HomeRiverside NewsStriking a balance: UC Riverside moves towards divestment amid legal hurdles

Striking a balance: UC Riverside moves towards divestment amid legal hurdles

Riverside, California – The University of California, Riverside (UCR) has tentatively agreed with pro-Palestine activists to take steps toward divestment from Israeli-linked investments. However, due to a California law enacted in 2016, it remains illegal for entities that receive substantial state funding to engage in boycotts or discriminatory practices against any nation.

Under this preliminary deal, UCR will publish its investment details online, establish a task force to consider withdrawing its endowment from UC Investments Office control, and redirect funds in a financially and ethically sound manner. The review will take into account companies involved in arms manufacturing and delivery.

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The agreement seems designed to sidestep direct reference to Israel, aiming to avoid triggering AB 2844. This 2016 law prohibits the state from providing over $100,000 in contracts or funding to individuals or organizations that boycott specific nations. While earlier drafts explicitly cited Israel, the final version uses it as a prime example of discriminatory boycotting practices.

“It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to do business with or otherwise support any state or private entity that engages in discriminatory actions against individuals under the pretext of exercising First Amendment rights,” says AB 2844. “This includes, but is not limited to, discriminatory actions taken against individuals of the Jewish faith under the pretext of a constitutionally protected boycott or protest of the State of Israel.”

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Pro-Palestine protests have caused significant disruption at campuses across the country, including those within the University of California system. At UCLA, clashes between protestors and counter-protestors escalated to violence, ultimately leading to a large-scale removal of pro-Palestine encampments by state and local law enforcement.


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