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Students across the UK urge universities to oppose the ‘anti-BDS Bill’

October 4, 2023 at 12:03 pm

#Divest4Palestine Day of Action coordinate with Friends of Al-Aqsa for a campus action day on October 4, 2023 [@FriendsofAlAqsa/X]

In a widespread show of solidarity with Palestine, students at over 20 universities across the UK are today calling for divestment from Israeli apartheid and urging their Vice Chancellor to oppose the oppressive ‘anti-BDS Bill’.

Today’s #Divest4Palestine Day of Action has been coordinated by Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA ) as part of the broader #RightToBoycott civil society movement across the UK.

“The ‘anti-BDS Bill’ threatens the rights of public bodies, including universities, to divest from Israeli companies involved in inflicting apartheid on Palestinian men, women and children,” FOA said in a statement.

Today, students from Kent to Newcastle will urge “their Vice Chancellors to oppose this dangerous legislation, students across the country will call for their institutions to divest from companies complicit in Israeli human rights abuses in Palestine, including Rolls-Royce PLC, Hewlett Packard (HP), BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce manufactures crucial components of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters used by Israel to attack Gaza. Meanwhile, HP maintains hardware for the Israeli police, who enforce apartheid on Palestinians within Israel,” it added.

READ: Anti-BDS bill to shield Israel gives Russia ‘ammunition’ to accuse the UK of hypocrisy

Aisha, an undergraduate student at Salford, said: “As students at Salford, we’re here today to make it clear that it’s unacceptable for our university to fund human rights abuses. We came here to learn, not to fund apartheid. Our Vice Chancellor must act now. He must divest from unethical investments and stand up for the right to boycott the apartheid state of Israel.”

In June the UK government introduced an anti-boycott bill which grants Israel special protection against public bodies from taking a moral and ethical stance against the racist and discriminatory practices of the apartheid state.