Business expert says disinvestment of Queen’s University is easier said than done – Kingston |

Calls for Queen’s University to divest from Israel are at the core of the pro-Palestinian occupation of the campus, which has escalated from a one-day demonstration last Friday to a nearly week-long demonstration.

Jake Morrow, a student at the university, alleged in an interview, “Queens is investing the tuition money it takes from me into genocide.”

“The goal is complete disinvestment, first at the local level, to separate Queens from this carnage.

“The ultimate goal of Palestine is to be independent.”

Camp organizers argue that the university’s investment favors companies that support Israel and its military efforts. Their demand is that Queen’s University completely sell this section of its investment portfolio.

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“One of the decisions they have been making for many years is to invest in arms manufacturing, arms and Israeli apartheid and occupation,” Morrow said.

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Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights has provided a spreadsheet which they allege shows the extent of Queen’s University’s financial ties to Israeli companies or those supporting its military efforts.

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Notable entities like Google, Exxon, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and even Airbnb are listed among them.

“How do we say, ‘Not in our name?'” Morrow said. “And that should be the same question that students are asking of their administrations at universities across the country, at Turtle Island, around the world.”

However, York University business professor Olaf Weber warns that divestment may not be as straightforward as it seems.

He says Queens University is heavily invested in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that manage their investments, making it easier to choose which companies hold their money.

“It is not that the university is particularly interested in investing in these companies. It’s just a part of their portfolio,” Weber said.

Queens University confirmed that most of its investments are tied up in the fund rather than individual company shares.

Meanwhile, university officials held discussions with camp organizers on Wednesday afternoon to address the situation and end the week-long protest. However, details regarding the outcome of these talks have been kept unknown by both sides.

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