BDS VIctory: Pomona College Students Divest from Occupation in Palestine

RE: BDS Victory: ASPC To Divest Funds From Occupation of Palestine
Contact: Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine

We are pleased to announce that the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, April 22, 2021 divesting all ASPC funds from companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine, and banning future use of funds towards such companies[1]. This is an important victory at Pomona College and sets a strong precedent for future solidarity work at Pomona and the other Claremont Colleges in support of the Palestinian liberation movement, and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement in particular. SJP is deeply grateful to ASPC for their support, and additionally thanks the 23 Claremont Colleges student organizations that joined our coalition in support of ASPC divestment from the occupation of Palestine.

Claremont SJP, alongside Claremont Jewish Voice for Peace, introduced this resolution to stand in material and ideological solidarity with Palestinians struggling for their freedom from Israeli apartheid, occupation, and oppression. This action heeds the 2005 BDS call by Palestinian civil society organizations to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel, “until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” This resolution enacts the divestment of funds under ASPC’s control from the UN Human Rights Council’s list of 112 companies “involved in certain specified activities related to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (A/HRC/43/71). The resolution also “calls upon the other Claremont Colleges Student Government Associations to follow suit, with an ultimate adoption of a consortium-wide agreement to not allow clubs to use their student government allocations to knowingly invest or spend their funds of items that contribute to further encroachment into Palestinian occupied territories by the UN-designated companies or the Israeli state, or face the loss of ASPC funding.” Claremont SJP reiterates this call to action to the other Claremont College Student Government Associations to pass a similar resolution.

This resolution is by no means the end of the Pomona College and Claremont Consortium community’s responsibility to push for total divestment from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Adopting this amendment is an important first step in reducing our complicity with a country that maintains an illegal military occupation and regularly commits crimes against humanity against the indigenous Palestinian population. As students at Pomona College and the Claremont Colleges, we recognize that our tuition dollars are being used to support companies which directly profit from the ongoing dispossession and oppression of Palestinians.

Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine is committed to standing up against our colleges’ complicity in supporting companies and organizations that serve to benefit from continued violence on behalf of the state of Israel. We will continue working to build a movement in solidarity with the liberation of Palestinians and all oppressed people in the US and around the world. The final copy of the newly adopted ASPC bill can be found here.

In solidarity,

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Hundreds of far-right Israeli activists chant “death to Arabs” in East Jerusalem

Middle East Eye, YouTube, Apr 23, 2021

Hundreds of far-right Israeli activists took to the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday night chanting “death to Arabs” and “Arabs get out.”

A counter-protest by Palestinians resulted in violent clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces leaving more than 100 Palestinians injured.

I write to remember the brutality of Jewish violence I saw in Jerusalem

There was the Palestinian father who tried to save his daughter from the police, the young Kahanists chanting ‘death to Arabs’ in the streets, the fear I felt when asked if I am a leftist. I write to remember it all.

Orly Noy, +972 Magazine, April 24, 2021

Israeli security forces outside Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, April 22, 2021. (Oren Ziv)Medics treat a Palestinian wounded by Israeli security forces outside Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, April 22, 2021. (Oren Ziv)

Since the beginning of Ramadan this month, Jerusalem Police have banned Palestinians from sitting on the wide steps at the entrance to Damascus Gate, the main plaza in the Old City, and holding evening gatherings in honor of the holy month. This arbitrary decision, for which no plausible explanation was given, have ignited widespread Palestinian protest. The police, as if just waiting for the perfect opportunity, has turned the place into a nightly battlefield.

Against the backdrop of this violence, activists from Jewish supremacist group Lehava called on their supporters to arrive in droves on Thursday “to restore Jewish dignity,” after several TikTok videos surfaced showing Palestinians harassing ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city. Backed by their representatives now sitting in the Knesset, hundreds of supporters of the Kahanist organization responded to the call, arriving in the area with the stated goal of attacking Arabs (or alternatively, leftists).

They marched toward the Damascus Gate while chanting “death to Arabs,” turning Thursday into most violent night Jerusalem has known in years. We, the left-wing activists of Jerusalem, also showed up to try and counter-balancer the fascists as they marched through the city streets.

I am writing now not because I have any faith that describing the war zone I witnessed on the streets of Jerusalem this week, or going into detail about the Jewish youth who chanted “death to Arabs” in the heart of the city, will change anything. I know it will not.

Jewish supremacist march in downtown Jerusalem:

I write because of the need to break down this madness into its most basic elements — so that perhaps I can understand it better. I write to give my testimony, because there is nothing else I can do. I write to remember.

To remember that among the clouds of tear gas and the deafening sound of stun grenades shot at Palestinians, I saw a father holding the hand of his daughter, trying to flee together.

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Shooting revives criticism of Israel’s use of deadly force

Somaya, the wife of Palestinian Osama Mansour, who was shot to death by Israeli soldiers at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank earlier this month, holds their 10 year-old twins Nissan, left and Bissan, right, at their family house, in the West Bank village of Biddu, west of Ramallah, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Somaya, who was in the car with her husband and was wounded by the gunfire, says they followed the soldiers’ instructions and posed no threat. The shooting death has revived criticism of the Israeli military’s use of deadly force. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

JOSEPH KRAUSS, Associated Press, April 23, 2021

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hours after Israeli soldiers shot and killed Osama Mansour at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, the military announced that it had thwarted a car-ramming attack — but the facts didn’t seem to add up.

By all accounts, Mansour had initially stopped his car when ordered to do so. His wife, the mother of his five children, was sitting in the passenger seat. And after the soldiers sprayed the vehicle with gunfire, killing him and wounding her, they declined to arrest her as an accomplice.

Witnesses say the soldiers killed Mansour for no apparent reason, part of what rights groups say is a pattern of fatal shootings of Palestinians by Israeli forces under questionable circumstances. The debate over the soldiers’ conduct echoes that over the high-profile police killings of Black Americans in the United States.

The conviction this week of former Minneapolis, Minn., police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd, who police initially said had died of a “medical incident” during a “police interaction,” drew attention to the accuracy of official statements about deadly encounters.

In its initial statement, the Israeli military said the vehicle had accelerated “in a way that endangered the lives of the soldiers” and that forces opened fire to “thwart the threat.” But shortly afterwards, the military said the shooting was under investigation, without elaborating.

A military spokeswoman declined to answer detailed questions about the incident submitted by The Associated Press, including whether the army still believes it thwarted an attack.

Somaya, the widow of the deceased, says her husband took her to see a doctor in the early hours of April 6. On the drive back to their home village of Biddu they passed through the village of Bir Nabala, just outside Jerusalem.

They saw Israeli troops and armored jeeps up ahead, a common sight in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces often carry out overnight arrest raids.

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Progressive U.S. Lawmaker: ‘We Need to Be Able to See What’s Happening in Gaza’

Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan tells Americans for Peace Now that Israeli policies funded by U.S. tax dollars form an obstacle to realizing the two-state solution

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) at a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2017. Credit: CHRISTOPHER ALUKA BERRY/REUTERS

Ben Samuels, Haaretz, Apr. 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the most vocal supporters of Palestinian rights in Congress, called on the Israeli government on Wednesday to immediately allow U.S. lawmakers entry into the Gaza

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the most vocal supporters of Palestinian rights in Congress, called on the Israeli government on Wednesday to immediately allow U.S. lawmakers entry into the Gaza Strip.

The Wisconsin Democrat told a webinar for Americans for Peace Now, a nonprofit whose stated aim is to help find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that he is particularly concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Strip. He described the coastal enclave as an “open-air prison,” and lamented the conditions he says are radicalizing Gazan residents.

Help Boost the New Palestine Bill!

This week, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced H.R. 2590, the Palestinian Children and Families Act, a landmark bill that seeks to prohibit our tax dollars being used by Israel to cage Palestinian children, destroy Palestinian homes, and steal Palestinian land.

A broad range of more than seventy organizations (see below) have endorsed this bill aiming to create a political transformation towards Palestinian rights in U.S. policy.

Here in Wisconsin, Rep. Mark Pocan is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

If you would like to thank Rep. Pocan, you can send a message here.