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Divestment is when an institution decides to withdraw its investments from companies that are complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. This can be done by universities, churches, banks, unions, pension funds, or other institutions.

How does divestment work?

The decision to divest is made within the institution. Examples of this decision-making process are a shareholder vote, a union member's vote at a convention, or a campus referendum by students calling on their university to divest. 

The best way you can pressure your institution to divest from Israeli companies is to organize and run a divestment campaign. This is a way that you can directly support BDS in your own community, whether within a religious organization, campus, or union!

CJPME is a member of BDS-Québec, which called on Quebec's pension fund, la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), to divest from a company involved in training Israel's police (see more below). CJPME also supports the campaign led by JustPeaceAdvocates to urge the Canadian Pension Plan (CPPIB) to divest from companies complicit in Israeli war crimes. 

Are you a student? Consider campaigning to pass a BDS/Palestinian solidarity resolution and check out our Student Hub for more information on what you can do on campus.

Part of a union? Listen to our webinar on BDS and the labour movement in Canada (or listen to the podcast episode).

Own a business? Consider becoming an Apartheid Free Zone.

BDS_fact_boxes_(4).pngWhat are some successful divestment efforts?

  • As a member of BDS-Québec, CJPME had been calling on Quebec's pension fund, la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), to divest from its ties to Policity, owned by Allied Universal, which trains Israel's police. In May 2023, Allied Universal announced that it was selling its share in Policity, and "the final straw" in the decision to divest was reportedly pressure from CPDQ. This tremendous victory shows the power of grassroots activism.
  • The Canadian Federation of Labour adopted a policy in support of divesting from Israeli military and security companies.
  • Mennonite Church Canada and the United Church of Canada have both passed motions in support of divesting from businesses complicit in occupation. 
  • The Canadian Federation of Students passed a policy in favour of divestment, and to support local divestment campaigns by student unions.
  • The University of Toronto's student union voted in support of divesting from companies involved in the Israeli occupation.
  • The Concordia student union voted in 2022 in support of divesting from companies involved in apartheid, including Israel.
  • The University of British Columbia student union passed a motion to push UBC to divest from businesses complicit in illegal Israeli settlements and other violations of Palestinian human rights.
  • Countless more Canadian unions and student unions have passed motions endorsing divestment. Click here to see an updated list!
  • Pillsbury disinvested from its Israeli subsidiary in 2022, thanks to a two-year campaign in which CJPME was a Canadian partner!