Friday, March 1, 2013

BDS on campus

GUEST: Sabreen Shalabi, a UC Irvine student involved in the Historic UC divestment vote, talks about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on campus.

The hardest step seems to be the very first one you take. There are Muslim support groups in all our major colleges. They have potential allies in the community as well as in Jewish peace groups to back them up. Why don't  these campus organizations start talking about using boycott, divestment and sanctions to call attention to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza?

Sabreen takes us through the beginning steps of seeing what companies are in a college's investment portfolio that profit by Israeli's illegal settlements. From there, it becomes an educational campaign to gather support from other progressive student organizations. A BDS campaign is a process, but the first act is always the most difficult.

Muslim support groups on campus have often taken the opposite approach. If only they can keep their heads down, maybe they won't be attacked. They make allies, but only by pretending that Palestine is not really such an important issue. They simply mimic the oppressor.

But freedom can't be won that way. It is only through resistance that Muslims in America can attain their rights in a deeply racist and Islamophobic society. Students at UC Irvine show us that it can be done. 

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