Brown University cedes to pro-Palestinian protesters’ demands, divests from Israel

(The Center Square) — Brown University has caved to the demands of pro-Palestinian protesters by agreeing to vote to divest its financial holdings from Israel in response to the war in Gaza.

The private Rhode Island Ivy League school said it reached a deal on Tuesday with students protesting the war in Gaza that would require them to remove a make-shift encampment from school grounds in exchange for the institution considering divesting from Israel.

The agreement is the first major concession from a university in response to student protests that have shut down campuses across the country, divided public opinion and led to more than 1,600 arrests.

Brown president Christina Paxson said students had agreed to end their protests and “refrain from further actions that would violate Brown’s conduct code through the end of the academic year.”

“The devastation and loss of life in the Middle East has prompted many to call for meaningful change, while also raising real issues about how best to accomplish this,” she said in a statement. “Brown has always prided itself on resolving differences through dialog, debate and listening to each other.”

But Paxson said the encampment violated the university’s policies and she is also “concerned about the escalation in inflammatory rhetoric that we have seen recently and the increase in tensions at campuses across the country.”

Under the agreement, the university has agreed to accept a proposal from a group of students to divest the university’s holdings from companies and businesses tied to the Israeli government this fall.

“We are ending (the encampment) knowing that we made a huge victory for divestment at Brown, for this international movement and a victory for the people of #Palestine,” Brown student leader Leo Corzo-Clark said in a statement on social media.

Rhode Island’s Republican Party Chairman Joe Powers said he is “deeply concerned” about the “escalating tensions and anti-Israel sentiments that have characterized these protests” and called them “divisive and hateful.”

“It is deeply troubling to see the rise of anti-Israel rhetoric and protests on our college campuses,” Powers said. “These protests not only perpetuate a false, one-sided narrative but also create a hostile environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

“My fear is that this will lead to uncontrollable retaliation and those who planned these protests will never be brought to light to answer for their actions,” he added.

The demonstrations at Brown were part of a wave of anti-Israel protests that have swept U.S. college campuses over the past week in response to Israel’s war in Gaza, which was prompted by the Oct. 7 attack by the terrorist group Hamas that killed 1,200 Israelis and injured many others. Hamas also took hostages, many of whom are still in captivity.

Dozens of arrests have been made at Columbia University, Harvard, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other elite schools as campus police and law enforcement have been called in to take down the make-shift encampments, which violate school policies. More than 1,600 people have been arrested at 30 college campuses, according to published reports.

In New York, NYPD officers stormed the campus of Columbia University late Tuesday to remove demonstrators who had occupied a building on the school’s grounds, arresting hundreds.

About The Author

Get News, the way it was meant to be:

Fair. Factual. Trustworthy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.