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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

400 American scholars boycott Israeli academic institutions

PLO Department of Palestinians Expatriates Affairs confirmed Friday that more than 400 American scholars and anthropologists signed a petition to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
The petition came to voice their “opposition to the ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, including the Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and to boycott Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in these violations.”
The undersigned anthropologists said that Israel has maintained an illegal siege on the Gaza Strip for seven years, severely restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory.
“As anthropologists, we feel compelled to join academics around the world who support the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions. This call is part of a long-standing appeal by Palestinian civil society organizations for the comprehensive implementation of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, and is supported by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)”.
The undersigned anthropologists called for ending Israel’s siege of Gaza, its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and for dismantling the settlements and the separation wall.
They also called for recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the stateless Negev Bedouins to full equality; and for respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

In a related context, spokeswoman for US State Department Jen Psaki criticized Israel’s decision to move forward its plan for 2,600 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem, saying that the step would send a “troubling message” if the Israeli government proceeded with tenders and construction.
Prime Minister Netanyahu hit back at criticism lodged at Israel by the US, saying the Obama administration should learn the facts on the ground before condemning the units.
In response, Washington rebuffed a contention by Netanyahu that it was ill-informed of East Jerusalem building plans when it leveled its sharp criticism against Israel, saying Thursday it is well aware of the situation on the ground as sources in Jerusalem had provided the government with clear information regarding the approved construction plans.
However, Psaki stressed that “Israel remains a friend and ally” a contrast to Wednesday’s warning that Israel’s building will “distance their closest allies.”

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