Nice try, Berkeley and Evergreen! Harvard may have beaten you to the task of divesting from Israel.
Israeli business news site Globe reported in the above-linked article that Harvard University may have quietly scored the latest major victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at getting large institutionsâ€“including universitiesâ€“to withdraw all economic activity from Israel. Globe reports:
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 inÂ Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq:Â TEVA; TASE:Â TEVA) for $30.5 million; 52,360 shares inÂ NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq:Â NICE; TASE:NICE) for $1.67 million; 102,940 shares inÂ Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:Â 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.
If Harvard Management Company did indeed go BDS on Israel, this would be huge. In addition to being the, well, Harvard of US colleges, the school has a lot of Jewish students and graduates.
But then again, maybe Harvard didnâ€™t divest, and dropped the shares for purely economic reasons. A commenter on ultra-right-wing blog Atlas ShrugsÂ opines as such:
I disagree that it has anything to do with hatred on Israel. My source is the stock history of the companies cited over the past 6 months (presuming that Harvard has owned these stocks for this long): it lost money heavily on all of those companies except for Check Point, and even that was still a loss.
Therefore, it seems plausible that this was done to avoid taking a bath and makes 100 percent dollars and sense…with no hatred toward Israel shown here at all. SOURCE: Daily Finance 6 month stock history lookup.
So maybe not; the investments may have just not been profitable. Anyway, weâ€™ll update this story as more comes out. Stay tuned.