe that divesting from Israeli Apartheid is a necessary step towards building a just university community that supports its members' rights to free speech regardless of the political interests of its donors.
The battle for justice in Palestine is inextricably linked to struggles against all forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, imperialism, the destruction of the environment, the list goes on and on. As socialists, we believe in the unique power of the international working class and oppressed people to change society, and see BDS and justice for the Palestinian people as central components in today's fight for a better world.
We, Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, support the group Columbia University Apartheid Divest in calling for Columbia to divest our endowment from the following corporations that profit from Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights, as stated in CUAD's petition: Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Elbit Systems, Mekorot, Bank Hapoalim, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.
The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is long and complex, and a debate over the details often obscures the larger truth: Israel is taking the land of and abusing the human rights of Palestinians and Arabs; certain corporations profit from those endeavors; and institutions like our university profit from these unethical corporations.
We support divestment as a tactic for achieving equal, human rights for Palestinians and Arabs in Israel and in the region specifically because it has been called for by a coalition of hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations since 2005. In the face of a great power differential of legal rights, financial resources, and military power with Israel, these organizations have found turning to the international community for support through the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement to be extremely powerful.
Divestment is a tactic that addresses the contemporary reality in the region. The companies represented include those that have supplied equipment to extralegally demolish Palestinian homes, erect Israeli settlements, build a wall that expropriates land and divides Palestinian communities, support asymmetric warfare, and more. Mekorot, an Israeli utility that controls water access in the area and already restricts access based on nationality, is only a suggestion of how climate change will exacerbate problems of equity in access to land and life-sustaining resources.
Let us repeat — this campaign is an affirmation of the equal rights of Palestinians and Arabs. This is not a campaign targeting Israelis or Jews as a people; divestment targets institutions that perpetuate the state's ability to commit documented human rights violations. Furthermore, we know that neither the broader Jewish community nor the citizenry of Israel, itself, is a monolith in consensus on Israel's practices. Israel does not speak for all Jews, or even all Israelis.
Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab sentiment exist on this campus, in activism of all political tendencies, in our country, and our world. We acknowledge the traumas that have affected all sides of this debate, and we are dedicated to fighting racism in every form.
We make this statement after lengthy discussion, but also knowing that our understanding of the conflict is incomplete. We, CDCJ, ask people to support fossil fuel divestment with a good but incomplete knowledge of the complex phenomenon of climate change; instead of knowing every detail of the science, we ask them to understand our values. Through conversations with Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, the coalition that forms Columbia University Apartheid Divest, we have come to see supporting divestment from the corporations named in the CUAD petition as being in line with our values. We stand for an end to racism and for a commitment to sharing resources equitably, both now and as we face the pressure cooker of climate change in the decades to come.
The MSA board unequivocally supports and stands in solidarity with Columbia University Apartheid Divest in its campaign to hold the university accountable to its institutional values of equality and human dignity. The MSA board further recognizes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as a powerful tool to pressure the University to divest from companies that further the apartheid system and the occupation of Palestinian lands, which is illegal according to UN Security Council Resolution 446. We endorse the call to respect Palestinian human rights in full compliance with international law, as communicated in the three points of BDS:
Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
The Quran and the Hadith, in many instances, stress the importance of upholding justice for humanity. Surat al Nisa', Ayah 135 says: "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do." As Muslims, it is our duty to defend basic human rights, stand on the side of the oppressed, and to follow what is right above all else. It is within the call of our religion to stand with the oppressed, and to end all forms of oppression; those who remain silent in the face of truth are complicit in the oppressive occupation of Palestinian land.
We stand in support of BDS specifically because it is a human rights-based strategy, and as such opposes all forms of discrimination — including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We encourage Columbia students and our general body to sign the petition and learn more about the necessity of BDS until Columbia begins investing responsibly and Israel complies with international law.
The Board of Columbia Queer Alliance is in solidarity with Columbia University Apartheid Divest. As an organization that has fought for the human rights of queer and trans students for almost 50 years, we align ourselves with the goals of the campaign as it is embedded in the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to fight for and protect the human rights of the Palestinian people.
As Black students at Columbia and Barnard, we have witnessed the many faces of oppression and we have heard it called by many names. We are aware that our own fight for humanity is not the only that occurs here. We acknowledge the many intersections that lie between the plight of indigenous people worldwide and that of Black communities within the Diaspora. Our struggle is one of many in the larger scheme of global systems of oppression.
Today, The Black Students' Organization stands in firm solidarity with Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace, and Columbia University Apartheid Divest during an active and ongoing struggle to end Columbia University's investment in Israeli Apartheid and, conversely, the mass mistreatment of Palestinians from Palestine to the United States and everywhere in between. We are all too familiar with the pain that accompanies living within an institution that invests in the demise of our own people.
The BSO condemns any co-optation of the Black liberation movement to promote settler-colonialism and a state that perpetuates apartheid. The decision to relate the experiences, past and present, of Black people in the United States in order to further the Zionist movement is, both, misinformed and a blatant subversion of the work that continues to be done in the name of true equity.
We reject the notion that peace may only come at the expense of justice. We refuse to be complicit in institutionalized violence against the people of Palestine. We urge the Columbia community to join us in this stand for justice.
The Board of CU Turath stands in solidarity with Columbia University Apartheid Divest. The call for divestment from Israeli Apartheid is one rooted in Turath's responsibility to uphold its values as a voice for Arab students and their unique political context.
We particularly condemn the Israel Defense Force's continued occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories whose violence directly affects many students at Columbia and other institutions; as a student group whose primary responsibility is to promote Arab culture and represent Arab students at Columbia University, Turath recognizes the need to enact Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) to ensure human rights of the Palestinian people.
While Turath remains a cultural organization, we stand in solidarity precisely because Zionism stands to erase and deny our cultural expression as Arabs. We will not accept the continued forms of cultural cooptation, appropriation, and abduction on behalf of the State of Israel and encourage Columbia students to sign the petition and learn more about how BDS is necessary until Israel complies with international law.
Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Advocating for climate justice is an intersectional struggle that encompasses the pre-existing systems of oppression of marginalized identities along gendered, racial and class lines. Divest Barnard from Fossil Fuels recognizes the complexity and disparity of struggles against environmental exploitation based on race, class and gender. The oppression of Palestinians living in territories occupied by the Israeli state is manifested in unjust resource allocation, environmental degradation, and political disenfranchisement. For these reasons, Divest Barnard recognizes the intersectionality of environmental justice with the struggle of the Palestinian people, and stands in solidarity with the Columbia University Apartheid Divest campaign.
Columbia University is profiting from investments in companies that violate Palestinian human rights through the exploitation of natural resources. The Columbia University Apartheid Divest campaign targets specific companies that profit from Israel's violations of human rights and international law. A notable example is Mekorot, Israel's national water utility, which destroys Palestinian irrigation systems and diverts water resources from the Occupied Territories for use by illegal Israeli settlements. Because of practices like these, Palestinians are afforded only 70 liters of water per person per day, below the 100 recommended by the World Health Organization and dwarfed by the 300 provided to the Israelis.
The exploitation of the environment is both a mechanism for and outcome of oppression, and divestment can serve as an effective political tool to counter this. As a campaign founded on the principle of environmental justice, we must account for all systems of oppression that inhibit this pursuit as we strive for a productive exchange within the larger liberation movement.
The Board of GendeRevolution is in solidarity with Columbia University Apartheid Divest. As an organization that fights for the human rights of queer and trans students, we align ourselves with the goals of the campaign as it is embedded in the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to fight for and protect the human rights of the Palestinian people.
No Red Tape stands in solidarity with Columbia University Apartheid Divest. As an organization which fights to end rape culture, we recognize that sexual violence is intimately connected with colonialism, imperialism, and other forms of state violence. As shown by the stories of Rasmeah Odeh and countless Palestinian survivors, sexual violence has routinely been used as a tool of oppression against Palestinian women. It is unacceptable that women's bodies continue to be targeted as part of Israel's project of occupation. Because of these connections, our cause is intertwined with the Palestinian people's struggle for liberation. We support Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voices for Peace as they call on Columbia to divest from Israeli Apartheid and affirm the basic rights of Palestinian people.
Student-Worker Solidarity stands for the rights of workers everywhere, whether they be in West Harlem or in Ramallah. From the 1936 general strikes against early Zionist settlers and British occupiers to those of the First Intifada, the resilience of Palestinian workers has long taught us that decolonization and labor struggle cannot be separated.
It is the same inhumane and relentless drive for profit which corporatizes our university and pays workers starvation wages that fuels the necessity for United States' and U.S.-backed imperial projects abroad. It is this profit-before-people system that drives the occupation of Palestine, and also makes our campus unlivable for working and low-income people. We therefore see our struggles as inextricably intertwined.
In that vein we stand by our allies Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace as they launch their campaign calling for Columbia University to divest its stocks, funds, and endowment from companies that profit from the State of Israel's ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid law.