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December 3, 2014 10:08 am

Over 120 Leading University of California Academics Mobilize Against Forthcoming BDS Ballot (VIDEO)

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BDS activist Lara Kiswani calls for Israel's elimination at a Nov. 12 meeting supporting UAW 2865's BDS motion. Photo: Screenshot

More than 120 faculty and staff members at the University of California have issued a petition calling for a “no” vote in tomorrow’s ballot organized by UAW 2865, the 13,000-strong union chapter representing mainly graduate workers at several UC campuses, on whether to join the “global BDS movement.”

The petition, which has been signed by several prominent academics, among them 12 emeritus professors, suggests that public opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement on campus is growing, in spite of the intimidatory tactics used by its extremist proponents like Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that was suspended by Northeastern University in March this year because of its harassment of pro-Israel students.

Protesting the “selectivity of focus of the UAW Joint Council on Israel as the sole target of a BDS effort in a world that is replete with states that misuse power,” the petition notes that the BDS proposal “fails to distinguish between Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognized borders.”

“The targeting of Israeli academic institutions—bastions of a wide range of scholarly talent and viewpoints—will effectively stifle one of the most progressive elements in Israeli society and will bring an end to cooperation with Palestinian individuals, institutions, and organizations,” the petition declares.

As The Algemeiner reported last week, members of UAW 2865, a union comprised principally of teaching assistants at nine University of California campuses, will be presented with a ballot paper tomorrow, December 4, asking whether they should “join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, until such time as Israel has complied with international law and respected the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and all Palestinians refugees and exiles.”

Informedgrads.org, a group of union members opposed to the BDS proposal, has reached out to supporters asking them to double their efforts ahead of tomorrow’s vote. The group has produced a video that exposes BDS advocates engaging in visceral attacks on Israel, urging those who disagree with them to vote against a “measure isn’t about human rights or helping Palestinians: it’s about demonizing Israelis.”

Among the speakers featured in the video, filmed at a November 12 meeting staged by the UAW 2865 BDS caucus, is Oakland BDS activist Lara Kiswani. “Bringing down Israel really will benefit everyone in the world, everyone in society, particularly the workers,” Kiswani says.

Confirming that the aim of the BDS movement is the elimination of Israel as a sovereign state, Kiswani later asserts that “colonialism entails all of occupied Palestine, from Haifa to Jerusalem to Ramallah.”

Another speaker, Michael Letwin of the group “Labor for Palestine,” is shown making the libelous claim that “Zionists” made deals with the “Nazi regime to bring in Jewish settlers to Palestine while sacrificing the vast majority of European Jews to the Holocaust.” This revision of the historical record, which first emerged several decades ago in the anti-Zionist propaganda of the Soviet Union, is a staple of the BDS movement, which seeks to blame the Zionist movement rather than the Nazis for the extermination of six million Jews.

In the event that the BDS proposal is successful tomorrow, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ,) a legal advocacy group, has warned that members of UAW 2865 and their employers “are on notice that any actions taken against Israeli individuals or institutions could result in legal action,” citing “state and federal laws and policies preventing national-origin discrimination.”

The true aims of BDS unveiled: watch informedgrads.org’s video:

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