The college reportedly decided not to announce the divestment after a pro-Palestinian activist slashed a painting of Lord Balfour at TrinityChristopher Lorde with permission for Varsity

Trinity College has reportedly decided to divest from all arms companies following months of student pressure regarding its links to Israel, according to the Middle East Eye (MEE).

Trinity had faced repeated student protests after being handed a legal warning by a UK human rights group after it was revealed in March that the College held investments in Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company.

Trinity is Cambridge University’s wealthiest college, with an endowment of £2 billion in 2022.

According to the MEE the decision to withdraw funds from the arms industry was made by the college council in March, according to “three well-informed sources close to Trinity’s student union,” reports MEE.

MEE claims that Trinity decided not to announce its divestment at the time, following the defacing of a painting of Lord Balfour, the former Prime Minister whose famous declaration supported the establishment of a home “for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

The legal notice pressuring the College to divest from Israel was issued by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians in early March. It alleged: “Officers, directors and shareholders at the college may be individually criminally liable if they maintain their investments in arms companies that are potentially complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Students protested Trinity’s investments in March with a demonstration against the College’s holdings in Elbit Systems.

The protest called on the College to “stop funding genocide” and labelled Israel a “terror state”.

Last month students protested again, disrupting an open day to call on Trinity to defund companies with links to Israel.


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An open letter addressed to the Master and the Senior Bursar stated: “As a world-leading educational institution, Trinity must not be investing in companies causing so much death and destruction that may amount to genocide, and instead should be supporting the College’s mission of advancing education and research”.

“There is precedent to Trinity taking action at times of crisis: following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the college rightly condemned the aggression, committed to divesting from complicit holdings, and established a £250,000 relief fund for students and scholars affected by the war.”

The news comes as Cambridge for Palestine (C4P) has launched an encampment at King’s College calling for the University to divest from Israel. An open letter signed by more than 1,700 Cambridge staff, alumni, and students has expressed support for the Cambridge students pursuing this action.

A spokesperson from Trinity College told Varsity that “Trinity College continues to review its investments regularly”.