UK’s Student Body Endorses Divestment
PALESTINE / ISRAEL, 9 January 2012
by Ben White – The Electronic Intifada
In a historic move, the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK has thrown its weight behind campaigns targeting companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and breaches of international law.
A new page on the NUS website that went online today calls on students to campaign against the campus presence of Eden Springs and Veolia. In the preamble, NUS notes:
In a similar move to the South African Anti-Apartheid movement, activists in Palestine – from Students’ Unions to LGBTQ organisations – have asked international supporters to refrain from supporting companies and institutions that profit from or maintain the occupation.
For both Eden Springs and Veolia, NUS acknowledges the work already done on a number of campuses, and offers “resources and support” to any students wishing to organise their own campaign.
This comes soon after the NUS’ National Executive Committee voted to condemn a collaboration between King’s College London (KCL) and Ahava, an Israeli company located in an illegal West Bank settlement. In fact, NUS President’s subsequent letter to KCL’s Principal is also featured in the ‘Global Justice’ section of the website.
James Haywood, member of NUS’ NEC, commented: “NUS has historically been good on global issues – with the exception of Palestine. This is an encouraging step that Palestinians are being treated as equals in their demand for basic rights and protection from breaches of international law.”
Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press), and his second book, ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’, will be published this December.
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