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Rutgers Profits From Boeing Airstrikes Launched On Gaza

Above photo: Endowment Justice Collective.

Vote ‘Yes’ to divest!

Rutgers profits off of Palestinian suffering by investing $100 million in Boeing, the company that manufactured the munitions that leveled Gaza. Vote “Yes” to divest from the genocide.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, must divest its endowment fund from companies and organizations that profit from, engage in, or contribute to the government of Israel’s human rights violations. An excellent example of this is that Rutgers profits off of Boeing airstrikes launched at Palestinians.

Boeing is the 3rd largest military company. Likewise, it is part of Rutgers’ $100 million investment1 in the PGIM-Quantitative Solutions (US) fund2. Boeing—and by EXTENSION, Rutgers—relies on Palestinian suffering to raise its profits.

Days after October 7th, Boeing’s stock skyrocketed 6.53%3. This is because Boeing supplies Israel with countless munitions to fuel its violent occupation, including Apache helicopters and GPS-guidance bomb kits. The Israeli Air Force has long used the Boeing F-15 fighter jet, which is one of the Israeli Air Force’s first-line fighters.

Between October 10 and 18, Boeing expedited the delivery of 1,000 250-pound bombs and up to 1,800 GPS-guidance bomb kits to Israel. These deliveries were part of a US $735 million commercial sale between Boeing and the Israeli government.

Boeing-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) were used by the Israeli military in two deadly, unlawful air strikes on homes full of civilians in central Gaza. The airstrikes took place on October 10 and October 22 and reportedly resulted in the killing of 43 civilians.

Boeing Apache attack helicopters also take part in the airstrikes on Gaza. On November 5, the Israeli Air Force published a photo of a Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter, equipped with a detachable fuel tank and armed with missiles, taking off, along with the caption “continuing to operate and attack in the Gaza Strip.”

Rutgers’ investment in Boeing is a blatant example of the conflict of interest that they hold. How can Palestinian students and the Rutgers community, as a whole, be expected to feel safe while their university willingly funds the arming of Israel’s genocide on Palestine? The obvious answer is they cannot. Only through divestment from these destructive corporations can justice be brought to Rutgers’ endowment and the oppressed communities worldwide.

Secondly, why should Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, terminate its partnership with Tel Aviv University, including the New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub?

Rutgers must end its Relationship with Tel Aviv University

The Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers – New Brunswick and Rutgers – Newark wrote the following statement on January 21, 2022, to express their dissent and exasperation over the University’s recent decision to engage in a close partnership with Tel Aviv University, as well as University President Jonathan Holloway’s resulting visit to the state of Israel.

On November 17th, 2021, President Holloway signed an agreement welcoming Tel Aviv University to house operations at the forthcoming Innovation & Technology Hub in New Brunswick. The Hub, a collaboration between the University and NJ Governor Phil Murphy, is currently in construction opposite the New Brunswick train station and set to open in 2024. The agreement commits New Jersey tax dollars to funding at least five future collaborative projects between Rutgers and Tel Aviv University researchers.

We are absolutely opposed to the University’s memorandum of understanding that aims to include Tel Aviv University in the Innovation & Technology Hub project and to President Holloway’s visit to Israel to formalize the collaboration.

To collaborate with an Israeli university, business, or organization is to legitimize and sustain Israeli apartheid and the ongoing settler-colonization of Palestine. Since these entities directly benefit from and encourage the power structures used by the apartheid government to oppress Palestinians, they are as culpable for the oppression of Palestinians as the government itself. Israeli universities in particular are strong contributing forces to Israeli apartheid, as they act as hubs for the development of Israeli weapons systems and military doctrines.

Tel Aviv University is arguably the university most directly involved in Israeli apartheid, and the one which the Rutgers administration has chosen to welcome to our campus in New Brunswick. The Tel Aviv University community actively develops Israeli military philosophy and weaponry, with academics and students working in the university’s numerous departments dedicated to strengthening Israeli military forces. Tel Aviv University professors were some of the primary developers of the Dahiya doctrine, the infamous Israeli military strategy of disproportionate force against civilian communities and infrastructure. The university also actively oppresses Palestinians by acting as the holding place for the bodies of 63 Palestinians killed by Israeli military forces and, in defiance of international law, barred from returning to their families for proper burial. This includes the remains of Ahmed Erakat, who was extrajudicially executed by occupation forces in June of 2020. In light of all of this, the Rutgers administration’s decision to invite Tel Aviv University to the New Brunswick campus is wholly unacceptable.

President Holloway’s decision to travel to Al-Shaykh Muwannis, the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village which Tel Aviv University now sits upon, to sign the memorandum of understanding for this agreement is thus an affront to Palestinian students and allies in the Rutgers community. The University and President Holloway claim to provide a safe space for political engagement, yet in actuality, their actions give comfort to forces of apartheid and reveal the administration’s failure to stand in genuine solidarity with the Palestinian members of its university. How can Palestinian students and allies expect to safely voice their solidarity when their own University administration engages in such close partnerships with their oppressor? This very University which houses Palestinian students on campus is now constructing a space to expand the institution built atop the graves of Al-Shaykh Muwannis. That graveyard will now extend to our campus.

President Holloway owes an apology to our Palestinian community members for traveling to the state of Israel. We affirm our request from August 2021, which has since been ignored, for President Holloway to publicly affirm the right of Rutgers faculty, students, and staff to voice their solidarity with Palestine, as other institutions have already done, and make clear that the university rejects all attempts to falsely conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

Rutgers University must terminate its agreement with Tel Aviv University, withdraw their invitation for Tel Aviv University to house operations at the Innovation & Technology Hub, and expose all other ties between the University and Israeli apartheid. As we previously requested in August 2021 with no response from administration, we ask for the University to protect the rights and the safety of its community members by denouncing and taking action against the targeted doxxing of pro-Palestinian students and faculty members on blacklist sites such as Canary Mission, and take action to ensure accountability from administration, faculty, and staff who violate the safe space Rutgers claims to be for activists and advocates of the disenfranchised.

Zionists harass our student body

In response to these egregious ethical violations, the Endowment Justice Collective — a coalition of over 150 Rutgers organizations dedicated to an ethical endowment fund not invested in fossil fuels, apartheid, war, or prisons — sponsored a resolution for a referendum to the assembly along with two representatives. The referendum, which passed unanimously on March 7, poses the following two questions to New Brunswick undergraduates:

1: “Should Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, divest its endowment fund from companies and organizations that profit from, engage in, or contribute to the government of Israel’s human rights violations?”

2: “Should Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey terminate its partnership with Tel Aviv University, including in the New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub?”

It is expected to go before the student body in the upcoming spring election from March 25th to 29th– right now!

In response, Israel War Room has launched a harassment and intimidation campaign targeting Jack Ramirez, the President of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), pressuring him to veto the decision. Since March 15, he has been the subject of a targeted harassment and intimidation campaign organized by this external Zionist organization. This organization has directed its massive following to harass Ramirez by his Rutgers email address, in an effort to intimidate him into vetoing RUSA’s unanimous passing of a referendum allowing students to voice their opinion on the Rutgers endowment fund’s investments in human rights violations committed by the Israeli government. We, the Endowment Justice Collective, extend our full solidarity to President Jack Ramirez and voice our dissent over this egregious attempt to harm and endanger our fellow student. This campaign seeks to infringe on the democratic process of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, thus thwarting the will of the student body, who are extremely concerned with the issue of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. Furthermore, Israel War Room is not affiliated with Rutgers University, and whether the organization is even based in the United States or North America is unclear. That an outside organization, with no connection whatsoever to the University, is seeking to influence campus policy speaks to the importance of this issue and the threat rightfully felt by supporters of Israel’s genocide — Rutgers University students are a morally sound body that will not allow this to stand.

Included in Israel War Room’s campaign as well are Islamophobic stereotypes relying on tropes of Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim students in support of the referendum as “terrorists” and “radical extremists.” It also explicitly denies the ongoing genocide and apartheid system in Palestine, despite numerous international non-governmental organizations affirming it. As students engaged in efforts toward justice, we fully condemn this bigotry and recognize it as an attempt to encourage harassment against Ramirez by stoking Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism.

This harassment campaign further exposes the Rutgers University administration’s inability to maintain student safety. The administration has not addressed the harassment Ramirez is facing, and we cannot expect that it will, when so much of its efforts this year have been to directly harm students advocating for justice. The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at Rutgers– New Brunswick, for example, was recently suspended by the administration with no just cause — and then reinstated within weeks due to campus mobilization.

We, the students, know that this injustice will not —can not— stand. In less than a week, more than 700 hundred of us have signed the Endowment Justice Collective’s petition urging Rutgers University to divest from Israeli human rights violations, and even more will vote yes on the upcoming referendum. It is deeply upsetting, however, that justice comes at the cost of our personal safety. At this time, we extend our full solidarity and support to President Jack Ramirez, and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the harassment he is currently facing.

EJC remains unwavering in its commitment to hold Rutgers accountable as we campaign for divestment from unethical investments that profit off of Palestinian suffering. Fueled by our tuition money and alumni donations, our endowment fund should be a source of pride, not a portfolio profiteering off of Palestinian suffering. Join us as we vote from March 25 to 29. As part of the RUSA elections, Rutgers undergraduate students will have the opportunity to vote on Rutgers’ divestment from Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism. This vote will show the Rutgers administration that the students no longer wish to be complicit in genocide– and decide RUSA’s official position on divestment. Additionally, you can sign the Endowment Justice Collective’s Divestment Request, and tell your organization and/or community about the opportunity to sign on.

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