Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization

March 29, 2009

Send an Email today! Columbia Palestine Forum begins Negotiating with Columbia Univ. over Divestment Demands, Monday, March 30th

Filed under: Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 5:05 pm

Hello, friends and supporters of the Columbia Palestine Forum:

We’re writing to let you know that we will begin talks on Monday, March 30th, with the Columbia University administration regarding our demands, which seek an end to Columbia’s investment in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. Our demands also ask for direct support for the human, educational, and academic rights of Palestinians. See the full text of our demands at our website,

These negotiations have only come about because of all of our sustained efforts at raising campus awareness about Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, our university’s complicity in this occupation, and what we as students can do to stop it.

Given Columbia’s previous negative responses to student and faculty efforts to seriously address this issue, their current willingness to talk about this issue should be seen as a huge victory for our movement here on campus.

It also means that now is the time to put more pressure on the university to fully meet our demands.  Here’s what you can do:

1) Email President Bollinger, Dean Shollenberger, and Vice President Dirks between now and Monday afternoon, and tell them that you support human rights and academic freedom for Palestinians, and that as a member of the Columbia community want to see the demands of the Columbia Palestine Forum met. See below for a script that you can cut, paste, and send.
2) Come to the next Columbia Palestine Forum meeting, this Tuesday, March 31st, at 8:00pm in Hamilton 603, to discuss where we stand after Monday’s meeting, and to help plan further actions and events to end Columbia complicity in the occupation of Palestine.
3) Attend a screening of Have You Heard from Johannesburg, a film documenting the struggle at Columbia University to divest from apartheid South Africa, followed by a community discussion about the lessons for our struggle against Israeli apartheid today. We will screen the film this Thursday, April 2nd, at 7:30, in Fayerweather 313.

Again, thanks to all of you for your support. We’ll make it our top priority to keep you informed about the state of the demands. This is a growing movement for peace and justice, and we encourage everyone to get involved.

Hope to see you soon!

EMAIL SCRIPT: Please send the following email to these addresses:,, and

Dear President Lee Bollinger/Dean Kevin Shollenberger/Vice President Nicholas Dirks,

My name is ___________, and I am a Columbia student/faculty/alum, and I want to thank you for meeting so promptly with the Columbia Palestine Forum. As a supporter of the human and academic rights of Palestinians, I ask Columbia University, in keeping with its long tradition of support for these rights across the world, to expediently honor the demands of the Columbia Palestine Forum. I will be following with great interest the outcome of these talks.


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