Divestment at Stanford--A Primer

[![](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/05/beautiful-muslim-singles-300x253.jpg "beautiful-muslim-singles")](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/05/beautiful-muslim-singles.jpg)
Why Can't We Just Get Along?
[![](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/05/jdate-300x163.jpg "jdate")](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/05/jdate.jpg)If you have not heard, the incoming ASSU Senate is gearing up to tackle the big issue facing Stanford students in their day-to-day lives, and really, answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind: why isn’t our student government looking into how much of its money is going to companies that are going to spend it in a Middle Eastern democracy? Indeed. Screw trayless, let’s go J-less!

The Daily first op-ed (of three–so keep count here) was made by Stanford Review contributor Yishai Kabaker of the Stanford Israel Alliance. His argument was clear and to the point: this debate invariably becomes toxic, so while SIA unequivocally opposes divestment, we are going to invest in a Palestinian and an Israeli NGO to ameliorate the situation.

The article was presumably a response to the vote that took place shortly thereafter on whether to dissolve the ASSU Senate. The motion was shot down 7-4. What’s the connection here? Well, apparently the whole point of that vote was to get the new Senate in, so that a divestment bill would be heard as soon as possible. Senator Mohammad Ali remained confident that the issue would come up sooner rather than later, saying, “For those who think the issue of divestment will not come up if the transition is delayed, you are wrong.”

The vote on Tuesday was followed by two Daily op-eds, one on Wednesday and another on Thursday responding Mr. Kabaker’s comments on Tuesday.  The first was written by Fadi Quran of Campaign Restore Hope (not to be confused with Camp Hope), an organization that is evidently behind this movement to divest from Israel. Campaign Restore Hope has picked some specific companies to divest from, but specific reasons as to how those companies are violating human rights is currently not available, nor is it clear that Stanford is invested in them.

Today, yet another op-ed on the topic was published, this one by Religious Studies Senior Lecturer Linda Hess. You can read it if you want, but it largely makes the same points as Mr. Quran’s the day before. For whatever reason, Israel seems to engender heated discussion no matter what (check out the comments section on any of the op-eds).

Regardless of your thoughts on the strife in Israel, I think Sen. Warma gets it correct when he says, “This has no place in student government.” Some of you wonder why the Stanford Review and Fiat Lux devote so much time and effort to covering student government, arguing that it is a meaningless body with a preposterously bloated sense of self-regard that views itself as analogous in some way to the actual Senate and invariably takes on problems that it is laughably ill-equipped to solve. It is at times like this where I have trouble disagreeing.

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