Research released by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on the week of the United Nations ‘Day of Solidarity’ with The Palestinian people, has estimated that universities in the United Kingdom invest over £450,000,000 in companies complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, including through supplying weapons and technology to the Israeli military, and investing in Israel’s illegal settlement economy. The research has been released as a database available to students and members of the public, the Palestine News Network reported.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) conducted the research by sending Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to all 151 UK universities, asking about the market value of their direct investments, as well as their investments in funds. With this information, alongside data from Bloomberg International’s database containing the holdings of major investment funds, PSC has established the investments of 44 UK Universities in complicit companies, which totals at least £129,239,973.60.
From this information PSC has calculated an average “complicity percentage” for the sector and applied it to the 53 universities who refused to hand over information on their investments to create an overall projection for the entire sector.
The release of the exclusive research comes as students across the country hold protests and rallies as part of a national ‘Apartheid Off Campus’ day of action, seeking to highlight how universities’ investment and partnership policies tacitly support and enable Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and human rights.
One example highlighted by students is the University of Manchester’s ongoing investment in the company Caterpillar, which supplies the armoured bulldozers for the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes, schools, olive groves and communities.
Campaigns Officer at PSC, Huda Ammori said: “Israel’s well-documented oppression of the Palestinian people, amounting to the crime of apartheid under international law, can only be maintained because companies continue to provide weapons and other support to the Israeli military, and invest in Israel’s illegal settlement industry.”
“It is shocking that UK Universities fuel Israel’s human rights abuses by investing in such companies, despite the majority holding so-called ethical investment policies. We will continue to support students across the UK in taking action to demand that their institutions divest from complicit companies, and get apartheid off campus.”
Mohammed Ali, President of Kings College London Action Palestine, said: “As a Palestinian student, I am disgusted to find out that my institution has complicit links with Israeli apartheid. We will continue to campaign with students across the country to demand our universities abide by their ethical policies, and remove all links with companies and institutions complicit in human rights abuses.”
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam