Thursday, March 25, 2010

UC Berkeley ASUC President Smelko vetoes Divisive Israel Divestment bill

Will Smelko, the president of the UC Berkeley student senate, vetoed the divestment bill the senate had approved last week, that called for the University of California to divest from companies that have provided military supplies to Israel.
President Smelko declared, "To achieve and maintain campus unity and peace, the perception of the bill as a symbolic attack on a specific community of our fellow students, and/or fears of the bill being used as a tool to delegitimize the state of Israel, cannot be overstated."

Next week the student senate will vote on whether to overturn the veto of the ASUC president Will Smelko. Please consider sending an email to President Smelko ( thanking him for his courageous decision and statement, and copying the rest of the student senate ( to let them know of your support for the president's position.

"While the ASUC as a body has stated convincingly that it does not want ASUC and UC dollars going to fund weapons, war crimes, or human rights violations, this veto has to do with the mechanism by which the ASUC achieves its mission of building peace and goodwill in a way that avoids the shortcomings of the bill (such as a) ... selective, one-sided focus on a specific country that lacks important historical context and understanding," Smelko said in his statement.

Smelko said that his decision to veto the bill had come after lengthy consideration.

"This decision was by no means easy, and in fact one of the more difficult decisions I've had to make," he said in the statement. "No matter what I do, large groups of people are going to be very mad and upset, and I have to balance that with the fiduciary duties and responsibilities I swore to when I took office last May, no matter how big the pressure may be."


Anonymous said...

For the record, here is the very short list of Professors who signed up in support of the divestment bill:

1 Samer Madanat UC Berkeley
2 Laurent El Ghaoui Prof., EECS and IEOR Dep. UC Berkeley
3 Minoo Moallem Prof., Gender and Women’s Studies UC Berkeley
4 Joel Beinin Donald J. McLachlan Prof. of History Stanford
5 Rutie Adler Lecturer, UC Berkeley
6 Hatem Bazian Lecturer, UC Berkeley
7 Barbara D Barnes Lecturer, Gender & Women Studier UC Berkeley
8 Evalyn F Segal San Diego State
9 Hamid Algar Prof. of Islamic Studies, UC Berkeley
10 Michael Burawoy UC Berkeley
11 Susan Ervin-Tripp Prof. Emerita of Psychology UC Berkeley
12 Samera Esmeir Asst. Prof., Rhetoric Dep. UC Berkeley
13 Chana Kronfeld Prof
UC Berkeley
14 Daniel Boyarin UC Berkeley
15 Sophie Volpp UC Berkeley
16 Judith Butler UC Berkeley
17 Bluma Goldstein UC Berkeley
18 Gil Hochberg UC LA
19 Anne-Lise François UC Berkeley
20 Ian Duncan Prof. of English UC Berkeley
21 Ramona Naddaff Assc. Prof. of Rhetoric UC Berkeley
22 Elizabeth Abel Prof. of English UC Berkeley
23 Hertha Sweet Wong Assc. Prof., Dep. of English. Chair, Dep. of Art Practice UC Berkeley
24 Michael Lucey UC Berkeley
25 Suzanne Guerlac Prof. of French UC Berkeley
26 Wendy Brown Emanuel Heller Prof. of Political Science UC Berkeley
27 Piya Chatterjee Assc. Prof., Dep. of Women’s Studies UC Riverside
28 George Bisharat Prof., College of the Law UC Hastings
29 Bishara Doumani Prof., Dep. of History UC Berkeley
30 Gillian Hart Prof., Dep. of Geography UC Berkeley
31 Charles Hirschkind Assc. Prof. of Anthropology UC Berkeley
32 Joanna Picciotto Assc. Prof. of English UC Berkeley
33 Richard A Walker Prof. of Geography. UC Berkeley
34 Lawrence Cohen Prof., Anthropology and South & Southeast Asian Studies UC Berkeley
35 Barrie Thorne UC Berkeley
36 Carla Freccero Prof. of Literature. Director, Center for Cultural Studies UC Santa Cruz
37 Margaret Larkin Prof. of Arabic Literature, NES Dep. UC Berkeley
38 Mark LeVine Prof., Dep. of History UC Irvine
39 Saree Makdisee Prof. of English & Comparative Literature UC LA
40 Ayesha Gill Former Asst. Prof. of Genetics, Biology Dep. UC LA
41 Omnia El Shakry Assc. Prof., Dep. of History UC Davis
42 Patricia Morton Assc. Prof. of Architectural History, History of Art Dep. UC Riverside
43 Abdul JanMohamed Professor, English Department UC Berkeley
44 Michael J Cassidy Professor, Dep. Of Civil & Environmental Engineering UC Berkeley
45 Chava Boyarin Lecturer, Hebrew Language, NES Dep. UC Berkeley
46 Leonard Sklar Assc. Prof., Geosciences (PhD UC Berkeley, 2003) SFSU
47 Nancy Stoller Research Prof., Dep. of Community Studies UC Santa Cruz
48 Victor Silverman Assc. Prof., History Pomona College
49 Zayn Kassam Assc. Prof., Religious Studies Pomona College
50 Jonathan Graubart Assc. Prof., Political Science San Diego State
51 Andrew P Gutierrez Prof. Emeritus of Ecosystem Science UC Berkeley
52 Harold L Schwartz Prof. of Medicine UC Irvine
53 Louis F Reichardt Prof. of Physiology and Biochemistry & Biophysics UCSF
54 Suad Joseph Prof. of Anthropology and Women & Gender Studies UC Davis
55 Gilbert G Gonzalez Prof. Emeritus, Chicano Latino Studies UC Berkeley
56 Raka Ray Prof., Sociology and South and Southeast Asian Studies UC Berkeley
57 Christian Haesemeyer Assc. Prof., Dep. of Mathematics UC LA
58 Arturo Grialdez Visiting Prof., Hispanic Summer Institute UC Santa Barbara

Anonymous said...

Number 51, Andrew P Gutierrez Prof. Emeritus of Ecosystem Science UC Berkeley is apparently notorious on campus for harrassing folk he disagrees with


Anonymous said...

You tube of Prof. Gutierrez in action.

Shocking behavior from a professor at UC Berkeley

Anonymous said...

Apparently Andrew is married to Marina Gutierrez, a member of the notorious hate group, Berkeley Women in Black, that has been harrassing Cal students for years

From a Cal students blog:

The only thing more Berkeley than having an inflammatory opinion is gathering together a cadre of similarly-minded people and staging an unimpressive display to annoy passers-by. Cue the Women in Black, a group of incensed nonagenarians standing together to protest the bloodthirsty, imperialist Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine. To paraphrase their flier, for nearly 20 years they’ve been blocking foot traffic, mouthing off, and toting decorative umbrellas each Friday in front of Sproul Plaza.

Read more here:

Gary Fouse said...

As a part-time teacher at UC-Irvine who supports Israel and stands up to anti-semitism on campus, I am delighted to post the story of Andrew Gutierrez's behavior last week on my blog, fousesquawk. I got the tip from arab lesbians against hate. A special thanks to them. The Middle East conflict is no excuse for this resurgence in anti-semitism, and the focal point are our university campuses. Shame on Gutierrez.

Gary Fouse
Adj teacher
UC-Irvine ext.