Israel academics boycott WB settlement

PressTV –  Sun Jan 9, 2011 3:42AM

The university center in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, central West Bank
Scores of Israeli academics have joined a campaign calling for a boycott of a university center in the illegal settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank.

Some 155 university and college faculty members signed a petition where the lecturers stated their “unwillingness to take part in any type of academic activity taking place in the college operating in the largest Israeli settlement of Ariel, Ha’aretz said in a report published early on Sunday.

“We, academics from a variety of fields and from all the institutions of higher learning in Israel, herein express publicly our opposition to the continued occupation and the establishment of settlements,” stated the petition.

The signatories also noted that Ariel was built on occupied Palestinian land and that it did not belong to Israel. “Therefore it is impossible to require us to appear there.”

The document described the “unbearably harsh conditions” Palestinians suffer in nearby villages and refugee camps only a few kilometers away, where the residents are deprived of their basic human rights.

“Not only do they not have access to higher education, some do not even have running water. These are two different realities that create a policy of apartheid,” the petition read.

The academics condemned the continued construction of settlements in the West Bank, saying its only goal is “preventing the Palestinians from creating an independent state,” which they said is a measure that would ruin chances for Israelis to ever live in peace in the region.

The petition, initiated by Nir Gov of the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Chemical Physics, is special in that over a third of its signatories are from the natural and exact sciences, unlike other lists that are dominated by professors from the social sciences and the humanities.

“Israeli academia must differentiate itself from the settlement academia,” said Gov.

“It may be too late, but we felt a need to state in the clearest language that Israeli academia must not be involved in the settlement project,” he added.

MRS/AGB/HGL

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