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The Honorable Marit Arnstad, Chairman of the board
The Honorable Rector Torbjern Digernes
NUST Board of Governors,
On behalf of PSCABI, we would like to commend the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim for its brave proposal to academically boycott Israel. The letter that initiated the call to boycott, which 34 academics signed, stated clearly: “We, who have signed this letter, believe that it is time that academic institutions contributed to an international pressure against Israel so that real negotiations between Israel, democratically elected Palestinian authorities and the international society can begin.”
The letter goes on to say that Israeli academic institutions pay an essential role in the country’s oppression and that “Israel goes against all the ideals of open universities and academic freedom.”
We are painfully aware of the controversy this call to boycott has created and the immense pressure you will be under to vote against it. But academic boycott is clearly the only moral stance to take. Israel has continually broken international law in defiance of the whole world. It is illegally occupying Palestinian land. It continues in its aggression to deprive Palestinians of their right to live in safety and security, their right to the most basic forms of health care, and-what you should be intimately concerned with-their right to education. Books are barred from entering the Gaza Strip and students who have won scholarships to universities all overthe world are prevented, every year, from pursuing their hard-earned education.
These are but a few reasons why, despite the pressure to vote against the boycott, it is most desperately needed. If we truly want peace in the Middle East, the international community must pressure Israel to conform to the international standard of human rights.
If you vote yes to boycott the academic institutions of Israel, your university will be a great moral example, not only for other academic institutions worldwide, but also for its own students. If you vote yes to boycott, your students will know they belong to an educational institution that lives by the high-minded ideas they are taught. And those ideas will cease to be mere ideas. They will be, for them, reality.
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel “PSCABI”