Baladna Association for Arab Youth | August 2010
The reality of Haifa University is significantly remote from that of a campus based on values of academic freedom and action. The fact that in many cases the University acts as the extension of Israeli policy when addressing the Palestinian people as a whole indicates that the freedom of action is consciously limited, foremost when it comes to Palestinian students within the campus. This policy is expressed not only in issues relevant to freedom of action and expression but also in the processes for enrollment to universities, scholarship granting procedures as well as in the lectures themselves. In all of these cases it becomes clear that the general discriminative policy of Israeli governments can be identified with the decision-making procedure implemented by the University authorities.
University authorities, especially those of Haifa University, covering the highest number of Palestinian students, should hold immediate deliberation to lead to a new vision of the account of freedom of expression in Israel as well as the obligations of a campus in a multinational society. The indifference of Haifa University’s administration of the tense atmosphere within its campus, fully created under their responsibility, has come to destroy the value of freedom of speech. There is definite reason for serious concern that we will be facing a reality in which it will be too late to find a suitable solution.
This reality has dominated organizations of social change and human rights in Israel, especially Palestinian organizations. These organizations were apathetic to the human right violations of the Palestinian students especially when political parties like Beytenou felt the urge to implement their radical policies. Applying Lieberman”s policy is in fact a strike against universal values, the basis of civilized societies. This fact should trouble the Jewish population just as much as the continuation of integrating radical values into Jewish communities in Israel which has shown signs of failure in international politics.
Baladna”s Association for Arab Youth has been formulating a plan for the creation of a new discourse in all of the covered issues such as freedom of speech and action on campuses in Israel as well as prohibiting all forms of discrimination existent in the academic sphere. This discourse will be created together with Palestinian political groups within the campuses that work closely with promoting the rights of Palestinian students as well as the protection of Palestinian people’s rights.