US University Votes to Divest from Israeli Business

Brown University voted in favor of a BDS motion. (Photo: File)

Brown University yesterday voted in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to financially pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories and allow full equality for its Arab-Palestinian citizens.

The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) of the Providence-based university, which consists of university students, faculty, staff and alumni, vote on resolutions surrounding “ethical and moral issues or issues of alleged social harm with respect to the activities of corporations in which the University is an investor,” according to its website.

Brilliant BDS victory led by students in the US Brown University! 👏🏽🇵🇸✊🏽

Posted by Shahd Abusalama on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Six members of the ACCRIP voted in favor of the motion, while two alumni were against it, and one abstained from the vote.

The vote followed the non-binding referendum in March when 69 percent of Brown undergraduate voters supported the same motion.

However, university President Christina Paxson issued a statement to the Brown community, writing:

“Brown’s endowment is not a political instrument to be used to express views on complex social and political issues”.

In response, more than 90 faculty published a statement that defended the student organizers who are “exercising their democratic right”, urged the university to listen to the demands of the referendum, and criticized Paxson for her “unacceptably narrow” conception of what constitutes productive student activism.

The vote by ACCRIP came after eight months of consultation and activism since the referendum, pushing the university to “divest from companies that profit from Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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