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Summer 2018 Referenda

Should the Students’ Union continue to hold a policy in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement? - The case For

In 2014, Israel carried out its bloodiest ever massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, killing over 2,200 people. This wasn’t an isolated incident – it was part of Israel’s decades-old system of apartheid. Palestinians live under military occupation and segregation in the West Bank, under siege in Gaza, and face systematic discrimination within Israel. Palestinian refugees are forbidden from returning to their homes.

In April 2018, when Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated as part of the Great Return March for the right to return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948, Israel responded with extreme violence, using snipers and artillery shells to kill, injure and maim protesters.

Israel is only able to maintain this system of oppression because governments of the world fail to hold it to account, and even provide it with the weapons and political support needed to carry out its massacres. Given this failure of the international community, Palestinian civil society organisations have called for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to comply with UN resolutions.

Support a growing movement

The BDS movement is rapidly growing and has had a number of recent successes. In 2016, telecommunications giant Orange was forced to end its contract with its Israeli partner due to boycotts across Europe. Kate Tempest, Jarvis Cocker, Lauryn Hill, and 1000 other artists recently pledged not to perform in Israel. Further, the pop star Lorde recently pulled out of a gig in Tel Aviv, citing support for the BDS Movement.

Campaign against companies that support Israel’s crimes

It is vital that a BDS policy is passed at Sussex due to the links the university has with companies that help Israel violate international law. The university:

  • Refuses to commit to remove its investments from companies complicit in Israeli Violations of International Law, despite pressure from student groups.

  • Has a contract with Eden Springs, a company that uses water from a spring in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Ask the student union to take action

Passing this referendum would mean the students union would continue to boycott Israeli goods. The Students’ Union could also build campaigns for the university to drop links to companies like Veolia and Eden Springs, as well as lobby university management to avoid making any future links with Israeli academic institutions that provide support to the Israeli military.

Stand up for Palestinian human rights. Support justice. Vote YES to BDS!

- This argument was written by a student.

You can read more about the referendum and vote at www.sussexstudent.com/referenda