Thursday, October 04, 2007

Supporting Palestinians

Jon Pike made a speech on the 2nd October about the death of the campaign to discriminate against Israeli academics. That's what you'd expect.

In the speech he goes on to make a welcome call for support for "real solidarity" with Israeli and Palestinian students and academics by supporting Gisha, Center for the the Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement, and Hamoked, Center for the Defence of the Inividual, and FQMS, the Foundation for Al Quds University Medical School.

Hamoked described itself as
Hamoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual is an Israeli human rights organization whose main objective is to assist Palestinians of the Occupied Territories whose rights are violated due to Israel's policies.
Both Gisha and Hamoked "oppose the restriction placed on Palestinians form studying at Israeli universities."whilst FQMS
provides teaching, and examiners on the medicine courses at Al Quds University and its Abu Dis campus. The Foundation provides funding for Palestinian students to train over here, and covers travel costs for British medics to go over to Al Quds. In particular, some of the teaching is at a distance, by email and video conferencing, including with students in Gaza.
Pike goes on to say
We publicised and campaigned around the case of Sawsan Salameh, prevented from taking up her PhD place at Hebrew University Jerusalem. There are, right now, restrictions placed on the travel of Palestinian students, and in some cases these are preventing them from taking up places at UK Universities.

We could not do this sort of work, as a union, before. We could not say a simple thing: that it’s wrong to discriminate in access to education merely on the basis of nationality. Now, we can say this, and in due time, we might even get a hearing. The fact that our voice may easily be dismissed in Israel at present is the fault of the boycotters. Right now it is important to raise the issue of the Bradford student from Gaza who is prevented from taking up his place because of the restrictions placed on exit and travel.

It is important to campaign against restrictions of travel rights for peaceful Palestinians. Free movement is a general human right.

Any policy of collective punishment or the assumption that people of a certain ethnicity are all guilty is racist and morally wrong. Guilt is an individual thing and should be punished accordingly.

Support Gisha, Hamoked, FQMS and B'Tselem.

[FQMS's president was Lord Gilmour who died in September 2007. Their website has not been updated since. Their aims are worthwhile but their website maintenance is sporadic.]

[Hat tip: Norm]

No comments: