Email: right2edu@birzeit.edu | Phone: 0097(0)2-298-2059

Right to Education

Why would Israel bomb a university?-A professor reflects

Written by admin  •  Monday, 29.12.2008, 11:42
389 Views
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Dr. Akram Habeeb, Electronic Intifada , 29 December 2008

As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel’s massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

The Islamic University of Gaza, February 2007. (Wesam Saleh/MaanImages)


Last night, during the second night of Israel’s unprecedented attack on Gaza, I was awakened by the deafening sound of intensive bombardment. When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its “target bank” had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that IUG is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor, not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities. I see it as prestigious university which encourages liberalism and free thought. This personal point view might seem to be biased; therefore, I would invite anyone who would doubt about my assertions to browse IUG’s website and research its history. They would learn about its membership in various international academic institutions, the active role its professors play in scholarly research as well as prizes and research grants they have received.

Why would Israel bomb a university? Israel did not only target my university last night. It also bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes. In Jabaliya refugee camp Israeli bombs killed four little girls, sisters from the Balousha family. In Rafah they killed three brothers, aged 6, 12 and 14. They also killed a mother, along with her one-year-old child from the Kishko family in Gaza City.

These acts made me reflect on some of the commandments given by God to the “Chosen People”: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house. No one could be chosen by God to annex the land of other people and kill them. Israel made these ethical choices by itself. Israel itself chose to wage its wars to eliminate the indigenous people of Palestine.

Dr. Akram Habeeb is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza.

More Articles

  • Existence is resistance; education...

    Birzeit University has a long, turbulent history...

  • By admin • Jul 07 Read More »

    Related Posts

    • Declaration of Support from Sheffield Hallam University

      DECLARATION OF SUPPORT FOR THE PALESTINIAN RIGHT TO EDUCATION FROM MEMBERS OF STAFF AND STUDENTS AT SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY 12th October 2015 Over the last ten days we have seen increasing...

    • Eyewitness account of Gaza strikes – university students killed

      Safa, Palestinian living in Gaza, Posted on Facebook and asked to circulate, 28 December 2008 Outside my home, (which is close to the 2 largest universities in Gaza) a missile fell on a large...

    • Childhood in ruins

      A piece by the Guardian's foreign editor Harriet Sherwood about Israel's 23-day bombardment of Gaza, killing around 1,400 people, and wounding over 5,000, many of them children. One year on, a...

    To Top