Category: Columns

Leiden University’s ties with Israeli universities

Leiden University has recently received various petitions from students and staff concerning our ties with Israeli universities. We have also held extensive discussions with the University Council in response to questions raised on the subject. We think it important that our partners and research projects reflect our values and respect human rights, equality, academic freedom and integrity. We therefore need an ethical assessment framework similar to the one for collaboration with the fossil fuel industry.

Suspending Student Protesters Would Be a Palestine Exception to Free Speech

We find no evidence that the current encampment has been any more disruptive than earlier protests. Previous protests have gone on longer. They have been more disruptive. They have employed the same methods — loud chants, controversial signs, tents — in exactly the same places. Indeed, a good case can be made that the latest generation of student protesters have been unusually restrained. And yet only today’s student protesters face a mass suspension. Such disproportionate penalties for relatively minor rule violations break sharply with more than 50 years of Harvard practice. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is an instance of “the Palestine exception”— a markedly lower tolerance for pro-Palestinian speech than for other speech.

Disrupting the Colonial Gaze: Gaza and Israel after October 7th

The Gaza experiment is ongoing, and it is taking the world further than any of us would have thought possible. In our article, The New Politics of Exclusion: Gaza as Prologue, published more than two years ago, we claimed that Israel had turned Gaza into a human laboratory where entirely new conditions were artificially created.

Now we know. The end of the Gaza experiment is no longer to ensure separation or repudiation, but elimination through genocidal slaughter, or, more euphemistically, “forced” or “voluntary” emigration to other lands largely unwilling to accept them.

By Ivar Ekeland and Sara Roy