A new divestment proposal, targeting companies that reinforce Israel's foothold in Palestinian territories, has begun making its way through the University of Vermont's lengthy review process.
The proposal calls for the university to withdraw endowment funds from all companies "contractually involved in, and directly profiting from, the occupation of Palestine." Palestine is defined as land that includes the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The companies in question would be those that supply products or services to the Israeli military or to Israeli settlements in the territories.
Drafted by emeritus research professor Ian Stokes and endorsed by UVM Students for Justice in Palestine, the proposal will be the subject of a March 17 public forum sponsored by UVM's Socially Responsible Investing Work Group. That group -- comprising trustees, faculty, students and staff -- handles the initial screening of all formal recommendations for tailoring UVM investments to social and ethical concerns.