UK Students: Demand Universities UK Ensure Complicit Investments Are Raised with All UK University Executive Heads!

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Dear Universities UK,

As UK students, we are deeply concerned by recently released research by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which reveals UK universities invest over £450million in companies complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.  

Investigative research by Palestine Solidarity Campaign has uncovered that UK universities hold investments worth over £450million in companies who supply and finance Israel’s arms trade and illegal settlement economy, despite the majority of UK universities holding ethical investment and procurement policies. The research also discovered numerous universities with partnerships, sponsorships, study abroad programmes in Israel’s illegal settlements, alongside other institutional links with companies and institutions complicit in the denial of Palestinian human rights. The findings have been published in a user-friendly database.

The research found dozens of UK universities invest in companies included in the UN Human Rights Office’s blacklist of companies active in Israel’s illegal settlement economy. Israeli settlements are built on stolen Palestinian land. They are illegal land grabs that form an integral part of Israel’s occupation infrastructure pushing indigenous Palestinian families off their land, robbing Palestinians of natural resources and denying Palestinians their right of movement. UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) reconfirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements, denouncing them as “flagrant violations” of international law. Israeli settlements are considered war crimes under international law. 

Furthermore, investments were uncovered in companies that supply the Israeli military with weapons and technology used against the civilian Palestinian population, including  BAE Systems. F-16 fighter jets, made with components produced by BAE Systems, have been used to attack the Palestinian population in Gaza. This includes in Israel’s 2014 ground invasion and aerial bombardment of Gaza, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children. A UN Commission of Inquiry into the attack found credible allegations Israel had committed war crimes through the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

As UK students, we are mobilising on campuses to call for an end to UK universities investments and ties to unethical companies and institutions which the research has highlighted.  

We urge you, as the representative organisation of UK universities, to ensure the findings are raised with the executive heads of all UK universities, and ask them to address them as a matter of urgency.  No UK University should be invested in, or have institutional links with, a company or institution complicit in human rights abuses.

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