ASUC President Smelko Vetoes Divestment Bill

He will be voted out of office, I promise, and then they’ll vote for the bill again: ASUC President Will Smelko vetoed a bill Wednesday that called for the University of California to divest from companies that have provided war supplies to Israel.The bill states that United Technologies and General Electric are supplying Israel with the technology necessary to attack civilian populations in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. While the bill passed the ASUC Senate last week by a 16-4 vote that followed four hours of discussion and about 80 speakers, Smelko said in a veto statement that the bill did not adequately outline an effective divestment strategy or address possible effects on UC and ASUC finances and “the perception of the bill as a symbolic attack on a specific community of our fellow students.”

“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 the statement.

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