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Ohio USG passes resolution calling on university to divest from two companies with Israel business ties

Demonstrators hold a placard urging the international community to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign [Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators hold a placard urging the international community to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign [Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images]

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at Ohio State University has passed an emergency resolution calling on the University to divest from two companies that contribute to human rights violations against the Palestinian people by providing technology and tools to the Israeli military.

The USG passed the resolution on 7 April, with a majority of 14 votes in favour of the resolution, eight votes against, and two abstentions.

The two companies targeted with the emergency resolution are Caterpillar Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The resolution stated that "Hewlett Packard Enterprise has provided technology used by the Israeli military which facilitates discrimination against Palestinians, restrict their freedom of movement and limit their access to education, employment and medical care."

Meanwhile, "Caterpillar Inc. provides engineering tools and bulldozers used to expand settlements in Palestine, construct a separation wall in the West Bank and Demolish Palestinian homes and refugee camps" the resolution states.

"By investing in such companies, The Ohio State University complicitly condones and profits from the decisions and actions of these companies and as such, becomes guilty by association when such consequences from the actions and divestments of these companies, including but certainly not limited to, the killing of innocent civilians," the resolution added.

Public support in the United States for Israel has in recent years declined as a result of awareness campaigns, many of which had been organised in American universities.

READ: Jordan player refuses to face Israeli opponent fencing contest

Last month, a new Gallup study revealed that while Americans continue to express greater sympathy for the Israelis than the Palestinians, support for Tel Aviv has declined over the years reaching 55 per cent in 2022 down from 64 per cent in 2013 while sympathy for the Palestinians has increased from 12 per cent in 2013 to 26 per cent in 2022.

Moreover, the poll documented sharp differences by party in Americans' positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where more than three-quarters of Republicans sympathise more with the Israelis (77 per cent) than with the Palestinians (13 per cent). By contrast, Democrats are statistically divided, with 40 per cent favouring the Israelis and 38 per cent the Palestinians.

Amnesty International has recently issued a detailed report on Palestinian suffering, accusing Israel of practicing the "apartheid" system.

The report said Israel is implicated in a "large-scale attack directed against the Palestinians that amounts to the crime of apartheid against humanity."

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