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Distinguished UK academics call on universities worldwide to divest from Israel for Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, an activist holds up a sign reading 'Stop Israeli Apartheid' during a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in London, Britain, on May 15, 2021. (By AFP)

More than two dozen prominent academics from university student societies across the United Kingdom have called upon universities and educational institutions worldwide to stand up against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and divest for Palestine.

The twenty-five academics, in an open letter, underscored that Palestine has been under Israeli occupation for decades, and that Jewish settlements built across the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law and have been condemned by the United Nations.

They highlighted that the Israeli regime has a long history of committing war crimes, ranging from devastation during the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) to its ongoing ill-treatment, torture, and murder of Palestinians living under occupation.

The academics stated that universities around the world, however, continue to invest in companies complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and British universities, for example, hold investments of around £450 million (over $590 million) in such firms.

“We call on our institutions to take action and divest for Palestine. We have now seen what can be achieved when we unite against those who break international law, and we must do the same for Palestine.”

Last month, more than 220 scholars and academics from fourteen Latin American countries denounced Israeli authorities for enforcing a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians, demanding that Israel be branded as an apartheid regime.

The scholars pledged in a joint statement that they would not participate in any academic exchanges with Israeli institutions and would decline funding from Israel, as reported by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

The signatories then called on Latin American universities to suspend cooperation with Israeli educational centers, which are contributing to the regime’s military occupation and the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, until the Tel Aviv regime respects the political and human rights of all Palestinian people as stipulated by the United Nations.

Earlier, at least 277 human rights groups and civil society organizations had denounced Israeli officials for imposing apartheid on Palestinians.

The organizations, which came from 16 Arab countries as well as six European and Latin American states, demanded in a joint statement the trial of Israeli authorities involved in the perpetration of genocide, war crimes and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

They condemned Israel’s racist practices against Palestinians and its treatment of the latter as an inferior racial group and called for the launch of a campaign to put an ultimate end to the regime’s apartheid actions.

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