News from BRICUP

King's College London Students' Union motion on BDS

Passed 26 March 2014

This Union Notes
1. To boycott is to target products, companies and institutions that profit from or are implicated in, the violation of Palestinian rights
2. To divest is to target corporations complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights, as enshrined in the Geneva Convention, and ensure that investments or pension funds are not used to finance such companies
3. To call for sanctions is to ask the global community to recognise Israel's violations of international law and to act accordingly as they do to other member states of the United Nations
4. That in 2009 the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa released a report
stating that Israel was practising a form of apartheid in the occupied West Bank.
5. That in July 2004 the International Court of Justice (the highest legal body in the world,
whose statute all UN members are party to) stated
that the “Separation barrier being constructed by Israel contravenes International Law.
6. That Article 49, paragraph 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention which declares "an occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies."
7. That the current British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 described Gaza as a “prison camp” and the situation in Gaza as “unacceptable”
8. That Palestinians living in Israel continue to suffer third-class citizenship and are heavily discriminated against from healthcare, education, land ownership and in many cases having 'unrecognised' villages completely demolished.
9. That United Nations resolution 194 recognises the call for the Palestinian “Right of Return”
10. That KCL adopted the call for BDS in the 1980s when it was called for by South Africans fighting racism and apartheid.
11. That Ronnie Kasrils, the Jewish South African Minister of Intelligence said "The boycotts and sanctions ultimately helped liberate both blacks and whites in South Africa. Palestinians and Israelis will similarly benefit from this non-violent campaign that Palestinians are calling for."
12. That the call for BDS has come from over 170 Palestinian civil society organisations, including student organisations, as well as organisations within Israel and across the global; and that the campaign is founded on the basis of anti-racism and human rights for all.
13. That Nobel Peace prize winner and KCL alumnus Peter Higgs supports the BDS movement.
14. That Nobel Peace prize winner, anti-apartheid activist and KCL Alumnus Desmond Tutu
supports the BDS movement and said “The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.
15. That the current Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was called upon by Palestinians in 2005 and that it demands three things:
• An end to the 1967 illegal occupation and dismantling the separation wall
• Full equality for all Palestinians living within Israel and the occupied territories.
• The right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes as stipulated in UN
resolution 194.
This Union Believes:
1. That unions should work to support the Palestinian people's human rights and uphold international law
2. That BDS is an effective tactic, which educates society about these issues, economically pressures companies/institutions to change their practices and politically pressures the global community
3. That unions have a moral responsibility to heed the call of oppressed peoples, like we did so
proudly during the BDS campaign to end South African apartheid
4. That the BDS movement has united human rights campaigners from different nationalities, races, religions and creeds across the world.
5. That BDS does not, in any way, discriminate against individuals, Israeli students or alumni at King’. BDS is merely targeted at the institutions, and not particular individuals, that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine and of violating international law.
This Union Resolves:
1. To carry out thorough research into KCL investments, partnerships, and contracted companies, including subcontractors, that may be implicated in violating Palestinian human rights as stated by the BDS movement
2. Pressure King’s College London to divest from Israel and from companies directly or indirectly supporting the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies;
3. To have a plaque in all KCLSU student centres acknowledging that KCLSU formally supported the BDS call, as was done when KCLSU showed solidarity to our sisters and brothers in their struggle against Apartheid South Africa with the following text:

“KCLSU officially endorses the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law and ends it illegal occupation of Palestine. KCLSU is proud to follow the example of a similar call in the 1980’s, which successfully led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. “

 

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