EAP Equality Coalition letter to UCD regarding Study Abroad in Israel

The Education Abroad Program (EAP) Equality Coalition, a group of
concerned faculty and students at UC Davis, is today presenting a letter
endorsed by 389 signatories to Vice Provost William Lacy requesting that
the university discontinue its Summer Program in Israel, opened this
year. The letter contains both individual signatures and endorsements
from organizations such as Teachers Against the Occupation, Arab
Resource and Organizing Center and the Jones United Methodist Churches
of San Francisco. The letter points out that the Israel program fails to
meet the standards embodied in UC Davis’s published Principles of
Community, which forbid discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and
call for dignity and equality of treatment for all.

Despite assurances of formal security clearances being granted,
Arab-American students cannot expect to remain immune to the challenges
and problems faced by such persons in daily life in Israel, and would
therefore be unable to experience education abroad as a free and open
inquiry into and experience of living in another country. Students will
not visit Palestinian universities or the occupied territories and will
be prevented from gaining any first-hand experience of the appalling
conditions of life under occupation: the check-points, the illegal
settlements, the ‘security’ wall, the expropriation of Palestinian land
and water supplies, the de-facto and (in the case of Gaza) undisguised
economic blockade, among other breaches of human rights.

Such trips as are planned for the students will take place under the
armed supervision of members of the Israeli Defense Force, the same body
that has been responsible for the deaths of over 1500 people in Gaza, as
well as for the bombing and destruction of Palestinian homes and public
buildings, among them schools and universities. The reopening of the
Israel program in the aftermath of the Gaza massacres gives the
appearance that UC Davis is at best indifferent to these events or, at
worst, willing to endorse Israel’s past and present behavior toward its
non-Jewish citizens and neighbors. In the light of these serious
concerns the signatories believe that the program should be closed

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