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Sunday, December 21, 2014 

Harvard almost caved to anti-Israelists hostile to Sodastream

Harvard University almost stopped using Sodastream products because Muslim students opposed them. But the president of the university recognized the wrong and ensured common sense would prevail:
Harvard University’s president has requested an investigation into the decision by the university’s dining service to stop buying SodaStream equipment.

Drew Faust asked for an investigation into the decision, Provost Alan Garber told The Harvard Crimson student newspaper on Wednesday night.

The request came following an article written earlier in the day by the newspaper reporting that the university’s dining service agreed in April to halt buying the equipment following protests by Palestinian students and their supporters.

The dining service agreed to remove the SodaStream labels on existing water machines and purchase new ones from American companies after university officials met in April with members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

“Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy,” Garber wrote in an email statement to the Crimson late Wednesday night. “If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now.”

Garber said in the statement that neither he nor Faust was aware of the decision before reading about it in the newspaper. The existing machines are from a company acquired by SodaStream, an Israeli firm that has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement because of its factory in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim.
I'm not sure if Sodastream is still running this kind of business, but the university shouldn't be allowing this kind of fanaticism to dominate their campus. In fact, universities shouldn't even be platforms for politics; I thought they were supposed to be for learning trades like science, medicine, and agriculture. Political nonsense should be the last thing any university or college wants littering their grounds with its toxic effects.

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