Luxembourg fund’s announcement came as German chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to oppose “boycotts” targeting Israeli settlements.
Typical pandering to the occupiers from one of the least intellectual, pro empire, universities in the country.
New York University (NYU) has refused to comment on reports that a Palestinian student in Gaza has been prevented by Israel from traveling to join one of its “coexistence” programs.
Its silence contrasts with university leaders’ loud condemnations of calls for the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, supposedly in order to defend “academic freedom.”
“Outstanding” Gaza student banned
On 23 January, Haaretz ran a report headlined, “Israel bars Gaza student from travel to U.S. for coexistence program.” It states that the Israeli group [Gisha] “says the refusal to issue a permit to the 21-year-old is indicative of a policy shift that is making it more difficult for Palestinian students to study abroad.”
According to Gisha, as quoted in Haaretz, “It’s not clear why Israel decided to toughen the restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinian academics in general, and in particular that of an outstanding student who received academic recognition from an institution as respectable as NYU.”
While the report does not name the student, the rights-monitoring group Gisha adds that Israel’s restriction was especially puzzling “in light of the fact that he was chosen to participate in a program that includes Israeli and Palestinian students who aspire to promote coexistence and reconciliation among the nations.”
Silence from NYU
The Electronic Intifada wrote to NYU president John Sexton, vice president for public affairs John Beckman, and other senior officials asking them for additional information as well as to inquire what steps the university was taking to counter Israeli measures that impede the academic freedom of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and siege.
Despite follow up requests in writing and by telephone over several days, the university ignored the inquiries.
According to its website, NYU runs a program called “Paths to Peace” which “brings sixteen students (eight per semester) of different faiths and backgrounds from Israel and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) to study together for one semester at New York University.”
NYU’s refusal to stand up for the academic freedom of Palestinians – including apparently participants in its own programs – is notable given Sexton’s loud objections to the recent American Studies Association (ASA) vote to endorse the academic boycott of Israeli institutions.
Sexton and university provost David McLaughlin issued a joint statement to the ASA “to express our disappointment, disagreement, and opposition to the boycott advocated by your organization of Israeli academics and academic institutions.”
“This boycott is at heart a disavowal of the free exchange of ideas and the free association of scholars that undergird academic freedom; as such, it is antithetical to the values and tenets of institutions of advanced learning,” the NYU leaders asserted.
The irony of the university’s silence now is not lost on Lisa Duggan, NYU professor of American studies and president-elect of the ASA.
“NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin have publicly claimed that the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel is an infringement of academic freedom,” Duggan wrote to The Electronic Intifada.
Yet, “they have nothing to say, not a word of protest, when Israel refuses to allow a student from Gaza to travel to attend an NYU program on reconciliation.”
Duggan noted that the university’s disregard for academic freedom applies not only to Palestinians, but also to scholars in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and China, where NYU has campuses.
“They do not protest myriad reported violations of academic freedom by governments where NYU global campuses are located,” Duggan adds.
“Their opposition to our boycott constitutes cynical pandering to pressure from pro-Israel groups, who wish to obscure that state’s violations of international law and human rights. Those are the all too often invisible violations that our boycott was adopted to protest.”
Duggan is right. If Sexton and NYU were concerned about academic freedom, they would show their courage, at least, on behalf of a student from Gaza.
Instead, they choose silence, a clear form of complicity in Israel’s ongoing assault on Palestinians.
Israeli forces use stun grenades and worshippers throw stones during clashes at the mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
Fucking Madness…. it’s like Israel is a high-school bully who can’t help antagonizing innocents.
Well, the Israel Lobby should be happy….
The Abbott government has sunk to a new diplomatic low, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggesting Israeli settlements should not be considered illegal.
Bishop made the comments during a visit to Israel. In a January 15 interview with the Times of Israel, she argued “the issue of settlements is absolutely and utterly fundamental to the negotiations that are under way and I think it’s appropriate that we give those negotiations every chance of succeeding”.
When asked if Israeli settlements inside Palestinian territory should be considered illegal, she replied: “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”
If Bishop were interested in an answer, she would have to look no further than the 49th article of the Geneva convention, which says: “[An] Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the convention does apply to the West Bank — occupied by Israel during the 1967 war — and that settlement building and the construction of the apartheid wall that protects the settlements are in violation of the convention.
The Obama administration reaffirmed in November they “do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity” after negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government broke down.
However, the truth is Israel’s allies, such as Australia and the US, have never exerted any real pressure to stop the expansion of settlements or insist on their removal from Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
The UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories Friday criticized Israel’s demolition of 36 homes in the Jordan Valley and urged a halt to such actions in the West Bank.
"I am deeply concerned about the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians… along the Jordan Valley where the number of structures demolished more than doubled in the last year," he said.
"This activity not only deprives Palestinians of access to shelter and basic services, it also runs counter to international law."
His office said more than 1,000 people had been displaced last year in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem by demolitions on the grounds that homes had been built without Israeli permits, “which are virtually impossible to obtain.”"
This is outrageous…. someone who claims a dedication to Human Rights drops that at a hat for an opportunity to make money off of ethnic cleansing and Zionism.
Hollywood actress ends role as ambassador for UK charity after endorsing Israeli firm working in the occupied West Bank.
Israel says one of the men killed in Beit Hanoun had fired rockets across the border during Ariel Sharon’s funeral last week
We’ve had enough of lazy journalism and stereotypes.
Philadelphia: Drop the charges against Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh now! November 13, 2013
Photo by Joe Piette
In latest row between Israel and EU, Romania refuses to allow its workers to build illegal settlements in the West Bank.
This is the equivalent of a nation not allowing its people to enforce apartheid. Or support genocide. Congrats, Romania, you are awesome.
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