1 Jan 2009

Palestinian academics in survival plea

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.

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.

Also spotted this on the comments from an Engage post.

Union urges immediate boycott following Gaza university bombing
Appeal, Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, 30 December 2008

The following appeal was issued on 29 December 2008:

The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees condemns in the strongest possible terms the bombing today of the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza. This wanton destruction of an academic institution is only the latest in the ongoing lethal campaign launched by the Israeli government and army against Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip. This murderous rampage has caused more than 300 deaths and the injury of close to 1,500 Palestinians. And the carnage continues with impunity.

We add our voice to the urgent appeal issued two days ago by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) urging international civil society not just to protest and condemn Israel’s massacre in Gaza, but also to join and intensify the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel to end its impunity and to hold it accountable for its persistent violations of international law and Palestinian rights. We agree that, without sustained, effective pressure by people of conscience the world over, Israel will continue with its gradual, rolling acts of genocide against the Palestinians, burying any prospects for a just peace under the blood and rubble of Gaza, Nablus and Jerusalem.

Today, at the height of the lethal Israeli assault against the Palestinian people in Gaza, we are met with deafening silence emanating from the Israeli academy. Does it condone the murderous bombing campaign that its government is carrying out in the name of all Israelis? Are the members of the academy dutifully preparing for the reserve call-up just approved by their government, ready to serve in the death squads committing war crimes around the clock? Are Israeli universities willing to call for an end to the occupation? Are they going to cut their organic and deep-rooted ties with the military-security establishment? There is no doubt that the aggression against the Gaza Strip has reached horrendous proportions, described by many international public figures as constituting war crimes and a continuation of the ethnic cleansing unleashed 60 years ago.

We urge academics around the world to intensify their boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and to isolate the Israeli academy in international forums, associations of academics, and other international venues. Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the entrenched system of oppression practiced by the Israeli state, and their silence at this critical moment is only the most vociferous indicator of this complicity.

Dr. Amjad Barham
Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees


Anonymous said...

You found that on Engage? Engage are zionist scum, people who try to thwart any meaningful moves for solidarity with the victims, the Palestinians, and think Israel is above criticism.

Engage are racist hate-mongers, liars, and cowards.

Levi9909 said...

yeah Derek try to be careful with what you praise and link to. you need to point out that the post by Engage was a list of hasbara (ie zionist propaganda) sites, not one of the sites linked by Hirsh criticises Israel's actions in Gaza and that dissenting comments have only recently been allowed through to the Engage site on the grounds that Hirsh can swamp them with trolls and sock puppets.

I came here specifically because you left a comment on Hirsh's Gaza post saying "thanks for the above". "Above" your comment is one from a zionist describing the Palestinian University as a legitimate target. It looks like you are praising that.

You have given credibility to Engage. No easy thing. Could you add a disclaimer to your post and go back to Engage and make it clear that you were "thanking" for the plea from Gaza and in no way supporting the idea that a Palestinian university is a legitimate target?

Sorry, to go on, but you've also misspelled "survival" as "surival".

Apart from that Happy New Year from Jews sans frontieres!!!


Derek Wall said...

well surprisingly I found the statement from Dr. Amjad Barham as a comment at the Engage site!

I am critical of Engage though as you probably know.

Levi9909 said...

yep I do but thousands wouldn't if all they saw was a comment by you on the Engage site saying "thank you for the above" just below a comment describing the Islamic University as a legitimate target.

Anyway, if I recognise you tomorrow I'll come and say hello.