Thursday, April 11, 2024

University of Toronto declines to divest from pro-Israel institutions


Canada University of Toronto Students Palestine solidarity occupation divestment military Israel politics academia Meric Gertler president boycott

Pro-Palestinian student-organizers who staged a 30-hour occupation say they know this will be a long-haul fight, citing the long struggle in the 1980s and ’90s to get the institution to divest from apartheid South Africa and in the 2010s to divest from fossil fuel companies

University of Toronto’s (U of T)  President Meric Gertler has officially rejected student group Occupy4Palestine’s demands to divest from companies and institutions supporting Israel’s military, restating the university’s commitment against taking “positions on social or political issues” and against “academic boycotts.”

But the students argue that by continuing these investments and cross-institutional relationships, the institution has already taken a political position.

According to the students, who held a town hall on Apr. 9, from January to March the university either renewed all or started new relationships with Israeli universities. Many, like Hebrew University and Technion have openly expressed their support for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“Respectfully, Meric, your entire argument against divestment is prima facie absurd,” said Avi, a fourth year international student studying philosophy, as he read out the group’s response letter at the town hall, which was also being live streamed. He asked not to use his full name for privacy reasons.  (more...)

University of Toronto declines to divest from pro-Israel institutions

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