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Show Student Assembly R. 72: Resolution Urging Cornell University to Divest from Companies Profiting from Israeli Occupation and Human Rights Violations

Committee: Student Assembly

Period: 1 Jun 2013 - 31 May 2014

Position: 72

Name: Resolution Urging Cornell University to Divest from Companies Profiting from Israeli Occupation and Human Rights Violations

Comments allowed until: No comment period.

Description:

Content:

Whereas, Cornell University strives as part of its mission to "enhance the lives of its students, the people of New York, and others around the world;

Whereas, Cornell’s Standards of Ethical Conduct call for the university to “conduct, process, and report all financial transactions with integrity;

Whereas, Cornell students have a legacy of advocating for justice, including in campaigns for divestment from apartheid South Africa and unsustainable fossil fuels;

Whereas, we affirm the crucial role of students and scholars in finding and advocating for solutions to humanity's various crises, and all manifestations of oppression and racism, including anti­-Semitism, as well as to state actions like occupation;

Whereas, the occupied Palestinian territories are controlled militarily by the Israeli government;

Whereas, the occupation entails violations of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people, including but not limited to rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Whereas, the Israeli government is engaged in the ongoing building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, which violates the clause of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulating that the Occupying Power shall not “transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies,” upheld by the UN Security Council in Resolutions 237, 252, 298, and 446,

Whereas, the separation wall which the Israeli government is building in the West Bank has been declared “contrary to international law” by the International Court of Justice,

Whereas, United Nations General Assembly affirmed in Resolution 3175 that “all measures undertaken by Israel to exploit the human and natural resources of the occupied Arab territories are illegal;

Whereas, the United Nations General Assembly further affirmed in Resolution 3005 “the Principle of the sovereignty of the population of the occupied territories over their national wealth and resources,” and furthermore called “upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize or cooperate with, or assist in any manner in, any measures undertaken by the occupying Power to exploit the resources of the occupied territories or to effect any changes in the demographic composition or geographic character or institutional structure of those territories;

Whereas, Cornell University holds portfolio and direct investments in corporations that profit from Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, thereby making Cornell a complicit third party in human rights abuses and violations of international law;

Whereas, the following illustrative and non­exhaustive list of corporations, in which Cornell invests, profits from Israel’s military occupation and participates actively in these abuses and violations;

Whereas, Tata Motors produces specialized armored vehicles for the Israeli army, designed for urban combat, which Israel uses to defend its illegal settlements, to prevent Palestinian shepherds from herding their land, and to suppress Palestinian demonstrations;

Whereas, SodaStream maintains its central production plant in Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement located in the West Bank;

Whereas, Ingersoll­Rand creates and produces the technology used at Israeli checkpoints across the occupied Palestinian territories;

Whereas, Raytheon supplies Israel with missiles that are used against crowded residential areas such as refugee camps, and for targeted assassinations;

Whereas, Cornell University contracts with corporations that profit from Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, thereby making Cornell a complicit third party in human rights abuses and violations of international law;

Whereas, the following illustrative and non­exhaustive list of corporations, with which Cornell contracts, profits from Israel’s military occupation and participates actively in these abuses and violations;

Whereas, G4S provides security systems for Israeli prisons, detention centers, and interrogation facilities that specialize in holding Palestinian political prisoners, security services for various businesses in illegal Israeli settlements, and technology for Israeli checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian Territories, and provides deportation services to a range of governments, using techniques that fail to meet minimal standards of human rights;

Whereas, Hewlett Packard maintains a development center in Beitar Illit, an illegal Israeli settlement, provides services and technologies for two of the largest illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Modi’in Illit and Ariel, and supplies computer technology for Israeli ministry of defense;

Whereas, Cornell University upholds the principle of “freedom with responsibility,” which entails educating ourselves as members of the Cornell community about the location of university investments and the ethical implications of those investments;

Be it resolved, that Cornell University will further examine its assets for investments in companies that a) provide military support for, or weaponry to, the occupation of Palestinian territory or b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the illegal separation wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes, or c) facilitate the building, maintenance or economic development of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory;

Be it further resolved, that Cornell University will make information about all of its assets public, pertaining especially to its investments;

And be it finally resolved, that Cornell University will end its complicity with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and divest its holdings from the aforementioned companies and any other companies that profit directly from Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, Cornell University will not make further investments in companies that materially support or profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

Sponsors: Nicholas Vasko

Attachments:

Comments:

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Events

Date Event Description Attachments
2014-04-08 propose

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