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Ireland: Trinity College Dublin divests from firms involved in Israel's occupation of Palestine

Ireland's top university says it shares the horror its students feel over the ongoing assault on Gaza
Trinity College Dublin said it had one contract with an Israeli company set to expire in 2025 (AFP)
Trinity College Dublin said it had one contract with an Israeli company set to expire in 2025 (AFP)

Trinity College Dublin has announced it will divest from Israeli companies involved in the occupation of Palestine after a sit-in by students protesting against the war on Gaza.

Ireland's most prestigious university decided to end its investments in Israeli companies after talks with the protesters.

It marks a significant victory for the global campus movement, which has involved students establishing encampments within university grounds demanding that their institutions cut ties with Israel.

In the United States, riot police have violently dispersed protesters and Congress is working to pass legislation that widens the definition of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel.

In France and the Netherlands, police have also used violence to evict protesters from their universities.

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However, Ireland has traditionally backed the Palestinian cause and many within the country compare Palestinians' experience of Israeli occupation with the British occupation of Ireland, which lasted eight centuries.

Trinity College's senior dean, Professor Eoin O'Sullivan, thanked the students for their participation in talks in a statement released by the university, saying: "We are glad that this agreement has been reached and are committed to further constructive engagement on the issues raised."

'In solidarity'

As part of the agreement reached between the college and its students, Trinity College issued a condemnation of the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, which has killed at least 34,500 Palestinians.

"We fully understand the driving force behind the encampment on our campus and we are in solidarity with the students in our horror at what is happening in Gaza," the statement read.

"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the dehumanisation of its people is obscene. We support the International Court of Justice’s position that ‘Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide'." 

Officials at the university said a complete divestment from companies involved in the occupation would be complete by June and it will review investments in other Israeli companies.

The college currently has one Israeli supplier, which it is contracted with until 2025.

Fee and accommodation waivers will be provided for eight Palestinian students, including six postgraduates and two undergraduates.

In the neighbouring UK, protest encampments have been set up at universities across the country.

Educational institutions there are generally more involved with the arms trade supplying Israel and also have direct investments in companies involved in the occupation of Palestinian land.

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