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UK Universities continue to invest over £450m in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes

  • Research by Palestine Solidarity Campaign finds universities continue to invest millions in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes, including companies on UN settlements blacklist
  • This news comes as student campaigners launch renewed call for universities to divest from complicit companies
  • Along with financial investment, research uncovers raft of institutional links with complicit Israeli academic institutions

Research released today by Palestine Solidarity Campaign has revealed UK universities continue to hold nearly £450m in companies complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. The investigative research, compiled through analysing FOI requests, is an updated version of research undertaken  by PSC in October 2019, which led to the creation of PSC’s database outlining the extent of complicit investment by individual universities. The research includes both investments made directly, and those made through investment funds which have holdings on a university’s behalf.

The database lists the investments of 49 UK universities. For those who hold investments but refused to give data to PSC, or gave incomplete data, an estimate is used based on an average complicity figure.

The hundreds of complicit investments listed include 10 university investments in BAE Systems. F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, both of which contain components manufactured by BAE Systems, have been used repeatedly in Israeli attacks on densely populated civilian areas, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.

The research also includes institutional ties UK universities hold with complicit Israeli academic institutions. For example, King’s College London (KCL) have an official partnership with Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, which helps the Israeli military develop technology used to oppress the Palestinian population. This includes the development of the D-9 bulldozer, which has been used to demolish Palestinian structures including homes, schools and olive groves.

The research comes despite many UK universities having ethical investment policies, most of which prohibit investments in companies involved in grave human rights abuses.

The research has led to renewed calls for divestment from students, with PSC launching a petition to UK Universities calling for the body, a representative of UK higher education  nstitutions, to act to address the research as a matter of urgency.

Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said “Our further investigative research reveals hundreds of investments in complicit companies which provide products for the Israeli military, or are active in Israel’s illegal settlement economy, including those condemned by the United Nations. This is despite most universities having an ethical investment policy. We will continue to support students in campaigning for divestment at campuses across the UK .”