Famous American Activist's University Plans to Withdraw Investments from Israel

May 15, 2024 - 08:29
Famous American Activist's University Plans to Withdraw Investments from Israel

University Investment Policies to Consider Withdrawing from Companies “Profiting from Gross Human Rights Violations or Occupation of Palestinian Territories,” according to a landmark agreement.

At Evergreen State College in Olympia, protesters reached an agreement with administrators that included divesting investments from companies that "profit from the occupation of Palestinian land." That makes Evergreen part of a string of universities, including Brown and Northwestern, that have struck deals between student protesters and administrators. At the same time, similar sit-ins are being held by students and faculty at other US universities, including the University of Washington. Protests demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory have also recently taken place at other campuses of the University of Washington, including Gonzaga University.

At UCLA, Columbia University, and other universities, students and faculty were arrested and sit-ins were suppressed by police. At Evergreen, during the week-long sit-in, no students were arrested, detained or brought to court, unlike police behavior at other universities in the United States.

A key agreement has been reached: It will create a committee to evaluate the university's investment policies, withdrawing from companies that "profit from gross human rights violations or the occupation of Palestinian territory." A second committee would create a policy to reject budgets that involve "illegal occupation abroad" or restrict freedom of expression or suppress minorities. These two committees will submit policy recommendations by fall 2024.

Two other committees have proposed creating a new body to overhaul university police, which oversees Evergreen police.

As part of the agreement, Evergreen State College President John Carmichael will issue an email statement calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the release of all hostages, and increased humanitarian aid to the region. The university also acknowledged that it would not approve study abroad programs in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank as long as the war continues.

The significance of Evergreen State College is that Rachel Corrie, a well-known and beloved American activist in the fight against Israel, graduated from this university.

23-year-old Corrie was martyred by Israeli soldiers when she went to Palestine in 2003 and tried to save a Palestinian family's house from demolition in Gaza's border city Rafah.