As students at the University of Michigan who are committed to the self-determination and humanity of all people, we, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), call for our University to stand by its history of supporting civil and social justice movements, as well as upholding this institution to the high standard of Leaders and Best. We specifically call upon the University to divest from companies that profit from the systematic violation of Palestinian human rights. In standing by our moral obligations as university students, SAFE officially announces the launch of its #UMDivest campaign.
Palestinian suffering is thoroughly documented by scholars, human rights activists, and world leaders. Since 1967, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been living under Israeli military occupation. This occupation is recognized as illegal under international law, with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories subjected to a system of discriminatory and arbitrary laws. Segregated bus systems, restricted freedom of movement, and routine incarceration without due process are part of Palestinians’ daily reality. In clear violation of the Geneva Convention, the Israeli government also forcibly removes Palestinians from their homes and demolishes them to make way for illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. More than 500,000 settlers currently inhabit the West Bank in over 100 illegal settlements, which are subsidized and facilitated by the Israeli government.
As part of the occupation, Palestinians in Gaza also face routine military assaults killing thousands of civilians. The most recent massacre being Operation Protective Edge, a 50-day long war on Gaza in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed more than 2100 Palestinians, wounded 11,000, and displaced 500,000 Gaza residents.
As our University remains invested in these companies, we as students are complicit in the perpetuation of these human rights violations. SAFE calls upon the University of Michigan student body to reflect and learn more about the current situation. We announce a year-long series of events that work to educate our campus and allow for open discussion on the #UMDivest initiative. We refuse to be unwillingly implicated in the oppression of others and believe that any prospect for justice and peace begins with an unconditional respect for human life and dignity.
Students Allied for Freedom & Equality
What companies are we calling for divestment from?
We are calling for the University of Michigan to divest from any and all companies that presently, or in the future, profit off of the human rights violations against Israel and that aid in the occupation and apartheid system that Israel maintains against the Palestinians. Currently, the university is invested in Boeing, HP, United Technologies and HP and have previously been invested in Caterpillar, Heidelberg Cement, and General Electric. The following outlines some examples of the crimes in which the University of Michigan is investing in:
BOEING “has been a major supplier of the F-15 Eagle and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Israel. These aircrafts have been used to attack Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, resulting in many civilian casualties. Boeing makes missile systems, F-15 software, Apache Helicopters, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), a guided air-to-surface weapon”
HP facilitates the occupation and Israel's system of apartheid by providing technological infrastructure to maintain this system. HP provides the technology for Israel's biometric scanning system used at checkpoints and at the apartheid wall as well as providing Israel with the naval technology to enforce the siege on Gaza.
G4S “provides security systems for prisons for Palestinian political prisoners in Israel and in the West Bank” in which Palestinian prisoners are regularly tortured, as documented by various human rights groups "
UNITED TECHNOLOGIES “produces Blackhawk helicopters which are used by the Israeli military to attack Palestinian cities, refugee camps and villages. Many civilians have been killed in these attacks”.
Previous divestment campaigns