Harvard urged to divest almost $200m from companies linked to Israel settlements – Middle East Monitor

Harvard University is being urged to divest from companies complicit in Israel’s unlawful settlements in the inhabited Palestinian region, according to a record in trainee paper the Crimson

The phone calls are led by campus-based organisation Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, an activity backed by– to name a few– African and also African American Studies Professor Cornel R. West.

According to the Crimson‘s evaluation of the Harvard Management Company (HMC)’s most current filings, HMC “had over $194 million directly invested in Booking Holdings, a company that a United Nations human rights body ties to Israeli settlements in Palestine”.

Booking Holdings is the moms and dad firm of a variety of travel-related organisations such asBooking com, with the last called by Human Rights Watch in 2018 as listing residential or commercial properties in Israeli settlements in the inhabited West Bank.

“They basically broker rentals on land stolen from Palestinians who themselves can’t stay in those listings”, stated Omar Shakir, Israel and also Palestine Director for Human Rights Watch.

“Booking — by brokering these rentals in West Bank settlements — is helping to entrench the settlement enterprise,” he included.

READ: United States college board suggests divestment from Israel line of work

The Crimson in addition reported that Harvard additionally “holds $294,988 in indirect investments through Exchange Traded Funds in other companies on the list that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released in February” of organisations linked to unlawful settlements.

“Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs, are exchange-traded securities that often contain small investments in hundreds to thousands of other companies that meet certain criteria,” the record clarified.

“The list from the UN includes 112 business entities, 20 of which — including Booking Holdings, Expedia, General Mills, and Motorola — fall within the ETFs Harvard is invested in.”

Sarah H. Gold, a volunteer with the Palestine Advocacy Project and also a pupil at Tufts Fletcher School of Law and also Diplomacy, stated the financial investment in Booking Holdings corresponds to “profiting off war crimes”.

“Harvard is a world-renowned institution. What it does matters. People are watching. People look to it. And what it’s doing right now is profiting off of war crimes,” Gold stated.

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Hind Awwad, a participant of the guiding board of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and also Cultural Boycott of Israel, informed the Crimson: “We’re particularly troubled that Harvard is investing in Booking Holdings, owner of Booking.com, a company that profits from stolen Palestinian homes and lands.”“We urge the administration to divest from this, and all, companies on the UN List.”

HMC speaker Patrick S. McKiernan mentioned that HMC takes “environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG) factors that may impact the performance of our investment” right into account in its financial investment choices.

“HMC strongly believes that considering all data is not only in line with our fiduciary duty, but simply something that thoughtful investors do,” McKiernan created.

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