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Protests expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and furor over Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip haven’t let up.

One core demand of protesters at colleges and universities across the U.S. is for those schools to divest all assets with any ties to Israel in their endowments. Yesterday, Union Theological Seminary became the first to promise to do that. Public administration scholar Todd L. Ely explains why it’s unlikely that hundreds more schools will follow suit. Taking that step is far harder than it sounds, Ely writes. He also spells out why even disclosing which assets would have to be sold to sever financial ties with Israel could be difficult.

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Emily Schwartz Greco

Philanthropy + Nonprofits Editor

A ‘divest from death’ banner at a University of Oregon protest against the Israel-Hamas war on April 29, 2024. AP Photo/Jenny Kane

Divesting university endowments: Easier demanded than done

Todd L. Ely, University of Colorado Denver

Divestment from Israel may violate state laws – at least for public institutions. Private universities with large endowments may face other obstacles.

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