After the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, declared his plan for illegally occupied Jerusalem to be recognised as the capital of the occupier, Israel, the students of the University of Manchester and concerned individuals will be protesting and marching on Friday 8th December to condemn this latest act of betrayal against the Palestinian people. At the same time we declare that now is the time for the university to end its shameful support for the institutions and companies who are contributing to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestine and whose activity helps to normalise Israel’s war crimes.
Jerusalem has been the spiritual, social and political centre for an array of cultures and religions for thousands of years. To be recognised as the capital of Israel when it is the Israeli state who have dispossessed hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Christian Palestinian Jerusalemites is a travesty to all those with a connection to city. Worse still that the complicity in the continuous crimes against the Palestinian people also exists on our doorstep, as the University of Manchester invests around £2,114,435.97 worth of shares in the company Caterpillar, which breaks international law, by creating and continuing to supply armed bulldozers with the main purpose being to demolish Palestinian homes, land and public spaces. The same bulldozing company was responsible for killing American activist Rachel Corrie. Caterpillar is in the UN Human Rights Council Blacklisted companies, which is due to be published in Early December. The motion of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel has already been passed at the university, but the institution continues to be complicit in Israel’s war crimes, such as selling goods on campus which come from Israel.
BDS UoM (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) demands that the university ends all institutional links and investment ties with these war crimes and for the University of Manchester to divest from the companies which oppress the Palestinian population and do not comply with international law. The policies of these Israeli companies are illegal and discriminatory, which go against the university’s own SRIP (Socially Responsible Investment Policy), which states that the institution will “divest in shares in companies which do not respond positively to concerns about their practices or are deemed to be in breach of acceptable standards or ethical practice”.
We call on all concerned individuals to take a stand for the Palestinians, still occupied, still violently forced from their land, and still the victims of the shameful support of western governments, from the Balfour Declaration to the US embassy move to Jerusalem. Join the ‘Hands Off Jerusalem’ protest this Friday evening beginning at University of Manchester from where we will march towards Piccadilly gardens.