Despite a huge assault on the right to stand with Palestine, it’s still possible to win victories.
The University of Manchester has withdrawn more than £3 million of investment from companies complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
The divestment followed a campaign by students in solidarity with Palestinians.
The university revealed that it divested from Caterpillar and the parent company of Booking.com some time between April 2019 and 31 March 2020.
Caterpillar supplies bulldozers to the Israeli army, which are used to demolish Palestinian homes. Booking.com lists rental properties in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
The divestment comes amid attempts to silence solidarity with Palestine and campaigns against Israel. Claims that boycott and divestment campaigns are antisemitic are part of a broader assault on the left that has had a chilling effect on Palestine solidarity.
Boycott campaigns are legitimate. They target Israel for its abuse of Palestinians, not because it’s Jewish, and they stand in a proud tradition of international solidarity campaigns.
What’s more, they can still win.