Roughly 100 professors and lecturers at Columbia University in New York are demanding that their pension funds not be invested with companies that also do business with the IDF or with civilian security providers in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) or eastern Jerusalem.
Professor Katherine Franke of Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law explained the group’s stance. Franke is also affiliated with the Center for Palestine Studies.
The faculty members calling for divestment are seeking to end pension fund involvement with the following companies:
Elbit Systems, which sells UAVs to Israel that the boycotters argue are used for “extrajudicial assassinations.”
Motorola, which has an Israeli daughter company that develops sensors which are used by Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria to prevent terrorist infiltrations.
Veolia transportation, which is involved in building the Jerusalem Light Rail train “which connects the western part of the city to the illegal settlement in eastern Jerusalem,” according to the pro-divestmetn staff.
Hewlett-Packard, which operates a system used by the IDF “to limit Palestinian freedom of movement.”
Northrop Grumman, which sells airplane and helicopter parts to the IDF. The pro-divestment staff said the parts were used in planes “that Israel used in the Cast Lead operation, which took the lives of more than 1,000 Palestinian civilians.” They are apparently using Hamas’ initial claims regarding the operation’s civilian death toll; the group has since admitted that most of those killed were Hamas fighters.
Supporters of the boycott campaign say they are continuing “a rich tradition of protest at Columbia University against racial segregation in the United States and against the apartheid regime in South Africa.”
Italian journalist and Arutz Sheva contributor Giulio Meotti wrote last year about the growing wave of anti-Israel boycotts at Western universities.