Milan, young Palestinians against the agreement of the State with the Israeli university in the occupied lands: 30 professors sign the appeal

“We ask the entire academic world to take a stand on the rights denied to the Palestinian population and, in this case, in favor of students and female students who are experiencing the drama of the occupation imposed by the Israeli apartheid regime on their skin”. This is the appeal of the association of Young Palestinians of Italy which, in recent months, has been carrying out an awareness campaign “on the theme of school apartheid carried out by Israel towards Palestinian students and female students ”. The awareness campaign is touching the main Italian universities, from the Sapienza University of Rome to the University of Bologna, passing through Cagliari, Palermo, Naples and Milan. And precisely in the Lombard capital, professors and students joined in condemning the agreement that the State University has made with Ariel Universitywhich is located in the de jure territories controlled by Palestine, but which de facto became Israeli settlements as early as 1978, in violation of international agreements.

Behind the awareness campaign is there No Ariel Ties, a campaign launched by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, the Palestinian Council of Rectors, the Federation of Palestinian Professors (Pfuupe) and the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (Phroc). The campaign in the EU was supported by 500 European academics and Israelis who have asked the European institutions to no longer legitimize Ariel’s university. Among these also Sesame, the Italian Society of Middle East Studies. “The awareness campaign at the University of Milan was born with the collaboration of two lawyers who helped us draft a letter to be presented to the rector Elio Franzini, but also thanks to the collaboration of the student representatives in the university bodies who helped us both in the dissemination of the document within the academic Senate ”, explain the Young Palestinians of Italy. In two weeks, more than 500 signatures in support of the petition (text here) and they are constantly increasing (at the moment they have exceeded quota 700). Even the support of academics was not indifferent: more than 30 professors and professors, especially from the faculty of political science, have already signed the appeal. Among the teachers who have joined the initiative we find Chantal MeloniProfessor of International Criminal Law e Marco Pedrazziprofessor of international law, both members of the special commission set up by the Minister of Justice Marta Cartabia to elaborate the draft of a Code of International Crimes.

The Young Palestinians made it known that they had had difficulty in carrying out their initiative with some university administrations, such as the Sapienza in Rome and the Oriental in Naples, who denied them “the organization of cultural events, during the ‘ Israeli Apartheid Week ‘, aimed at raising awareness in the academic world on the issue of school apartheid, labeling the initiatives as anti-Semitic ”. But the campaign, at a European level, has also had its results and already three universities – Valencia, Florence and the Institute of Technological Research (Irt) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – have decided to stop cooperation with theAriel University. The University of the Tuscan capital, already in February 2020, had in fact excluded the Israeli university from the Extra-EU mobility program of 2020-2021. Even the students of the University of Milan are expecting answers from the administration, now required to take a position on its agreements with Ariel’s university.

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