Divestment Campaign Contacts: Uri Horesh, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania
Welcome to the campaign for University of Pennsylvania divestment from arms corporations that conduct business with Israel or any other human rights violator.
[*Disclaimer: the University administration opposes our divestment campaign, just as they shamefully opposed the campaign for divestment from companies that profited from apartheid South Africa.]
(12.4.2002): the petition, with an opening statement calling on the University to re-establish the Committee on University Responsibility, and backed by hundreds of pages of documentation of human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza, has now been presented to President Rodin at the University Council Open Forum. Our request was supported by several members of the Open Forum. President Rodin declined to comment throughout the half-hour discussion.
This campaign was launched by a coalition of American and Israeli Jewish, Palestinian, and other concerned students, student groups, faculty, alumni, staff, and community members on October 3rd, 2002.
This campaign is inspired by the struggle of students and faculty to force the University to divest from apartheid South Africa. During that
campaign, the University administration delayed for nearly a decade before finally divesting from companies that supported the racist apartheid system. We deeply hope that the University administration will not pursue the same shameful path this time around, inevitably to give way in any case under the moral weight of injustice that a place of learning should profit from the violation of human rights.
We unconditionally condemn the University's investment in any and all companies that profit by providing arms to regimes that are documented human rights violators. We focus our petition on Israel because:
- Israel has been shown to be in wide violation of human rights by:
The US State Department
Human Rights Watch
The International Committee of the Red Cross
The Palestine Red Crescent Society
Physicians for Human Rights
as well as by every other major international human rights group in the world;
-Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid (more than $46 billion
since 1950), which means US tax dollars are used to purchase weapons systems that are used illegally in the Occupied Palestinian Territories;
-The University of Pennsylvania has significant holdings in many of these same arms manufacturers.
Arms manufacturers we target (weapons sales data compiled by
We unconditionally condemn the University's investment in arms companies that support violations of human rights, be such violations conducted by Israel, Egypt, Colombia, Turkey, or any other party. This campaign will continue until:
- The University proves that it no longer has holdings or receives any form of profit from companies that are proven providers of arms to human rights violators;
- The University adopts an investment policy that prohibits its investment in any such companies;
- The University establishes a permanent committee or other body
responsible for ensuring that this policy is effectively implemented.