Divesting From Israel
Published on May 21, 2013Akashma Online News
Divesting From Israel-BDS and Academic Boycott
Written on May 8, 2013 for Coast Report
6 months ago, my mother-in-law Hanifa, died in Palestine, she was 89 years old, from Haifa, then Palestine. Her family, as well as millions of Palestinians were forced out of their homes in 1947, when Palestine, then a mandate of Britain, was partitioned by Resolution 181 by the United Nations, giving the New founded Jew State minority of Israel a 70 percent of the land and the rest 30 percent to the majority of Palestinians, which were millions. ”
I started my article with this lede, out of anger and frustration, for what we can and cannot write on the Newspaper. On May 06, during our budget day, journalist teacher/adviser for our journalism class, staff editors and staff writers, decided what is going to be published in Coast Report for the following week for the college student newspaper. On Monday we gather in the journalism building, and discuss issues of interest, sports news, opinion and any other issue we think is worth, to be investigated and write an article on it.
It seemed that being the last weeks of our publication, and ending the semester, the class is out of stories to print, so, our adviser asked us, what we are passionate about it?, what we want to write about. I promptly raised my hand and I said, “Divesting from Israel”, excuse me she said, so I repeated, I want to write about Boycott and Divesting Sanctions against Israel, my teacher opened her eyes so wide and become livid-I could tell she got bothered by my request- and asked to the class, if anybody have an opposing view to mine, I heard someone said, “I do not want to write about Israel”.
I immediately told the class, that colleges’ campuses and Universities across the US, were considering boycotting Israel, to what she said, NO! only Berkley University had boycotted Israel, to what I told her, that more than one campus had added their voice to the BDS, and I wanted to write about it. Our teacher/adviser, after seeing that nobody else wanted to write about Israel, she said with a slow tone of voice, but loud enough for everyone to hear, “There is no Palestine”, and they went ahead to put my name in the board in Views, in the budget for next week newspaper. I’ m pretty sure, my teacher will not run the story. So I decided to print this article and distribute it around OCC campus, and publish it in this blog.
Over the years, the UN had adopted more than 300 resolutions calling for Israel to abide by International law and to respect the human rights of Palestinians, as well to withdraw from territories, that according to the Geneva convention, were taken illegally on the aftermath of the 1967 war. Israel had ignored every one of the UN resolutions. In light of the inactivity of the UN, the civil society of Palestine had made a call to the world to help in a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and academy boycott against Israel. Colleges and universities across the US are answering that call.
Orange Coast College should add its voice to the growing non violent BDS movement, and academy boycott, growing rapidly. Other colleges and universities across the US are taking the lead in a non violent way.
Hampshire was the first US college to divest from the apartheid regime of South Africa in the late 1970s, now, 43 years later, leading again the campaign against a non grata entity, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, has become the first of any college or university in the US to divest from Israeli companies on the grounds of their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Hampshire college is not the only player in this fight against Israel, other campuses around the country are adding their efforts to bring Israel to comply with international resolutions voted in the floor of the United Nations.
On 2 June 2010, students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, made history by passing two resolutions supporting human rights, upholding international law, and promoting a just peace in the Palestine/Israel conflict.
1. The first resolution calls for The Evergreen State College Foundation to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, as part of instituting a socially responsible investment policy.
2. The second resolution calls on the College to ban the use of Caterpillar, Inc. equipment from campus. (Equipment used widely in Israel, in the construction of illegal settlement and to destroy Palestinians homes.)
The Associated Students at the University of California, San Diego (ASUCSD) voted 20-12, in favor of divesting from companies that engage in business with Israel, during their meeting on March 13
On April 17, UC Berkeley announced the passing of bill 160, 11-9, the Senate voted to divests ASUC funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military and encourages the UC system to do the same.
In a telephone interview with Columbia Professor Katherine Franke, spoke person for a group of over 100 faculty members, she expressed their endorsement to the academic boycott of Israel. “As faculty and officers of Columbia University we look to TIAA-CREF(Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association) to invest our retirement account funds wisely and ethically,” she added, “We cannot tolerate the idea that one day we may live on retirement income that finds its source in the profitability of the illegal occupation.”
The BDS movement and academic boycott is growing and will not stop until UN forces Israel to comply with its international obligations. In the mean time, the clock is ticking, add your voice and side with truth, justice and peace.
On Wednesday 08, when the Coast Report publication run its edition, my article ‘Divesting from Israel’, was nowhere to be found. On Wednesdays, after we pick up the print edition of the newspaper, the Coast Report; staff writers and our teacher/adviser change views on the newspaper edition, needless to say, I was very mad because my article was not published. The teacher said that some articles were not run, because they did not have space.
I did not mention anything and waited until next Monday to ask, if the last week articles were going to be printed on the next publication. Immediately she said, “If you talking about the Israel article, she said, it won’t be published, because it is to insensitive. She said, that there are tons of facts that need to be corroborated, to which I said, I credited the sources, and I made a telephone interview with Professor Katherine Franke, from Colombia University, and all the information was verified.
My teacher was not too happy about my article, then she asked me, where did I took the other information?, I said, from their respective News papers (Universities and colleges).
She told me, that there were facts, that need to be corroborated. I told her everything is factual to the truth, to which she said, “The conflict, the Israel/Palestinian conflict needs to be corroborated, she said that there are conflicting opinions. To which I told her, that I was writing this article for the Views Section, which it is my opinion, but she said, we cannot run it, and that’s it.
At this point of the argument I was super mad, and told her, that she did not want to run it because it was about Israel, she said, that, she never said that the article was not going to be run because it was about Israel, but there is no other reason why she would not even consider to publish it and let the readers decide if it is controversial, or insensitive. Needless to say that she is Jew, not that should matter, but in this case it did. Her being Jew, should be about of the question, should not matter. This is the college student newspaper, we should be able to choose the topic, but she has the control of what can be published and what not.
Any way, she did not run my article, but instead the Editorial section of May 15 of the Coast Report published something that seems very personal, seems directed to me. I could be wrong, but she knows that I maintain a blog, and she knows that I write about Middle Eastern issues, she knows that I m Palestinian Activist, and by now, she knows that I m working tirelessly in the BDS and Academic Boycott campaign against Israel.
Read the following Editorial and be the opinion maker.
Editorial: Trust the news, not the views, Published in The Editorial of Coast report on the May 15, issue.
The press is often vilified as biased and unprofessional. A common accusation is that reporters selectively filter what to put into a story based on what supports their various political agendas, and that they skew facts to slant public opinion one way or the other.
You see it on Fox and MSNBC all the time. Fox is notoriously conservative, and MSNBC infamously left-leaning. But these institutions were created to pander to their audiences’ political views, and should not be taken seriously as real journalists.
They do not represent most members of the news media. It’s true that we filter what goes into our articles, but not because of any political bias or agenda. Any story has a matter of inches to fit full coverage in.
Larger organizations such as the Los Angeles Times publish longer articles, but the average at most publications is less than 500 words. Those 500 words need to convey what happened, when it happened, where it happened, how it happened, what it means and why it’s important, who was involved, all the sides of it and what’s next.
That’s why stories are filtered. Journalists strive to present objective, accurate reporting, and agonize over which facts readers need to know and which can be left out so the story can fit. Coverage of a government meeting, for example, would include arguments or decisions involving the budget, but leave out the debate on which brand of water tastes best.
Reporters take volumes of notes before submitting a story. They put those into a story based on what’s most important, and will thoroughly check for inaccuracies. Once an article is written, it goes through a stringent editing process, often being reviewed by multiple editors for content, objectivity, accuracy and grammar.
There will always be writers who abuse the position they’re in, but most regard themselves as gatekeepers for the flow of information and take that seriously. We are our own biggest critics, and abhor unfair, inaccurate reporting. Rely on Facebook and bloggers, who often have no code of ethics, and see how reliable the news becomes. [end]
The editorial at Coast Report, should know, that mostly, all the information published on facebook and in blogs, it is borrowed, clipped, reprinted from “Trust worthy and credible media”. Where their reporters take tons of notes. Any way the editorial is somehow deliberately misleading the readers, in its first paragraph; ” A common accusation is that reporters selectively filter what to put into a story based on what supports their various political agendas, and that they skew facts to slant public opinion one way or the other.”.
The reporters are not the ones who filter the story, the reporters are assigned the stories. The editors decide what is going to be published, based on what supports their various political agendas. Even after we take the notes back, and write our articles, the editors purge every word they don’t like, at the end, the story depends on the editor approval.
I know I m going to be in problems in my college, at least in my journalism class, but truth to the truth. This is a small college newspaper, should be unbiased, should be run by the students, should be fair. If this happen in a small newspaper, I just imagine what happens in a commercial big news paper.
More on Academic Boycott against Israel….
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply disturbed by the decision of the International Society for Political Psychology (ISPP) to hold its conference at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel, from July 8-11, 2013 . We urge the ISPP to relocate this conference to another country that does not embody injustice through maintaining a regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid , as Israel does. We also appeal to all members of ISPP to refrain from participating in the conference if it is convened in Israel, just as most academics avoided visiting South Africa until it ended its apartheid system.