On Monday March 7th, the first night of Israeli Apartheid Week 2011, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and York University officially launched a campaign demanding that their respective universities divest from four companies involved in violations of Palestinian human rights. Investments in BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Hewlett Packard have been found in the University of Toronto’s Pension Master Trust, Long Term Capital Appreciation Pool, and Expendable Funds Investment Pool, as well as in York University’s Pension and Endowment Funds. The complicit companies create military technologies used in the murder of civilians, the destruction of infrastructure and the daily humiliation of Palestinians. Just under two decades ago York University was one of the first to divest from South African Apartheid; U of T was shamefully one of the last.
The entire week of IAW events, including guest lectures from Judith Butler, Ali Abunimah, Judy Rebick and Riham Barghouti, focussed on institutional complicity and the importance of the campus as a site of resistance. All of the week’s speakers have signed on to our divestment campaign in the spirit of holding our universities accountable to their purported commitment to the âvigilant protection of human rights”.
Join these renowned intellectuals and social justice activists, in addition to over 100 faculty members who have already signed on, to demand that our universities do the right thing and take action to divest now!
Please sign our petition below and encourage your organization, union or club to stand with us against our universities’ complicity in human right’s violations against Palestinians.
We thank you for your support.
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Students Against Israeli Apartheid (University of Toronto and York University) Divestment Petition
Whereas on March 7th, 2011, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and York University published divestment reports entitled âHolding the University of Toronto Accountableâ and âHolding York University Accountable,â respectively;
Whereas BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin provide military and/or information technologies that contribute in specific ways to violations of international law by the Israeli state;
Whereas the investments of the University of Toronto and York University in these four companies makes them complicit in the commission of crimes under international law;
Whereas the University of Toronto and York University also violate their own stated commitments to values of human rights and social justice by investing in these four companies;
Whereas all people and organizations, including the University of Toronto and York University, are bound by the principles of international law; and
Whereas public universities, including the University of Toronto and York University, have a special responsibility to work with students, faculty, and staff to undergo a democratic and transparent process to ensure accountability to principles of social and environmental justice;
Therefore we, the undersigned, demand that:
(1) The University of Toronto and York University divest from and refuse to reinvest in BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin;
(2) The University of Toronto and York University refrain from investing in all companies involved in violations of international law. With respect to Palestine, this entails following the guidelines put forth by Students for Justice in Palestine in the historic divestment by Hampshire College:
The University of Toronto and York University should refrain from investing in companies that:
a) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights;
b) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;
c) Establish facilities or operations in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;
d) Provide products or services that contribute to the maintenance and construction of the Wall;
e) Provide products or services that contribute to violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians.