From Israeli citizens to Sciences Po Rennes - Please Cancel Cooperation Agreement with Tel Aviv University
We are Israeli citizens, active against the Israeli government and the entire Israeli establishment's policies of racism, occupation, and apartheid. Most of us are students or alumni of Israeli universities. We have come to recognize the pivotal role which Israeli universities, not least Tel Aviv University (TAU), play in the aforementioned wrongdoings.
We support Palestinian civil society's call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel's apartheid and occupation institutions until human rights violations against the Palestinian people come to an end. In the spirit of this universalist struggle for human rights, we would like to call on Sciences Po Rennes to cancel its cooperation agreement with TAU.
The Israeli academia has been complicit in several ways in Israel's crimes of apartheid and occupation, including military research and development and strategic military planning. For instance, the Israeli Technion (Haifa) has been involved in military drone projects with Elbit; Tel Aviv University is affiliated with the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which issues strategic analyses and recommendations to Israeli decision makers. For example, Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Colonel Gabriel Siboni of INSS was involved in the drafting of the famous Dahiya Doctrine paper, advocating the wanton destruction of entire residential areas by the Israeli army in war. The doctrine has been implemented in several brutal Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, which have resulted in a very large number of civilian casualties.
Furthermore, TAU is situated on the ruins of a former Palestinian village, Sheikh Muaniss, which wasdepopulated during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, known as the Nakba. The Nakba was a systematic, violent campaign by the new state of Israel which involved massacre, expulsion, land theft, demolition, and robbery and property crime. One building, known as the "Green House", which was kept intact, is now being used by TAU as a club for faculty members. TAU has never recognized their wrongdoing of establishing a university on the ruins of a depopulated village. Furthermore, TAU, along with other universities, has provided political and material support to Israeli onslaughts on the defenseless population of the besieged Gaza strip in the summer of 2014.
We would like to note that in accordance with Palestinian civil society's call for an institutional academic boycott of Israeli universities, we are all advocating a mild and moderate boycott, rather than a personal one. For example, Israeli members of academia are free to publish articles and take part in conferences abroad on an individual basis. We are merely asking French universities not to grant institutional legitimacy to the wrongdoings in which TAU is complicit.
Therefore, we call on you to refrain from all institutional ties with TAU and attend the call of your students to cancel your agreement with Tel Aviv University.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within)