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Portland State University Will ‘Pause’ Donations From Boeing

Above photo: An aerial view of encampment as pro-Palestinian student protesters continue demonstrations during the second week of the ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ at Columbia University in New York, United States on April 28, 2024. Lokman Vural Elibol – Anadolu Agency.

Following Student Protests Against Israel.

Portland State University (PSU) will temporarily halt donations from Boeing, responding to student calls to cut ties with the giant aerospace and missile manufacturer amidst Israel’s war on Gaza.

President Ann Cudd stated in an open letter released Friday that PSU plans to organise a forum in May to address student concerns regarding their affiliations with the multibillion-dollar weapons manufacturer.

She wrote: “PSU will pause seeking or accepting any further gifts or grants from the Boeing Company until we have had a chance to engage in this debate and come to conclusions about a reasonable course of action.”

She added that the university “has no investments in Boeing but accepts philanthropic gifts from the company and, given that Boeing is a major employer in the region, many of our alumni work there.”

Students have been advocating for the university to sever its ties with Boeing in recent years, with increased pressure following the outbreak of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Boeing’s defence division, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, maintains offices in Israel and provides the country with fighter jets such as the F-15IA and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter which has been used in ISrael’s ongoing attack on Gaza.

While Cudd announced last week that she did not see “any logical reason to rethink” the relationship with Boeing, after weeks of protests against the Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip on university campuses across the US, she wrote that the “passion” with which students were demanding change had motivated her “to listen and ask additional questions.”

PSU’s response marks one of the initial actions taken by university administrators to distance their institution from a major weapons manufacturer. While student protests demanding divestment from weapons manufacturers and companies associated with Israel have occurred across the country, many universities have consistently stated their refusal to divest from Israel or these manufacturers.

US universities have witnessed a widespread student movement since 18 April denouncing the Israeli war on Gaza and rejecting their universities’ investments in companies that support Israel, as well as their government’s blind support for the occupation state.

The unprecedented momentum of the student movement in support of Palestine in the US has since spread to universities in France, the UK, Germany and Australia.

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