Guarantee full freedom of movement for international academics working at Palestinian academic institutions!

Dear colleagues,

Please consider signing this petition regarding the discrimination against Palestinian universities, an initiative of Academia for Equality (https://www.academy4equality.com/?lang=en).

The petition will be forwarded to the following: Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Israeli Chief Military Advocate General Sharon Afek, and the Israeli military’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

You can find more about the discrimination against Palestinian universities from the Times Higher Education Supplement: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/palestinian-university-fights-israeli-visa-restrictions

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We, the undersigned, members of the international academic community, demand that the Israeli authorities immediately cease to restrict international academics from working at Palestinian Universities and other academic institutions.

Over the last three years, the Israeli authorities have further undermined the ability of international academic personnel to work at Palestinian universities. Among other unlawful practices, the Israeli authorities have refused to issue work permits, have set additional, unreasonable conditions for granting visas to visiting faculty, and have made transit through Ben-Gurion Airport conditional on extremely high guarantees. These practices have already had dramatic consequences: some faculty members have had to leave before the end of the academic year, whereas others are in a legal limbo, stranded in the West Bank and unable to leave in the absence of assurances that they would be allowed to return. At Birzeit University alone, twelve departments or affiliated institutions now face losing faculty members in the coming academic year, including the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

Both international law and the principle of academic freedom make Israeli practices wholly unacceptable. The current practices not only deprive Palestinian society of a key resource for its growth in the short term, but will have long-term detrimental effects on it.

As academic professionals, we demand that this discriminatory policy ceases immediately. The working conditions of international academic staff in Palestinian universities should be identical to those of their counterparts in Israeli universities, and in line with international norms.

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