Brown University Agrees to Divest from Pro-Israel Companies by 2024

Brown University agrees to divest from companies with ties to Israel by 2024, after student protesters stage encampment protest, marking a significant concession on the contentious issue.

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Safak Costu
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Brown University Agrees to Divest from Pro-Israel Companies by 2024

Brown University Agrees to Divest from Pro-Israel Companies by 2024

Brown University has reached an agreement with pro-Palestinian student protesters to divest from companies with ties to the Israeli government by September 30, 2024. The deal, announced on Monday, comes after a week-long encampment protest on the university's Main Green by the Brown Divest Coalition.

As part of the agreement, the student protesters agreed to dismantle their encampment by 5 p.m. on Tuesday and refrain from holding any more unauthorized protests or encampments through the end of the academic year. In exchange, the university administration committed to holding a formal vote on the divestment proposal during the Brown Corporation Board's meeting in October 2024.

The divestment measure, originally recommended to the university president in 2020, calls for Brown to stop investing in companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin that have direct financial ties to the Israeli military and the construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank. The upcoming vote marks the first time the Corporation will hear and decide on a resolution to divest from Israel in the university's history.

University President Christina Paxson emphasized in a statement that while Brown takes pride in resolving differences through open dialogue and debate, the encampment had violated university policies. She added, "The devastation and loss of life in the Middle East has prompted many to call for meaningful change."

Why this matters: The agreement at Brown University represents a significant concession by the administration on the contentious issue of divestment from Israel. It comes amid a wave of similar pro-Palestinian protests at colleges across the United States, with over a thousand students arrested nationwide in recent weeks.

Under the terms of the deal, Brown University agreed to drop disciplinary charges against 20 Jewish students arrested in an earlier sit-in calling for divestment. However, the university will still take disciplinary action against students involved in the recent encampment. The Brown Divest Coalition celebrated the agreement to end the encampment as an "unprecedented win" that comes after years of the administration refusing to bring the divestment recommendation to a vote.

Key Takeaways

  • Brown Univ. agrees to divest from companies tied to Israeli govt by Sept 2024.
  • Student protesters agreed to dismantle encampment, no more unauthorized protests.
  • Univ. to hold formal vote on divestment proposal in Oct 2024, a first in its history.
  • Univ. dropped charges against 20 Jewish students, but will discipline encampment.
  • Agreement represents significant concession amid wave of pro-Palestinian protests.