#Divest4Palestine

UK universities invest millions in companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinians.

FOA call on British universities to divest from and end their partnerships with Rolls-Royce PLC, BAE Systems, Booking.com and Hewlett Packard.

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UK universities invest millions in companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinians.

UK universities invest £450 million in companies complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. We call on British universities to divest from and end their partnerships with Rolls-Royce PLC, BAE Systems, Booking.com and Hewlett Packard.

Divestment (the withdrawal of investment) sends a powerful message to a company that it should change its ways.

We also call on universities to end their partnerships with these companies: whether it’s the Rolls-Royce Centre at Sheffield or Nottingham’s ‘academic partnership’ with BAE Systems.

Why are we asking British universities to sever their ties with these companies?

  • As one of the largest arms producers in the world, Rolls-Royce PLC manufactures parts of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. These are used by Israel to attack civilians in Gaza. In May 2021, four high-rise buildings in Gaza City were attacked. Amnesty says these attacks must now be investigated as war crimes.
  • As another of the world’s largest arms producers, BAE Systems works with Lockheed Martin and Israeli company Rafael to make the naval Protestor drone. This is used to maintain the blockade of Gaza, which amounts to collective punishment, breaching the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Online travel agency com advertises accommodation in illegal Israeli settlemenyts. Booking.com has at least 45 hotel and rental contracts in these settlements. This accommodation is built on the former homes of Palestinians, whose expulsion has been deemed a war crime by the United Nations. For sources, please click here and here.
  • By providing the technology for the control systems in Israel’s checkpoints, Hewlett Packard (HP) plays a direct role in denying Palestinians Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. HP also has contracts with the Israeli prison system, despite their ‘severe’ violations of children’s rights according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Take Action

Find your university above and email them to end their complicity in the occupation of Palestine.

Students from over 30 universities took part in FOA’s Day of Solidarity on Campus [Monday 29th November 2021].

Check out these videos of support from students calling their institutions to #Divest4Palestine.

The Student Day of Solidarity was covered by MEMO, Al Araby, Palestine Chronicle, Palestine Online, Gulf News Blog, AlBawaba, The Bharat Express

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FAQ

What is ‘divestment’?

Divestment is withdrawing investment from a company, often for ethical or political reasons. For example, if you don’t like the way that a company is operating, you can take your money out to show how you feel.

When a university withdraws its investment from a company, it sends a powerful message to the company that the university does not approve of its actions. This is an effective way to pressure a company to change its ways.

Why ask universities to ‘end their partnerships’ with companies?

Sometimes universities do not invest in these companies, but they still work with them. They might have joint research centres or industry/academic partnerships. Ending these partnerships is a powerful way to pressure the company into changing its ways.

What are some examples of partnerships with these companies?

  • The Rolls-Royce Control, Monitoring and Systems Engineering University Technology Centre at the University of Sheffield
  • The ‘strategic academic partnership’ between BAE Systems and the University of Nottingham
  • The University of Warwick’s ‘industry partnership’ with Rolls Royce PLC
  • The position ‘Hewlett Packard Chair’ in Cyber Security at the University of Birmingham
  • Sheffield Hallam’s ‘industry partnership’ with Rolls Royce PLC, BAE Systems and HP