Academic Call to Support Human Rights in Gaza: Boycott Israelis Universities sign now

We, academics at KTH, ask You to decide upon an academic boycott of Israeli universities considering the following facts:

For more than 60 years, Israel has been carrying out military assaults, seizing Palestinian lands; expanding its illegal colonies; grabbing more Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank including Jerusalem- and expelling people; demolishing homes, destroying farms, increasing checkpoints that paralyzed Palestinians daily life; assassinating political and social leaders; destroying grass roots social organizations; dehumanizing Palestinians, steeling water resources; occupying land, controlling airspace, sea, and economy; putting hundreds of politicians and thousands of people in the Israelis detention centers for years and put the rest of people under siege by either the ghetto-like communities across the West Bank or the blockade in Gaza; and finally a massive air strikes and ground invasion in the most densely populated area in the world.

Gaza: Since 2006 and Now

Since June 2006, the Palestinians have been paying unimaginable social cost and collectively punished for they decided on their elected government in the most decent democratic way as witnessed by the western monitors. In the last two years and since Hamas - the winning party in election - has held power, Gaza has been sealed and no one is allowed to enter or to exist for any reason. The whole people in Gaza have been put on - what an Israeli politician has mockingly described - on-diet. The only way people have been able to survive this far has been due to the tunnels that smuggle food and goods from Egypt. The lawlessness blockade was enforced to maintain Gaza under siege, starvation, humiliation, diseased, and exposed to selective assassination which turned Gaza into an open air prison. Only barely enough food and fuel was allowed to enter to hinder mass famine and disease.

On the 27th of December 2008, Israel began a military operation on Gaza started with a massive bombarding from air, land, and sea destroyed: police stations, homes, public building, water treatment plants, the only mental health clinic in Gaza, mosques, pharmacies, electrical and water lines, power transformers, fishing villages and fishing boats and the little fishing port, roads, transport facilities, food warehouses, science buildings, small factories, shops, and schools including the UN-schools where the children flee to as shelters. In two cases, UN-schools were bombed killing 43 victims and 6 victims-who were taken shelter there- respectively. In another assault, Israel has bombed the UN headquarter. As a result of these hits, two warehouses (which store food commodities, medical supplies) started on fire and were destroyed.

More, the burned dead bodies of the victims and the treated injured people who lost their organs indicates that, according to the UN and several Human Rights Organizations, Israel is using experimental weapons, banned by the international law, like the Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) and the white phosphors bombs.

The death toll so far, 20 Jan 2009, has surpassed 1300 and the injured exceeds 5200 of which 50 per cent of whom are children and women, not to speak of other civilian.

In addition to human causalities, the Israeli assault systematically destructed all forms of civil infrastructure in Gaza, including the principle university that provides education for more than 18,000 students. This comes after long systematic isolation of Palestinians which at some points paralyzed the educational process. In an EU-TEMPUS educational Program, KTH cooperated with An-Najah National University at Nablus in the West Bank. KTH staff could not conduct a single visit to the Palestinian university during the three years project period, mainly due to blockage, visa rejection and the deteriorated security situation.

While the situation in Gaza has taken the scene for now, the main issue that must be kept in mind goes back for sixty years of aggression and occupation regardless of all UN resolutions demanding ending the occupation. The Israeli military occupation continues in Gaza and the West Bank to this moment with no international effort to force Israel to end it.

There is an urgent demand for public response and social action from all the segments of the worlds civil society. We, academics at KTH as a leading academic community, depart from our concerns of human rights conventions, commitment to the ethical policy of our university (KTH), the EU norms and agreements regarding respect for human rights and democratic principles, our concerns as taxpayers, refusal to be diminished as members of civilized society to urge the top administration of the KTH to Boycott of Israelis universities and all academic exchanges. From previous experiences, like in South Africa, such peaceful protest against oppression, were successful in ending violation of human rights and bringing justice.

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Manuela PetersBy:
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