College makes first official statement six months into Gaza genocide

The provost said College’s investment portfolio will be “updated” after it was revealed to have investments in UN blacklisted companies

On Wednesday, College released its first official statement on Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza, six months after the assault began.

The statement, titled “War in Gaza”, was not sent to students’ inboxes, but rather posted to the Provost’s Office web page.

In it, the provost said that College’s investment portfolio will be “updated” in light of revelations that it holds shares in Israeli companies blacklisted by the UN.

Speaking about Colleges investments in Israeli institutions, Doyle said: “Trinity has an Endowment Fund which includes investment in a portfolio of companies. The individual companies in this portfolio are not hand-picked by Trinity but generated by our investment managers based on investment parameters we set”.

“Over the past few months, we have been doing further work and, as a result of this, the portfolio will be updated with reference to the UN blacklist”.

College has investments in a total of 13 Israeli companies.

The provost wrote: “I abhor and condemn all violence and war, including the atrocities of October 7th and the continuing and ferocious onslaught in Gaza.”

“The humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the dehumanisation of its people is obscene”.

“I have not met anyone in Trinity who does not want this to come to a permanent end. I say ‘permanent end’ because even the word ‘ceasefire’ sounds too temporary to me. A real and lasting solution that respects the human rights of everyone needs to be found”.

Since October 7, 34,262 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed with a further 77,229 wounded due to Israel’s assault on Gaza.

The provost defended the decision not to cut ties with Israeli institutions, citing academic freedom as “the cornerstone of our identity as a university”.

“Our commitment to academic freedom underpins the claim to autonomy that we make to government and wider society”.

“I do not want to see the erosion of academic freedom in Ireland, in a way we have seen in other countries”.

“Some in our community argue that Trinity should ensure all ties with Israeli institutions are cut. Such decisions rest with each individual academic.”

Doyle added: “Fundamentally, it is the right of the individual academic to make this decision, and no assumption about an academic’s political views should be inferred from those decisions.”

At present researchers from Trinity have at least five ongoing collaborative research projects involving Israel. Trinity receives over €2.5 million total in funding from the European Commission.

The statement by the provost continued saying “Trinity is a University of Sanctuary, and we can use this designation to find practical ways of providing educational support for Gaza”.

“Trinity Global is working with local and international stakeholders including “We are not numbers” and our embassy contacts to facilitate access to Trinity for students from Gaza seeking to continue their education”.

Doyle also touched on what College is doing for students and staff who feel threatened: “The Trinity Global Experience team supports students, both individually and collectively, through hosting events and working 1:1 with students”.

“ I also want to be absolutely clear that all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia, have absolutely no place here”.

The statement follows Provost Linda Doyle’s first public comments on Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza last week, when she encouraged debate on the issue.

It also comes amidst a week of ongoing tensions between Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the College.

Colleges have been contacted for further comment.

Aoibhinn Clancy

Aoibhínn Clancy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in her Junior Sophister Year studying History and Political Science.