LTTE: The struggle for justice in CWRU and Palestine goes on

Tim O'Shea, CWRU '20

Four and a half years ago, I co-authored Resolution 27-04, the first USG resolution calling for the divestment of CWRU assets from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. That effort ended on April 22, 2018, in—what seemed to be at the time—utter defeat. But the success of Resolution 31-15, authored by CWRU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and endorsed by the USG General Assembly on Nov. 8, says differently. 

On March 29, 2018, the USG Executive Committee unconstitutionally refused to allow Resolution 27-04 onto the upcoming April 10 General Assembly (GA) agenda. At that GA meeting, we again sought to introduce the resolution via “Open Forum,” which had no precedent of requiring a vote, but that night it suddenly required two-thirds of the GA in favor, which was not met. When USG came under considerable pressure from the ensuing political blowback, it was agreed that an emergency GA would be held on April 22 to formally introduce Resolution 27-04. Despite significant interest from the wider public in holding a moderated discussion, too few members of GA itself attended and quorum was not met, ending the legislative term of the 27th Assembly. 

In the wake of Resolution 31-15’s passage, SJP and its supporters may feel both celebratory of their accomplishments and discouraged by President Eric Kaler’s callous response, which has been rightfully called divisive, ignorant and misleading. But while President Kaler refuses to take up an investigation of CWRU’s complicity in Israeli apartheid today, he or the next CWRU president will be forced to reconsider through your continued struggle. This is your university, not his, after all. Just as the efforts my colleagues and I made in 2018 were not final, yours too will be a step towards further accomplishments for generations of CWRU students to come. 

Congratulations to SJP and all advocates of Resolution 31-15 on your success. To the co-sponsoring organizations supporting justice in Palestine, thank you. This is exactly how we make change—by building cross-cutting coalitions of groups which all share an interest in challenging the transnational systems of militarization and imperialism. Know that SJP will have your back when you engage in your own struggle. Thank you all for your unyielding principles and dedication to the cause and be content in the knowledge of the shame supporters of Israeli apartheid will feel in the near future as we continue to win the fight.

Tim O’Shea, CWRU ‘20