The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) supports the call for Ohio State University and other higher education institutions to cut ties with Tel Aviv University, including ending study abroad and academic exchange programs. USACBI’s campaign to Boycott Study Abroad in Israel advocates for the termination of all such programs at Israeli universities.
The call issued by Students for Justice in Palestine at Ohio State University highlights one serious aspect of the deep complicity of Tel Aviv University in Israeli apartheid and colonization – the ongoing practice of detaining the bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli occupation forces. This cruel practice prevents families from providing their loved ones with a proper burial and serves as a form of collective punishment and psychological torture against the broader Palestinian community and population as a whole.
The slaying of Ahmad Erekat by Israeli occupation forces has helped to shine a spotlight on their abhorrent practice of using the bodies of slain Palestinians as political bargaining chips to attempt to extract concessions on the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.
As noted by SJP at Ohio State University in their statement that you can sign onto here, “On June 2020, 27 year old Ahmad Erekat was running errands for his sister’s wedding day. At a Container checkpoint in Abu-Dis, a Palestinian village in the Occupied West Bank, Ahmad briefly lost control of his car, which then became lodged on a curb. Upon stepping out to observe the damage to his vehicle, Ahmad was shot with lethal force by Israeli soldiers. For the next hour and a half, Israeli occupying forces prevented both Palestine Red Crescent Society and Israeli ambulances from distributing medical care to Ahmad, who lay in the street and bled to death as his father watched helplessly…Currently, Ahmad’s body is being held at the Greenberg National Institute of Forensic Medicine, an affiliate of Tel Aviv University among at least 63 other Palestinians who have yet to be returned to their families . Ahmad’s family would simply like to lay him to rest, yet the bodies of murdered Palestinians are often withheld from their loved ones as political bargaining chips, a practice greenlit by the Israeli High Court in 2019.”
This practice is far from anomalous. Israeli universities and academic institutions are deeply involved in structures of occupation and colonization. Their direct complicity includes but is certainly not limited to the construction of university buildings on Palestinian land stolen during the Nakba and after; their participation in Israeli military research and development; and their institutional racism, discrimination and repression targeting Palestinian students from occupied Palestine ’48. In addition, Israel bars entry to students of Palestinian descent and those with pro-Palestinian views in violation of most US universities’ pledge of equal access to study abroad programs
We join the call for U.S. and international universities to cut their ties with Tel Aviv University and end their complicity in the ongoing detention of Palestinian bodies and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. We also urge these universities and all students, faculty and staff to endorse the academic boycott of Israel as called for by Palestinian students, faculty, academic unions and civil society.
General Call to cut ties with Tel Aviv University: https://secure.avaaz.org/community_petitions/en/to_princeton_university_cfaculty_universities_and__boycott_and_cut_ties_with_tel_aviv_university_the_greenberg_institute_until_ahmed_and_ot/