Divestment and double-standards

I strongly condemn the ill-conceived and dangerous effort by some of the professors and staff at NYU to instigate divestment from American and Israeli companies by TIAA-CREF.
[…]
Perhaps they would like to see the U.S. government adopt their preferred approach when it comes to the funding of university research? Would they like federal dollars to be ‘divested’ from universities whose research or policy preferences don’t accord with the Administration’s view? Assuredly, they would cry out how unfair such a policy would be; how egregious the injustice of punishing an entire group for the unpopular choices of a few.

Moreover, blinded by their ill-informed and self-righteous rage, these want-to-be divesters also blithely overlook the obvious moral failure inherent in punishing American companies because of the way Israel allegedly used their products. Perhaps Ford, GM and Chrysler should be held accountable if their cars are used for drive-by shootings, or bank heists? Maybe Dell and Apple should be punished too for their products use in activities with which the professors disapprove?

Former US Rep. Gary Ackerman, 12 October 2011

The Iranian Central Bank and the entire Iranian banking sector need lose whatever capacity they retain to facilitate Iran’s international commerce and trade. These institutions sustain Iran’s criminal regime, underwrite terror and facilitate Iran’s illicit WMD programs.

Let’s be clear, sanctions have to hurt. If they don’t hurt, they’re not effective. The goal is not for us to pat ourselves on the back and issue press releases in here; it’s to inflict crippling economic pain over there. Iran’s banking sector needs become the financial equivalent of Chernobyl—radioactive, dangerous and most of all, empty.

Former US Rep. Gary Ackerman, 14 October 2011

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