Harvard Law student gov. urges university to divest from ‘Israel’

03/31/24 Reposted from almayadeen.net

Two board members have resigned due to the proposed resolution put forth by the student government, citing they “strongly disagreed” with it.

The Harvard Law School (HLS) Student Government has passed a resolution urging the university to completely divest from any organization that supports the Israeli war on Gaza.

The measure urges the Harvard Management Company (HMC), which manages the school’s $50 billion endowment, “to divest completely from weapons manufacturers, firms, academic programs, corporations, and all other institutions that aid the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the genocide of Palestinians.”

The HLS Student Government alludes to Harvard’s commitment of nearly $200 million in businesses linked to the Israeli occupation military and illegal settlements in Palestine, as well as HMC’s prior divestment from South African apartheid and the tobacco industry in 1990.

The resolution’s author Swap Agrawal expressed that some Palestinian students at the school have “lost dozens of family members in the ongoing genocide,” noting that students reported feeling strongly that it was “necessary to put pressure on things to change.”

He added that students are deeply concerned that money held in trust may be funding this genocide, emphasizing that the resolution was affected by the International Court of Justice’s statement in January, which found it “plausible” that “Israel” had violated the Genocide Convention.

After the resolution vote, which had 12 supporters, four opponents, and three abstentions, two board members resigned, stating that they did so because they “strongly disagree” with the resolution.

Harvard University Spokesperson Jason A. Newton stated Friday that the university unequivocally “opposes calls for a policy of boycotting Israel and its academic institutions,” citing former University President Lawrence S. Bacow’s reaction to The Crimson Editorial Board’s 2022 endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

In January, the former president of Harvard, Claudine Gay, announced her resignation under Israeli pressure and faced accusations of plagiarism.

Gay condemned the pro-Palestine slogan “from the river to the sea” and referred to other phrases she deemed “similarly hurtful” in an email addressed to the university community.

Pro-Palestinian students have expressed concern over pro-Israeli donors’ strategy to legally target organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace.

In one such instance, billionaire Harvard Alum Bill Ackman wields influence to suppress pro-Palestinian voices, leading a crackdown on pro-Palestinian groups on campus, which raised concerns about free speech and activism.

The plan involves leveraging legal tools, filing lawsuits against pro-Palestinian individuals and groups, publicizing their names to impact their employment, and obstructing their chances of finding a job in the US.

Harvard to be investigated by US govt for Muslim discrimination

US media have reported that Harvard University is being subject to a government investigation for possible discrimination as a result of a civil rights complaint lodged by Arab and Muslim students.

ABC News stated in February that over 60 investigations by the US Department of Education have begun into K-12 schools, colleges, and universities over allegations of discrimination concerning shared ancestry.

Jason Newton, the Ivy League school spokesperson, told ABC News, “We support the work of the Office of Civil Rights to ensure students’ rights to access educational programs are safeguarded and will work with the office to address their questions.”

Students have faced “rampant harassment and racist attacks including doxing, stalking, and assault simply for being Palestinian, Muslim, and supporters of Palestinian rights,” according to the Muslim Legal Fund of America which complained on behalf of them in January.

The claim also stated that some students have been assaulted for wearing koufiyyehs, the traditional Palestinian scarf.