According to the United Nations, the “crime of apartheid” is defined as: “Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part.” Apartheid and the continued crimes against the Palestinian people fit this definition. Nelson Mandela and many others that lived under South African apartheid have stated that the situation for the Palestinians is even worse than apartheid. May 2013 marks 65 years of the catastrophic expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. Today, Palestinians constitute the largest refugee population in the world. The massacres, looting, and destruction that characterized the depopulation of Palestine are in direct conflict with our values as University of South Florida (USF) students. Corporations affiliated with the oppression, occupation, and apartheid of the Palestinian people includes: • Sabra Hummus – Sabra is owned by parent company Strauss Group Ltd. It actively provides financial support and supplies to the Golani Brigades. The Golani Brigades in particular are notorious for their record of grave and systematic human rights abuses. Sabra Hummus is provided in USF dining halls. • Hewlett-Packard (HP) – HP is a primary contractor of Basel System, Matrix, Tact Testware and Israel’s biometric ID card system. Approximately 4 million Palestinians are affected daily by the checkpoint system and the separation wall that are supported with technology from HP. HP provides technology services to Israel’s army and participates in businesses in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ariel. Hewlett-Packard products are sold at USF venues, including the USF computer store. • Wellington Small Cap and Value – Wellington Management, the parent company of Wellington Small Cap Value, is a major owner of Rapiscan Systems, which manufactures security scanners through its Israel representative, Hashmira (also known as G4S Israel). Wellington Management is also the largest shareholder for Terex, which produces trucks, floodlights and other construction equipment for the building of the Separation Wall. Terex’s equipment is also used for the development of checkpoints near the Ofer prison and detention center and the Deir Sharaf checkpoint in the West Bank. As of September 30, 2012, USF Foundation had investments worth $9.0 million in Wellington Small Cap Value. Question 1: Would you support the USF student government in adhering to the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”? Question 2: Would you support boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning corporations affiliated with human rights violations by replacing them with ethical alternatives at University of South Florida?
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