NYU student government passes resolution to divest from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine – December 7, 2018
The New York University (NYU) Student Government Assembly passed a divestment resolution inspired by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) on December 6th by a vote of 35 in favor, 14 against, and 14 abstaining, meeting the ⅔ threshold that was 33 votes.

This is the first resolution of this nature ever to be presented at NYU. The “Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians” calls for divesting from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights and calls on NYU to adopt a socially responsible investment policy that upholds human rights for all. The resolution was presented by Senators-at-Large Bayan Abubakr and Rose Asaf along with Alternate Senator-at-Large Leen Dweik. Asaf, Abubakr, and Dweik are all seniors at NYU and members of Students for Justice in Palestine. Additionally, Asaf is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

NYU SJP logo
“I co-authored this resolution because I have a role and stake in the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice. To quote Lilla Watson, all of our liberations are bound together. As a first-generation Sudanese-American Muslim, I cannot idly stand by as the institution that I attend perpetuates imperial violence in Palestine and beyond. I want NYU to reckon with the fact that it profits off of the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods, communities, and homes.” – Bayan Abubakr, Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine NYU member.
Targeting three corporations – Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric – the resolution brings attention to the ways in which these corporations violate Palestinian human rights. The resolution calls on the university to divest from these companies as well as others complicit in human rights abuses of Palestinians and globally. The resolution ultimately calls on the university to implement a socially responsible investment model, which would put in a place a screen to ensure the university’s investments that uphold human rights for all.
“As a Palestinian, this resolution is deeply personal to me. As an NYU student, it hurts and shocks me that the university would continue to invest in companies that directly contribute to the human rights violations of my family and my people.” – Leen Dweik, Alternate Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine member.
The resolution is supported by 61 student groups listed in Appendix A. These include the undergraduate student government of the NYU Silver School of Social Work, the Black Student Union, the Interfaith Students of Color Coalition at NYU and the NYU College Libertarians, amongst others. In addition to these clubs, there are 34 faculty endorsements who are listed in Appendix B. The presentation of the resolution comes a month after more than thirty student groups at NYU pledged non-cooperation with the NYU Tel Aviv campus. This also comes weeks after student activists organized to get a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos cancelled. NYU’s study body now joins Barnard College’s, which passed a referendum in support of divestment last year.
“As an American-Israeli Jewish person, I am co-authoring this resolution because of my identity — not in spite of it. I believe that I, as a Jewish person, have a responsibility to support Palestinians in their struggle for justice and liberation. NYU likes to give the illusion that it is a progressive institution, but how progressive can it actually be when it is actively funding human rights violations?” – Rose Asaf, Senator at-Large and Jewish Voice for Peace-NYU member.
The resolution will next need to be heard by the University Senate, consisting of students, faculty, deans, and staff. If the resolution passes University Senate, it will be sent to the Board of Trustees for consideration.
Appendix A: Supporting Groups
Advocate Coalition (Against) Trafficking at NYU (Re-ACT)
African Heritage Month
African Student Union
NYU Aftab Literary Magazine
NYU Against Fascism
Arab Students United
Asian American Women’s Alliance at NYU
Asian Heritage Month
NYU Asian Pacific American Coalition
Bella Quisqueya (BQ)
Black and Brown Coalition at NYU
NYU Black Muslim Initiative
Black Students Union (BSU)
Brownstone Publication
NYU Coalition on Law & Representation (CoLR)
NYU College Libertarians
NYU Disorient
NYU Divest for Climate Justice
NYU Dream Team
Gentlemen of Quality (GQ)
GSOC-UAW Local 2110 — The Union for Graduate Employees at New York University
Haitian American Students Association (HASA)
Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc.
Incarceration to Education Coalition
NYU International Socialist Organization
NYU Jewish Voice for Peace
La Herencia Latina
Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad at NYU (LUCHA)
NYU Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP)
Malaysian Students Association
NYU Mexican Student Association (MexSA)
Mosaic: The Interfaith Students of Color Coalition at NYU
MuCh — Muslim Christian Dialogue at NYU
Muslim Graduate Student Group
NYU Muslim Students Association
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at NYU
Native American and Indigenous Student Group at NYU
The Omicron Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha
Pakistani Students Association at NYU
NYU PorColombia
NYU Sanctuary Student Taskforce
SHADES: For LGBTQ Students of Color and Allies at NYU
Shuruq: Islamic Heritage Month
NYU Slam! Poetry Club
NYU Students Against Gentrification and Expansion
NYU Students for Justice in Palestine
Student Labor Action Movement at NYU
NYU Tandon Muslim Students Association
Turkish Student Association at NYU
T-Party at NYU
NYU ¡Viva Perú!
NYU Young Democratic Socialists of America
Biracial and Multicultural Student Association
NYU-Wagner’s Black Student Association
Justice Initiative at Global Public Health NYU
Map Club at NYU
Nutrition Without Borders at Global Public Health NYU
NYU Silver Undergraduate Student Government Association
Bioethics @ NYU
Anthropology Undergraduate Student Association
Appendix B: Faculty Support
Andrew Ross, Professor
Arang Keshavarzian, Associate Professor
Arun Kundani, Visiting Assistant Professor
Barbara Weinstein, Silver Professor
Bertell Ollman, Professor
Diana Taylor, Professor
Elaine Freedgood, Professor
Fred Moten, Professor
Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Professor
Greg Grandin, Professor
Harty Field, Professor
James S. Uleman, Professor and T-FSC Senator
Jeff Goodwin, Professor
Jini Watson, Associate Professor
John Michael Archer, Professor
Kathy Engel, Associate Professor
Lenora Hanson, Assistant Professor
Lisa Duggan, Professor
Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Professor
Marie Cruz Soto, Clinical Assistant Professor
Marie Monaco, Associate Professor
Mark Crispin Miller, Professor
Monica Kim, Assistant Professor
Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor
Paula Chakravartty, Associate Professor
Rebecca E. Karl, Professor
Renee Blake, Associate Professor
Sonya Posmentier, Associate Professor
Thuy Linh Tu, Associate Professor
Timothy J. Reiss, Emeritus Professor
Valerie Forman, Associate Professor
Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice
Vivek Chibber, Professor
Zachary Lockman, Professor