A thousand-and-one reasons why Palestine must get independence


Related to: ▣ FAQ ▣ Palestine Statehood Bid


and here’s perhaps the most important

By Stuart Littlewood * | Sabbah Report | http://www.sabbah.biz | Sept 8, 2011

The following report from Bethlehem University that academic staff had been attacked yet again, this time by Israeli squatters, reminds me of how the Israelis apparently resent the Palestinians’ fine education tradition. They have seen to it that Palestinian universities suffer the severest restrictions in delivering knowledge.

Bethlehem University, which includes many Muslims among its students, has been closed a dozen times by Israeli storm-troopers. In 2002 it sustained 4 Israeli missile hits, three to the Millennium Hall and one to the Heritage Centre in the Library. 100 soldiers later stormed into the buildings and did further damage.

In January 2003 the university’s president pleaded: “Can anyone do anything to change this systematic strangulation?” Nevertheless staff succeed and students continue to flourish against all odds.

On one of my visits I spoke with Brother Cyril, a kindly, mild-mannered American from Minnesota, who ran the University. He was about to go on leave. “What do your friends back home say when you tell them what’s happened here?” I asked.

He shrugged. “They listen for ten minutes then switch off.”

Report from Bethlehem University

It is unclear whether the British government intends joining the US and Israel in their spoiling tactics when the Palestinians’ bid for independence is put to the United Nations later this month. I have asked my MP about that and I hope UK readers will press their own MPs on the subject.

* Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. Read other articles by Stuart.

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