As of early Friday, everything was going according to plan.
A human rights activist group known as Adalah-NY had enlisted some of the most prominent progressives in academe to support its divestment campaign. The group aimed to put public pressure on TIAA-CREF, calling on the giant retirement fund manager to divest from Africa-Israel Investments Ltd., a company accused of building Jewish settlements on the West Bank. In an orchestrated media blitz, Adalah-NY launched an online petition, having already secured the endorsements of leftist luminaries like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. There was just one problem: TIAA-CREF had liquidated its holdings in Africa-Israel three months earlier.
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