This Is What’s Wrong with University Divestment – Editorial (Chicago Tribune)
- (dailyalert.org, May 30, 2014)
- There are divestment campaigns on Israel at dozens of campuses around the country, though most schools have rejected the divestment option, and with good reason. If Israel bears some of the blame for the plight of Palestinians and the failure of peace negotiations, so does the Palestinian Authority and the people living under it.
- In April, the president of the student government at Loyola vetoed a resolution to divest from companies operating in Israel. The Rev. Michael Garanzini, the president of Loyola, said the measure would be impossible to implement because most of the school’s investments are in funds, not individual corporations. Worse, he said: “It is one-sided, it is focused on one party in a complex international situation. It is felt as extremely unfair by our Jewish faculty, staff and students.”
- Nor is it likely that spurning targeted companies would make much difference. The government of Israel has plenty of experience at rebuffing outside pressure to take steps it sees as dangerous.
- UCLA economist Ivo Welch says the vaunted success of the South Africa divestment program is mostly a myth. His research indicates that divestment by universities and state pension funds “had no discernible effect on the valuation of companies that were being divested, either short-term or long-term.”
See also Why BDS Can’t Win – Mitchell Bard
There are approximately 2,000 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Of those, 17 schools considered divestment resolutions in the current school year. Twelve resolutions were defeated and only five were adopted. On the five campuses where student governments adopted divestment resolutions, the chances of the university administration acting on the votes are nil. Consequently, the BDS movement has had zero impact on the policies of universities toward Israel. The writer is executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. (Jerusalem Post)