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BDS Event to Be Held by Columbia Students Demanding University ‘End Investments in Israeli Apartheid’

February 2, 2016 4:22 pm 41 comments
The Columbia University campus in New York City. Photo: Columbia.

The Columbia University campus in New York City. Photo: Columbia.

Two student groups have banded together to pressure Columbia University into divesting “from companies that benefit from or provide funds for the continued presence of Israeli homes, business, and infrastructure in the West Bank,” the CU student-run, campus news website Bwog reported on Monday.

Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace have dubbed their joint organization “Columbia University Apartheid Divest” (CUAD), and are advertising their “first-ever” event on Thursday evening at the Ivy League school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

They are also circulating an online petition and referring students to a Facebook invitation page, BDS 101, on which there is the following post:  “CUAD is happy to announce that Barnard Columbia Socialists will be cosponsoring this event with us!”

The lecture hall where the event is slated to take place is in the mathematics department, in a room that purportedly seats 55 – though as of the time of this writing, there are 96 people who say they are definitely going and another 106 who have expressed interest in attending.

In its “Statement to the Columbia Community,” CUAD says its campaign – “against the backdrop of Columbia and Barnard students’ history of moral commitment to social, political, and economic justice” — is “embedded in the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement directed toward the State of Israel until it complies with international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

The statement goes on to explain the logic by which CUAD believes it can convince Columbia to succumb to its pressure, invoking two instances – one from a few months ago and another in 1985 (relating to South African apartheid) — in which students were successful at such an endeavor:

On June 22nd 2015, the Columbia University Board of Trustees voted to sell its stocks in Corrections Corporation of America and G4S, making Columbia the first academic institution in the United States to divest from the private prison industry. This victory, achieved through the tireless work of Columbia Prison Divest, inspired in student organizers a renewed dedication to hold the Columbia administration accountable for maintaining global systems of oppression.

This was not, however, the first of such movements. On October 7th 1985, under the pressure of student activists, the Board of Trustees voted to sell $41 million of its endowment investments in American companies with ties to South Africa. In doing so, Columbia became the first Ivy League university to divest from Apartheid South Africa.

Thanks to the efforts of our allies at Columbia Prison Divest, Columbia has already divested from G4S, a private prison corporation that profits from the incarceration of Palestinian political prisoners, 470 of whom are child prisoners, equips military checkpoints and the Apartheid Wall with security technologies, and enables the expansion of illegal settlements by providing security technology. We must continue the hard work of divesting from corporations that fuel and maintain the State of Israel’s continued human rights abuses. As Columbia University Apartheid Divest, we call upon the University to divest its endowment from the following corporations that profit from Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights: Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Elbit Systems, Mekorot, Hapoalim, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

By investing in such companies, Columbia actively supports Israel’s continued occupation of and assaults against the Palestinian people, including the most recent military operation on the Gaza Strip which claimed over 2,104 Palestinian lives, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 women, according to the UN. The Israeli Defense Forces use technologies such as F-16 fighter jets, GBU-9 small diameter bombs, and Apache helicopters produced by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. These companies directly profit from the ceaseless military violence faced by Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights.

Columbia students are implicated through the University’s investments in these same companies. The movements to divest from the prison industrial complex and Apartheid South Africa have shown us that divestment at Columbia is an effective way of ending our institutional complicity in global systems of oppression. In both movements, it was a coalition of activists on campus that courageously spoke truth to power and challenged our institution to maintain its principles of human dignity. Columbia University Apartheid Divest is inspired by this legacy.

We demand that Columbia University end its investments in Israeli Apartheid.

We call upon the Columbia community to support Palestinian human rights.

We stand united for justice.

The Algemeiner‘s request for a response from Columbia on Tuesday has yet to be answered.


  • Old Polish Proverb

    “The jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.”

  • Vile Cultural Marxism is now firmly entrenched on a majority of global university campuses. It is anti Semitic and intolerant in the same way a Stalinist Russia. Be warned, avoid it as much as you can, it into hung but unpleasant and trouble.

  • I can’t understand how this Jewish Voice for Peace can accept sponsorship from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran for the BDS propaganda.
    Please check your sources.
    By advocating killing Jews one by one you can’t have peace.

  • I am ashamed to admit that I have 2 children who graduated Columbia. These “students” who support this disgusting movement should visit any of the Countries in the Middle East that they feel promote “Human Right”

  • #toostupidforwords

  • I think it really helps the legitimacy of a illegitimate organization to publish their genocidal opinion editorials in an illegitimate media source. Good luck being on the wrong side of history

  • As a Columbia Graduate and an Israeli I will not donate any-longer to the university if its bands Israel or support this kind of activity within the Uni boundaries. People don’t even know or understand anything about the situation.

  • I’m an alumnus, College ’77, and I stopped contributing to Columbia after the creation of the Edward Said professorship. Said was a noted antisemite and was entirely consistent with Columbia’s long history of antisemitism. This is just another piece of it. It’s time we organize a chapter of Alumni for Campus Fairness for Columbia grads.

  • Proof of how successful and spreading of the DBS movement is found in 3 February 2016 issue of ‘Haaretz’. Netenyahu has suggested that you don’t talk of it, as though silence would make it disappear. What palm wine is he drinking?

  • Trudy Edelist

    As a Columbia graduate, I will no longer donate to a University, that gives credence to anti-Israel propaganda, and virulent anti-Semitism!

    • The misinformation and basic ignorance that is becoming more and more pervasive on academic campuses – where teaching CORRECT history and factual information should be first and foremost – is horrific.
      I, too am a graduate and will no longer donate. But this is not enough.
      We must also show up and physically show our support for Israel against these lies. Unfortunately this is too common now that our government has chosen Iran over Israel. More ignorance. The generations to come will wonder how we allowed this.

    • Good! That’s one less genocidal apartheid activist that is giving money to the school.

  • If BDS people want to boycott they must immediately throw away their cellphones, stop using many life saving medicines [developed in Israel] and check the world market for technical goods for fear of being caught using forbidden Israeli items. All of this means that they should dig a hole big enough, and bury themselves. I’d help dig.

  • It is very logic not to give money to Israel’s industry so arabs are not frustrated for NOT being able to kill all of Israel’s jews!!!!!!!!!”palestinians frustration” is not physical it is psycholigical and derives from a pathologica well known disease.

  • Elliott Vizel

    These 2 organizations have been at the forefront of the anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic BDS campus movement’s feeble-minded attempt at the deligitimisation of Israel for years – nothing new here.

  • Our American students are getting dumber by the day. Do these pseudo intellectuals even know the meaning of the word “apartheid.” Is Israel an apartheid State if Israeli Arabs are enrolled in all the Universities? is Israel an Aparthueid State is Israeli Arabs are members of the Knesset? can you call it an Apartheid State when an Israeli Arab is able to take his/her place on the Supreme Court? isral has many manybfaults. But Arparteidism is not one of them.

  • Never mind the fact that mommy and daddy invested in all those “apartheid-supporting” companies to be able to afford the more than $50,000 tuition at Columbia University, otherwise know as “Beir Zit on the Hudson” (with a tip of the mortar board hat to my fellow Columbia alum, Caroline Glick).

  • Join PEGIDA silent marches and speeches in many EU nations this Saturday February 6!
    PEGIDA UK Joins ‘Fortress Europe’ Coalition!

    Anti-Islamisation group PEGIDA has joined forces with organisations across Europe to form a new network and coalition called Festung Europa, or ‘Fortress Europe’.

    At a meeting on 23rd January 2016 in Prague, German representatives of PEGIDA met organisations from nine other countries to sign a joint declaration (see below) opposing political Islam and the Islamisation of Europe, and to explore ways of ensuring that incidents like the mass sex assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve are never repeated.

    Criticising Angela Merkel’s open-door ‘refugee’ policy, leading PEGIDA activist Tatijana Festerling said it should serve as a warning to the rest of Europe. She continued:

    “The goal of the network is international understanding. For only by the profound solidarity among peoples will it be possible for us to cooperatively ward off the population replacement and the Islamisation of Europe that goes with it. Submission is out of the question.”

    The Fortress Europe coalition will hold mass demonstrations across Europe on 6th February 2016. They will include a ‘Silent Walk’ protest in Birmingham organised by PEGIDA UK.

    The Prague Declaration

    Conscious of the fact that the thousand-year history of Western Civilisation could soon come to an end through the Islamic conquest of Europe, and conscious of the fact that the political elites have betrayed us, we, the representatives of the various nations of Europe, declare as follows:

    We shall not surrender Europe to our enemies. We are prepared to stand and oppose political Islam, extreme Islamic regimes and their European collaborators.

    We are prepared to risk our freedom, our property, our occupations and careers and perhaps also our lives as generations have done before us. It is our obligation to future generations.

    We refuse to submit to a European central government. The regulations of the global elites have brought us poverty, unemployment, corruption, chaos and moral collapse. It is time this came to an end.

    We respect the sovereignty of European nations and the rights of people in all European countries to govern their affairs as they see fit.

    We hold it to be a sacred right of the citizens of all European countries to protect their borders and to decide which migrants they accept and which they do not accept into their countries.

    We call attention to our common European roots, traditions and values, as well as to the historical alliances of our nations.

    We are resolved to protect Europe, freedom of speech and all other civil liberties, as well as our common way of life together.

    We shall manifest this resolve by our participation in a joint demonstration, which will take place on 6th February 2016 in many European countries.

    See Liberty GB FACEBOOK

  • Donors should not invest in Columbia University!! These students need to learn more about Israel!! Send them on a trip to Israel to see what Israel is all about!! Israel is number 2 in the World for start-ups!! Israel is a very diverse Nation!! In fact they host one of the largest Gay Parades outside the United States!! People from all walks of life live in Israel including blacks from Ethiopia!!! Yes there are Blacks living in Israel!!! Not a problem!! The Arabs living in Israel live better than the Arabs living in other Arab Countries!! They have more freedom!!!!

  • The ONLY occupation that is taking place in Israel is hostile occupation by Muslims. Just like the hostile Muslim occupation of Europe.
    With Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations – Extended Cinematic 1080p

    On the ‘refugee’ train to Germany, grinning, triumphant Muslim invader/conquerors shouted, May Allah Make Orphans Out of Their Children! May Allah Make it Difficult on Their Women!

    Muslims openly declared their goal was the Mass Murder of our People. They were NOT arrested.

    Were they housed in the big luxury hotel in Germany and invited by the EU as honoured guests at a big halal banquet and rewarded with a big cash prize and provided with weapons?

  • If you teach racism guess what comes out? More racism stupid!

  • So they expect Israel to retreat to the 1967 cease fire lines AND allow all the Palestinian Arab “refugees” to flood Israel INSIDE those lines. And they want to dismantle the security barrier that has saved countless lives from Palestinian terror attacks. Wonder if these Arabists and self-hating Jews condemn the wave of Palestinian terror attacks underway against innocent Israelis since last fall? They failed to name Israeli medical and pharmaceutical companies – surely they are boycotting all those life-saving technologies also, along with Israeli computers and electronics.

  • Ruvane Richman

    Israel is not South Africa. The comparison is unjust and unfair. Palestinians have had countless opportunities to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Israel and have failed to do so. The irony is that only under Israel’s rule is this opportunity for a state for Palestine possible. Prior to 1967 no Arab country no university petitioned to boycott Jordan for their treatment of the Palestinians. Israeli Arabs are treated as equals. A statement that cannot be made to Jews who still live in Muslim lands. Over 800,000 Jews living in Muslim lands since the last time they were evicted from Israel have been robbed jailed and evicted from their homelands. No one seems to speak of that atrocity? Palestinians have never had Jersualem as their Capitol have never had a sovereign state of their own. Yes they have suffered but not from the occupation they have suffered because of their own actions of aligning themselves with corrupt dictators and terrorist to represent them.

  • Two groups made for each other, a terrorist loving group and a group of leftwing extremists who are to stupid to realizing that they are supporting terrorists.

  • More students who are influenced by others without doing their own research as to the truth. When did collage students stop using their own brains?

  • Eliška Homolová

    It’s scary,…
      just another outrageous and unwarranted attacks on Israel

  • Betty Schneck

    This group of so called educated children that the BDS movement is nothing more than an anti-semitic ploy to attempt to reduce Israel’s position in the mid-east. Israel has a four thousand year history in the area. The students who are pro-Moslem should read the Koran and its dialogue on the dhimmi and those of other faiths. What a lack of respect for others. there’s too much hated in their soul. Columbia University as an institution of higher learning should make room for other cultures, faiths, opinions and beliefs.

  • Max Genghis Cohen

    Dear Algemeiner: You are expecting maybe a mea culpa from Columbia’s ruling intelligentsia? These are the same people who in the 1960’s prevented U.S. Naval research at Columbia of Soviet nuclear-equipped submarines then patrolling waters off the East coast. Now they are assisting ISIS inspired so-called “Palestinians” to terrorize Israelis into defensive measures which can only bring harm to ArabS and Israelis alike. TRUTH CANNOT BE UTTERED AMONG THE GLOBAL LEFTISTS.

  • Everyone ought to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Columbia University. All faculty and students participating in BDS activities should be made public, have their photos and information published, and kept from ever working in the private sector.

  • I hope President Lee Bollinger and Barnard President Judith Shapiro publicly will again denounce the divestment movement.

  • I hope that President Lee Bollinger and Barnard President Judith Shapiro publicly will fallow their statement and denounced the divestment movement.

  • Columbia that home of Edward Said, the pseudo “palestinian” and Rashid Khalidi, the adviser to Obama, two foes of Israel and Jews. Columbia has a long record of discriminating against Jewish and Pro Israel students

  • I no longer provide any alumni funds to Columbia University. I urge others to do the same.

  • Maybe 50 students, maybe 100 students out of 20,000 and not all the attendees will be supporters. Yawn.

  • I’m so glad I was informed that the event was at “the Ivy League school.” So impressed. There’s nothing like appealing toward those who worship social status. Fortunately, I’m Jewish. It doesn’t work on me.

  • The Algemeiner writer who posted this should be criticizing these groups, pointing out that they are bigoted anti-Israel groups, etc.

    Instead, this article basically serves as a PRESS RELEASE for these anti-Israel hate groups. You basically just gave them free publicity.

    If you are going to reveal the actions anti-Israel groups are taking, you SHOULD do so but you should also CRITICIZE the groups in the process so it isn’t just a damn press release.

  • These students should be kicked out of Columbia for advocating Nazism just as a KKK member would be kicked out of Columbia. Be tough Jews –dont be intimidated.

  • jews should not pay taxes which support Columbia U

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