Irish petition against Israel’s ongoing interference with Palestinian academic freedom

We, the undersigned attendees at the American Conference of Irish Studies, meeting in Cork, June 2018, condemn in the strongest possible terms the systematic interference by Israel’s regime of occupation….

We, the undersigned attendees at the American Conference of Irish Studies, meeting in Cork, June 2018, condemn in the strongest possible terms the systematic interference by Israel’s regime of occupation in Palestinian education, academic freedom, freedom to travel and to study and research.

Such restrictions include the arbitrary and extended closure of university campuses on the West Bank; military incursions onto campuses, often using live ammunition, and the detention without trial of students and faculty; the targeting and destruction of educational institutions of all levels in the blockaded Gaza Strip; the denial to faculty and students of the right to travel for research or educational purposes; restrictions on the importation of essential school supplies and equipment; arbitrary and unpredictable road closures, checkpoints and other restrictions on daily freedom of movement that prevent both students and faculty from traveling to campus for classes, exams or other meetings, and impede the regular collaborations among institutions that are essential to a flourishing intellectual and scholarly culture.

Restrictions of these kinds seriously impede the capacity of Palestinian society to maintain and reproduce its intellectual and artistic culture. The systematic and regular nature of the obstacles posed by Israel’s occupation and blockade to the normal course of Palestinian education suggest interference is deliberate and malevolent.

We protest the explicit policy demanding work visas while simultaneously not issuing them for Palestinian educational institutions in the OPT. The result of this policy has regularly declared faculty, Palestinian and others, who hold foreign passports to be “illegal” when they engage in teaching and research at Palestinian universities. This policy threatens both their right to reside in Palestine and their freedom to travel as it acts as a clear deterrent for the process we all know of building an academic career committed to participating in and contributing to the intellectual life, especially vital for a people under occupation. We protest the fact that this policy has prevented Palestinian colleagues from participating in our conference and thus interfered with the free communication of research and information.

We believe that academic freedom and the right to education are fundamental and universal, and include not only the right to study, research and publish without censure or interference, but also the right to such social and political conditions as enable the enjoyment of those rights.

We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms Israel’s ongoing interference with Palestinian academic freedom as a violation of human rights and international law. We express our solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues and our support for their non-violent efforts to achieve their fundamental rights through the campaign for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions.

NAME AFFILIATION (for identification only)

Andrew Auge, Loras College
Zsuzsanna Balázs, NUI Galway
Ali Bracken Ziad, University College Cork
Patrick Brodie, Concordia University, Montreal
Brendan Corcoran, Indiana State University
Nessa Cronin, NUI Galway
Ailbhe Darcy, Cardiff University
Alex Davis, University College Cork
David Doolin, Independent Scholar
Maureen Fadem, City University of New York
Deirdre Flynn, University of Limerick
Matthew Fogarty, Maynooth University
Fergal Gaynor, Independent Scholar
Nolan Goetzinger, U. California, Riverside
Peter Gray , Queen’s University, Belfast
Meltem Gürle, Trinity College Dublin
Roger Hallas, Syracuse University
Adam Hanna, University College Cork
Tara Harney-Mahajan, Caldwell University
Mary Harris, NUI Galway
Walt Hunter, Clemson University
Cody Jarman, UT Austin
Lee Jenkins, University College Cork
Trevor Joyce, Aosdána
E. Nory Kaplan-Kelly, U. California, Irvine
Gerry Kearns, Maynooth University
Jennifer Kraft, Columbus College of Art and Design
Heather Laird, University College Cork
Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin
David Lloyd, U. California, Riverside
Piaras Mac Éinrí , University College Cork
Jessica Martell, Appalachian State U.
Patrick McGrath, Rutgers University
Sarah McKibben, University of Notre Dame
Mindi McMann, College of New Jersey
Breandán MacSuibhne, Centenary University
Mary Mullen, Villanova University
Ann Neelon, Murray State University
Eilís Ní Dhúill, Independent scholar
John O’Callaghan, NUI Galway
Laura O’Connor, U. California, Irvine
Maureen O’Connor, University College Cork
Eóin Ó Cuineagáin, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Clare O’Halloran, University College Cork
Jonathan Ó Neíll, UST Houston
Peter O’Neill, University of Georgia
Kersti Powell, Saint Joseph’s University
Bryonie Reid, Independent Scholar/Artist
Audrey Robitaillié, University of Edinburgh
Jessica Scarlata, George Mason University
Maurice Scully, Aosdána
John Singleton, NUI Galway
Cathal Smith, NUI Galway
Matthew Spangler, San Jose State University
Karen Till, Maynooth University
Sarah Townsend, University of New Mexico
John Waters, New York University
Shirely Wong, Westfield State University
Rachel Young, Boston College