More than 100 American professors and teaching staff at Columbia University have called for five American companies to withdraw their investment in Israeli jails over "breaches of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories," the website of Israeli TV channel 7 said.
The companies that invest money from the American Pension Fund included Motorola, a company which manufactures unmanned aircraft vehicles, and a company that supplies Israel with apache and F16 fighter jets.
The website attributed the reason for this campaign to Israeli negligence for the frustration of Americans towards Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. This move is significant because there are many Jewish students studying in this university, where the US President Barack Obama graduated.
Professor Kathrin Frankie, head of the legal department of the law faculty in the university, stressed the importance of the immediate Israeli breaches of international law in the occupied territories. She called for putting economic pressure on Israel so that it abided by the statutes of international law.
According to the Israeli website, sources from the organisers of this campaign said that the five American companies help the Israeli army be aggressive towards Palestinians residents in a way that contradicts international law.
The organisers said: "What we are doing now is a continuation of the university tradition against racial discrimination in the USA and apartheid in South Africa."
The sources, the website said, pointed out the historical role that American universities played in fighting against the apartheid policy in South Africa. They noted that withdrawing investment from South Africa largely affected popular strife against apartheid.