UC Irvine student gov unanimously accuses Israel of ‘institutionalized violence’ and ‘human rights abuse’
Cheers erupted Tuesday evening at the University of California Irvine (UCI) as the school’s student senate passed a resolution, 16-0, accusing Israel of “human rights abuse and institutionalized structural violence against the Palestinian people.”
The resolution was passed just hours before Israeli warplanes began an air offensive on Wednesday against Hamas' terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza strip in retribution for sustained rocket attacks on Israeli civilian populations.
The document also demanded UCI divest from corporations that “promote the dehumanization and humiliation of the Palestinians” and “fragmentize and strangle the Palestinian economy” by doing business in Israel.
“Let it finally be resolved, that we, the students, call upon our university to dissociate itself from groups or companies that promote systematic prejudiced oppression, whether this system targets people based on their religion, gender, race or orientation, by divesting from companies that participate in or profit from human rights violations,” reads the resolution.
Among these corporations named as collaborators with Israel's human rights offenses were Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, and Caterpillar.
UCI officials, however, said the university currently has no plans to comply with the students' resolution.
“Such divestment is not the policy of the campus, nor is it the policy of the University of California,” reads a statement issued Wednesday by UCI.
It added that “The UC Board of Regents’ policy requires this action only when the U.S. government deems it necessary” and that “no such declaration has been made regarding Israel.”
But In a press release, Traci Ishigo, President of the Associated Students of UCI, expressed her support for the legislation.
“The decision made by ASUCI’s legislative Council tonight clearly shows the strength and integrity of students utilizing their collective power to protect human rights on a global scale and I stand firmly by the students who believe it is their responsibility to have a voice on matters that urge the UC to be an institution that treasures human dignity,” she said.
In 2010 eleven students at UCI were arrested and eventually convicted for repeatedly disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.
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