Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Support anti-BDS Effort at Northwestern University

Last month, the Associated Student Government (ASG) Senate at Northwestern University narrowly passed a resolution asking the university to divest from 6 corporations that do business with Israel.  The resolution is in support of the BDS movement.  The resolution is symbolic and the university has not changed its policy on investments.

I don't have a connection to Northwestern University, but a good friend who does has asked me to help circulate a letter expressing displeasure with the action of the ASG.  Please read below.  There is a link where you can add your name to sign the letter.


Dear Fellow Northwestern University Stakeholder,
On February 19th, the Associated Student Government (ASG) of NU undergraduates passed a resolution, 24 to 22, calling on Northwestern University to divest of investment in six corporations. This resolution was proposed by NUDivest at the behest of the Boycott Divest and  Sanction Israel movement (BDS). While the resolution in itself does not reflect official NU policy, it does send an unhealthy and dangerous signal that the NU community supports the larger goals of BDS. Those goals demonize the State of Israel without any context as to the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do not recognize the many human rights advances implemented by Israel, and overlook the human rights abuses advanced in certain Palestinian communities. BDS is forthright in its attempts to suppress discourse and impose an outcome. BDS seeks to boycott academic exchanges with Israeli universities and all commerce with Israel.  
We are asking only those connected to the Northwestern community to sign on to the letter via this link. The letter for your consideration is below.  You will be asked on the link to indicate your connection to NU either as a current student, alum, faculty member (past or current), parent of a student or alum, staff member, or donor.
We ask with gratitude that you forward this email to as many fellow Northwestern community members as you can.

Scott Shay, WCAS '79, KSM '80
Samantha Stankowicz, WCAS '14
Dear ASG Student Senate Members,
We are heartbroken.
On February 19th, the ASG passed a resolution endorsing a goal of the Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel (BDS) movement.
We encompass and represent the entire spectrum of those with opinions on ways to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict. None of us are happy with the status quo. We all want an agreement that allows for all the peoples in the area, whether they identify as Israeli or Arab or Jew or Muslim or Christian or any combination, to have the freedom to live lives of safety and security, peace, prosperity, and political empowerment. However, we are united in knowing that the conflict will never be resolved by the demonization of Israel or by brute sanction of Israel. It will be solved only by the type of discussion and conflict resolution which BDS would extinguish were it successful. NU has a proud tradition of providing a safe space for people of differing views. The implications of the resolution passed by ASG are a sad and tragic departure from that purple tradition which we all cherish.
We, the undersigned members of the NU community of all race, creed, color, religion and gender definition, declare that the resolution that you passed is not in our name.
**By signing this form you consent to being a signatory on this letter and recognize this letter may be disseminated on social media or news publications**