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Berkeley Students Protest: Stand Up to Ethnic Cleansing
by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
Monday Mar 5th, 2001 8:25 PM
Students to Construct Palestinian Refugee Camp on UC Berkeley Campus Demand for UC Divestment Continues
From: "WILLIAM LAFI YOUMANS" <wyoumans [at] umich.edu>
__________________
For more info contact:
Ehssan Vandaei 510-551-3323 (cell)
Noura Erakat 510-839-5526
William Youmans 510-384-0410 (cell)
Snehal Shingavi 510-268-9006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Stand up to ethnic cleansing"

Students to Construct Palestinian Refugee Camp on UC Berkeley Campus Demand for UC Divestment Continues

Berkeley, Calif., 3/02/01, In solidarity with one of the world's oldest and largest refugee populations, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will construct a Palestinian refugee camp on the UC Berkeley campus. On Wednesday, March 7, 2001, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, by Dwinelle Hall,
near Bancroft and Telegraph, SJP will rally in support of Palestinian rights and demand that the UC divest from Israel

In response to the ongoing occupation and escalating military violence against the Palestinian civilian population, SJP will reiterate its demand that the University of California (UC) sever its financial ties to the Israeli government. The UC invests at least $6.2 billion of its $59 billion endowment in companies with sizeable operations in Israel. Some of these
investments directly support the Israeli military, responsible for over 400 Palestinian civilian deaths since September 2000. One such investment is in General Electric. The UC invests $650 million in General Electric,
which produces propulsion systems for Israeli aircraft, such as the AH-64 Apache assault helicopters used strike Palestinian villages with missiles. This direct connection between the University and Israel's occupation and
Apartheid against Palestinians is unacceptable. Our public universities should not be investing in occupation and massacres of civilians and SJP demands that the UC immediately divest from all such companies.

The event on Wednesday, March 7, will dramatically portray the dispossession and entrapment of the Palestinian refugees, displaced since 1948, and now numbering over 4 million. During and after the 1948 establishment of the Israeli state, Zionist forces expelled nearly 800,000
Palestinians out of an approximate 1.2 million indigenous Palestinian population in a process that today would be called ethnic cleansing.

These refugees and their descendants account for one of the world's largest and oldest refugee populations. To date, over 3.7 million are registered by the United Nations and another 2 million unregistered Palestinian refugees
live in neighboring countries or in internal refugee camps sometimes within a very short distance of their original homes and properties.

Israel's refusal to allow these refugees to return to their homes is in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and UN Resolution 194 (1948), which specifically addresses the
rights of the Palestinian refugees. In light of the Israeli "Law of Return" (Hak Ha Shevut), which grants Israeli citizenship to all Jewish people worldwide wishing to immigrate to Palestine, Israel's refusal to allow
the Palestinian refugees to return to their own homes can only be described as the continuation of an ethnic cleansing policy and unabashed Apartheid.

SJP is a diverse coalition of students, faculty, and community members formed in October 2000 at the University of California, Berkeley with an interest in the human rights of the Palestinian people and their struggle
for liberation under Israeli occupation. SJP also seeks to raise public awareness in the United States about the plight of the Palestinian refugees. SJP conducts education, programming, information distribution, and other coordinated efforts in order to counterbalance
anti-Palestinian biases in the American media.

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