600 academics call on Irish universities to cut ties with Israeli institutions

Trinity College, Dublin. Pic: William Murphy. https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/6995209237

More than 600 academics have asked universities in Ireland to sever ties with Israeli institutions as “the scale and severity of Israel’s current war on the Gaza Strip has exceeded all previous levels of violence in the prolonged and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

The joint letter signed by academics in and from Ireland, published by the Irish Times on Saturday, condemned the Israeli attacks in Gaza as “a campaign of ethnic cleansing and, according to many experts, genocidal violence.”

It said that many Irish universities and EU-funded research projects have active collaborations with Israeli universities.

“We call on all universities in Ireland to immediately sever any existing institutional partnerships or affiliations with Israeli institutions,” the letter read.

“Those ties should be suspended until the occupation of Palestinian territory is ended, the Palestinian rights to equality and self-determination are vindicated, and the right of Palestinian refugees to return is facilitated.”

The letter added: “The incursion by Palestinian armed groups on October 7th included criminal attacks against civilians. But under no circumstances does international law permit the systematic bombardment and collective punishment of civilians in a besieged occupied territory.”

“The dehumanising language and tropes widely used by Israeli leaders in reference to Palestinians echo those typically associated with genocidal incitement and intent,” it said.

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The letter underlined that more than 3,700 children have been killed in Israeli bombardments, a number exceeding “the annual number of children killed in the rest of the world’s armed conflicts combined.”

It added: “Many more Palestinians are dying from the lack of fuel, water, electricity and medical supplies due to the deliberate blockade. Gaza’s hospitals are barely able to function – no power for ventilators, using vinegar as antiseptic, performing surgeries without anaesthetic – and continue to be hit by Israeli airstrikes.

“The situation is beyond inhumane.”

It underlined: “Leading Jewish and Israeli scholars of Holocaust and genocide studies have called this ‘a textbook case of genocide.’ Bosnian genocide experts have likewise stated that “what is happening in Gaza is genocide.”

The letter also raised concerns that some Palestinian universities in Gaza have been destroyed, and academics and students have been killed.

“With the atrocities in Gaza now added to Israel’s 75 years of colonisation and occupation of Palestinian lands, there should be nothing remotely approximate to ‘business as usual’ continuing,” it said.​​​​​​​

To view the signatories see here.

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