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Academics call on universities to divest from Israel’s occupation of Palestine

A GROUP of prominent academics has issued a call to universities to divest from Israel’s occupation of Palestine ahead of Wednesday’s international day of action by students. 

The open letter, signed by 24 scholars and co-ordinated by a coalition of university student unions, urges institutions to press for action against Israel, as has been seen in recent weeks against Russia for violating international law. 

“In the last few weeks we have seen boycotts, divestment from and sanctions on Russia for its invasion and occupation of Ukraine,” the letter signed by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and Soas University Professor Gilbert Achcar reads. 

“We have now seen what can be achieved when we unite against those who break international law, and we must do the same for Palestine.”

Israel has a long history of committing war crimes, it says, citing the state’s ongoing expansion of its illegal settlement project and the torture and murder of Palestinians. 

Despite this, universities continue to invest in firms complicit in the Israeli occupation, including arms giant BAE System, Rolls-Royce, Hewlett Packard and, the letter reads. 

Research by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has shown that British universities have over £454 million invested in firms involved in Israeli violations of international law. 

Students are getting ready to hold dozens of rallies on campuses across the world today to call on universities to divest from firms complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The international day of action is organised by Friends of al-Aqsa.  


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