Jerusalem's Al-Quds University to cut ties with Israeli academia
Date: 01 / 02 / 2009 Time: 19:18
Jerusalem - Ma'an - Al-Quds University will cease all forms of academic
cooperation with Israeli academic institutions soon, the school's board
determined on Sunday.
"In cooperation with all sides and under an accepted timetable," the
university will phase out programs and cooperation, the university board
said in a statement.
It added that, "If the two-state solution is as far away today as it was ten
years ago, there is no justification for continued academic cooperation
based on reaching that solution."
"And there is no justification for continued official and non-official
cooperation in other fields, foremost security coordination between the
Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel," the board noted.
"Ending academic cooperation is aimed at, first of all, pressuring Israel to
abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been
needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped
demanding," the board said.
It also noted that the decision came "in response to the prior Israeli
onslaught [on Gaza]; the acts and policies of Israeli governments over the
past ten years, including settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the
tightening of the siege on the occupied territories and thwarting any
negotiated peace process that will lead to an independent Palestinian state
living in peace alongside Israel."
It also affirmed the necessity for all those involved, including government
organizations, civil society groups, domestic and international, to focus on
a just and prompt solution for the Palestinian cause. The statement insisted
that all parties involved press for a solution according to "international
legitimacy and Arab and international efforts."
The board called for the international community to pressure the Israeli
government to comply with international legitimacy and call for taking legal
and political action for Israel's "dangerous crimes and violations in Gaza,"
as well as Israel's "illegal acts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem."
Finally, the university board expressed disappointment over the absence of
serious protest from Israeli academia, in particular, and civil society
organizations, in general, as well as the failure of these organizations to
"understand the injustice that Palestinians are suffering from," calling on
local, international and regional academics to support the university's
stance by halting academic cooperation with Israeli institutions.
Earlier on Sunday, Israel's prime minister threatened to cut off government
funding for universities that participate in any boycott of Israeli
academics, even if the political action is taken from Israeli universities
critical of their country's alleged war crimes in Gaza.
"I regret that some of these self-righteous preachers of morality abroad
find allies at home," he said.
"Any university that lends its hand to disqualifying lecturers on the basis
of such claims, without inquiring into the matter and without anybody being
able to establish such claims except on the basis that someone served in the
IDF during wartime, is an institution that is not worthy of the support of
the Government of Israel," he said.
"If such an institution should act this way, and I am certain that Tel Aviv
University does not intend to do so, it would be unworthy of the support of
the State of Israel regarding its ongoing activities," the prime minister
***Updated 23:53 Bethlehem time