More than 40 student groups at Columbia University have formed a coalition to demand the university divest from Israeli apartheid and “challenge the settler-colonial violence” that Israel has been perpetrating with the support of the United States and its allies.
The groups said in a statement published on Wednesday that the Columbia University Apartheid Divest will seek to force the university to divest its entire economic and academic stakes in the Israeli-occupied territories of Palestine amid the ongoing Israeli aggression on the people in the Gaza Strip.
The statement said that the coalition is a continuation of the Vietnam anti-war movement and the movement to divest from apartheid South Africa, adding that Israel’s brutal onslaught in Gaza over the past 40 days and its imposition of a crippling siege on the territory have been funded by US taxpayer money and further enabled by financial investments made by institutions like Columbia University.
It said missions will include pressing for cancelation of Columbia’s dual-degree partnership with Israel’s Tel Aviv University while seeking an end to a project called Tel Aviv Global Center which it said will certainly restrict the access of Palestinian affiliates of Columbia due to Israel’s apartheid policies.
The Coalition said it will also call on US President Joe Biden and parliament members and government officials in the US to support the demands of the majority of Americans to back an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
It said that true collective safety in the world will only be achieved when everyone, including the Palestinians in Gaza, has access to food, water, housing, education, freedom of movement and dignity.
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” the statement quoted South Africa’s anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela as saying.
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