2407292423_68143fd8de

ASUC’s divestment bill last month, which (would have, were it not vetoed) served as a response to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, gained UC Berkeley at least one really, really huge fan.

That would be The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and recipient of a handful of more or less prestigious accolades … you know, the Nobel Peace Prize, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, et cetera. Suffice it to say that he’s kind of a big deal.

He’s also very excited about our student government’s attempt—to the tune of a 16-4 vote—to divest the school’s money from “companies that enable and profit from the injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and violation of Palestinian human rights.”

Tutu is so excited, in fact, that he wrote us a letter. His view is, in sum:

… that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings.

In the full body of the letter, numerous parallels are drawn between the current status quo in the Palestinian Territory and South Africa as it once existed under Apartheid, the latter of which Tutu labored against in years-long vocal activism. The nub and gist being that Tutu’s support carries quite a bit of weight, regardless of where on the spectrum you might stand.

Image Source: Wa-J under Creative Commons
Archbishop Desmond Tutu to UC Berkeley: Divesting is the Right Thing To Do [Salem News]



Comments:
GoBears said:
Apr 12, 2010 at 6:08 pm

The fact that the ASUC is getting the attention of Archbishop Tutu is bad, not good. If the ASUC has convinced someone half the world away to care about something, they need to reevaluate their priorities and focus on issues at home.



Ricardo Gomez said:
Apr 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm

When you have a former Nobel Peace Prize winner (one of the good ones) saying that the bill is a good idea, as well as two of our generation’s foremost public intellectuals (Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky), then you’d have to be an idiot not to pass the bill. Too bad some senators are controlled by AIPAC and not by their conscience.

Oh and to the previous commenter: wow. Yeah, next time the Dalai Lama wants to come and speak at Cal, we should just turn him away. This is no place to, you know, do the right thing and embrace progress.



ASUC Progress? said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 12:18 am

While I lack information to even begin to have an opinion on the divestment bill, in the past 5 years the ASUC has hardly been a beacon of progress. I can’t even blame a single party, since the parties swap control from year to year.



GoBears said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 1:19 am

Ricardo,

What relevance does it have that Tutu or any Nobel Prize winner supports the bill? Is he a UC Berkeley student? Last time I checked, ASUC senators are elected to represent students, not anyone else. It shouldn’t matter if Christ himself comes out in favor of the bill: it’s still none of the business of the ASUC to be inserting itself in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

If I were an ASUC Senator, I’d give the letter a quick look, consider his points, and then file it away with the thousands of other letters received from non-UC Berkeley students.



MG said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 3:08 am

In response to the poster above me:

Last time I checked, yes, the senators were voted to represent Berkeley students. 16 of these 20 senators happened to also vote in favor of this bill.

And the point here is not the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but the companies that profit from war crimes. To ignore an issue so important simply because it’s outside of our “Berkeley bubble” is to ignore our duty as citizens of this world. Even so, this issue does in fact affect “those at home”. Furthermore, those issues at home affect other homes, too.



Ivan said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 4:19 am

We have already inserted ourselves in the conflict by helping to enable war crimes by investing in companies providing war material. The students should have a say as to where their money goes. Morality figures into that decision.



Tuto is wrong said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

Indeed the Arab/Israeli conflict none of the Student business, they are elected to focus on Student needs in their own campus. Mr. Tutu continues his crusade against Israel, because he is an anti-Semite. In his ignorance or malice he claims that the Jews took Arab land but in fact it is vice versa. The Jews took no man’s land! they are there by international law per the 1922 Palestine Mandate Doc. Study this document carefully and learn that Palestine was allocated to the Jewish people to reconstitute their historical homeland. Most of the land was a waste land after WWI. Most of the Arabs came en mass once the Jews joined their brethren in Palestine to rebuild their homeland. Palestine was never an Arab country let alone a sovereign power.

Shame on Mr. Tutu who spreads lies and hatred.



Tutu is a disgrace said:
Apr 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

Indeed the Arab/Israeli conflict is none of the Student business, they are elected to focus on Student needs in their own campus. Mr. Tutu continues his crusade against Israel, because he is an anti-Semite. In his ignorance or malice he claims that the Jews took Arab land but in fact it is vice versa. The Jews took no man’s land! they are there by international law per the 1922 Palestine Mandate Doc. Study this document carefully and learn that Palestine was allocated to the Jewish people to reconstitute their historical homeland. Most of the land was a waste land after WWI. Most of the Arabs came en mass once the Jews joined their brethren in Palestine to rebuild their homeland. Palestine was never an Arab country let alone a sovereign power.

Shame on Mr. Tutu who spreads lies and hatred.



Truth said:
Apr 14, 2010 at 3:44 am

It’s obvious based on the opinions of the previous poster(s) that Tutu is right. The previous poster(s) reminds me of ignorant loudmouths who should out outdated and incorrect information to try and convert people not educated about the issue to their unethical cause. In this case, giving money to companies that produce weapons used against the Palestinians is literally murdering innocent people. I am a UC Berkeley student and I no longer want the blood of innocent people on my hands.



uncle joe mccarthy said:
Apr 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

if the senators really wanted to divest from all companies that deal in weapons of mass destruction, then why not create a bill that says that?

if the bill is about divesting from israel because of its alleged apartheid and war crimes…then write a bill that says that, and have it apply to all companies.

this was a poorly written bill that should have been and was vetoed

and it really doesnt matter who came out for the bill



Rosanna Seligmann said:
Mar 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

I’m jealous. I can’t get this a lot of folks to remark on my blog site. What’s your secret? Probably some useful Guidelines would help me out. Make sure you verify out my internet site at: http://www.whazzub.com



live camera said:
Mar 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

I do agreee on that last poster. live camera



Luxury Homes said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

I always thing that time management is a foolish thing but when i’m getting busy then i can understood that the importance of time management.