More than 70 universities around the world urged to divest from Israeli 'war crimes and apartheid'

More than 70 universities around the world urged to divest from Israeli 'war crimes and apartheid'
2 min read
23 March, 2022
Students from 70 universities around the world urged their institutions to stop investing in companies that are 'complicit' in the Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
Demonstrations against the Israeli occupation have intensified this week to commemorate Israeli Apartheid Week [Getty]

Pro-Palestine student activists have demanded that more than 70 universities across the world divest from companies that support Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

The students are urging a "full withdrawal of investments in companies complicit in Israeli war crimes and apartheid" according to a press release from the Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), a British non-profit organisation.

The students aim to focus on universities investing in companies such as HP, Booking.com, Rolls-Royce and BAE.

HP provides technological services at Israeli checkpoints, Rolls-Royce and BAE produce weapons for the Israeli army. Booking.com advertises accommodation in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.  

The Friends of Al-Aqsa is a UK based non-profit that aims to defend human rights of Palestinians and protect the Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem - Islam’s third holiest site - from the Israeli occupation, according to their website. The site lies within East Jerusalem, illegally occupied by Israel.

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"Today's International Day of Action is an opportunity for university students from across the world to come together to call on their institutions to divest from Israeli apartheid," Shamiul Joarder, the Head of Public Affairs at Friends of Al-Aqsa told The New Arab.

"FOA is supporting students to organise actions on their campuses. We're hoping that today's campaign will encourage more universities to follow in Manchester's [University] footsteps. A successful divestment campaign led to Manchester divesting nearly £2m from companies complicit in Israeli apartheid in 2020."

More than 25 well-known academics signed an open letter urging universities around the world to divest from firms that support the oppression of Palestinians. Signatories include Professor Ilan Pappe of Exeter University and Professor Mohamed El-Gomati OBE at York University.

Activists, NGOs, and student organisations around the world are hosting a variety of events this week to raise awareness around Israel's crimes against the Palestinians as part of Israeli Apartheid Week.

Amnesty International renamed the street leading up to the Israeli embassy in London to "Apartheid Avenue", after leading NGOs designated Israel an apartheid state owing to its treatment of Palestinians.