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UC San Diego council seeks divestment from firms with West Bank ties

March 14, 2013 |  5:58 pm

UC San Diego’s student government joined a widening movement urging the university system to divest from companies that some student activists contend are violating the human rights of Palestinians and aiding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

After a sometimes angry debate that went past 1 a.m. Thursday, the Associated Students’ council voted 20 to 12 with one abstention to endorse a resolution that seeks to end UC investment in such companies as Northrop Grumman, Alliant Techsystems and General Electric. The students contend that these companies provide technology, weapons or other products the Israeli military uses in the Palestinian territories.

Last week, a similar measure was passed by the student government at UC Riverside and one was approved at UC Irvine in November. However, those advisory measures have no power over the UC regents, who control the university’s massive portfolio and have said they will not take any divestment action involving Israel.

Supporters of Israel complained that the UC San Diego measure was unfair and divisive. Leaders of the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine, which lobbied for the resolution, issued a statement that applauded the vote, saying it was “in solidarity with Palestinians seeking freedom and justice.”

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--Larry Gordon

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