The student government body at University of California at Santa Cruz recently passed a resolution to divest from several companies accused of “perpetuat[ing] systematic oppression and exploitation – whether based on national origin, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation.”
As a specific example, HP was on the list of companies to avoid because its “systems are installed in Israeli military checkpoints.”
One Jewish student, Stanley Traub, explained that life has gotten even harder for him since the student body took a stand against Israel. He explained:
I condemn the divestment vote because it has already brought upon an anti-Semitic climate to UC Santa Cruz. I have seen posts on social media after the vote was passed such as, ‘Hitler did nothing wrong,’ as well as various other Holocaust-associated ‘jokes.’
Though such divestment proposals are often criticized as thinly veiled displays of anti-Semitism, those behind the UCSC vote have earned additional scorn for its reported behavior toward a Jewish council member. Daniel Bernstein, who represents Stevenson College in the student assembly, said he received a stern notice from the school’s student council chair.
“You will be abstaining,” the message asserted, adding “that is the right thing anywho [sic].”
Later in the note, the author suggested that a “Jewish agenda” was responsible for Bernstein’s electoral victory.
Despite the obvious pressure to prevent his vote in the culturally charged vote, Bernstein said he nonetheless cast a ballot against divestment.