Dutch academics boycott Israeli universities

| HOP, Hein Cuppen

Nearly 500 researchers and lecturers are boycotting Israeli academic institutions because of their ties to Israel’s military. They want the Netherlands to express support for the Palestinians by cutting all economic, political and military ties with Israel for the time being.

The group’s petition has already been signed by 491 academics at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences, and by 550 students. They argue that there is an inherent power imbalance in the current armed conflict. According to the petition, Palestinians live as second-class citizens in a system of segregation, under military occupation. The signatories believe that this is the cause of the escalation of violence now taking place in Israel.

The petition calls on the Dutch government to cut “all economic, political and military relations with Israel, until such a time as all sections of the Palestinian people are afforded their rights”. The signatories themselves say they are heeding their Palestinian colleagues’ call to boycott Israeli academic institutions because of their ties to the country’s military. They do not see the need to suspend cooperation with individual Israeli academics.