Mar 17, 2011

#BDS: Holding our universities accountable: The case for divestment

"On Monday, March 7 and Thursday, March 10 Students Against Israeli Apartheid(SAIA) -- heeding the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) -- launched campaigns demanding that York University and the University of Toronto (UT) divest from companies which violate international law and perpetuate an illegal apartheid regime. SAIA's investigations have revealed that our universities, through their pension and endowment funds, have millions of dollars invested in BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin, all corporations that profit from heinous human rights violations. These companies are actively involved in significant breaches of international law in Palestine, and York and UT's holdings in these companies also make them complicit in the commission of these crimes.
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company, and currently the world's third-largest weapons manufacturer. It produced weaponry, including F-16 combat aircrafts, cluster bombs and weapon components, used in Israel's 2008/09 assault on Gaza. The Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (commonly known as the "Goldstone Report") concluded that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity. BAE Systems -- in which York holds $2,286,486 and UT $1,746,000 worth of shares -- contributed to the weaponry that Israel used in these internationally condemned crimes against Palestinian civilians."
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