Hampshire Disputes Dershowitz Claims
February 22, 2009

Alan Dershowitz continues to demand that Hampshire College do more to demonstrate that it has not adopted a policy of divesting all stocks tied to Israel -- and Hampshire College continues to tell Alan Dershowitz that he has his facts wrong. The controversy started when a pro-Palestinian student group announced that Hampshire had divested. The college acknowledged dropping some holdings in companies that the pro-Palestinian group didn't like, but Hampshire insisted this was part of a broad review of holdings in many companies that violate Hampshire's social justice policies, and not an anti-Israel move. Dershowitz's latest move has been to write a challenge to Hampshire, published in The Jerusalem Post, to do more to indicate that it isn't selling Israel-linked companies. Dershowitz challenged Hampshire to buy stock in companies that offend the pro-Palestinian group as a way to show its opposition to the divestment movement. Ralph Hexter, president of Hampshire, has responded with an open letter to Dershowitz in which Hexter notes the damage that Dershowitz can cause to Hampshire's reputation by stating that it is engaged in anti-Israel investment policies. Hexter's letter notes that not only does the college have holdings in hundreds of companies that do business in Israel, but the college also has holdings in three Israeli companies. "No other college or university should use Hampshire as a precedent for divesting from Israel, since Hampshire has refused to divest from Israel," Hexter writes. "Anyone who claims otherwise is deliberately misrepresenting Hampshire’s decision and has no right to speak for the college."

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