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 31 - 40 of 46

Page 4 of 5

Anonymous

The alternative? The alternative is that Israel as a state - just as it never should have existed in the first place - should cease to exist today. Israel from day one was a ruse-State. A political entity created by Anglo powers in order to drag a wealthy and productive peoples (i.e. the Jews) into a part of the world where destabilizing conflict could be created. What have Jews gained in the process of obtaining a 'homeland'? War. What have they lost? Political success in their countries of origin. That the "anti-Semetic sentiment" of Arabs - themselves a Semetic peoples with limited previous hostility towards Jews - could be manufactured in such a short period of time is a testament to the resources at stake for imperial powers such as the U.S. and U.K. The result? First, the successful prevention of Arab unification and continued Western hegemony over oil production. Second, the forced conversion of Israeli leadership (and thus also of Jewish diaspora leadership) into right-winged hawks who support the military industrial complex; in order to promote a pro-Israeli agenda, this has made American Jews into conveniently odd bedfellows with the most hateful and war-mongering parts of American society. The bottom line? Americans keep making money selling weapons to Israelis, diaspora Jews are distracted from real political ambitions in the West by pouring their monetary and intellectual resources into the manufactured and born-to-lose state of Israel, Americans continue to get cheap oil, Arab unification is prevented, etc. All of this repeatedly perpetuated because of pride and because of the continued insistence of Jews and Arabs that the words written in a 4000 year old piece of fiction are more important than the blood of their children on the ground today. Wake up.

Anonymous

The alternative? The alternative is that Israel as a state - just as it never should have existed in the first place - should cease to exist today. Israel from day one was a ruse-State. A political entity created by Anglo powers in order to drag a wealthy and productive peoples (i.e. the Jews) into a part of the world where destabilizing conflict could be created. What have Jews gained in the process of obtaining a 'homeland'? War. What have they lost? Political success in their countries of origin. That the "anti-Semetic sentiment" of Arabs - themselves a Semetic peoples with limited previous hostility towards Jews - could be manufactured in such a short period of time is a testament to the resources at stake for imperial powers such as the U.S. and U.K. The result? First, the successful prevention of Arab unification and continued Western hegemony over oil production. Second, the forced conversion of Israeli leadership (and thus also of Jewish diaspora leadership) into right-winged hawks who support the military industrial complex; in order to promote a pro-Israeli agenda, this has made American Jews into conveniently odd bedfellows with the most hateful and war-mongering parts of American society. The bottom line? Americans keep making money selling weapons to Israelis, diaspora Jews are distracted from real political ambitions in the West by pouring their monetary and intellectual resources into the manufactured and born-to-lose state of Israel, Americans continue to get cheap oil, Arab unification is prevented, etc. All of this repeatedly perpetuated because of pride and because of the continued insistence of Jews and Arabs that the words written in a 4000 year old piece of fiction are more important than the blood of their children on the ground today. Wake up.

Anonymous

It's because of uneducated people like those who believe that Israel is an Apartheid that things like the Holocaust or the Genocide in Darfur happen. It's about time that people start teaching themselves everything that they're missing. LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF THE SITUATION. It's pretty SICK not to.

Anonymous

It's because of uneducated people like those who believe that Israel is an Apartheid that things like the Holocaust or the Genocide in Darfur happen. It's about time that people start teaching themselves everything that they're missing. LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF THE SITUATION. It's pretty SICK not to.

Anonymous

Hamas fires rockets into Israel on a regular basis, and the international community says nothing. But as soon as Israel fires a rocket targeted at Hamas, it is seen as criminal. Everyone seems to be focusing their attention on the people in the Palestinian territories who are being displaced and underfed, which is where their attention should be. But everyone should also be concerned with the fact that the Palestinian people are not standing up and speaking out against this terrorist group that is hiding amongst innocent civilians, making the civilians targets. Until the Palestinians condemn Hamas for the humanitarian crimes they are committing, this cyclical war will never end. The Palestinians do not deserve to live in war, but neither do Israelis.

Anonymous

Hamas fires rockets into Israel on a regular basis, and the international community says nothing. But as soon as Israel fires a rocket targeted at Hamas, it is seen as criminal. Everyone seems to be focusing their attention on the people in the Palestinian territories who are being displaced and underfed, which is where their attention should be. But everyone should also be concerned with the fact that the Palestinian people are not standing up and speaking out against this terrorist group that is hiding amongst innocent civilians, making the civilians targets. Until the Palestinians condemn Hamas for the humanitarian crimes they are committing, this cyclical war will never end. The Palestinians do not deserve to live in war, but neither do Israelis.

Anonymous

The answer, obviously, is the abolition of the State of Israel and of Hamas and Fatah and the development of autonomous federations of Arab and Jewish village communes (in the model of the Kibbitzum of Jewish settlers that existed before they were integrated in the Israeli government.)

Anonymous

The answer, obviously, is the abolition of the State of Israel and of Hamas and Fatah and the development of autonomous federations of Arab and Jewish village communes (in the model of the Kibbitzum of Jewish settlers that existed before they were integrated in the Israeli government.)

Anonymous

no and btw its not the boycott that ended SA apartheid - it was the withdrawal of the international financial support of the Financal Rand which forced Botha to negotiate. The only change will happen with the willing participation of the US government who pull the purse strings. Spend your time on persuding THEM not avoiding Israeli oranges. And for gods sake spend sometime supporting the very brave Israeli Peace Movement who need it.

Anonymous

no and btw its not the boycott that ended SA apartheid - it was the withdrawal of the international financial support of the Financal Rand which forced Botha to negotiate. The only change will happen with the willing participation of the US government who pull the purse strings. Spend your time on persuding THEM not avoiding Israeli oranges. And for gods sake spend sometime supporting the very brave Israeli Peace Movement who need it.

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