I’ve been putting some time over the last week into putting together a list of frequently asked questions regarding divestment that I thought could be of interest to readers. I’ll post them one at a time over the next week or so.
Starting out with FAQ #1: What is Divestment?
Divestment is simply the selling of an investment, such as a stock, bond or mutual fund. Every time you see someone shouting “Sell” on the floor of the stock exchange, for example, divestment is taking place.
Divest-from-Israel campaigns fall into the category of political divestment. Rather than selling investments for economic reasons (such as fear that share price will go down in the future), political divestment involves selling an investment due to a political disagreement with the company or country the investment benefits.
This is an important distinction since, without a public explanation or announcement that investments are being sold for political, rather than economic reasons, political divestment cannot be said to have taken place.