“Where's the Academic Outrage Over the Bombing of a University
Imagine: your university is bombarded with tons of explosives!!
On Saturday December 27th, 2008, the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) was ready to start the final exams of the fall semester for more than 20,000 students. On that day, more than 60 Israeli American-made F16 warplanes began to bomb the Palestinian population of Gaza at a time when the maximum number of children were going to and coming from schools.
On the next day, Sunday December 28th, Israeli F16 fighters bombed IUG with several missiles targeting two-six-storey buildings housing all university’s laboratories belonging to the colleges of IT, engineering and science. As in all other universities all over the world, these labs served the enhancement of teaching and learning skills.
The bombardment of both buildings also caused extensive damages to all university buildings, including the central library and lecture halls and led to major disarray in completing the fall semester, entailing the inability of hundreds of students to graduate.
Although IUG has repeatedly emphasized pure academic activities conducted in its buildings and labs, such horrific attack is the 3rd of its kind in less than three years
The bombing come at a time IUG faces major financial difficulties as many students’ families cannot pay fees due to the high rate of unemployment caused by the siege imposed on Gaza by the Israeli army.
The Israeli propaganda machine which accompanied the brutal aggression in order to justify the extensive damages to many civilian educational and health facilities broadcasts massive misinformation, allegations and lies about the targets Israeli warplanes destroyed. To prevent any independent verification of the Israeli lies, the Israeli army prevented all foreign journalists and human rights monitors from entering Gaza during the aggression.
After the attack stopped, the truth of the destructive bombing and using both internationally banned white phosphorus shells and dime bombs against civilian targets have been steadily confirmed by UN institutions, international media (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/printer10214.shtml) and above all Israeli academics and human rights groups who condemned such attacks.
We firmly believe that the illegal Israeli occupation has endlessly violated legitimacy of the international community and international law and has deliberately targeted the Palestinian academic institutions, including IUG, in a vain attempt to keep the Palestinians ignorant and insecure so that the oppressive Israeli occupation could last longer.
We therefore call upon all academics, faculty associations, student unions, professional and colleagues at large to show their support and solidarity to the right of the Palestinians to education. Several positive worldwide steps have already been taken including boycotting Israeli academic cultural institutions and activities.
Your solidarity and support for the right to education in Palestine is vital and highly appreciated.
Please spread wide and far. Email: [hidden email]
Dr Kamalain Sha'ath
President, the Islamic University of Gaza
Tel 970 8 282 3310
Fax 970 8 286 3552
What to do more? Take further actions and Update your knowledge.
1. Support Amnesty International calls and urge your country foreign secretary to call for credible accountability for war crimes Israel committed in Gaza. (http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=551)
2. Support the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for "a full investigation and to make those responsible people accountable." (http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/stories/2009/attacks_un_in_gaza_jan09.html)
3. Boycotting Israeli academic institutions and refraining from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation where Israelis are involved.
4. Lobbying (emails, letter, fax, etc) your MP and government to pressure the government of Israel to adhere to its legal obligations to end occupation and stop attacking Palestinian educational institutions.
5. Preparing and signing petitions calling, education institutions, on trade unions, organizations, social and political movements and concerned individuals around the world to boycott Israeli academic and cultural institutions.
6. Initiating active academic relations with IUG through departmental academic links; student and faculty exchange and joint research projects.
7. Making a donation to reconstruct the IUG buildings and facilities.
8. Sponsoring students to enable them to continue their education.
9. Sponsoring IUG faculty member's participation in international academic conferences
10. Plan activities at the university and coordinate with other concerned groups in and out of the academia working for justice and human rights in Palestine.
Update your knowledge
1. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI): http://www.pacbi.org/
2. US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: http://usacbi.wordpress.com/
3. British Committee for the Universities of Palestine: http://www.bricup.org.uk/
4. Right to Education website: http://right2edu.birzeit.edu
5. Boycott, Divestment ans Sanctions for Palestine: http://www.bds-palestine.net/
6. Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net/
7. Palestine Solidarity Campaign: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index2b.asp
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