Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University to cut ties with Israeli academia

Date: 01 / 02 / 2009 Time: 19:18 | Ma’an News

Al-Quds University will cease all forms of academic cooperation with Israeli academic institutions soon, the school”s board determined on Sunday.

“In cooperation with all sides and under an accepted timetable,” the university will phase out programs and cooperation, the university board said in a statement.

It added that, “If the two-state solution is as far away today as it was ten years ago, there is no justification for continued academic cooperation based on reaching that solution.”

“And there is no justification for continued official and non-official cooperation in other fields, foremost security coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel,” the board noted.

“Ending academic cooperation is aimed at, first of all, pressuring Israel to abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped demanding,” the board said.

It also noted that the decision came “in response to the prior Israeli onslaught [on Gaza]; the acts and policies of Israeli governments over the past ten years, including settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the tightening of the siege on the occupied territories and thwarting any negotiated peace process that will lead to an independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.”

It also affirmed the necessity for all those involved, including government organizations, civil society groups, domestic and international, to focus on a just and prompt solution for the Palestinian cause. The statement insisted that all parties involved press for a solution according to “international legitimacy and Arab and international efforts.”

The board called for the international community to pressure the Israeli government to comply with international legitimacy and call for taking legal and political action for Israel”s “dangerous crimes and violations in Gaza,” as well as Israel”s “illegal acts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

Finally, the university board expressed disappointment over the absence of serious protest from Israeli academia, in particular, and civil society organizations, in general, as well as the failure of these organizations to “understand the injustice that Palestinians are suffering from,” calling on local, international and regional academics to support the university”s stance by halting academic cooperation with Israeli institutions.

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