Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fossil Fuel Issue at Regents Could Become Entangled with Israel-Palestine Controversy

Oil well: La Cienega Blvd. in 1940s
Inside Higher Ed today has a lengthy feature on the anti-Israel divestment movement on various campuses with discussion of UC and UCLA in particular.*  See The Regents will have fossil fuel divestment on their agenda in July.  It is quite possible the two issues will become entangled since both call for modifying UC investment practices for non-financial reasons.  The incoming student Regent favors anti-Israel divestment while the incoming student Regent-elect opposes it.  According to the article, "UC policy calls for divestment from a foreign country only in cases in which the U.S. declares its government guilty of acts of genocide."  The UC issue has also made its way into the both the California state legislature and the LA city council:

Bob Blumenfield, a pro-Israel Los Angeles City Councilman, is leading an effort to have the city go on the record to denounce the [UCLA student] ethics pledge for “intimidating” and “bullying” students.  Blumenfield’s resolution, introduced in late May, is supported by at least five other council members...

Bob Blumenfield, the author of the City Council resolution denouncing the ethics pledge, is no stranger to getting state and city representatives to denounce SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] activism.  Last year, when Blumenfield was a state assemblyman, he helped organize a letter denouncing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on UC campuses.  Blumenfield also sponsored a 2012 California house resolution that denounced BDS and stated that calling Israel an “apartheid state” is anti-Semitic...

Full article at

*See also our earlier post at

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