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Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University to cut ties with Israeli academia

Written by admin  •  Sunday, 01.02.2009, 17:39
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Al-Quds University

Al-Quds University logo

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 added.

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