Thursday, April 1, 2010

Naomi Klein on Berkeley Students' Divestment Bill, S. de Kuyper on World Manipulations

Open Letter to Berkeley Students on their Historic Israeli Divestment Bill

by Naomi Klein March 31, 2010

On March 18, continuing a long tradition of pioneering human rights
campaigns, the Senate of the Associated Students of the University of
California, Berkeley (ASUC) passed "A Bill In Support of UC DIVESTMENT FROM
WAR CRIMES." The historic bill resolves to divest ASUC's assets from two
American companies, General Electric and United Technologies, that are
"materially and militarily supporting the Israeli government's occupation of
the Palestinian territories"-and to advocate that the UC, with about $135
million invested in companies that profit from Israel's illegal actions in
the Occupied Territories, follow suit.

Although the bill passed by a vote of 16-4 after a packed and intense
debate, the President of the Senate vetoed the bill six days later. The
Senate is expected to reconsider the bill soon; groups such as Jewish Voice
for Peace are asking supporters of the bill to send letters to the Senators,
who can overturn the veto with only 14 votes.

Here is the letter I just sent:

Dear members of the ASUC Senate,

I am writing to urge you to reaffirm Senate Bill 118A, despite the recent
presidential veto.

It comes as no surprise that you are under intense pressure to reverse your
historic and democratic decision to divest from two companies that profit
from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. When a school with a
deserved reputation for academic excellence and moral leadership takes such
a bold position, it threatens to inspire others to take their own stands.

Indeed, Berkeley--the campus and the wider community--has provided this kind
of leadership on many key issues in the past: not only Apartheid in South
Africa but also sweatshops in Indonesia, dictatorship in Burma, political
killings in Nigeria, and the list goes on. Time and again, when the call for
international solidarity has come from people denied a political voice,
Berkeley has been among the first to answer. And in virtually every case,
what began as a small action in a progressive community quickly spread
across the country and around the world.

Your recent divestment bill opposing Israeli war crimes stands to have this
same kind of global impact, helping to build a grassroots, non-violent
movement to end Israel's violations of international law. And this is
precisely what your opponents--by spreading deliberate lies about your
actions--are desperately trying to prevent. They are even going so far as to
claim that, in the future, there should be no divestment campaigns that
target a specific country, a move that would rob activists of one of the
most effective tools in the non-violent arsenal. Please don't give into this
pressure; too much is on the line.

As the world has just witnessed with the Netanyahu government's refusal to
stop its illegal settlement expansion, political pressure is simply not
enough to wrench Israel off its current disastrous path. And when our
governments fail to apply sanctions for defiant illegality, other forms of
pressure must come into play, including targeting those corporations that
are profiting directly from human rights abuses.

Whenever we take a political action, we open ourselves up to accusations of
hypocrisy and double standards, since the truth is that we can never do
enough in the face of pervasive global injustice. Yet to argue that taking a
clear stand against Israeli war crimes is somehow to "discriminate unfairly"
against Israelis and Jews (as the veto seems to claim) is to grossly pervert
the language of human rights. Far from "singling out Israel," with Senate
Bill 118A, you are acting within Berkeley's commendable and inspiring

I understand that there is some debate about whether or not your divestment
bill was adopted "in haste." Not having been there, I cannot comment on your
process, though I am deeply impressed by the careful research that went into
the decision. I also know that in 2005 an extraordinarily broad range of
Palestinian civil society groups called on activists around the world to
adopt precisely these kinds of peaceful pressure tactics. In the years since
that call, we have all watched as Israeli abuses have escalated
dramatically: the attack on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, a massive
expansion of illegal settlements and walls, an ongoing siege on Gaza that
violates all prohibitions on collective punishment, and, worst of all, the
2008/9 attack on Gaza that left approximately 1,400 dead.

I would humbly suggest that when it comes to acting to end Israeli war
crimes, the international response has not suffered from too much haste but
from far too little. This is a moment of great urgency, and the world is

Be brave.

Yours sincerely,

Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the
author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock
Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in paperback. Her earlier
books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the
Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th
Anniversary Edition); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from
the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her latest
writing visit


----- Original Message -----
From: "Suzanne de Kuyper" <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 1:38 PM

Sarkosy, Berlusconi,Obama and Israeli /U.S Shared Intelligence World

Belusconi hosted Ben Netanyahu not long ago visiting world leaders in
essence to cajole support for Israel in it's genocidal ethnic
cleansing regime in Jerusalum. Beleagered Berlusconi offered to
promote the entrance of Israel to membership of the E.U.. Unstated
was of course was the demand that in return the Israeli manipulation
of the voting for Berlusconit for another term at the head of the
Italian Government. I recognised what was in play. Sure enough the
recent voting has 'surprisingly' shown a resurgence of the
discredited, corrupt, Berlusconi's support in Italy. Surprise, surprise.

Then Sarkosy gets voting results showing the disallusionment of the
total French electorate for his rule. What does he and the Mrs do?
Fly to Washington and Obama and his Mrs who has no love for wildly
competitive, ambitious, beautious Carla. The Francophile demand
to be re-elected to office with U.S./Israeli manipulation is quite clear
to those over 40 years of age and with any political credentials.
And are tragic developememts.

The real world power is elsewhere, not there. It is among the
reserved, the almost silent, the un-telivised, even the destitute,
uneducated billions.

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