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Pro-Palestinian protesters want divestment from Israel

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As protests in support of Palestinians continue across the U.S. on college campuses, many of the protesters are calling for divestment from Israel.

The Student Movement for Palestinian Liberation released a statement April 21 calling for colleges “to completely divest our tuition dollars from — and to cut all institutional ties to — the zionist entity as well as all companies complicit in the colonization of Palestine.”

CNN reported that 282 people were arrested at Columbia University and City College. At Columbia University, students broke in and occupied Hamilton Hall.

Aljazeera news service has tracked pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses across the country, including arrests made on college campuses in 19 states.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner released a list of companies in June 2023 that it declared benefitted from the construction and growth of settlements in the disputed region. The U.S. companies included in the June 2023 update were Airbnb Inc., Expedia Group Inc., Trip Advisor Inc., Booking Holdings Inc. and Motorola Solutions Inc.

The University of California released a statement April 26 stating it does not support the calls for a boycott of Israel.

“The University of California has consistently opposed calls for boycott against and divestment from Israel,” the statement read. “While the University affirms the right of our community members to express diverse viewpoints, a boycott of this sort impinges on the academic freedom of our students and faculty and the unfettered exchange of ideas on our campuses.”

The statement said the college does not use tuition and fees for investment purposes.

The Anti-Defamation League did not respond to an email seeking comment. In 2022, the ADL stated that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was more about dismantling the Jewish state and was “one tactic in the long history of campaigns and efforts to delegitimize and isolate the State of Israel.”