Blackspot

Campus Divestment vs. Israeli Apartheid

Can movements like The Swarthmore Campaign end the apartheid in Israel?

The massacre in Gaza has prompted many people to actively boycott Israeli products. The effects of the consumer boycott are already being felt by Israeli farmers who are now complaining that their produce is rotting in warehouses because of canceled orders. And in London, The Swarthmore Campaign, the first divestment campaign to be formed after the invasion of Gaza. Within three days we have already gathered over 60 signatures with more coming in every hour. The positive response demonstrates that the moment is ripe for divestment campaigns to sweep universities across the world. As we saw with the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, divestment is an effective tool to bringing about peace.

Two aspects make The Swarthmore Campaign different from previous divestment campaigns. First, we are an alumni organization which makes our structure durable and less susceptible to pressure from the school's administration. And second, signatories to The Swarthmore Campaign open letter are not just asking our alma mater to divest -- we are threatening to withhold donations until divestment occurs. For in the midst of an economic collapse, most educational institutions are in desperate need of donations from their alumni, which provides activists with a bargaining tool for peace.

Organizers of The Swarthmore Campaign hope that divestment campaigns will spread to campuses across the world bringing an end to the Israeli apartheid.

Does your campus have a Divestment campaign? Is divestment a more effective strategy than boycotting?

 

Update on January 21: This blog post was edited to more clearly state that my wife and I aided in the foundation of The Swarthmore Campaign and continue to publicly support its efforts.

Micah M. White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist. Micah is currently writing a book of philosophical meanderings into the future of activism. He lives in Binghamton, NY with his wife and two cats. www.micahmwhite.com

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46 comments on the article “Campus Divestment vs. Israeli Apartheid”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 46

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Yes!

Yes! the on campus divestment movement petered out a few years ago, but I think this campaign is only the first of many that will rise out of the blood spilled in gaza. the withholding donation tactic is a nice touch, though they will need to get the big donors to make much impact, and those are stereotypically the least likely to get involved in this kind of thing.

Yes!

Yes! the on campus divestment movement petered out a few years ago, but I think this campaign is only the first of many that will rise out of the blood spilled in gaza. the withholding donation tactic is a nice touch, though they will need to get the big donors to make much impact, and those are stereotypically the least likely to get involved in this kind of thing.

Anonymous

How about starting this in a school that is in Gaza or Israel for that matter. This divestment movement cannot succeed as started by Westerners. It needs to originate and take speed in the West Bank, not in the US. This movement will unfortunately be a collection of words on paper with no teeth or truth of action.

Anonymous

How about starting this in a school that is in Gaza or Israel for that matter. This divestment movement cannot succeed as started by Westerners. It needs to originate and take speed in the West Bank, not in the US. This movement will unfortunately be a collection of words on paper with no teeth or truth of action.

commonsense

to anonymous - how could universities in Gaza & West Bank divest? Even if they are not bombed to shreds, the currency in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the Israeli Shekel. Divestment is a strategy precisely for international institutions to act in solidarity with Palestinians, especially elite institutions like Swarthmore that have large endowments. The folks on the ground in the OPT have a different range of tactics.

commonsense

to anonymous - how could universities in Gaza & West Bank divest? Even if they are not bombed to shreds, the currency in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the Israeli Shekel. Divestment is a strategy precisely for international institutions to act in solidarity with Palestinians, especially elite institutions like Swarthmore that have large endowments. The folks on the ground in the OPT have a different range of tactics.

Anonymous

hamas has just anounced a great victory over israel and zionists. so what seems to be the problem,hamas won.

Anonymous

hamas has just anounced a great victory over israel and zionists. so what seems to be the problem,hamas won.

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