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Right to Education

Academic freedom and Israel’s Siege of Gaza

Written by admin  •  Tuesday, 18.11.2008, 12:18

In the past week former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has spoken out again about a “whole civilisation destroyed” in Gaza, just as Israel again squeezes the flow of fuel for power stations. To these two latest reminders that Israel is maintaining a state of siege of its 1.5 million people, we would add our own experience.

We are some of the 100 academics and health professionals who were booked to participate in a WHO co-sponsored conference in Gaza, “Seige and Mental Health”. Israel requires those wishing to enter Gaza to apply for permits, and the WHO itself made the applications well in advance. Israel turned them all down en bloc just one week before the conference was due to start, clearly a political decision intended to wreck it. We demonstrated in protest at the Gaza Erez crossing but to no avail.

Those opposing calls for an academic boycott of Israel regularly cite ‘academic freedom’, yet there has been not a murmur of protest from Israeli universities and medical establishment at this latest violation.


Dr. Ghada Karmi – UK

Dr. Alice Rothchild – USA

Prof. Elsa First – USA

Prof. Federico Allodi – Canada

Dr. Alan Meyers – USA

Dr. Ben Alofs – UK

Dr. William Slaughter – USA

Dr. Derek Summerfield – UK

Dr. Nancy Murray – USA

Ms. Victoria Brittain – UK

Ms. Lotte Bush – Denmark

Mr. Tom Suarez – USA

Dr. Eleanor Roffman – USA

Ms. Marie Pierre Maystre – Switzerland

Dr. Robert Haynes – USA

Dr. Geraldine Haynes – USA

Ms. Marga Kapka – USA

Dr. Henderikus Taatgen – USA

Dr. Renae Grant – USA

Ms. Christiane Kolbery – Norway

Mr. Jean-Baptiste Rasson – Switzerland

Dr. Ellen Isaacs – USA

Dr. Sveinn Runar Hauksson – Iceland

Ms. Jean Entine – USA

Ms. Valentina Maria Spada – Spain

Ms. Susan Jacoby – USA

Ms. Miryam Meerschwam – Holland

Dr Angelo Stefanini – Italy

Dr James Deutsch – Canada

Dr Dennis Fox – USA

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