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The University of Toronto has made the decision not to end any partnerships with Israeli universities, despite demands from protesters who set up a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus weeks ago. However, the university has offered to form a working group to consider options for increasing transparency and disclosure of its investments. This offer, presented to representatives of the encampment, includes the opportunity for students to present their demands on divestment within 24 hours.

University President Meric Gertler has made it clear that this offer is conditional on the encampment being cleared and not resuming on any campus of the university. If an agreement is not reached with the protesters, the university will take further action. The encampment, which began on May 2 as a call for the university to sever ties with Israel in response to the conflict in Gaza, must come to an end according to Gertler.

The protesters at the University of Toronto are part of a larger movement of students at universities in Canada and the United States who are calling on their institutions to disclose ties with the Israeli government, divest from Israeli companies, and terminate partnerships with Israeli academic institutions that operate in ways they oppose. The encampment at the University of Toronto has been a central point of protest on campus since early May, with students and supporters advocating for these changes in university policy surrounding Israel.

While the university has not agreed to end partnerships with Israeli universities, the formation of a working group to consider transparency and disclosure of investments represents a potential step towards addressing the concerns raised by protesters. By offering students the opportunity to present their demands on divestment, the university is engaging in dialogue with the encampment occupants in an effort to find a resolution to the ongoing conflict surrounding the university’s ties to Israel.

President Gertler’s insistence that the encampment must be cleared and not resume on any campus of the university underscores the importance of resolving the situation in a timely manner. The university’s commitment to taking further action if an agreement is not reached demonstrates a willingness to address the concerns of the protesters and uphold the integrity of the campus community. As the negotiations between the university and the encampment representatives continue, the future of the protest and the university’s response remain uncertain.

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