Harvard Divests From Israel

By Fayyad

Harvard Management Company, which manages the university’s endowment, has divested the fund from all investments it had in Israel companies, during the second quarter of this year. The divested stocks include TEVA, a generic drug manufacturer, that has greatly benefited from Israel’s strangulation of several Palestinian pharmaceutical companies, Checkpoint Securities, which provided many of the technologies Israel uses humiliate, screen, and search Palestinians at road blocks, and Cellcom, a wireless communications company that provide communication services to the army, among others.

College-based divestment campaigns have intensified over the past few years, Harvard University included. And while the university made no statement in favor of divesting from Israel on ethical, human rights grounds, it is not unlike the administration to make such a move quietly and preempt having to answer to to immorality of holding such investment and hypocrisy in retaining them while touting the divestment from Apartheid South Africa as beacon of progressive ethic.

The divestment Announcement came in a 13-F form filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, as reported by the Israeli business daily, Globes:

In another blow to Israeli shares, the Harvard Management Company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday that it had sold all its holdings in Israeli companies during the second quarter of 2010. No reason for the sale was mentioned. The Harvard Management Company manages Harvard University’s endowment.

Harvard Management Company stated in its 13-F Form that it sold 483,590 shares in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) for $30.5 million; 52,360 shares in NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE:NICE) for $1.67 million; 102,940 shares in Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) for $3.6 million; 32,400 shares in Cellcom Israel Ltd.(NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) for $1.1 million, and 80,000 Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) shares for $1.8 million.

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