Sunday, March 28, 2010

UC Berkeley ASUC to Reconsider Israel Divestment Bill

The saga of the Israel divestment bill at UC Berkeley's student government is not over. While the bill passed the ASUC (Associated Students at University of California) senate despite well-crafted statements from pro-Israel students , ASUC President Will Smelko wisely vetoed the bill. He appropriately cited "the shortcomings of the bill (such as a) ... selective, one-sided focus on a specific country that lacks important historical context and understanding".

Now the ASUC Senate will consider whether to overturn the veto or not. Despite the fact that they are elected by, and only responsible to, their fellow students, the ASUC senators are paying attention to community response. Since the anti-Israel groups (including, of course, Jewish Voice for Peace/BDS ) have called for an e-mail campaign from members of the general public to urge them to override the veto, it is incumbent upon us to counter that.

StandWithUs has been working with the pro-Israel student leadership; they are telling us that the other side is sending pro-divestment letters to the student senators at a rate of 75 to 100 e-mails per EACH HOUR. The senators are not even reading the e-mails, just putting them into categories.


Please send an email now. And again later. And again tomorrow. It's rather absurd that they are even running this like an online public opinion poll, but that is what they are doing. One can assume that the anti-Israel groups are even setting up automated programs to send hundreds of e-mails.

1. ESSENTIAL: Put in the subject of their letters: VOTE AGAINST ANTI-ISRAEL DIVESTMENT
2. Write your own BRIEF letter to the following senate members at, copy the UC Berkeley Chancellor, and copy UC President Mark Yudof at
3. Copy the letter to
You can see further information at . Remember that this bill would NOT result in the University divesting from Israel, and the student government does not have assets to divest, but it does have symbolic importance.

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