Support Hampshire College SJP

Ever since it announced to widespread applause its decision to divest from the Israeli occupation, Hampshire College administration is being hammered by the Israel lobby’s flak machine led by Zionist fanatic Alan Dershowitz (best known for his academic malpractices) who is threatening the institution with withdrawal of funding, unless, Inside Higher Ed reports, ‘Hampshire resolves any ambiguities and clearly states that it rejects student efforts to divest from the Jewish state. “What they have to do is make it impossible for the students to plausibly be able to declare victory,” said Dershowitz, whose son went to Hampshire.’ But Hampshire students are standing strong (here they are in their own words). They are calling on the institution’s administration to embrace the moment. They recognize that this is ‘bigger than Hampshire‘.(For full coverage check out the indispensalbe MondoWeiss)

Following is a call from  Hampshire students for support. This is a historical moment. Please take the time to apprise the administration of your views.

Dear Supporters,

Over the last 24 hours, there has been a huge response from students, parents, journalists, activists, public figures, political organizations, and individuals such as yourselves from across the country and the world congratulating us for our historic achievement this week.  We are impressed and heartened by your passion in supporting us in this exciting campaign.

Continue reading “Support Hampshire College SJP”

The spirit of ’68 is reawakening

‘Students are revolting’, Emily Dugan of the Independent reports. ‘Campus sit-ins began as a response to the Gaza attacks, but unrest is already spilling over to other issues’.

They are the iPod generation of students: politically apathetic, absorbed by selfish consumerism, dedicated to a few years of hedonism before they land a lucrative job in the City. Not any more. A seismic change is taking place in British universities.

Around the UK, thousands of students have occupied lecture theatres, offices and other buildings at more than 20 universities in sit-down protests. It seems that the spirit of 1968 has returned to the campus.

While it was the situation in Gaza that triggered this mass protest, the beginnings of political enthusiasm have already spread to other issues.

Continue reading “The spirit of ’68 is reawakening”

Dennis Brutus encourages solidarity action

Najwan Darwish (Jerusalem), Dennis Brutus, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad (PULSE co-founder), Somaya Al Susi (Gaza), Salim Al Nafar (Gaza)
Dennis Brutus after the Palestinian poetry night. Left to right: Najwan Darwish (Jerusalem), Dennis Brutus, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad (PULSE co-founder), Somaya Al Susi (Gaza), Salim Al Nafar (Gaza)

We have been flooded with messages of support and encouragement from across the world since our recent successful action at the University of Strathclyde. Of all the wonderful messages we have received there is none more meaningful than the one from Dennis Brutus, the great South African poet and anti-Apartheid campaigner who pushed to get South Africa suspended from the Olympics which eventually lead to the country’s expulsion from the games in 1970. He once took a bullet for his convictions and was incarcerated along with Mandela on Robben Island. Back in 2005, I had the pleasure of meeting this great man at the G8 Alternatives summit, and today I was delighted to see Prof. Brutus’s message of solidarity.

He also added: ‘we need solidarity action from scottish workers – especiallly scottish dockworker ; also from students in britain – they were great at anti-apartheid actions – especially in Aberdeen, Edinburgh Falkirk and Glasgow; we marched together, as I well remember’.

Strathclyde Students Win Agreement

Students at the University of Strathclyde have just scored another victory for Palestine. After an overnight occupation of the Administration building (photos here) and following a rally earlier today the University has finally agreed to the following four demands:

  1. The university will no longer place any further orders with Eden Springs.
  2. Scholarships: The university will fund 1-3 students from Gaza.
  3. The DEC appeal will be posted all across the University and also on the University’s website.
  4. The University will issue a press release reiterating Strathclyde University’s longstanding relationship with the Islamic University of Gaza.
  5. The University denies that it has any links with BAE systems beyond the company funding one student to the sum of £5000 in the engineering department. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and we shall investigate this further.

Here is a photo of the actual handwritten, signed agreement

Israel Academic Boycott Movement Comes to U.S, Australia

Ha’aretz reports on the sudden growth of an American movement to boycott the Israeli academy, in protest at the Zionist ‘scholasticide’ aimed at Palestinian schools, universities, and students. Palestinians have long had the reputation of being the best educated population in the Arab world, but this is now under threat. For years, students in the occupied West Bank and Gaza have had only intermittent access to education as a result of curfews, closures and checkpoints. The Red Cross has found that children in Gaza are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies – which affect brain development – as a result of the Israeli siege of the territory. Studies have shown that more than half of children in Gaza suffered post-traumatic stress disorder before the latest massacre, a condition which results in insomnia, panic attacks, and an inability to concentrate. And during the massacre, Israel targetted schools and the Islamic university (which, despite its name, teaches secular subjects). In this context, anti-boycott lobbyists’ evocation of ‘academic freedom’ seems (to be polite about it) to miss the point. Palestinian civil society organisations, and anti-Zionist Israeli academics such as Ilan Pappe, have called for the boycott.

A call to join the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott, and then the mission statement of the Australian Academic Boycott of Israel follow. Please send on this information to all your academic contacts. Continue reading “Israel Academic Boycott Movement Comes to U.S, Australia”

International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

International support for the academic boycott of Israel. This time in the Progressive magazine.

We stand in support of the indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza, who are fighting for their survival against one of the most brutal uses of state power in both this century and the last.

We condemn Israel’s recent (December 2008/ January 2009) breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip, which include the bombing of densely-populated neighborhoods, illegal deployment of the chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities, and places of worship. We condemn Israel’s restriction of access to media and aid workers.

Continue reading “International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel”