Ariel University in occupied Palestine is the wrong venue for an international conference on cosmology and particle physics, a group of science experts said Friday in a letter rejecting whitewashing of Israeli colonial activities in Palestine.
In an open letter published in the Guardian this weekend, 15 of the world’s top academics and science professionals wrote that holding a three-day science convention in West Bank would be an outright violation of international law.
‘Ariel University in the occupied West Bank is the wrong venue for a conference on cosmology & particle physics starting on Monday.’—noteworthy letter from Anne-Christine Davis, David Gross, Martin Rees, Nathan Seiberg, Edward Witten et al. https://t.co/NrVVyWfw23
— Graham Farmelo (@grahamfarmelo) September 1, 2018
The scientists said:
“The settlements are illegal under international law and have been denounced by the international court of justice and numerous UN resolutions.”
The academics noted that Ariel University has a history of conflict to both native and foreign observers due to its location.
Don't live in a wrong history universe academics; majority of invited (astro)#physics & #cosmology speakers withdraw from Inflation, Alternatives & #GravitationalWaves Workshop at illegal Israeli settlement Ariel University on stolen Palestinian soil https://t.co/1vsxecRJtI #BDS
— Anand (@Anandstweets) August 23, 2018
“Human Rights Watch has noted that Ariel’s ‘development is inseparable from a history of continuous dispossession of Palestinians from their land and restrictions on their freedom of movement.”
The letter continued on to say,
“In 2012, more than 1,200 Israeli faculty members signed a petition opposing the establishment of Ariel, describing it as an attempt to recruit the Israeli academia into the service of the occupation and settlement efforts.”
Prominent scientists denounce workshop at Ariel University, based in an illegal Israeli settlement built on stolen Palestinian land. Participating would aid "the Israeli government’s policy of gradually annexing the occupied territories" https://t.co/A0Y99GKRWv pic.twitter.com/SM7ETpRMWw
— BDS Movement (@BDSmovement) September 1, 2018
The university has been excluded from a number of international donors such as European Union, the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation.
The 15 professionals encouraged their colleagues to forego any association with the university as it would be “tantamount to accepting Israeli annexation of occupied territories and normalizing the occupation.”
"West Bank university", Ariel University, part of one of the nastiest illegal settlements there is, which has long dumped its garbage on land that FOR SURE belongs to Palestinians and always has. What a joke the Israeli "left" is https://t.co/3KvBWM9D0x
— ??روان (@Intifadarling) August 19, 2018
The scientists concluded in their damning letter:
“We, the undersigned, believe that participating in any activities held in a settlement amounts to accepting the Israeli government’s policy of gradually annexing the occupied territories to Israel. We call upon our colleagues and the wider scientific community to consider these facts before engaging in any activities related to Ariel, and not to take part in any attempts to use science to normalize the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 1, 2018
The news comes following several successful campaigns for boycotting Israel by the pro-Palestinian non-violent movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) which calls for a cultural, political and economic boycott of the country over its occupation of Palestine, its policies against Palestinians in the West Bank and proper Israel, its cruel blockade on Gaza, as well as its colonial settlement activities in the West Bank.
The BDS’ latest victory was the dropping out of at least nine artists from the Meteor Festival in Israel, including its main guest U.S. pop singer Lana Del Rey.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)