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Referenda Case

All Student Vote (Autumn 2020)

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Motion (BDS): Divest, Break the links & Pledge to be Apartheid Free

This Union Notes:

This section should include any facts, figures or statements that you believe are relevant to the topic of your policy. Remember in this section clear and effective referencing is important.

1. The University have pledged to commit to a Social Responsible Investment Policy to “reduce, and, ideally, eliminate, corporate behaviour” that leads to “armament sales to military regimes” and “human rights violations”. Yet, they continue to work with corporations that support and aid Israel’s settler colonial regime.1

2. University of Warwick has been working alongside corporations that are funding the Israeli settler colonial regime, which has massacred Palestinians and displaced them from their homes. These companies are aiding Israel’s actions which are illegal under the UN Geneva Conventions and International Law.2

3. Research has shown that Warwick’s manufacturing group and Chemistry department have partnerships with BAE systems.3 This corporation is the UK’s largest arms and military company, and have produced and marketed drones which are used to maintain siege on Gaza.4

4. Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and JCB have been working together to create software powers for a more fuel-efficient ‘environmentally friendly’ construction machines.5 JCB bulldozers are regularly used by the Israeli police to demolish Palestinian property and homes, with the UN Human Rights Council demanding that they terminate all business involvements in Israel’s illegal settlement activity.6

5. The National Union of Students’ Executive Council voted to join the call of the BDS movement (August 2014). 7

6. The NUS Black Students’ Conference has endorsed BDS (August 2014).8

7. The NUS and Students Union across the UK supported the BDS call during Apartheid South Africa and has passed a motion calling for freedom for Palestine.9

8. Israel has denied the right of return for Palestinian refugees recognised under The United Nations UN General Assembly Resolution 194. Now there are more than five million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA, many of them are now stateless.

 

This Union Believes:

 

This section should include opinions or supporting statements for your policy.

1. That under the UN Definition of Apartheid, Israel is an Apartheid state. The UN Definition of Apartheid from 1973 is as follows:

 

a. Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:

(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;

(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

b. Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

c. Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

 

2. That boycotting campaigns against South Africa was an important part of the resistance bringing down Apartheid and that the same means can help bring down Apartheid again.

 

3. That in light of the Apartheid policies inflicted on all Palestinians by the State of Israel, it is necessary to highlight the State’s role in the occupation and Apartheid by applying pressure through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

 

4. That Warwick Students’ Union and University of Warwick should adopt the demands of Apartheid Off Campus, a nation-wide on-campus BDS movement. These demands are as follows:

- Divest Now: Divest from all companies which supply and/or finance Israel’s illegal settlement economy and Israel’s arms trade.

- Break the Links: Break the links by ending partnerships, sponsorships or other agreements with complicit institutions and companies

- Pledge to be Apartheid Free: Adopt a pledge to be apartheid free including a commitment against all forms of discrimination, including Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.

 

This Union Resolves:

 

This section should be about how you want the SU to react, the outcome of this policy. Remember to mandate specific departments/sabbatical officers; this will make things easier for future accountability

 

1. This Union resolves to mandate Democracy & Development Officer and the Education Officer should lobby the University to end all ties with companies that support Israel’s illegal settler economy.

 

2. This Union resolves to mandate the Democracy & Development Officer, and the Education Officer to investigate the finances and investment of University departments and to lobby the University to divest and break the links with all complicit companies and institutions

 

3. This Union resolves to mandate the Democracy & Development Officer, and the Education Officer to work with Warwick Friends of Palestine Society, anti-Israeli Apartheid on-campus and anti-racist activists in their calls on the University of Warwick to divest.

4. This Union resolves to mandate the Democracy & Development Officer, and the Education Officer to lobby the University and implement the demands of Apartheid Off Campus as follows;

- Divest Now: Divest from all companies which supply and/or finance Israel’s illegal settlement economy and Israel’s arms trade.

- Break the Links: Break the links by ending partnerships, sponsorships or other agreements with complicit institutions and companies

- Pledge to be Apartheid Free: Adopt a pledge to be apartheid free including a commitment against all forms of discrimination, including Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.