Beach Hillel talks heritage with CSULB

Strings of photographs lined the trees outside the University Student Union Wednesday as members of Beach Hillel, the center for Jewish students, showcased their annual voyage to Israel and the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Cal State Long Beach students passing by were invited to look at pictures taken on previous heritage trips. Trips like these are a type of tourism aimed at exploring the location of one’s cultural background. “For many students who went last year, they were in shock,” Unger said. “They were surprised to see that it was like a regular city there.” Members promoted the annual trip to students outside of the organization and encouraged those walking by to vote on their favorite photos displayed in the trees. According to Claire Spivaka, sophomore health science major and member of Beach Hillel, many students go through organizations such as these for travel and learning opportunities. Young adults of Jewish heritage are eligible for a free visit to Israel through Taglit-Birthright Israel, a non-profit which includes a 10-day educational heritage trip. “The eligibility to go on Birthright is someone in your family needs to be Jewish and it is for student ages 18 to 26,” Spivak said. “Although

By | 2017-11-16T22:32:33+00:00 Nov 16, 2017 | 10:32 pm|Categories: Campus, News, Today|Tags: , , , , , , |

Zionists threaten any hope of ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On May 10 this year, the Associated Student Inc. senate passed a resolution to divest ASI funds from companies profiting off the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Many of my friends who worked on the Divest Coalition and the senators who voted for the resolution were blacklisted online by Canary Mission, a website targeting pro-Palestinian activists. This well-funded punishment campaign orchestrated by pro-Israel groups poses a threat to academic freedom on campuses and aims to reproduce settler-colonial narratives by erasing Palestinian identity altogether. The existence of a Palestinian national identity threatens the Israeli narrative of “a people without a land and a land without its people” in reference to early Jewish settlers in Palestine. Palestine was never a land without her people. The original inhabitants were ethnically cleansed to create a jewish majority state. The intimidation from Israeli lobbies such as Canary Mission and Stand With Us isn’t just limited to students, but extends to academics who have participated in divestment campaigns or have adopted a critical stance toward the Israeli occupation. On April 26th, Cal State University Fresno cancelled a search for professorship in Middle-Eastern Studies, which was named after late Edward Said, a prominent Palestinian literary critic known for

CSULB professors question academic freedom

Some professors fear a “chilling effect” on free speech and academic freedom after President Jane Close Conoley made a statement to the campus opposing the Associated Students, Inc. resolution to divest in Israel, prompting several response letters from legal organizations, professors and the California Faculty Association. “As a university leader, I examine every action I contemplate with the question, ‘Does this promote inclusion, excellence and public good at our university?’” Conoley wrote in her letter. “BDS resolutions fall short of this standard because they lessen one group’s sense of belonging, are based on binary assumptions that do not represent the complex and multinational realities of Middle East conflicts, and, finally, act as catalysts to acts of vandalism and violence.” The letter, dated April 26, was sent to ASI senators the day before the first reading of the resolution titled “Socially Responsible Investing: Companies Complacent in and Profiting from Palestinian Oppression,” or SR #2017-37. It calls for the divestment of 49er Foundation funds in several companies that do business in Israel and is in line with the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement. The resolution passed 15-7-1 on Wednesday and will move to the university administration to act on. "Her letter is

By | 2017-05-15T14:20:10+00:00 May 10, 2017 | 11:12 pm|Categories: ASI, Campus, Features, News|Tags: , , , , , |

Divestment resolution engages campus support and distress

The Senate chambers were filled with people sitting on the floor, crowding in the foyer and outside to show their support or opposition of a resolution at the most recent Associated Students, Inc. Senate meeting. This resolution to divest from Israel has left the Cal State Long Beach campus divided and in passionate debate for the past several weeks. The resolution, titled “Socially Responsible Investing: Companies Complacent in and Profiting from Palestinian Oppression,” or SR #2017-37, calls for the divestment of 49er Foundation funds in seven specific companies: Raytheon, G4s, Veola, Caterpillar, General Electric, Northrop Grumman and Hewlett-Packard Company. It’s one of three resolutions for socially responsible investing, with the other two focused on profiting from LGBTQ+ oppression and private prisons.   One of the resolutions four authors, Senator-At-Large Yasmeen Azam, said SR #2017-37 is in response to a broader resolution that was past last year calling for socially responsible divestment. After that resolution was passed, senators at the time, including some of the new resolution’s authors, met with Vice President of Finance Mary Stephens and she told them the request was too broad. “I explained that a very broad request to divest is difficult to implement because a significant

By | 2017-08-14T15:42:48+00:00 May 9, 2017 | 10:48 pm|Categories: ASI, Campus, News, Showcase|Tags: , , , , , , |

CSULB campus remains divided over divestment

In an emotional vote that drew gleeful cheers and heavy weeping, the Associated Students, Inc. Senate passed for its second reading a divestment resolution from companies they say are complicit in Palestinian oppression. The resolution passed in a roll-call vote with 12 senators voting in favor, seven voting against it and three abstaining. Attendance at the Senate meeting was high, with people filling the seat capacity and others scattered across the floor and the walkway. ASI officials had to add additional seating and speakers outside the Senate Chambers. Thirty people spoke up during public comments. During the Senate’s deliberation, College of Liberal Arts Senator Elvia Cabrera proposed to table the resolution indefinitely instead of passing it for a second reading. The proposition failed, however. “I don't want it to go into a motion,” Cabrera said. “There are a lot of people that want to be heard. Ten minutes cannot cut it. Fifteen minutes does not cut it ... All of the students that I have spoken to from my college don't know what [the resolution] is. I can't even get a formal opinion from my constituents if they don't know what it is.” While a few senators requested more time

By | 2017-08-14T15:41:34+00:00 May 3, 2017 | 10:43 pm|Categories: ASI, News, Showcase|Tags: , , , , , , |

Student protesters demand that CSULB divest

Students gathered by the Prospector Pete statue on a hot Tuesday afternoon to debate and discuss the idea of Cal State Long Beach divesting from companies that profit from various forms of oppression in a “CSULB Divest” teach-in. The event was organized by a coalition consisting of the Muslim Student Association, Anakbayan Long Beach and the Chicano/Latino Studies Student Association among other on-campus orgs and was held in order to demand that CSULB divest from companies that profit from the conflict in Israel and Palestine, LGBTQ+ oppression and private prisons. The teach-in was planned in light of the division between Associated Students, Inc. and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley over the divestment issues. Conoley wrote in a letter last week to ASI that she did not agree with the idea of supporting the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement as a campus, for fear of isolating Jewish students. “Economic divestment is such a powerful strategy, and the resources have been expropriated by the Israelis in the west bank of Palestine,” said Spencer Potiker, one of the leading speakers while talking about the history of the Palestine and Israel conflict. “Israel employs homo nationalism which is a favorable association between national spot and

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