After a marathon debate, Northwestern University’s student government on Thursday voted in favor of a motion to call on the school to divest from six corporations for complicity in alleged violations of Palestinian human rights.
The Associated Student Government Senate voted 24-22 in favor of recommending the school’s administrators sever ties with the companies, the Chicago-area university’s Daily Northwestern newspaper reported.
The resolution was a non-binding motion, not a change in university policy.
“The significance is what we’ve been saying this whole time — it’s about Northwestern being held accountable for supporting human rights violations,” Noah Whinston, a pro-divestment student body senator told the paper. “It’s a validation of so much work we’ve done. It’s just a culmination of all of the marginalized voices that we heard here speak tonight.”
The NU Divest movement called for the end of the university’s financial investment in Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Elbit Systems, Hewlett-Packard and G4S because the corporations’ are “profiting off of the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands,” according to the group’s website.
The vote came on the heels of a similar measure by the Undergraduate Senate of Stanford University, which on Tuesday passed an Israel divestment bill that had been defeated the week before.
The resolution calls for Stanford University trustees to divest from companies that “violate international humanitarian law by: maintaining illegal infrastructure of the Israeli occupation… facilitating Israel and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians… [and] facilitating state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian or Palestinian Authority security forces.”