Faculty Support Student-Workers of UAW 2865 in Standing in Solidarity with Palestinian Students and Workers and Voting YES on BDS December 4th!

We are faculty in support of the UAW 2865’s efforts to stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers and students. On December 4, 2014, the UAW 2865 – the union representing teaching assistants, graders, readers, and tutors across the University of California system – will hold a membership-wide vote on a historic resolution to join the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement seeking to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands, end its settler-colonial policies, and comply with international and human rights law. As faculty members both at the University of California and beyond, we support the efforts of the UAW 2865 and support its members in voting YES on the resolution.

This summer during Israel’s devastating attacks on Gaza, the union’s elected leadership (the Joint Council) published an open letter in solidarity with Palestinian labor unions’ call for joining the global BDS movement as an act of solidarity and in protest of Israeli occupation and warfare. The goal of the movement is to restore the rights of Palestinians who are under siege and military occupation in Gaza and the West Bank and of Palestinian citizens of Israel who are racially discriminated against on the basis of over 50 laws, in everything from property ownership to family reunification rights, as well as Palestinian refugees who are barred by Israel from returning to their lands.

The UAW 2865 resolution calls on the University of California and UAW international to divest their investments, including pension from Israeli state institutions and international companies complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations, and on the US government to end military aid to Israel. The UAW is also asking for its members to make an individual commitment, a pledge, to participate in the academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

As faculty members both at the University of California and beyond, we support the efforts of the UAW 2865 and its members in voting “Yes” on the current resolution, which is long overdue. To date, faculty across the country have taken a position on the right side of history by supporting Palestinian self-determination and supporting BDS as a vehicle to challenge Israel’s violations of human rights. Academic associations including the American Studies Association, the Asian American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association have already overwhelmingly voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Over 1,200 U.S. academics have already joined the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel in response to the call from Palestinian scholars, students, and trade unions, including the General Union of Palestinian Teachers, the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees, and the General Federation of Trade Unions.

As faculty, it is now our turn to support our student-workers, teaching assistants, and advisees as they take this bold and courageous step to call on their employer—the University of California —and the UAW International to divest from companies profiting from the illegal military occupation of Palestine, as well as committing themselves to the academic boycott.

Israeli universities are complicit with the occupation and the state’s human rights violations in a number of ways. Many are built on occupied Palestinian lands or on illegal settlements (for example, Ariel University and parts of Hebrew University in Jerusalem) while universities such as Technion further develop the technological capacities and military doctrines that make the occupation possible. The occupation and siege of the West Bank and Gaza prevent Palestinian academics and students from accessing outside institutions of higher learning and professional conferences. Israeli policies, including West Bank checkpoints and the blockade of Gaza, impede students from getting to school, and travel abroad to study can be extremely difficult. Meanwhile, Palestinian universities are regularly targeted by the Israeli state with violence and repression. There is a long record of Israeli universities arresting, harassing, and repressing Palestinian student protests and political activities. Similar racism in apartheid South Africa led to students and professors in the U.S. engaging in boycott and divestment; increasingly, they are doing the same to challenge bigoted Israeli policies and laws that are upheld by unconditional U.S. support.

While many other unions around the world have already supported BDS, we are inspired that a “YES” vote on the UAW 2965 resolution would mean that the UAW 2865 will become the first labor union in the United States to join the BDS movement!

We, the undersigned faculty, support the UAW 2865 members who vote YES on the upcoming BDS resolution.

In solidarity,

The Undersigned

(To sign the statement, please go to http://goo.gl/4Enxn4 or send name and institutional affiliation to palestine.faculty@gmail.com)

1. Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis

2. David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford University

3. Dylan Rodriguez, Corona, California

4. Curtis Marez, University of California San Diego

5. Noha Radwan, University of California, Davis

6. Aamir Qureshi, San Jose, California

7. Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico

8. Beatrice Pita, University of California, San Diego

9. Margaret Ferguson, University of California Davis

10. Adam Miyashiro, Stockton College, New Jersey

11. Elaine H. Kim, University of California, Berkeley

12. Hatem Bazian, University of California, Berkeley

13. Sarah Haley, University of California Los Angeles

14. Flagg Miller, University of California, Davis

15. Richard Walker, University of California Berkeley

16. Todd Snyder San Francisco, California

17. Aamir R. Mufti, University of California Los Angeles

18. Robin. D. G. Kelley, University of California Los Angeles

19. Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis

20. Bill Mullen, Purdue University

21. Natalia Deeb Sossa, University of California, Davis

22. Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic State University

23. Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles

24. Neda Atanasoski, University of California, Santa Cruz

25. Hsuan L. Hsu, University of California, Davis

26. Hassan Fouda, Berkeley, California

27. Nada Pretnar Triste, Italy

28. David Shorter, University of California Los Angeles

29. Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

30. Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz

31. Shrene Seikaly, University of California, Santa Barbara

32. Ilan Pappé, University of Exeter

33. Michael Burawoy, University of California Berkeley

34. Donald L. Donham, University of California, Davis

35. Gina Bloom, University of California, Davis

37. Michael Ziser, University of California, Davis

38. Cynthia Frankin, University of Hawaii, Manoa

39. Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach

40. Susette Min, University of California, Davis

41. Vida Samiian, California State University, Fresno

42. Benjamin Balthaser, Indiana University, South Bend

43. Terry Ginsberg, American University in Cairo, Egypt.

44. Nick Mitchell, University of California, Riverside

45. Elizabeth Freeman, University of California, Davis

46. Dennis R. Childs, University of California, San Diego

47. Vicente Miguel Diaz, University of Illnois, Urbana-Champaign

48. Ross Frank, University of California, San Diego

49. Chris Vials, University of Connecticut

50. Kavita Philip, University of California, Irvine

51. Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University

52. Adrienne Pine, American University, Washington, D.C

53. Suat Yan Lai, University of Malaya

54.  Catherine Wagner, Miami University, Ohio

55. Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College

56. Stellan Vinthagen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

57. Sarah Schulman, City University of New York, College of Staten Island

58. Saadia Toor, City University of New York, College of Staten Island

59. Aneil Rallin, Soka University

60. Ammeil Alcalay, City University of New York, Queens College

61. Neferti X. M. Tadiar, Barnard College

62. Ricardo Dominguez, University of California, San Diego

63. Arif Dirlik, University of Oregon

64. Steven Marsh, University of Illnois at Chicago

65. Sang Hea Kil, San Hosé State University

66. Kate McCullough, Cornell University

67. Amy L. Brandzel, University of New Mexico

68. Anthony Alessandrini, Kingsborough Community College

69. Allen Christensen, John Cabot University

70. Huma Ibrahim, Qatar University

71. Ian Barnard, Chapman University

72. Rosalyn Baxandall, State University of New York, Old Westbury

73. Khaled Abou El Fadl, University of California, Los Angeles

74. Christopher Stone, Hunter College (CUNY)

75.  Barry Trachtenberg, University at Albany, State University Of New York

76. Janice Peck, University of Colorado, Boulder

77. Nora Murad, Bentley College

78. Malini Johar Schueller, University of Florida

79. Robyn Rodriguez, University of California, Davis

80. Caren Kaplan, University of California, Davis

81. Howard Winant, University of California, Santa Barbara

82. Walda Katz-Fishman, Howard University

83. Emmanuel Farjoun, Hebrew University

84. Kai-Lit Phua Subang, Monash University

85. Benedict DeDominicis, Catholic University of Korea

86. Les Field, University of New Mexico

87. Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas at Austin

88. Gaye Chan, University of Hawaii

89. Junaid Rana, University of Illnois

90. Abby Lippman, McGill University

91. Richard Burt, University of Florida

92. Susan Shepler, American University, Washington, D.C

93. Laurence Kirby, City University of New York, Baruch College

94. Anand Pillay, University of Notre Dame

95. W. Patrick McCray, University of California, Santa Barbara

96. Steve Breyman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

97. Chandan Reddy, University of Washington

98. Steve Roddy, University of San Francisco

99. Roopali Mukherjee, City University of New York, Queens College

100.  Garry Potter, Wilfrid Laurier University

101. Adam Sabra, University of California, Santa Barbara

102. Yong Soon Min, University of California, Irvine

103. Nicholas Heer, University of Washington

104. Rosalind Petchesky, City University of New York, Hunter College

105. Andrew Paul Gutierrez, University of California at Berkeley

106. Marta Cariello, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli

107. Sang Hea Kil, San José State University

108. Adam Hefty, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University

109. Paola Bacchetta, University of California, Berkeley

110. George Ciccariello-Maher, Drexel University

111. Silvia Posocco, University of London

112. Sandeep Bakshi, University of Le Havre, France

113. Omnia El Shakry, University of California, Davis

114. Magid Shihade, Birzeit University

115. Noah Guynn, University of California, Davis

116. Susy Zepeda, University of California, Davis

117. Michael Keefer, University of Guelph

118. Alka Arora, California Institute of Integral Studies

119. Laura Harris, University of California, Riverside

120. Gary Fields, University of Califoria, San Diego

121. Jerise Fogel, Montclair State University