No Academic Freedom Under Occupation
We, the collective voices in support of academic freedom in Occupied Palestine want to express our support for Pitzer College suspending their study abroad program in University of Haifa. We stand firmly with the decision of the Pitzer faculty in passing the following motion calling for such a suspension:

"The Pitzer Faculty calls for the suspension of the College’s exchange with Haifa University, until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities."

The University of Haifa program is deeply problematic. Primarily, as the motion suggests, Israeli policies bar students from receiving visas to study at Palestinian universities, meaning that students are denied the opportunity to learn about Palestinian culture, narratives, and history. Additionally, Israel has passed increasingly draconian policies banning political speech and barring activists for Palestinian human rights from entering the country. On top of this, Israel has a systemic practice of racial discrimination at the border, meaning that this program is largely inaccessible to students from Middle Eastern descent. Palestinian civil society has called for internationals in solidarity to boycott programs (such as this) that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine and Israel's oppression of political dissent.

Given this context, it is unjust to send representatives of Pitzer College as exchange students on a program that is inaccessible to the indigenous population from Haifa. By encouraging other Pitzer students to embark on this program, the college has been consciously supporting these discriminatory practices. This flies in the face of Pitzer's core values and community values of social responsibility and intercultural understanding. It is imperative that Pitzer withdraw this program from their study abroad curriculum.

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