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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantIsraeli Apartheid on Campus

Israeli Apartheid on Campus

Author: Somdeep Sen

Affiliation: Roskilde University (Denmark)

Organization/Publisher: Aljazeera 

Date/Place: June 29, 2021/Doha, Qatar

Type of Literature: Opinion Article

Word Count: 1893


Keywords: Palestinian students, occupied East Jerusalem, Yoav Galant, Israeli Crimes


The article recounts the ailment of Palestinian students in the US when the students were protesting the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem. As Palestinian students face similar attacks at Israeli universities across the country, many of them have fled campus and returned home. Knesset member Sami Abu Shehadeh (Balad Party leader) called on the Council of Higher Education and Minister of Education Yoav Galant to protect Palestinian students in Israeli universities. Israeli universities have long been complicit in the persecution of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation. In research conducted by the author between 2013 and 2016 in Israel, he discovered that Israeli universities “systematically discriminate against Palestinian students and communities, engage with the Israeli military industrial complex and fully support the state’s apartheid policies.” Even the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (HUJI) in occupied Jerusalem is a great example of how higher education institutions have become complicit in the Israeli settler-colonial project. The designers of the original master plan of the university, Patrick Geddes and Frank Mears, chose to incorporate an Arab style of architecture but did so with a sense of contempt for the Palestinian population which Geddes described in a letter as “dirty, untidy, in many ways degenerate.” A sign on the contemporary campus identifies the university as a “university of the Jewish people.” Expectedly, Palestinian students are alienated on the campus by what they consider “an attempt to de-Palestinise a landscape that is integral to the Palestinian national territorial home.” The antagonism of the university towards Palestinians is most evident in its relationship to the Palestinian communities in its vicinity. 


By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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