MEDIA RELEASE: Israeli ambassador to face protests at Glasgow University

Sunday 1 March 2015

The Palestine Alliance, formed by the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland and a number of Palestine solidarity groups, has called on Glasgow University to halt plans to develop links with an Israeli University.

Collaboration between the universities is believed to be behind a planned visit to Glasgow University by the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, on 2 March 2015.

The plans to link Glasgow University with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have long been promoted by Professor Adam Tomkins of the university’s law faculty. Tomkins, a prominent no campaigner who served as one of the Tory Party nominees on the Smith Commission, was the recipient of a prestigious scholarship prize from the Hebrew University in 2011 following a period as a visiting professor the previous year.

He is reported as saying that the prize would facilitate the next stage of what he hoped would be “a lifelong series of collaborations with colleagues at the Hebrew University. If, as a result, links between Glasgow Law School and legal scholars in Israel are strengthened, this will be an added bonus.”

Dr Essam Hijjawi of the Palestine Alliance, and chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland said “Far from being a seat of learning the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has shown itself to be a discriminatory body, denying equal treatment to Arab Palestinians who are citizens of Israel; failing to provide teaching services to the local Palestinian population in Jerusalem whilst providing such services to Jewish groups and has part of its campus is built land stolen from Palestinians and now housing illegal settlements.

“Glasgow is home to Palestinians who have been denied the right to live in their home city of Jerusalem and cannot access education at the Hebrew University.

“Glasgow University must stand up for the human rights of all peoples, including Palestinians, and  unequivocally reject any plans for collaboration with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.”

The Palestine Alliance fully supports the call for academic boycott issued by the the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. PACBI has called for the end to similar collaboration by the university in the past saying, “the Hebrew University recognizes academic degrees awarded by the Ariel University, which is built on confiscated Palestinian land and surrounded by Palestinian communities, but does not recognize degrees awarded by the nearby Al-Quds University.”

As has happened in the past, the ambassadors visit will be met by angry protests. Such protests in the past have caused the cancellation of lectures and led one Israeli diplomat to comment “Every appearance by an official Israeli representative in Scotland is like a visit to enemy territory.”

Students and academics at London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies, last week voted to support an academic boycott of Israel, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which has a collaboration scheme similar to what is being proposed for Glasgow.

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The Palestine Alliance has been formed to bring together the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland with other organisations in Scotland working for the rights and freedom of the Palestinian people and their right to return to their land and homes stolen from them by Israel in 1947.

The Palestine Alliance is supported by
Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland
Ahl Al Bait
Friends of Al Aqsa
Scottish Friends of Palestine
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Stop The War Coalition

Further information
Contact: Albie O’Neill 07725 470071

Israeli diplomat quote
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/does-scotland-manage-to-be-anti-israel-without-being-anti-semitic.premium-1.473977

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2681

 

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