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148 Irish Academics call for EU to cut links with Israel
Letter from Irish Academics, Published in the Irish Times, 23 January 2009

In a letter published on Friday, 23rd January in the Irish Times (text below), over 140 Irish academics from a wide variety of disciplines called for a moratorium on EU support of Israeli academic institutions until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories.

The letter was organised in response to the Israeli attack on Gaza and the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott. The letter demands that the EU cease funding collaborative projects with Israeli institutions and "and an end to the EU's practice of treating Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts".

The letter accuses Israel of destroying the Palestinians right to education as guaranteed by international law. It states: 'we note that during its recent offensive Israel expressly targeted educational institutions including the Islamic University, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, and 3 UN schools which were destroyed with massive loss of civilian life. During the illegal sealing off of the Gaza Strip that preceded the current aggression, Israel had prevented numerous Palestinian students from leaving Gaza to avail of Fulbright scholarships to the USA"

The ongoing Israeli occupation has meant that educational establishments are closed off for many Palestinians. The checkpoints, closures and curfews Israel has imposed, as well as the ongoing harassment of academics and students, have played havoc with university life. In addition, military attacks on universities and schools and the occupation of many schools by Israeli soldiers have turned education into a life-threatening activity.

The letter is signed by 148 academics. Prominent names include author and critic Seamus Deane, poet and academic Louis de Paor, UCD academic Kathleen Lynch, cultural critics Luke Gibbons and Joe Cleary, Israeli political scientist Ephraim Nimni, and former TUI (Teachers Union of Ireland) head Paddy Healy. It follows a similar letter in September 2006 signed by 61 academics.

ENDS

For further information:

David Landy: 085 712 1058

James Bowen: 086 397 1070

Text of letter with signatories

There has been widespread international condemnation of Israel's bombardment and subsequent invasion of Gaza, which has been defined by international lawyers as a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. No civilians, Israelis or Palestinian should be subjected to attack whether from rockets from Gaza or bombs and bullets from Israel. However, while every government has both the right and responsibility to defend its civilian population, we believe that Israel's violent actions are disproportionate and constitute collective punishment of a civilian population.

We also note that Israeli spokespersons themselves have admitted that prior to Israel's killing of 6 Hamas members in the Nov 4 attack on Gaza, Hamas appears to have abided by its ceasefire agreement with Israel, firing no rockets and trying to prevent other groups from doing so. This begs the question: what is the real reason behind the onslaught?

In addition, we note that during its recent offensive Israel expressly targeted educational institutions including the Islamic University, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, and 3 UN schools which were destroyed with massive loss of civilian life. During the illegal sealing off of the Gaza Strip that preceded the current aggression, Israel had prevented numerous Palestinian students from leaving Gaza to avail of Fulbright scholarships to the USA.

We believe that it is time to renew the call made by Irish-based academics in September 2006 for a moratorium on the funding of Israeli academic institutions by national and European cultural and research institutions, and an end to the EU's practice of treating Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Such a moratorium should continue until Israel ends its repressive policies against Gaza, and abides by UN resolutions (which include the ending of the occupation of all Palestinian territories).

We believe that opposition to such a move based on the principle of academic freedom has lost the last semblance of validity in view of the above-mentioned violations of the right to education enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 26), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 14).

Yours sincerely,


1. Dr Kieran Allen, School of Sociology, UCD
2. Professor James Anderson, Dept of Geography, Queen's University Belfast, Co-Director, Centre for International Borders Research (CIBR)
3. Dr Iain Atack, Lecturer and Programme Coordinator, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics, (TCD)
4. Dr David Atkinson, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
5. Professor Ibrahim Banat, Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, University of Ulster
6. Darius Bartlett, Department of Geography, University College Cork
7. Professor James Bowen, Computer Science, UCC, Cork
8. Dr. Barbara Bradby, Department of Sociology, TCD
9. Dr. Colin Breen, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
10. Dr Keith Breen, School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast
11. Dr Pat Brereton, Dublin City University.
12. Harry Browne School of Media, DIT
13. Carlos Bruen, Dept of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine (Division of Population Health Sciences) Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
14. Audrey Bryan School of Education, UCD
15. Noreen Byrne, Department of Food Business and Development, UCC
16. Dr Rachel Cassidy, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
17. Professor Joe Cleary, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
18. Dr. Steve Coleman Department of Anthropology, NUI Maynooth
19. Dr. Maeve Connolly, School of Creative Arts, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, IADT
20. Eddie Conlon, Department of Engineering Science and General Studies, DIT
21. Dr Colin Coulter, Dept of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
22. Dr. Laurence Cox, Dept of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
23. Dr Patrick Crowley, Department of French, University College Cork
24. Tony Cunningham, Department of Sociology NUI Maynooth
25. Charlie Daly, School of Computing, DCU.
26. Dr Kelly Davidson School of Business and Humanities, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, IADT
27. Cormac Deane, School of Business and Humanities, IADT Dun Laoghaire
28. Professor Seamus Deane, University of Notre Dame
29. Dr. Teresa Degenhardt, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work Queens University Belfast
30. Dr Louis de Paor, NUI Galway
31. Derek Dodd, Centre for Public Culture Studies, IADT.
32. Dr Bill Dorris, Dept. Of Communications, DCU
33. Collette Doyle, School of Social Justice, UCD
34. Dr. Paul Dunlop, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
35. Mary Eldin, University College Dublin
36. Ray English, School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering, DIT
37. Dr. Adel Farrag, Department of Electronic Engineering, ITT Dublin
38. Angela Farrell, Dept. Languages and Cultural Studies University of Limerick
39. Mike FitzGibbon, Food Business and Development Department, University College Cork
40. Richard Fitzsimons, School of Media, DIT
41. Professor Tadhg Foley Department of English & Chair of the Board, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway
42. Dr Oona Frawley, School of English, NUI Maynooth,
43. Malcolm Garland. Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, RCSI and Consultant Psychiatrist/Post-Graduate Tutor, St Ita's Hospital.
44. Dr Mark Gardiner, Dept of Archaeology, Queen's University Belfast
45. Professor Luke Gibbons, University of Notre Dame
46. Dr. Paula Gilligan, Dept. of Humanities, IADT Dun Laoghaire
47. Professor Robbie Gilligan, School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD
48. Dr Kathy Glavanis-Grantham, Department of Sociology, UCC
49. Liam Greenslade, National College of Art and Design
50. Fergal Goulding, Cork Institute of Technology
51. Brian Hand, Wexford Campus IT Carlow
52. Dr Brian Hanley, School of History, Queens University Belfast
53. Seán Harrington, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT,
54. Mike Haslam, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
55. Deena Haydon, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Justice, Queen's University Belfast
56. Paddy Healy, School of Physics, DIT
57. Goretti Horgan, School of Policy Studies, University of Ulster
58. Professor Jane Horgan Dublin City University
59. Dr Kevin Hourihan, Dept of Geography, UCC
60. Dr. John Karamichas, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
61. Dr Brian Kelly, School of History and Anthropology, Queen's University Belfast
62. Dr. Sinéad Kennedy, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
63. Dr. Dorothy Kenny, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, DCU
64. David Landy Department of Sociology, TCD
65. Dr Fintan Lane. Historian
66. Zoe Lawlor, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
67. John J. Lauder, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
68. Dr. Ronit Lentin, Dept of Sociology, TCD
69. Martin McCabe, School of Media, DIT
70. Professor Madeleine Leonard, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
71. Tom Lonergan, Dublin City University
72. Professor Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies Centre, School of Social Justice, University College Dublin
73. Piaras MacEinri, University College Cork
74. An Dr. Seosamh Mac Muirí, Grág na Fearna, Droim Dhá Thiar. Co. Liatroma.
75. Professor John Maguire Professor Emeritus, UCC
76. Dr. Hussain Mahdi, Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, University of Limerick
77. Dr. Sean Marlow, School of Electronic Engineering, Dublin City University,
78. Dr. Chandana Mathur, Dept of Anthropology, NUI Maynooth
79. Dr Cillian McBride, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast
80. Dr Cathal McCall, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB
81. Dr Gerard McCann, European Studies, St Mary's College, Queens University Belfast
82. Dr Conor McCarthy, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
83. Professor John McCloskey, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
84. Professor Terrence McDonough, Dept of Economics, NUI Galway
85. Dr. Karen McElrath, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queens University Belfast
86. Dr Des McGuinness, School of Communication, Dublin City University
87. Dr. Martina McKnight, Queens University Belfast
88. Dr Gerard McMahon, Business Faculty, DIT
89. Dr Bill McSweeney, International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin
90. Rosie Meade, Dept. of Applied Social Studies, UCC
91. Dr. Pat Meere, Department of Geology, UCC.
92. Professor Stephen Mennell, School of Sociology, UCD
93. Mick Monk, Department of Archaeology, UCC
94. Anna Maria Mullally, Dept. of Humanities, ITT Dublin.
95. Tony Murray, School of Media, DIT
96. Professor Patrick Murphy, Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCC
97. Dr. Suleyman S. Nalbant, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
98. Tom O'Connor, School of Media, DIT
99. Dr. Ephraim Nimni, School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast
100. Dr. Emer Nolan, Dept of English, NUI Maynooth
101. Dr. John O'Brennan, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
102. Gerard M. O'Brien, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine
103. Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, Department of Archaeology, University College Cork
104. Dr Ruan.O'Donnell, Historian
105. Professor Liam O'Dowd, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queens University Belfast
106. Professor Patrick O'Flanagan, Dept of Geography, UCC
107. Dr Feilim O Hadhmail, Dept of Applied Social Studies, UCC
108. Professor Denis O Hearn, School of Sociology, Queen's University Belfast
109. Dr. Theresa O'Keefe, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
110. Dr. Des O'Rawe, School of Languages, Literatures and Arts, Queen's University Belfast
111. Dr. Jacqui O'Riordan, Dept. Applied Social Studies, UCC
112. Dr K.C. O'Rourke, Dublin Institute of Technology
113. Eddie O’Shea Head, Department of Architecture+Urban Design, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
114. Joan O’Sullivan, Dept of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
115. John O’Sullivan, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
116. Maria Parsons, Department of Humanities, IADT
117. Dr Mark Phelan, School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts, Queen's University Belfast
118. Professor Barbara Pierscionek, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster
119. Dr Lionel Pilkington, Dept of English, NUI Galway
120. Professor John Pinkerton, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University Belfast
121. Professor Paschal Preston, School of Communication, DCU
122. Rory Quinn, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
123. Dr Mary Roche, Department of Geography, UCC
124. Jim Roche, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT.
125. Professor Bill Rolston, Department of Sociology, University of Ulster
126. Eilish Rooney, School of Sociology & Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster
127. Sima Rouholamin, School of Architecture, Dublin Institute of Technology.
128. Pól Ruiséal, Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh
129. Brigid Ryan, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
130. Dr Colin Sage, Department of Geography, UCC
131. Dr Tam Sanger, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
132. Professor Phil Scraton, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast
133. Liz Shannon, Dept of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
134. Professor Helena Sheehan, School of Communications, Dublin City University
135. Dr Sally Shortall, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
136. Ailbhe Smyth, WERCC, School of Social Justice, UCD
137. Professor Mike Scott, School of Computing, DCU
138. Dr. Lisa Smyth, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
139. Andy Storey, Centre for Development Studies, UCD
140. Karen Sugrue, Department of Humanities, Limerick Institute of Technology
141. Prof. Alan Titley Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh
142. Dr Gavan Titley, Dept of Media Studies NUI Maynooth
143. Prof. Mike Tomlinson, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University Belfast
144. Hilary Tovey, Dept of Sociology, TCD
145. Dr Simon Trezise, Department of Music, TCD
146. Theresa Urbainczyk, School of Classics, UCD
147. Judy Walsh, School of Social Justice, UCD
148. Dr Gillian Wylie, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics (TCD)



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