In Response to Student and Faculty Concerns, Earlham College’s Dining Services Decides to Stop Selling Sabra Products

On the 5th of September, Earlham College’s dining service agreed to have Sabra Hummus removed from the coffee shop after being informed of the involvement in Israeli human rights violations in Palestine by Strauss Group Ltd., of which Sabra Dipping Company, LLC is a subsidiary. The decision comes after a group of concerned students and faculty approached Earlham’s dining services requesting the removal of the product from the college’s facilities.

Strauss Group Ltd. provides financial support and supplies to the Golani and Givati brigades of the Israeli army, which is responsible for enforcing Israel’s illegal, 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, and other grave and systematic human rights abuses.

“We applaud Earlham College’s dining service for taking this principled stand and refusing to do business with Sabra Dipping Company,” said Basil Farraj, of BDS Earlham. “Earlham students will no longer be unwittingly supporting Israeli abuses of Palestinian human rights when they purchase hummus and other products on campus.”

Earlham College’s dining services has promised to provide an alternative for the removed product, and were quick to note that they take student concerns seriously and follow through with immediate action.

Two years ago students launched a campaign calling on Earlham College to divest from Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, and Hewlett Packard, companies that profit from and enable Israeli violations of international law. Last semester students with BDS Earlham also launched a “Dorm Storm” that has continued into the current school year, visiting all dorms and houses on campus and engaging in discussions with students to educate them about Earlham BDS and the larger global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which was launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

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Summer For BDS Earlham

It is summer! Finals have just wrapped up and commencement is over. But do not worry, here at BDS Earlham we are still working to hit campus hard in the fall and gather more support both on campus and off! We’d like to thank Anna Baltzer for mentioning us in her news letter today, it has given us a little kick in the behind to work that much harder over summer.

Don’t forget to sign in support of our resolution!

 

If anyone would like to contact us directly, just email us at:

BDSEarlham (at) gmail (dot) com

We’ll reply to you as soon as we can!

 

Also follow us on twitter for more updates @BDSEarlham

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“BDS Will Drop By Your Dorm” event

BDS Earlham on Campus is asking Earlham students and faculty to sign the petition. This event is taking place throughout the month of February. All Dorms and houses will be visited by BDS Earlham.

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Norman Finkelstein will speak at Earlham’s Convocation Series

Earlham College Events Committee has announced that Norman Finkelstein will be giving a lecture as part of the school’s Convocation Series on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

His lecture will be titled: “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Love Affair with Israel is Coming to an End.”

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Goddard Auditorium, Carpenter Hall
Tickets/Registration Required? No

Political scientist Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years, and This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion. In today’s presentation Finkelstein speaks about the history of U.S.-Israeli relations and on the relationship of American Jews. The convocation is sponsored by the Events Committee.

For more information, contact Director of Events Coordination Lynn Knight by e-mail or at (765) 983-1373.

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Summer Break at Earlham

It’s summer at Earlham, but the BDSEarlham campaign will be in full force this fall! Check back soon for updates on our growing number of supporters!

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Film Showing, Presentation, and Q&A TONIGHT

BDS EARLHAM PRESENTATION AND Q&A TONIGHT(Wednesday April 20th)
Come to LBC 208 at 7:30 pm!

7:30 pm – Movie showing of American Jewish Activist Anna Baltzer’s film “Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos”

8:30 pm – Presentation and Q&A about the BDSEarlham divestment campaign

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Earlham Students Declare their Support for BDS Earlham – VIDEO

Earlham College students from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences declare their support for BDS Earlham. BDS Earlham a campaign to get Earlham to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard, because they are profiting from Israeli violations of international law and principles of human rights. Read our proposed divestment resolution and show your support!

Have you seen the video?  We need your support to make divestment happen. Please show you support!

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Proposed Divestment Resolution

Resolution in Support of BDS Earlham

Be it resolved that:

1. WHEREAS Earlham College’s Mission Statement states that the college shares “a concern for the world in which we live and for improving human society” by educating “morally sensitive leaders for future generations;” and,

2. WHEREAS Earlham College’s Principles and Practices state that: “we work actively for the just and peaceful transformation of conflict, and for the removal of causes of violence and injustice. We recognize and accept conflict as a necessary part of life with others, and work from conflict towards more just, nonviolent, and sustainable communities.”

3. WHEREAS the peace testimony of the Religious Society of Friends with which Earlham College is affiliated, states that we should “live in that light and power that takes away the occasion for war,” which Quaker organizations interpret to mean that the toil of our peace work should not only be turned towards existing conflicts, but also to those structures, issues, and institutional relationships which give rise to conflicts; and,

4. WHEREAS Earlham College’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy (SRIP), written by the college’s Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee (SRIAC), states that equity and fixed income managers cannot invest in companies which SRIAC identifies as being involved in “persistent and widespread behavior that results in any of the following: [1] irresponsible use of the natural environment; [2] denigration of the dignity of individuals such as unfair labor practices and/or discrimination; [3] violations of local, state, and national regulations, laws, and statutes and/or [4] active involvement with governments in the violation of human rights;” and,

5. WHEREAS Earlham College has a history of using divestment as a non-violent strategy, having used it when Earlham College selectively and publicly divested from many companies which were doing business in South Africa; and,

6. WHEREAS research conducted by Earlham College students demonstrates that Earlham College invests in companies that are profiting from violations of International Law and the universal principles of Human Rights, as articulated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through involvement in illegal settlements, exploitation of Palestinian resources, markets, and labour, and repression of the occupied Palestinian population; and,

7. WHEREAS a broad group of Palestinian civil society organizations called for global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) in July 2005 against Israel as part of a non-violent campaign to demand that Israel comply with International Law, and respect the universal principles of Human Rights by ending the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, and by dismantling the separation wall, by granting equal rights to the Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel, and by respecting the Palestinian refugees’ right of return as articulated in the UN Resolution 194; and,

8. WHEREAS Earlham College students are inspired by the intention of the global BDS campaign and have designed a divestment campaign that is tailored to our campus, which, rather than calling for a complete boycott of Israel, focuses on companies in which Earlham College invests that are directly involved in violations of International law and the universal principles of Human Rights; and,

9. WHEREAS the United Nations Human Rights Commission, independent human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq, B’Tselem,the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, and  other non-governmental organizations have documented widespread, gross violations of International law and the universal principles of Human Rights by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza; and,

10. WHEREAS Caterpillar profits directly from violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the universal principles of Human Rights by supplying the armor-plated and weaponized bulldozers that have been used in demolishing over 10,000 homes in the past 10 years and the construction of illegal Israeli settlements and by supplying both the unmanned bulldozers specially designed for urban warfare that were used by the Israel military in Operation Cast Lead and the maintenance services for these tools during military operations; and,

11. WHEREAS Motorola profits directly from violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the universal principles of Human Rights by being the exclusive contracted supplier of encrypted mobile phone technology for the Israeli military and by providing virtual fence technology to illegal Israeli settlements, and;

12. WHEREAS Hewlett Packard profits from violations of International Law and the universal principles of Human Rights by supplying computers to the Israeli military and by owning EDS Israel which produces the automated biometric access control system, Basel, which is installed at major checkpoints.

RESOLVED, that, Earlham College will ensure that its assets will no longer include holdings in Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard; be it further,

RESOLVED, that, this resolution be understood as a deliberate expression of support for justice, equality, and human rights, which builds on Earlham College’s history and Quaker affiliation, mission statement, and Principles and Practices and is consistent with Earlham College’s current policy on socially responsible investing; be it finally,

RESOLVED that Earlham College, specifically the Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee, remain committed to ensuring that its assets will not include companies materially supporting or profiting from Israeli violations of International law and the universal principles of Human Rights by constructing and sustaining illegal settlements, exploiting Palestinian resources, markets, and labour, and/or supplying equipment, knowhow, and services towards the repression of the occupied Palestinian population through the separation wall and checkpoints.

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BDS Earlham Letter to Earlham Community

February 25, 2011

Earlham College

To the Earlham Community;

In July 2005, a broad group of Palestinian civil society organizations called for global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel as part of a non-violent campaign to urge this country to comply with International Law, and respect the universal principles of Human Rights by ending the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, and dismantling the separation wall, by granting equal rights to the Arab citizens of Israel(1), and by respecting the Palestinian refugees’ right of return as articulated in the UN Resolution 194 (2).

As students at Earlham College, we share “ a concern for the world in which we live and for improving human society” (3) and aspire to “work actively for the just and peaceful transformation of conflict, and for the removal of causes of violence and injustice.” (4) This means we all have a responsibility to monitor the financial actions of our College and to work to ensure that Earlham does not financially benefit from illegal occupations or violations of human rights.  Rather than calling for a complete boycott of Israel, we are inspired by the intention of the global BDS campaign in designing a campaign that is tailored to our campus, which focuses on companies in which  Earlham directly invests and companies that are subsidiaries of ones in which Earlham directly invests. We have been investigating the ties these companies have to constructing and sustaining illegal settlements, exploiting Palestinian resources, markets, and labour, and supplying equipment, knowhow, and services towards the repression of the occupied Palestinian population through the separation wall and checkpoints.  We will be completing this research (5), which we began last year, in the next month, and at that point, a list of companies from which we urge Earlham to divest will be made public.

As a committee of Earlham students of different nationalities and religions, it is our sincere hope that our community will remain open to respectful debate, avoid indiscriminate charges of anti-Semitism, be actively committed to preventing hostility between members of our community, and remain aware of the diversity of background and opinions within our community as the BDS campaign grows on our campus.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be holding informational sessions, making our research findings available to the campus, issuing a proposed divestment resolution, and working with the Earlham administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to raise awareness and gain support for our divestment initiative. In writing this letter, we are not only announcing our intentions, but also inviting you, the members of our community, to become involved in this campaign. We look forward to your active participation in upcoming discussions, your feedback about our findings and draft divestment resolution, and your attendance at BDS events.

Sincerely,

BDS Earlham Committee

bdsearlham@gmail.com

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(1) By this, we are referring to Palestinians and their descendants who remained on the land now considered the state of Israel.  These people hold Israeli citizenship, but are not granted the same rights as other Israeli citizens.

(2) To read the call and find out more about the global BDS movement, please visit www.bdsmovement.net.

(3) For Earlham’s full mission statement, please visit http://www.earlham.edu/about/mission-and-history.

(4) For Earlham’s full Principles and Practices, please visit http://www.earlham.edu/about/principles-and-practices.

(5) For those of you interested in helping with BDS research and the drafting of a proposed divestment resolution, please contact us by e-mail at bdsearlham@gmail.com.

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