Stanford student senate passes divestment resolution

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Stanford University student senate passed an Israel divestment resolution that it narrowly defeated a week ago.

In Tuesday evening’s revote, the measure which calls on the Palo Alto, Calif., university to “divest from companies that violate international humanitarian law,” passed with 10 votes in favor, four against and one abstention, the Stanford Daily student newspaper reported.

The resolution specifically calls on the university to divest from companies that violate international humanitarian law by: “Maintaining the illegal infrastructure of the Israeli occupation, in particular settlements and separation wall, which includes companies like Veolia Transdev and Elbit Systems; Facilitating Israel and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians, which includes companies like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Eaton Corp; and Facilitating state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian or Palestinian Authority security forces, which includes companies like Combined Tactical Systems and G4S.

The revamped resolution also disassociated the divestment call from any official Boycott, Divestment and Santions movement.

Last week, the vote on a similar resolution calling for the university to divest from corporations that engage in “specific practices that commit human rights abuses and violate international law” in the West Bank, was nine votes for the measure and five against, with one abstention. But to pass, the measure required 66 percent of the senators to approve and finished with 64 percent.

The resolution was proposed by the Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine campus organization in the wake of last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The revote came at the request of the Senate Chair Ana Ordonez, who abstained in last week’s vote. She said at the meeting that she decided to bring the motion forward again because last week she was unable to focus on the subject because the 400 people in attendance at the meeting and the “hostile” atmosphere made it difficult for her to concentrate on the vote.

“Now that the noise has subsided, I know that I voted incorrectly,” Ordoñez said, according to the Stanford Daily.
Ordonez changed her vote from abstain to in favor, and another senator changed from against to abstain.
There were about 35 Stanford students in attendance at Tuesday night’s Undergraduate Senate meeting.

Wesleyan University, Oberlin College, DePaul University, Evergreen State College, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UCLA, and UC Davis have all passed Israel divestment resolutions.