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Stop Silencing Palestinian Voices: Allow SJP to run a referendum campaign

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Northeastern's Student Government Association (SGA) has refused to allow discussion in the student body over whether or not Northeastern should divest from companies benefiting from human rights violations in occupied Palestine. Schools and Universities should be a place for learning and sharing experiences. However, Northeastern's SGA refused to move forward with a student body referendum vote over the issue. Citing concerns about students "comfort," Northeastern's SGA placed the cheerfulness of a small segment students over the lives and experiences of Palestinians. This incident is but another chapter in the institutional oppression of Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine. We have faced defamatory videos and articles, threats of expulsion, suspension and violent threats against ourselves, our friends and our family. But we refuse to say silent. Sign this petition in support of a true educational experience for Northeastern's students. Sign this in support of a Northeastern that values free speech. Sign this to show you believe that Palestinian students should have a say over whether or not their tuition money funds their own oppression.

The question as submitted was as follows:

WHEREAS the Northeastern University Mission Statement declares that “Our vision is to be a university that expands the meaning and impact of our engagement in the world using our knowledge and resources as positive forces for change in both our local communities and our global society.” (1)


WHEREAS “As a university where teaching and research are grounded in global engagement, Northeastern’s impact is being felt in all corners of the world.” (2)


WHEREAS Northeastern University has a history of divesting from and boycotting corporations such as Adidas (3) and countries such as Apartheid South Africa (4)


WHEREAS international humanitarian law recognizes the right of all people, including Israelis and Palestinians, to life, security(5) and self-determination (6)


WHEREAS Israel has been recognized by international law since 1967 as an occupying power in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza (7), hereafter referred to as the Occupied Palestinian Territories,


WHEREAS this resolution calls for targeted divestment from multinational corporations causing substantial social injury by violating international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, regardless of which countries contract said corporations


WHEREAS multinational corporations disproportionately conduct business in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as compared to other conflict areas (e.g. Syria or North Korea), where binding law often prevents engagement with human rights violators


WHEREAS Caterpillar provides engineering tools and bulldozers routinely used in the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza, and Caterpillar's products facilitate and profit from the expansion and construction of illegal, segregated and Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.(8)


WHEREAS Hewlett-Packard provides biometric identification systems used at Israeli military checkpoints that can distinguish Palestinian faces from Israeli faces therefore reinforcing segregation and apartheid by designing specific technology to racially profile Palestinians. (9)


WHEREAS Raytheon is a main supplier of weaponry to the United States and Israel. Many of the missiles the were used in the massacre of over 2,000 Gazans (mostly civilian) this summer were made by Raytheon. (10)


WHEREAS Motorola Solutions profits from Israel’s control of the Palestinian population by providing surveillance systems around Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and military camps in the West Bank, as well as by providing communication systems to the Israeli Army. (11)


THAT In accordance with international humanitarian law, human rights protocols, and the values of the Northeastern community, We ask the Northeastern trustees to divest from companies engaged in human rights violations in Palestine. We ask that Northeastern withdraws all investments that it may hold in Caterpillar, Raytheon, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard.

(1) http://www.northeastern.edu/planning/mission/

(2) http://www.northeastern.edu/

(3)http://www.boston.com/yourcampus/news/northeastern/2013/04/northeastern_ends_relationship_with_adidas_following_student_protests.html

(4)http://library.northeastern.edu/archives-special-collections/find-collections/northeastern-history/timeline/1980s

(5) UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, p. 171, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3aa0.html

(6) Geneva Convention, UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch; http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/007/2009/en/4c407b40-e64c-11dd-9917-ed717fa5078d/mde150072009en.html#2.2.1.2.%20Law%20of%20occupation|outline

(7) United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/7D35E1F729DF491C85256EE700686136



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