College has ties to 15 Israeli organisations, BDS investigation reveals

Trinity BDS has called on College to cut all ties with Israel

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by  Trinity Union Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction group (Trinity BDS) has revealed Colleges ties to 15 Israeli organisations, including seven companies, six institutional links, and two individuals.

The group has called on College to cut all ties with Israel, saying that it is “gravely concerned by the results of our investigation”.

Among College’s ties to Israel is the Weizmann Institute of Science, which Trinity BDS say “openly collaborates with the war-industry”, including armaments companies such as Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems.

Trinity BDS has also highlighted links with academic institutions including Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, both of which it says are complicit with the Israeli military and state.

Technion cooperates on arms research and technology with Elbit, one of the main suppliers of surveillance systems to the Israeli West Bank barrier, Israel’s “apartheid wall”.

As well as developing military technology, Tel Aviv University developed the ethical code of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), and trains lawyers for the Military Advocate General, the legal body responsible for defending the IDF.

In a statement, Trinity BDS said: “The principles of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions are to put economic pressure on Israel to end its inhumane system of apartheid and terror that it inflicts on Palestinians.”

“Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements, taking away Palestinian peoples’ lands using violence. The number of settlers living in occupied Palestine has grown to more than half a million as of 2022. Palestinian people cannot live in their own homeland, [representing] a flagrant human rights violation.”

It continued: “As such, we call on Trinity College Dublin to cut all ties with the 15 organisations listed and enact a policy of BDS and non-cooperation with Israel College-wide. This would be a principled stance for an academic institution to take.”

“The College outlines as part of its mission statement ‘engaging with issues of global significance’, and on such [a] basis it must immediately take a stand against the egregious human rights violations of Israel,” it concluded.

College has been contacted for comment.

Other companies on the list include Enspire Science Ltd, Optoacoustics Ltd, 3D Lasertec,  Beacon Tech Ltd, Mediclever Ltd, and MRC Ltd.

It also features Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Agora PSVD, KI Research Institute, the Open University of Israel, and two individuals, Mushon Zer-Aviv and Veronique Jasner.

The findings also show that College previously held memoranda of understanding with two universities in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Al-Quds University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Both of these expired in 2020.

It was revealed last month that College had divested entirely from the armaments industry. College previously held €2.5 million in investments in the armaments industry, including companies which supplied military technology to Israel.

Trinity BDS welcomed College’s divestment, calling it “a significant piece of the response to the collective demands to standing against apartheid in all its forms”.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is News Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as Assistant News Editor and as copyeditor.