Divestment Resolution Passes Student Senate
By Luis Sanchez
(Photo of reaction to vote, by Shane McKeon of Daily Northwestern)
The Associated Student Government senate of Northwestern University narrowly passed a resolution to call on the administration to divest holdings from six companies they say are complicit in human rights violations in Israel on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The resolution passed with 24 votes in favor, 22 against and three abstentions.
In an unusual location to accommodate the large crowd of a couple hundred students, the Louis room in the Norris student center quickly self-segregated into pro and con factions as the long line outside the meeting room drained in.
The discussion was on whether to pass the NU Divest-sponsored resolution calling for Northwestern University to divest from companies linked to Israeli activity in the West Bank. The resolution itself does not enact a policy change but is instead a recommendation to University officials on how they should act.
The main argument against divestment made by Coalition for Peace was that NU Divest is too closely associated with the BDS movement. Because parts of the BDS leadership favor of a one-state solution, divestment goes against the possibility of peace. Coalition for Peace believes peace is only viable if it includes a two-state solution and that ASG should not approve any resolution that rejects the legitimacy of either party.
NU Divest argued that they are not linked to Boycott Divestment Sanctions and passed an amendment during the hearing to change the wording in their resolution to “in response to the call for BDS” due to misconceptions. They reaffirmed that while BDS and a two-state solution are compatible, they are not calling for a one-state solution or a two-state solution as these are choices that should be made by the people affected in Israel and Palestine and not those outside of the region.
As the debate on Wednesday night carried into Thursday, NU Divest had representatives provide personal testimonials on suffering endured by Palestinians. One representative called for people opposed to divestment to stop speaking for Palestinians since Palestinians’ views were not reflected in their speech.
NU Divest and Coalition for Peace, like most Israelis and Palestinians, both want justice and peace in the region. Hopefully, those of us here at Northwestern can find a way to make a contribution to the peace process, however small.by