Boycott of Israel fails to pass at CSU Long Beach and may be illegal

In addition to an attempted boycott, Jewish students were taunted, harassed and verbally assaulted during protests at CSU Long Beach sponsored by Answer-LA and the local Muslim Student Association.

Protesters from Answer-LA and CSU Long Beach

Is there a nationwide boycott effort underway on college campuses? Our experience at CSU Long Beach would seem to say, “yes.” And it may be illegal

On March 18th, Zo Farooqui, an assimilated Muslim student senator (whose Facebook page features the quote “Kiss French. Wear Italian. Drive German. Drink Russian.”) submitted a sophisticated, albeit totally false set of accusations against Israel, and nearly got the Student Senate to pass the resolution.

Title: Resolution in Support of the Call for the Immediate End to the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza and a Boycott of Goods and Services that Maintain Business Relations with Israel

Sponsored by: Senator Zo Farooqui

Date Submitted: March 18, 2009

WHERAS from December 27, 2008 to January 22, 2009 attacks launched by the Israeli government on Gaza have resulted in over 1,300 deaths and 5,300 injuries, with more than 60 percent of the victims consisting of women and children;1

WHEREAS schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, civilian infrastructure, and UN compounds have been targeted; (read the whole resolution below)

Thanks to some quick thinking Senators, they did not let their campus be a tool in the hands of the MSA – and the effort failed on the second reading.

Jewish students alerted to the issue rallied at the meeting for Israel. Community members sent dozens of letters within hours to the Senators when the word went out about the boycott effort.

Farooqui attempted to change the resolution to only target future contracts with Motorola and Caterpillar – when faced with the charge by Student Senate Treasurer, Brian Troutner, that breaking the existing contracts would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Senator Everett Bryan of the College of Engineering spoke up and said that asking the school to boycott companies won’t have an impact on the situation in Israel, and instead there are financial side effects and social side effects. The Associated Students can’t take a side on a conflict between two groups because it is a student organization which represents both groups. The negative effect of the boycott will be felt on students, not companies. He was also bothered that there was no end-date, doesn’t think resolution is humanitarian based, instead it’s politically charged, and recommended rejection. He suggested that the MSA and Hillel to write a resolution together that isn’t a boycott and addresses loss of civillian life. (notes courtesy of Sheryl Cohen)

Congress passed a law in 1977 creating the Office of Antiboycott Compliance within the Department of Commerce, in response to the Arab boycott of Israel. It specifically makes illegal agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.

If there is a nationwide effort among Muslim Student groups, part of the larger boycott movement against Israel, they might be breaking the law. If they are going across state lines with communications that in effect commit a crime, they can be guilty of some other nasty stuff.

And more so, if they conspire together to deprive Israel and Israelis of certain rights in the US, be they business dealings or any other, they may be guilty of racketeering and conspiracy charges too

Title: Resolution in Support of the Call for the Immediate End to the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza and a Boycott of Goods and Services that Maintain Business Relations with Israel

Sponsored by: Senator Zo Farooqui

Date Submitted: March 18, 2009

WHERAS from December 27, 2008 to January 22, 2009 attacks launched by the Israeli government on Gaza have resulted in over 1,300 deaths and 5,300 injuries, with more than 60 percent of the victims consisting of women and children;1

WHEREAS schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, civilian infrastructure, and UN compounds have been targeted;

WHEREAS this recent act of blatant violence contributes to the 18-month blockade enforced by the Israeli government on the Gaza strip through strict patrol of its borders. The aforementioned act has resulted in the devastation of Gaza’s infrastructure up to and including the collapse of its economy, causing 80 percent of the population to rely on international aid for the basic means of survival;2

WHEREAS Israeli occupation forces have demolished electricity, gas, and water resources of the region, leaving half of the Gaza population consisting of children in an open-air prison with no option of becoming refugees;3

WHEREAS Israel’s continuous denial of medical supplies in the region constitutes a violation of their signatory obligation to the First Geneva Convention, and causes an inability to treat the wounded, resulting in otherwise preventable deaths;4

WHEREAS Human Rights Watch has found that the Israeli government has used the controversial chemical weapon white phosphorus which “sticks to human skin and will burn right through to the bone” in areas of high civilian density;5

WHEREAS the Fourth Geneva convention renders Israel’s actions a war crime based on its intent and grotesque disproportionate use of military action;6

WHEREAS arbitrary damage of property, denial of rest areas (shelters), and discrimination based on political ideology and other actions put the Israeli Government in direct violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 5, 12, 13, 15, 17, 21 and 24; be it

RESOLVED that the Associated Students of California State University, Long Beach stand in solidarity to condemn all violence against civilians in the region and demand the removal of the blockade on Gaza, including the opening of its borders, while condemning Israel’s disproportionate aggression toward the Palestinian people; be it further

RESOLVED that ASI participates in a boycott of companies that have any economic ties to the Israeli state, be it finally

RESOLVED that ASI urges California State University, Long Beach, its foundation and its auxiliary to end all business action, including investments, and procurement with companies that maintain business with the state of Israel.

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One Response to Boycott of Israel fails to pass at CSU Long Beach and may be illegal

  1. Zo says:

    Your lame…first off, im not an assimilated muslim. I’m not muslim at all and I encourage you to denounce yours as well. I did not support the bill but i did represent an unheard voice. I It was a coincidence that it was the Muslim community and I was born Muslim. Please delete this, its annoying and filled with lies.

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