March 1, 2013
Dear ASSU Undergraduate Senators,
The bill proposed by Joshua Schott, Samar Alqatari, Itai Farhi, and Michelle Dallalah proposes carefully targeted and judicious action to eliminate Stanford’s support, through its investment portfolio, of manifest violations of human rights by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. These human rights violations are well-documented and have been denounced by the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice, and many international, Palestinian, and Israeli human rights organizations. This bill does not attack on the state of Israel. It is aimed at its specific policies in carrying out the occupation of the Palestinian territories since 1967. Nothing in it suggests that the existence of the State of Israel is illegitimate. It does say that the Israeli state is violating international law. This is not a radical or new claim for those who have followed this issue over the years. It is certainly not an attack on all Jews. Many individual American Jews and Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace support this kind of selective divestment from firms complicit in Israel’s violations of human rights. I support the bill and urge others to lend their support as well.
Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History
Professor of Middle East History
Department of History
Joel Beinin lived in Egypt in 1969, 1980-81, 1985, 1986, 1994, 2004-05, and 2006-08 and in Israel in 1965-66, 1970-73, 1987, 1988 and 1993. He has taught Middle East history at Stanford University since 1983. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. His research and writing focuses on workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East and on Israel, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.