Widgets Magazine

Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine hosts panel discussion on divestment

On Wednesday, the Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) coalition coordinated a panel of 11 student groups, members of which spoke out about their reasons for supporting the petition for Stanford’s divestment from corporations that allegedly facilitate human rights violations in the occupied Israel-Palestine territories.

According to Cole Manley ’14, one of the event coordinators, the purpose of the event was to highlight the intersectionality of support behind SOOP between student groups around campus. Another goal was to raise awareness about Palestinian civil society’s call for divestment and to educate the student body about events happening in occupied territories.

“Student groups as diverse as NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and MEchA de Stanford have all voted to endorse SOOP,” Manley said. “We really wanted to showcase and highlight the diverse reasons and intersections as to why they’ve done so.”

Some of the groups represented in the panel were the Black Student Union (BSU), Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC), Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL), Student and Labor Alliance (SALA), Students for Alternatives to Militarism (SAM) and Pilipino American Student Union (PASU).

The speakers said that even though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was occurring six thousand miles away, their groups all had similar struggles, and their causes suffered from companies who were also allegedly committing human rights violations in occupied Palestinian territories.

Jessica Reed ’15, representative for the BSU, shared how Combined Tactical Systems, a corporation supplying crowd-dispersal munitions for use against Palestinians, has been producing tear gas that is allegedly used against non-violent black protesters in the United States responding to the events in Ferguson, Missouri.

“These struggles, although they aren’t the same, do have connections to each other,” Reed said.

Katherine Nasol ’15, PASU representative, said that the company Veolia has been contributing to human rights infringements in both Palestine and the Philippines.

“We have found many common themes between Filipino struggles with the Palestinian struggle for liberation.” Nasol said. “[Veolia] directly fuels our Marguerite shuttles everyday, but at the same time they have been connected to illegal Israeli settlements, and this company is also privatizing the water system in the Philippines.”

Approximately 50 students attended the event.

“I’m here just to inform myself,” said Andrew Vasquez ’16. “I see a lot of intersectionality between the black lives matter movement, and that is a movement that I’ve been personally involved in. So for me it makes sense to also pay attention to other groups of oppressed people.”

This panel was a part of six weeks of events that SOOP has planned on campus.

Contact Stephanie Zhang at szhang3 ‘at’ stanford.edu

  • One cause to rule them all?

    Does anyone else think it is absurd the amount of attention given to one issue on campus?

    We have several op-eds and events every week on campus on this issue, with flyers that you are forced to look at while on the john in every bathroom on campus. Meanwhile, there seems to be no interest in, say the Boko Haram in Nigeria, or ISIS, or Syria, or North Korea, or any of the hundreds of other important things going on around the globe.

  • Bob

    Laughable…if anyone needs boycotting it is the BDS people. Hire a supporter of Jewkillers? A real list of the names of these fools should be posted so that a job boycott can be organized.

  • Brian

    You lead, I’ll follow. Just because there are other problems in the world does not mean we can’t tackle this one. If you want to start a campaign to divest from Boko Haram (ha ha) or, for real now, rally around some type of positive action to solve these world problems, I and many others are all ears.

  • Brian

    Hi, my name is Brian. Please add me to your list of no-hires. If your company doesn’t approve of free speech and discourse about issues that literally are life-and-death for a large number of people then I don’t think I’ll fit into the culture anyway. As for hiring or supporting Jewkillers, I highly suggest to educate yourself because what you’ve said is completely off topic and not at all relevant to what this article is about.

  • A DIX

    There’s no ‘occupation’, in my humble opinion: just Israeli protection of a disputed territory. It has been so disputed since ’49 when a certain Arab nation / s did not allow the designated territory to become a Palestinian state.

    In the year that I was born China occupied Tibet and has remained there ever since; in my penultimate year at school Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus and has remained there ditto. When will these hypocrites, if they see ‘occupation’ as such in an Israel context, call for boycotts and divestments against China and Turkey?

    BDS: Beguiling, Dishonest, Sinful.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Bob….by now, we all know that you have absolutely no University affiliation. It’s well documented throughout history that people like you stunt social progress as well as justice. When Blacks in the South voted and their names and addresses we posted in the newspapers and later they turned up dead, I’m sure you jumped for joy. Take a seat and find a new University to harass. Or perhaps a psychologist.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    …….occupation: he action, state, or period of occupying or being occupied by military force. That’s definitely what’s happening. No matter whether you have conservative or liberal views. You can’t just conveniently decide to not see facts. I mean, it may be acceptable with a considerable amount of brain damage.

  • Lee

    Want to divest… then give up your cell phones,computers, printers, 3D printers, forget using google earth view on maps, as well as a host of medical and drug technologies. Just be true to your cause and give this all up and pray for good health. You’ll need it.

  • Poor black Mex LGBTQLMNP chick

    I think you’re missing the point–is about the INTERSECTIONALITY of all the minority issues. So actually is every issue you could ever think of getting attention at once. Pretty economical!

  • Arty Cohn

    You are not occupying if you have retrieved the area that was taken from you by force. In 1948 Jordan invaded and conquered most of what had been termed Samaria and Judea for some 3000 years. After renaming the conquered area as “The West Bank”, Jordan tried to conquer the rest in 1967. But their army was defeated by Israel and they lost all of the land they had previously conquered in 1948.

  • Bob

    Fuck Palestine. Fuck Israel. Fuck the entire Middle East. So sick of this fucking topic.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Maybe try some self-love? You seem a bit stressed.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Occupy: To reside or have one’s place of business in.

  • A DIX

    Even so: a Palestinian state could have transpired in ’48 but Jordan did not allow this to happen during the war against Israel by both it and five other Arab nations that resulted in ,as I see it, a miracle, albeit known to the Arabs as the ‘Nakbah’ (pronounced phonetically). Jordan expelled Jews from what became known as West Bank (Judea-Samaria) where they have lived for 1000s of years. Israel has reclaimed that land until its status (disputed territory) is settled. Otherwise – bearing in mind the tragedy of Gaza – there can be no security and downsizing of Israel’s military force. Not until Israel’s borders are recognised and security guaranteed. Do you think Israeli families enjoy seeing their loved ones march off to defend Israel (albeit not without mixed feelings of pride as well as fear)?

    Brain damage? Big words indeed.

  • Bob

    Okay, I engaged in 2 sessions of self-love today so know what do I think? Fuck Palestine. Fuck Israel. Fuck the entire Middle East. So sick of this fucking topic.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Keep trying it. You still seem stressed. Maybe a psychologist next?

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Some 10% of the wall extends past Israel’s borders. There are over 500 checkpoints, many of which extending into zones not even legally occupied by Israel. The number of UN resolutions citing human right violations on behalf of Israel is disgusting. The occupied territories are under economic blockade, stifling economic growth and progress. Poverty levels are through the roof. University students aren’t allowed to learn Palestinian history beyond 1948. Israel can shoot moving projectiles out of the sky with their Iron Dome. There are ways of defending yourself without killing a deplorable amount of the CIVILIAN populations in the process. Atrocities committed in the name of self defense are still atrocities. The people of Palestine have never had autonomy over their lands. It extends past the Ottoman empire. All of these facts need to be acknowledged. Not just the convenient ones. Don’t just look at the history, dissect it and look at intersectionality of today’s events. I don’t expect you to do any of this, though.

  • Jing

    This is completely absurd. Disappointed at the level of thinking of the students quoted in this article. It almost sounds as if it were from the onion.

  • Jing

    But that fact is is that an inordinate and absurd level attention is given to this issue and not other issues. Something different seems to be driving the focus on this one thing.

  • skullbreathe

    I loved the tear gas connection and Ferguson. Would that be the group of people burning down businesses and tear gassed? The connection between those two events was one group was maliciously burning down and looting small community based businesses and the police and national guard were using appropriate force to disperse theses criminals.. Possibly a strong # tag should have been used as a replacement?

  • Brian

    I think you are forgetting the PEACEFUL protestors and JOURNALISTS who were also tear gassed when there was no violence or property damage. Please read more about Ferguson if you honestly believe everyone there for these past long months is a looter and business burner. The fact is, the Israeli army also uses violence and militarism against PEACEFUL protestors, sometimes resulting in the murder of said protestors.

  • Brian

    What authority do you have to decide what is an appropriate level of attention? And what other issues can Stanford students take direct action to address? Nigeria has explicitly stated it does not want international help with Boko Haram, ISIS is a problem best left for regional powers to destroy, Syria is a tragedy but one that will likely only worsen with US intervention (although it would be great if you want to organize some humanitarian aid work on campus, Jing), and North Korea is already sanctioned and isolated. Through Stanford’s investments we are all involved in the war crimes and human rights violations of the Israeli military. These student groups are trying to end that complicity and support in a way Stanford has committed to in the past. And, most importantly, this is an action that the oppressed people have specifically asked for and is not another imperialistic excursion of power into a place it does not belong.

  • A DIX

    To address your remarks, as far as poss., point by point:
    500 x checkpoints: did this nation not set up checkpoints owing to terrorism, during Northern Ireland’s period we call the ‘Troubles’?

    More human rights violations against Israel by the UN than against North Korea that is itself hardly a bastion of human rights.

    If the so-called ‘occupied’ territories are under blockade and stifling economic growth how do you know this is not down to the Palestinian Authority’s economic policies? The PA governs Areas A & B in co-operation with Israeli security: hardly my idea of occupation, as in the Vichy collaboration with France’s Nazi occupiers.

    Poverty? How do you know this isn’t down to PA policies?

    Israel can shoot moving projectiles: in my book they’re missiles and I myself have witnessed them – or at least their remains. Those ‘projectiles’ are aimed at defenceless civilians.

    If that regime we call Hamas persists in using civilians as human shields then regrettably casualties are unavoidable. How would you suggest Israel defends itself?

    ‘500 checkpoints .. extending into zones not even legally occupied by Israel’ – so you concede there’s a legal occupation?

    Palestine, as a nation and people, never existed. They chose to take up that name as a result of Israel’s coming into being, as a poltical gesture. Based on the name ‘Syria-Palestina’, the name given to that region by the Romans.

    And finally, it was the San Remo agreement, later ratified by the League of Nations and hardly rescinded by the UN, that has allowed Israel to have legal status, following the Balfour Declaration.

    How about you looking at the history? I’ll examine it further if you do. Though I would hardly expect it.

  • Jing

    Investments in China? Investments in Turkey, where there is no freedom of press? Investments in Russia? Investments in Saudi Arabia? Israel the last middle eastern country I would boycott in regards to human rights. It affords more rights as Jewish majority nation to its Arab citizens than Arab states to their own Arab citizens. If Israel were a Muslim nation rather than a Jewish one, it would not get any of this undue warped scrutiny.

  • Brian

    I implore you to learn more about the occupation. That you would equate a lack of freedom of the press to the oppression the Palestinians face, especially in Gaza, is very telling. I’m glad you brought up Russia though. I would say the Russian invasion of Crimea is very similar to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory. And guess what? The US has targeted Russia with extreme boycotts, divestments, and sanctions. The more you know!

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    I’m letting you go. Read the resolution put forth by the coalition if it suits you. If it does not, so be it. Divestment will come with time.

  • A DIX

    FAO CheckYourIgnorance: you claim that divestment will come with time? Then give up your cell phones,computers, printers, 3D
    printers, forget using google earth view on maps, as well as a host of
    medical and drug technologies, as the other correspondent says. Oh and I trust you’ll never contract cancer as Israel has developed what’s known as the Pillcam, a special pill containing a camera that a cancer patient can swallow in order for doctors to search out cancerous cells. You obviously had no answers to my points. All good wishes. Shalom.

  • guuest

    Genuinely curious about how you think Israel should handle the issue. Recall Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza, forcibly removing their own citizens from the settlements, and in return got bombarded with thousands of rockets. Is your position a two-state solution? If so, I agree with you, but how do you propose to make that happen when Palestinian leadership (and a vast majority of the Palestinian people) explicitly rejects any two-state compromise and calls for the complete annihilation of Israel.

  • guest

    Thanks ^ learned a lot.

  • A DIX

    Universities are for ALL views to be expressed, not just yours, especially yours – as long as students still concentrate on their studies.

  • Not even wrong

    > Through Stanford’s investments we are all involved in the
    > war crimes and human rights violations of the Israeli military.

    What unmitigated nonsense.

  • CheckYourIgnorance

    Am I confused in thinking that as a Stanford student…who, you know, is affected much more by what my University does (since I DO go here) am justified in understanding that my opinion matters to the University more than some stranger with no affiliation? Popularity and image are factors, but University affairs are for the University (and it’s affiliates). And no, not ALL views are expressed. We don’t have the KKK and Westboro Baptist church prancing around expressing themselves on our campus. But I guess you don’t know that. Since you don’t go here?