LONDON/Jerusalem - Hundreds of British academics said Tuesday they would boycott contact with Israeli universities over the state’s “intolerable human rights violations” towards Palestinians.
The announcement, entitled “A commitment by UK scholars to the rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in The Guardian newspaper.
The 343 academics from 72 institutions said they would still work with Israeli colleagues on an individual basis.
“We are deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement,” the advert said. They said they would not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions, participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, “or otherwise cooperate with them”.
Jonathan Rosenhead, from the London School of Economics, a spokesman for the boycott, said Israeli universities were “at the heart of Israel’s violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people”.
Meanwhile, two Palestinians were shot dead after stabbing and wounding an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, and an American-Israeli wounded in an attack two weeks ago died of his injuries, an Israeli hospital said.
An Israeli court on Tuesday ordered the jailing of a firebrand cleric whose Islamist group has been accused of inciting a wave of violence over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
Raed Salah, the head of the radical northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was found guilty on appeal of inciting violence at the holy site in a 2007 speech.
However he has also been on the government’s radar for stoking current tensions over the compound that has led to a wave of anti-Israeli knife attacks, shootings and violent protests.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised last week to ban the Islamic Movement for “wild incitement” of the current attacks.
During the speech in 2007, Salah urged “all Muslims and Arabs (to) start an intifada (uprising) to support holy Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque.”
Salah was ordered to present himself to prison officers on November 15.