Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire: “Stanford should divest from Israeli Occupation as it did from Apartheid South Africa”

Stanford should divest from Israeli Occupation as it did from Apartheid South Africa

By: Mairead Maguire

Members of a South African ecumenical delegation that recently visited the occupied Palestinian territory said they were “traumatized” by what they saw. They “did not expect the extent to which Israel violates international law to oppress the Palestinian people,” they said, adding that “it felt like walking into another apartheid ambush … the multiple Israeli house demolitions, the discriminatory Israeli legal system, the daily intimidation of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Forces, the Israeli Apartheid Wall and its associated regime of restrictions on movement and access for Palestinians, the imprisonment of a large percentage of Palestinians (including children), the ongoing confiscation of Palestinian water and land, the closure of previously bustling Palestinian streets and businesses.”

Testimonies like this by human rights organizations and people of conscience are increasingly being heard across the world, changing hearts and minds and convincing lovers of peace and justice to support pressure campaigns against Israel’s occupation and other violations of human rights, and against all corporations that maintain that oppressive system to attain a real, sustainable peace for all the people in this troubled region, without discrimination.

The Palestinians are asking the world to disengage from Israel’s occupation, a strategy that helped us to end apartheid in South Africa. I, and many people like me, believe that maximum pressure must be put on Israel to abide by international law. This should be done on the basis of “equality and sharing, not on superiority, negation of the other or aggression, using the pretext of fear and security” as stated in the Palestinian Kairos document, A Moment of Truth.

I salute Stanford University students who are striving to end their own university’s complicity in Israel’s human rights violations through divesting from companies that are deeply involved in those violations. I stand with you and believe we shall overcome all injustice and all inequality, as we have done before.

2nd March, 2013

Mairead Maguire was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her extraordinary actions to help end the deep ethnic/political conflict in her native Northern Ireland.

Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters ‘salutes’ Stanford divestment bill

To the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU),

1 March 2013

Dear Members of the ASSU,

I have read with great interest, and some quickening of the heart, the eloquent and very thorough document that deals with divestment from companies that profit from The Occupation of Palestinian lands, submitted to the ASSU for consideration next Tuesday.

‘We The People’, if I may adopt that conceit, thank the authors for their forthright and considered plea to you, to vote to encourage the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, to stand by the promises enshrined in The Constitution of The United States of America, and repeated at the founding of this University, that ‘all men have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. These are the rights being denied, at this moment, to the Palestinian people.

I will not presume to add comment to the document, it stands well enough alone. However, I will say this. People often ask me, “Where are the young today”?

Back in ’68 they were trampled by police horses in Grosvenor Square, clubbed outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago, shot down at Kent State, in Paris they tore up the cobbles from the streets. Where are they now?

Today, they are here, in Stanford University. They are the thin end of a wedge of freedom that grows day by day, and we are very proud of them. The class of ’68 salutes you.

With great respect,

Roger Waters


Anyone not conversant with the facts of the matter could visit: Roger Waters speech at UN 29th of November 2012.

In 2004 after the re-election of G.W. Bush, somewhat in disgust and despair, I wrote a poem which I append here as it seems apposite:

Roger Waters Poem

Roger Waters is an English rock musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. He is best known as the bass player, co-lead vocalist, lyricist and the principal songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd. 


Israeli Historian Ilan Pappé “salutes the brave and committed students of Stanford”

University of Stanford should make the Moral Decision to Divest from Israel’s Occupation

Ilan Pappe*

3 March 2013

While occupation, dispossession and oppression continue in Palestine, decent and conscientious persons around the world are doing their best to bring an end to the suffering of the people who live there.

The international indifference, the disarray in the Arab world, and the huge imbalance of power between the oppressed and the oppressor leave people in the outside with very few ways for showing their solidarity and support. The most moral and effective way for helping the victims of the inhuman policies on the ground is through campaigns of morally-consistent pressure on Israel, as in the divestment initiative being debated at Stanford.

More and more communities around the world have realised it and have joined in these nonviolent and successful campaigns to advance peace and reconciliation on the ground. Today the students, staff and trustees of the University of Stanford are asked to make this moral decision: do you want to be counted with those who could look back in time and be proud and relieved in the stance they have taken, or be sorry for being passive, apathetic or hesitant?

I salute the brave and committed students of Stanford for making the right choice that will help us all, Palestinians and Israelis, to move towards a better and peaceful future based on justice and international law.

*The author of numerous books, Ilan Pappe is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. 

‘No reason to continue to invest’ says CSRE Director David Palumbo-Liu

Dear Josh,

Thank you for sharing your ASSU bill with me.  I have been studying the issue of divestment from several angles and have come to the conclusion that there is no reason to continue to invest in corporations or other entities that directly or indirectly support unjust and illegal activities, and that, when presented with a choice, decide to help perpetuate unjust living conditions.  Should the issue come before the Faculty Senate, I would speak in favor of divestment.


Best regards,


David Palumbo-Liu
Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor
Professor of Comparative Literature


For more information on Professor Palumbo-Liu’s position on divestment and Israel/Palestine, click here to read his op-ed in Truthout.

David Palumbo-Liu is currently the director of the undergraduate program in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. Palumbo-Liu is most interested in issues regarding social theory, community, race and ethnicity, justice, globalization, ecology, and the specific role that literature and the humanities play in helping us address each of these areas. 

Stanford History Professor Joel Beinin ‘Urges’ Divestment Support

March 1, 2013

Dear ASSU Undergraduate Senators,

The bill proposed by Joshua Schott, Samar Alqatari, Itai Farhi, and Michelle Dallalah proposes carefully targeted and judicious action to eliminate Stanford’s support, through its investment portfolio, of manifest violations of human rights by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.  These human rights violations are well-documented and have been denounced by the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice, and many international, Palestinian, and Israeli human rights organizations.  This bill does not attack on the state of Israel.  It is aimed at its specific policies in carrying out the occupation of the Palestinian territories since 1967.  Nothing in it suggests that the existence of the State of Israel is illegitimate.  It does say that the Israeli state is violating international law.  This is not a radical or new claim for those who have followed this issue over the years.  It is certainly not an attack on all Jews.  Many individual American Jews and Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace support this kind of selective divestment from firms complicit in Israel’s violations of human rights.  I support the bill and urge others to lend their support as well.


Joel Beinin

Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History

Professor of Middle East History

Department of History

Stanford University

Joel Beinin lived in Egypt in 1969, 1980-81, 1985, 1986, 1994, 2004-05, and 2006-08 and in Israel in 1965-66, 1970-73, 1987, 1988 and 1993. He has taught Middle East history at Stanford University since 1983. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. His research and writing focuses on workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East and on Israel, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.