Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
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following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
Israeli Academics Boycott Illegal Ariel Settlement
Sunday January 09, 2011 13:24 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies
On Sunday, 155 academics joined the boycott of the ‘Ariel University
Center of Samaria', located in the illegal West Bank settlement of
The university and college faculty members signed a
petition calling for an academic boycott of the University Center, based
in the largest Israeli settlement of Ariel. The lecturers stated in the
petition: "We, academics from a variety of fields and from all the
institutions of higher learning in Israel, herein express publicly our
opposition to the continued occupation and the establishment of
Nobel laureates Yehoshua Kolodny, Benjamin Isaac
and Itamar Procaccia were among the signatories of the academics'
petition, which follows a similar boycott call by artists and actors
several months ago.
The document denounced the "unbearably harsh
conditions" Palestinians suffer in nearby villages and refugee camps,
where the residents are deprived of their basic human rights. According
to the petition, "Ariel was built on occupied land. Only a few
kilometers away from flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in villages
and refugee camps under unbearably harsh conditions and without basic
human rights. Not only do they not have access to higher education, some
do not even have running water. These are two different realities that
create a policy of apartheid."
Signatories of the new petition
were careful to distance themselves from other academic boycotts which
call for all Israeli academic institutions to be boycotted - instead,
they focus on those institutions built illegally on occupied Palestinian
land in the West Bank seized and militarily-occupied in 1967.
Furthermore, the petition criticized the ongoing construction of
settlements in the West Bank, which they say has made the establishment
of a Palestinian independent state impossible and undermined the
prospects for Israel to ever live in peace in the region.
call was organized by Nir Gov of the Weizmann Institute's Department of
Chemical Physics. It differs from previous petitions in that many of the
signatories are from science and engineering departments, challenging
the notion that such academic boycotts have only been called by those in
the humanities and arts.
This latest petition comes just weeks
after academic boycotts were condemned by the Israeli Council for Higher
Education in a formal statement which said that such boycotts "undermine
the foundations of the higher education system." Gov issued a reply to
this statement in which he said that it is settlements like Ariel that
challenge the legitimacy of the academic system in Israel, not the
boycott of the settlements.
Many academic institutions around the
world, including the largest organization of academics in Britain, have
called for boycotts of Israeli settlement institutions, in an attempt to
pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land, which began
in 1967, and has continued with the transfer of civilians onto land
seized by military force, in violation of international law and signed
agreements. There are currently around 500,000 such Israeli settlers
living illegally on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East
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