This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
SAN FRANCISCO — Stanford University’s student senate rejected a bill calling for selective divestment from Israel.
The Associated Students of Stanford University Undergraduate Senate rejected the proposal, put forth by Students for Palestinian Equal Rights(SPER).
The bill originally would have committed the Senate to urge the university’s Board of Trustees to reconsider endowment investments in eight companies, including Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin and Motorola. Tuesday’s vote centered on a revised version that pared the list to two.
The failure of the SPER bill capped off several weeks of contentious debate on campus. SPER Co-President Omar Shakir, a law student, had alleged the companies listed in the proposal profit from Israel’s control of the West Bank and “commit human rights abuses and violations of international law.”
Groups on both sides received statements of support from prominent outside voices. On SPER’s side were a pair of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Northern Irish peace activist Mairead Maguire and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker had also called for the measure to be implemented.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.