Divestment in Principal and Practice from the State of Israel sign now

The Palestine Solidarity Movement in Wisconsin representing a coalition of concerned groups and individuals, members of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and State of Wisconsin communities calls on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to divest from companies doing business with or in the State of Israel until such time as the State of Israel accepts and facilitates the full implementation of the individual and collective human rights of the Palestinian people as those rights are enshrined in the instruments of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations conventions, and multiple United Nations resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The founding ideology of Israel is based on exclusive ethno-nationalism that defines the state as serving the interests of worldwide Jewish communities and not the concerns of its inhabitants regardless of their ethnic origins or religion. This has led the State of Israel to pursue policies of encapsulation, expropriation, and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population. Official discrimination in favor of Jews and against non-Jews occurs in many areas of life, including residency rights, the right to work, and the right to equality before the law. Israels law of return allows anyone of Jewish origin to become a citizen with all the benefits this entails, while Palestinians expelled from their homeland are actively prevented from returning to it. Furthermore, Israel constructs Jewish only roads, builds highways with exits to Jewish towns and no exits to Arab towns, restricts the movement of the Palestinian population, and restricts the use of 92\% of the countrys land to Jews. The result of all these policies is that the Palestinians are separate but unequal just as blacks were in Apartheid South Africa. Their communities are hemmed in by the infrastructure of an apartheid state dedicated to their exclusion and eventual expulsion.

As concerned members of the community, we call on the Board of Regents to divest from any company that does business with or in the State of Israel. In particular, we draw the Regents attention to investments in Caterpillar Corporation, General Dynamics, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and many others. Any investments associated with Israel subvert the implementation of norms of international humanitarian law and stand in glaring violation of Regent Policies 78-1 and 97-1 as well as the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 22 USC sec. 2304, which prohibits the providing of security assistance to any country whose government engages in violations of internationally recognized human rights.

As concerned and conscientious members of the University community, we are part of a growing global movement for a principled and just peace in historical Palestine, one that includes equality for Jews and Arabs under the law, constitutional guarantees of minority rights, institutionalized toleration for cultural autonomy in well-defined spheres of life, the basic right of the citizen to live where he or she chooses and the right to take full part in democratic processes. We urge the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to recognize that divesting its holdings in companies that do business with the state of Israel is a moral imperative and an act that signifies a commitment to socially responsible investment, basic human rights, international law, and the principle that nothing should impede human freedom and flourishing.

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Eliza BenderBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents

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