Statement from Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
Your vote in support of “Divestment from companies that profit from apartheid” was an important statement of principle. The fact that companies are profiting from Israeli apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories and comfortable with dozens of discriminatory laws within Israel is appalling. I have seen the deeply troublesome apartheid conditions that Israel has created inside the West Bank with the dual standard of law that discriminates against Palestinians. It is unacceptable.
I urge you to stand firm for equality and human rights — as well as against racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism — and not to backtrack on your courageous vote. Just as we defeated apartheid in South Africa so can we defeat Israel’s brand of apartheid and help Palestinians and Israelis alike secure a future of peace and equality. Your vote is not insignificant. It is votes such as yours that created the wave of momentum toward freedom in South Africa and sped up that glorious day of justice and equality in my homeland. The same thing can happen again today in securing freedom for Palestinians.
Do not stand silent. Do not retreat. Do not back down. Stand firm in your principles and reject apartheid wherever it is practiced. Your courage is admirable as you put your university on the right side of history.
Statement from Pink Floyd member Roger Waters:
Dear Senators of University of California, Riverside,
Be strong, you are on the right side of the argument. It is always right to support the oppressed. The founding fathers, the authors of the constitution of these United States of America were right to avow that “All men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
That sentiment includes The Palestinian and Israeli peoples, it includes Rachel Corrie, killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer, and all the other victims of the occupation on both sides. You are part of the first stirrings of protest, not against Israel, not against the Israeli people, not against Jews, but against the illegal, unjust, immoral,and inhumane policies of the Israeli government. I am proud of you and stand with you in solidarity.
With great respect
Statement of Support from Ofer Neiman:
To whom it may concern,
I am an Israeli Jewish citizen. I have been active in the campaign against my government’s apartheid policies for many years.
I am also the descendant of Holocaust survivors from Europe. My activism is based, to a large extent, on the universal lessons which should be drawn from this dark episode of history.
One of the lessons I have learned during years of activism here in Israel is that Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people are a part of an international power structure, In particular, these violations are sustained by the complicity of American companies, such as Caterpillar and HP. I strongly believe that companies which profit from the misery of millions (not just in Israel/Palestine) should be the target of divestment. I also believe that universities should be held to high ethical standards when it comes to their investment.
In view of this, I would like to express my strong support for the Riverside divestment initiative. I hope that supporters of equality and justice for the Palestinian people will stand firm in the face of Israeli propaganda efforts, which often involve the cynical use of the Holocaust to justify Israeli apartheid.