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New York University Opposes Students’ Israel Boycott Resolution

New York University has opposed a proposal passed by its Student Government Assembly calling on the school to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

 University officials said the decision on divesting is difficult to manage, considering the involvement of independent financial managers who invest the university’s endowment.

“On an operational level, this would be a challenging proposal to enact given how we invest our endowment,” university said in a statement.

“NYU cannot unilaterally direct those fund managers not to select certain companies’ stock.  Our only choice – potentially a very costly one – would be to liquidate assets in a time of considerable market volatility, which would be incompatible with the endowment’s primary purpose: generating income to support NYU’s academic mission now and in the future.”

Inspired by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), the student assembly on December 6 passed the divestment resolution to force the university to divest from Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric that do business with Israel, which they see as violating Palestinian human rights.

The resolution, supported by 61 student groups, called on the university to put in place a socially responsible investment model.

“I believe that I, as a Jewish person, have a responsibility to support Palestinians in their struggle for justice and liberation,” said Rose Asaf, Senator-at-Large and Jewish Voice for Peace at the university.

“NYU likes to give the illusion that it is a progressive institution, but how progressive can it actually be when it is actively funding human rights violations?”  

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