Life During Capitalism- one history student's perspective on life during capitalism

"To omit or to minimize these voices of resistance is to create the idea that power only rests with those who have the guns, who possess the wealth, who own the newspapers and the television stations. I want to point out that people who seem to have no power, whether working people, people of colour, or women-once they organize and protest and create movements-have a voice no government can suppress." Howard Zinn

Friday, September 08, 2006

Auckland University should cut its exchange program with Israel

Auckland University should cut its exchange program with Israel
By Omar Hamed

Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) began a campaign on Thursday the 3rd of August to call on the University of Auckland to cut its student exchange program with Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology.

The campaign is in support of the over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organization including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions who issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against the brutal policies of the Israeli occupation and the separation wall.The campaign is designed to educate students and faculty about the human rights abuses and disregard of international law that the state of Israel is committing in south Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories.SJP are calling for a termination of the student exchange program as a way of applying moral and political pressure on the inhumane policies of Israel. The war crimes being committed by Israel in Lebanon and Palestine yesterday, today and tomorrow mean we can not sit idly by as innocent people are turned into corpses by the Israeli war machine.
On 30 July, during the Israeli attack on Lebanon, Israeli airstrikes hit an apartment building in Qana. It has been confirmed by the Lebanese Red Cross that at least 28 people were killed, 16 of which were children. This attack provoked the campaign but it is also a channeling of our grief and anger over the many thousands more innocent Palestinians and Lebanese who would still be alive today if Israel abided by international law, United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. Israel has proved to the world that it is a rogue nation and a law unto itself. For this reason we must bring the full force of our moral condemnation against its barbaric actions.

SJP was inspired to do this action by the largest Canadian labor union the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) who on May 27, 2006 decided to “Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

After CUPE was accused of anti-Semitism, there was an outpouring of support from Jewish and Israeli peace activists with hundreds signing petitions in support of CUPE. The group Israeli seekers of Peace and Justice said to CUPE that they “honour your courageous initiative, and fervently hope that it will set an example for many others to follow.”

We at Students for Justice in Palestine have taken the advice of the Israeli anti-war movement and Palestinian civil society to heart and will using tactics that make the world’s attention focus on the brutal occupation of Palestine until there is a peace with justice in Palestine.

Twenty five years after the Springbok Tour shook New Zealand join us in ending Israeli apartheid: studentsforjusticeinpalestine@gmail.com

Published in Intifada September 2006

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