‘Divestment from Israel’ – Palestinian, Jewish Students Launch Hunger Strike at Brown University

students at Brown University in Rhode Island has initiated a hunger strike calling for divestment. (Photo: via WAFA)

A coalition of students at Brown University in Rhode Island has initiated a hunger strike, demanding the university’s divestment from companies profiting from the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza.

The group, consisting of 19 students, including Palestinians, Jews, and others, vows to continue the strike until the university takes action to promote an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Their key demand is the introduction of a divestment resolution during the upcoming meeting of the university’s highest governing body, the Corporation of Brown University.

The hunger strike, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Caucus and Jews for Ceasefire Now, aims to underscore the urgency of passing the divestment resolution amid the escalating Israeli war of genocide in Gaza. 

The university’s governing body is set to convene on February 8th and 9th.

The students are calling for the divestment resolution to align with the recommendations of a 2020 report by the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Practices (ACCRIP).

Complicity in Occupation 

The report highlighted specific companies involved in the occupation in Palestine, including AB Volvo, Airbus, Boeing, DXC, General Dynamics, General Electric, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, Oaktree Capital, Raytheon, and United Technologies.

The university has faced previous protests, with accusations of holding investments in weapons manufacturers used in Israeli war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

This hunger strike follows earlier protests, including a sit-in staged by 20 Jewish students in November 2023 and a subsequent sit-in by 41 students in December. 

The students, advocating for divestment, were arrested, prompting outrage within the university community.

The student coalition emphasized that support for divestment is growing on campus, and the hunger strike will be accompanied by various programs, including teach-ins, performances, and prayers.

Millions of people around the world continue to protest against the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. Students have been at the forefront of these protests. 

Israel is being accused of committing genocide in Gaza. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,238 Palestinians have been killed, and 66,452 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Worse still, the aggression has resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly 2 million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt—in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.


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