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Gaza campus protests call on schools to divest from Israel: How it would work

Student protests against the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas have brought battalions of police in riot gear to college campuses, angered some billionaire donors and led to the cancellation of graduation ceremonies.

A constant refrain at these protests is the call for university endowments to divest from Israel and the many American companies that do business there. Tech companies such as Google And Amazon and defense contractors such as Boeing And Lockheed are on this list.

“These endowments are notoriously opaque,” ​​said Alison Taylor, an associate clinical professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “So it very often happens that no information is publicly available on what happens to these funds. And this is also one of the students’ demands.”

However, putting divestment into practice is a significant challenge. Some universities, such as the University of California at Berkeley, have agreed to review their investments. However, many universities have ignored calls to divest from Israel or companies doing business there.

“Universities are reluctant to divest in any area because it could reduce the return on their endowments, which would affect their ability to meet the needs of future students,” said Witold Henisz, professor of management at the Wharton School. from the University of Pennsylvania. “If we introduce higher risks or lower returns into the endowment, there will be fewer funds available to cover…tuition assistance, to cover the operating costs of the university for students who may not even be born yet.”

Watch the video above to learn more about how divestment from Israel and the companies that do business there would actually work, and how it would affect the tens of billions of dollars at stake in university endowments.


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