Universities

Leading British scholars call on universities around the world to divest from Israel in favor of Palestine

More than two dozen leading academics from university student societies across the UK have called on universities and educational institutions around the world to stand up against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and divest from Palestine.

The twenty-five scholars, in an open letter, pointed out that Palestine has been under Israeli occupation for decades and that Jewish settlements built across the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law and have been condemned by the United Nations.

They pointed out that the Israeli regime has a long history of war crimes, ranging from the devastation during the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 to the continuous mistreatment, torture and murder of Palestinians living under occupation.

Academics said that universities around the world, however, continue to invest in companies complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and UK universities, for example, hold investments of around £450 million (more than $590 million) in these companies.

“We call on our institutions to act and divest for Palestine. We have now seen what can be achieved when we unite against those who break international law, and we must do the same for Palestine.

Last month, more than 220 scholars and academics from fourteen Latin American countries denounced the Israeli authorities for imposing a system of oppression and domination against the Palestinians, demanding that Israel be labeled an apartheid regime.

The scholars pledged in a joint statement that they would not participate in any academic exchanges with Israeli institutions and would refuse funding from Israel, as reported by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

The signatories then called on Latin American universities to suspend their cooperation with Israeli educational centers, which contribute to the regime’s military occupation and the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians, until the Tel Aviv regime respects the political and human rights of all the Palestinian people, as stipulated by the United Nations.

Earlier, at least 277 human rights groups and civil society organizations denounced Israeli officials for imposing apartheid on Palestinians.

The organizations, which came from 16 Arab countries as well as six European and Latin American states, demanded in a joint statement the trial of Israeli authorities implicated in the perpetration of genocide, war crimes and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

They condemned Israel’s racist practices against the Palestinians and its treatment of them as an inferior racial group and called for the launch of a campaign to put a definitive end to the regime’s apartheid actions.