Signers include human rights, anti-racist, LGBT, feminist, anti-war, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish groups to a letter asking Northeastern University’s student leadership to allow a referendum vote on divestment from Israeli occupation.

To the Northeastern University Student Government Association (SGA),

We, the undersigned 32 Boston-area community organizations, wish to express our support for the inclusion of “Resolution on Divestment for Peace in Occupied Palestine” on the upcoming SGA ballot. Northeastern’s student body deserves an opportunity to engage in a campus-wide discussion on the university’s investments by voting on this ballot referendum.

This resolution calls for divestment “from companies engaged in human rights violations in Palestine…Caterpillar, Raytheon, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard.” All four multinational corporations enable Israel’s illegal military occupation, and have therefore been the target of student divestment initiatives across the US. Four student governments have voted in support of divestment so far this year: Stanford University; University of California, Davis; Northwestern University; and the University of California Students Association. Northeastern University is far from alone in joining this necessary conversation.

We understand that the decision of whether or not to include this referendum is up to the Northeastern community, and it is not our place to interfere in student processes. However, we understand that some outside organizations might urge you to make this decision not based on what’s right for your community, but based on fear of being perceived as anti-semitic. We hope you will dismiss this claim for the following reasons. First, there is nothing anti-semitic about ceasing investments in corporations that profit from military violence. In fact, as long as the university maintains these investments, it is complicit in the perpetuation of violence. Many Jews and Israelis believe that their own safety depends upon an end to the corporate-backed occupation of Palestinian land. Second, It is the right of students to take positions on your school’s own investments, as tuition payers and as community leaders. Students at Northeastern and beyond have rich legacies of weighing in on matters of conscience. Third, as the SGA, you are not deciding whether or not to support divestment, only whether this issue deserves a democratic process.

Universities across the United States have leveraged their investments to support issues as diverse as environmental sustainability, fair labor practices, public health, and racial justice here and abroad. Justice for Palestinians and Israelis should not be an exception.

Sincerely,

American Friends Service Committee – Cambridge

American Jews for a Just Peace

Black and Pink

Boston Alliance for Water Justice

Boston BDS: Hummus Working Group

Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights

Boston College Students for Justice in Palestine

Boston University Students for Justice in Palestine

Brookline Against Racism

Cambridge Bethlehem People to People Project

Dorchester People for Peace

First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain

Friends of Sabeel North America, New England chapter

Grassroots International

Guerrilla Feminism Boston

Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee

Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance

Hispanic Black Gay Coalition

Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston

Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine

Massachusetts Peace Action

Muslim Justice League

National Lawyers Guild – Massachusetts Chapter

National Lawyers Guild- Suffolk University

North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice

Palestine@MIT

Saints Francis & Thérèse Catholic Worker

Suffolk University Students for Justice in Palestine

Tufts University Students for Justice in Palestine

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, Massachusetts

United for Justice with Peace

Wellesley Students for Justice in Palestine