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Divestment petition numbers in question

Benjamin Klafter UC Berkeley Alumnus
Wednesday October 02, 2002

To the Editor: 

Students for Justice in Palestine activist Hoang Phan in a letter (Daily Planet Forum, Sept. 25), ridicules the UC Regents for not agreeing to their demands to divest from Israel. Phan refers the regents to the divestment website ( in order to learn “the basic history of the conflict.” 

The website is indeed instructive, though not for its heavily biased, historically inaccurate account of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Rather, by visiting the site one will quickly notice that little more than 1,000 people have signed their petition – far fewer than the bloated figure of 6,000 cited in David Scharfenberg's recent story “Students Push Israeli Divestment” (Daily Planet, Sept. 19). 

Given that over 4,000 UC students, faculty and staff have actually signed the anti-divestment petition ( it seems that an overwhelming majority of people recognize the divestment drive for the prejudiced, one-sided smear campaign that it is. 


Benjamin Klafter 

UC Berkeley Alumnus