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Cornell students protest for divestment from Israeli military tech

Cornell University students are conducting a multi-day occupation of campus facilities to protest the university’s investment in Israeli military technology companies.

The protest, led by the Coalition for Mutual Liberation (CML), a group representing over two dozen Cornell-based organizations, aims to pressure the university into divesting from firms such as Technion and Tata Motors, which supply the Israeli military.

The movement highlights the growing discomfort among Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students at Cornell as tensions in Gaza escalate. Malak Abuhashim, a Palestinian student, expressed distress over the university’s investments, linking them to violence in Gaza and alleging institutional racism. The Cornell administration, having met with CML representatives, has yet to agree to discuss the divestment.

Amid a backdrop of increasing pressure on anti-Zionist students nationwide, including a recent shooting incident in Vermont, the Cornell protest reflects broader issues of repression and fear. Jewish student Jacob Berman and international PhD student Bianca Waked voiced concerns over the treatment of anti-Zionist and Palestinian-supporting students on campus, citing instances of exclusion, over-policing, and intimidation.

CML is set to publicly read their demands and provide an update on their occupation at Willard Straight Hall on Sunday, December 3rd, as they continue to push for a change in Cornell’s investment policies. The ongoing occupation underscores the complex intersection of academic, political, and ethical issues faced by universities in their financial decisions.