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Indybay Feature
Sun Feb 7 2010 (Updated 02/08/10)
Anniversary of Hampshire College's "Divestment" from Israeli Companies
February 7th Marks Anniversary of Hampshire College's "Divestment" from Israeli Occupation
February 7th marks the anniversary of Hampshire College's "divestment" from the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, the first institution of higher education to wash its hands of the systematic exploitation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. Following a two-year campaign by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Board of Trustees agreed in 2009 to withdraw its investments from six companies targeted by SJP because they profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Officials at Hampshire college maintain that the withdrawal of investments from the companies was not a divestment from Israeli companies in general.

Traditionally, Hampshire College has advocated for the oppressed, taking unpopular stands when others have preferred to turn away. In 1977 Hampshire College was the first college in the US to divest from Apartheid South Africa. In 2001 Hampshire was the first college to object to the war in Afghanistan.

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Students For Justice In Palestine, Hampshire | Hampshire College first in US to divest from Israel

In January 2005, the Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI) presented a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to the 5th World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The launch of the campaign coincided with the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling on the Israeli West Bank barrier. On July 9th, 2005, 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations called "... for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights." The three stated goals of the campaign are: An end to Israel's "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands", as well as "dismantling of the Wall;" Israeli recognition of the "fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;" and, Israeli respect, protection, and promotion of "the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194."

In 2009, Hampshire College held a national Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions conference from November 20th through the 22nd. | Ali Abunimah: Campus BDS Conference keynote speaker | Wikipedia Entry On BDS

2009 Hampshire Divestment Coverage: Hampshire College Students Win Divestment of Companies Profiting From the Israeli Occupation | The Lessons of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

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