Israeli universities lend support to Gaza massacre

Ali Jadallah APA images

Two leading Israeli academic institutions are offering strong support for Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza.

Tel Aviv University is giving students who serve in the attack on Gaza one year of free tuition.

“Tel Aviv University embraces and supports all the security forces who are working to restore quiet and security to Israel, including its students and employees called up to reserve duty,” the institution says in 24 July statement on its official website.

The context for the university’s declaration “is that there a witch hunt against Palestinian students [who are citizens of Israel] and others who are posting in social media against the Israeli occupation forces attack on Gaza,” Nadim Nashif, director of Baladna – the Association for Arab Youth, told The Electronic Intifada.

The university “wouldn’t say directly” that their statement is aimed at such dissenters, Nashif added, “but for people here it is clear.”

The university statement continues:

Tel Aviv University absolutely condemns and denounces the hurtful and extreme statements being circulated nowadays over social media – statements that have no place in the public discourse. The university will take action in accordance with its disciplinary regulations, which are applicable to students and employees, in the any event of any infraction.

It is signed “In hope for quieter days.”

Meanwhile, Tel Aviv University announced that it would be providing students called up to serve in Gaza one year’s free tuition and the scholarships would be funded by “private donors” and “friends of the university.”

Tel Aviv University president Joseph Klafter expressed his “appreciation” for students who went to serve in the army and said “Tel Aviv University has contributed and still contributes greatly to national security.”

Israeli attacks killed at least 26 Palestinians since midnight on Friday, including 45-year-old Salah Ahmad Abu Hasanin and his three sons Abd al-Aziz, 15, Hadi, 12, and nine-year-old Abd al-Hadi, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Israel’s latest killings brought to at least 825 the number of Palestinians killed in 18 consecutive days of Israeli bombardment.

At least 170 of the dead are children.

More than 5,240 people have been injured and nearly 150,000 are desperately seeking shelter.

On Thursday, at least seventeen people died when Israel shelled a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip where hundreds of displaced persons were sheltering.

Collecting goods for the troops

Meanwhile, a notice circulated at Hebrew University announces a collection for goods including hygiene products, snacks and cigarettes “for the soldiers at the front according to the demand reported by the IDF [Israeli army] units.”

The notice, signed by the university along with its academic staff committee and the official student union, says “we have opened collection centers on all four campuses.”

A copy of the notice was posted to Facebook by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

These are examples of the kind of brazen complicity in Israel’s violence against Palestinians that has led Palestinians to call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

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Dear Ali

My Name is Ali Valamanesh, living in Australia.

Fist of all would like to congratulate you for your book and the Idea.

And I am so sorry I was oblivious about you and your struggle in regards to the Israel – Palestine problem.

I heard about your book a few days ago and I’ll try to get and read it ASAP; though I don’t need to get convinced. Because, I have been thinking about the same lines for many years and trying to share it with others and do something about it. Unfortunately I was not a professional writer and too busy to earn a living to be able to research for the necessary facts and figures. I am sure that your book can provide me with the necessary information to be able to argue strongly for the idea.

The ideas that I have thought to work in regards the promoting the one country solution are:

1 – To suggest it as a pressing issue for the Model United Nations Conference in Adelaide
http://samunc.com/

Hoping that the idea can be presented to the world and UN.

2 - I was also thing of a promotion and fundraising travel from one end of Australia to the other and then from Australia to London or Paris

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This article underscores the complete subordination of the higher education system in Israel to the demands of the military establishment. Universities there are staffed at the academic and administrative levels by IDF officers, and the institutions themselves are fully integrated into the extremist networks which govern the politics of the nation. There is no aspect of the current genocide which is not bolstered and sustained by research, ideological training, and production centred in these facilities. It is vital that an awareness of the violent, racist work ongoing in Israeli universities be conveyed to the public around the word. Every teacher, every student must understand that constructive engagement with these forces is impossible, that they must be denied the legitimacy they seek through conventional academic exchange. Israeli universities are engines of destruction, and it is time to sever links between them and institutions of higher learning everywhere.

BDS.

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Not so much a comment but a strong agreement with the comment made by Tom Hall. Israeli universities should be boycotted in every way possible. They are clearly enemies of academic freedom; indeed boycotts against these schools uphold this ideal.

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It seems to me the rocket attacks by the Palestinians are not an alternative to non-violent resistance but should be viewed as an extension of it. Given Israeli civil defense shelters and air defense systems, the rockets pose negligible threat to human life but shatter Israeli indifference to the occupation and keep the issue on the front pages of world news, (albeit, at absolutely horrifying cost to Palestinians).

With no solution in sight, the rocket attacks have nevertheless brought the Palestinians far closer to some resolution of this conflict than conventional non-violent means, which are too easily ignored by the media and world opinion. Further, those of us supporting the Palestinian struggle should insist that standards of conduct are applied equally and fairly. If the Israelis can bomb and bulldoze anything they feel is a threat to their security, Palestinians should be able to bomb and bulldoze any parts of Israel that threaten Palestinian security, which means the whole of Israel and every structure in it are legitimate targets.

Obviously, neither side should be permitted such leeway, but arguing for consistency may be the best way to get there. The media should be hounded to provide details after every attack on Israel. How many IDF were killed? Because by Israeli standards, if a bus is blown up in Tel Aviv and even ONE IDF is aboard that bus, then the target is legitimate and Israel is guilty of using the civilian passengers as "human shields."

Finally, a word of thanks to Ali, who has brought the Palestinian cause to the fore with so much eloquence and deep understanding.

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Whether called Hamas or Hooreeya, no people would capitulate and surrender to occupation and its abhorrent settler occupation goals. Hamas are used as a scapegoat for Israel to acquire and annex more land for Eretz Yisrael. That's it! No more, no less! This is the only message that should be conveyed to the world as it underscores the true intentions of the Zionism goal to rid the land of historic Palestine of all goyim!

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During the 1973 war, the Hebrew University added payments of both the Compulsory War Loan and the Voluntary War Loan to all student fees. Although I reluctantly paid the compulsory loan, I refused to add the voluntary loan. My payment was rejected, and I was threatened with expulsion. It took months before I was permitted not to pay the "voluntary" loan.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.