Engagement - Not Bans and Boycotts

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 14/10/2006 - 08:35

Engage was set up to campaign for links rather than boycotts as a way of supporting justice in Israel/Palestine. It initially concentrated its efforts on opposing the call for an academic boycott of Israel, but is now campaigning against the Israeli government's outrageous imposition of a ban on Paletinians studying at Israeli universities.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with everything Engage says about everything, but I wouldn't disagree with anything in this circular. So I'm happy to agree to their request to publicise this campaign. Here it is, in their own words ...

Engage - call for action: Challenge the ban on Palestinian students attending Israeli universities! Support Israeli academics and Universities in their opposition to the ban!

ENGAGE agrees with opposition to the outrageous general ban on Palestinian students attending Israeli universities. "At a time when Israeli professors are rightfully opposing attempts to prevent them from teaching just because they are Israeli‚ Gisha calls upon Israel not to prevent Palestinian students from studying just because they are Palestinian. Academic freedom is universal." (Sari Bashi, Director of Gisha)

Academic international exchange is a 'good' in itself and can form part of a path to peace. Engage unambiguously opposes all attempts to apply discrimination on the basis of nationality to academic interchange, whether in the form of a boycott of Israeli institutions and individuals, or in the form of a universal ban on Palestinians studying in Israel.

Israel's universities are also taking a strong stand on this issue.

While ongoing calls to boycott Israeli Jewish academics and institutions are a vicious attack on academic freedom, a blanket ban on Palestinian admittance to Israeli universities is also a serious attack on fundamental human rights. Israel's academic institutions have a policy of open entry to anyone who meets their academic criteria without regard to gender, religion, ethnicity or nationality. They should be allowed to continue to make their own judgements on who they admit. The Government-imposed ban should be rescinded immediately.

Please help bring this issue to wider attention and help promote our practical suggestions for solidarity with Israeli and Palestinian academics and institutions seeking the reversal of such a policy by following the proposals recommended by Dr Paul Frosh of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem here and Jon Pike @ Engage here.

Write to Education Minister Yuli Tamir and ask her to intervene to cancel the ban:
MK Professor Yuli Tamir
Minister of Education
Education Ministry
Fax: 02-5602246, Email: ytamir@knesset.gov.il

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