Eleven University of Leeds scholars have declared that they will be boycotting Israeli academic institutions in response to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
The declaration to show solidarity to Palestinians has a list of 300 signatories from a range of British universities who will be boycotting the universities. It was published in The Guardian on Tuesday.
In the article, named ‘A Commitment by UK Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians’, the scholars have collectively said “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 scholars will continue to work with their Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities but will not visit any Israeli academic institutions or act as referees in any of the processes at these universities. The scholars have also declared that they will not participate in any conferences funded, organised or sponsored with Israeli universities, “or otherwise cooperate with them”.
The scholars have declared that they will maintain their stance “until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights”.
The University of Leeds scholars who have signed the Guardian’s petition are Professor James Dickins, Dr Sam Durrant, Dr Ahmed Elgindy, Professor Ray Bush, Professor Malcolm Povey, Professor Janet Watson, Dr Rasha Soliman, Professor Rex Smith, Dr Abdul Shaikh and Dr John Moreton.
Dr Abdul Shaikh told The Gryphon “The Palestinian people today are the only people that have not been given statehood and have not been afforded the freedoms we in the free world enjoy…I felt morally compelled to sign this petition in order to stand side by side with the Palestinian people in their quest for justice, compassion and equality”.
Professor Ray Bush also told The Gryphon “Persistent links with Israeli academics and institutions that promote occupation, and the barbarism that results from it, has done little to create conditions fore either a now fanciful two state solution or the possibility of a unified secular state in Palestine/Israel”
“The commitment by UK scholars to the rights of Palestinians has already generated anxiety among Israeli policy makers who are frightened of boycott and unfavourable publicity that Israeli receives as a result of it”