R2E Student Committee welcomes UNISON boycott
"We congratulate UNISON on their courageous move to speak out against the Israeli policy of tyranny and isolation of Palestine, especially at a time when the international community is silent and vicious witch-hunts were carried out against those who dared speak up.
As Palestinian students we are suffering from the economic blockade which has impoverished our communities, checkpoints which humiliate us and steal our time, pass-systems which prevent us from seeing our families and immigration controls which stops many of us from leaving and prevents international students from accessing our universities. We call on academics and students worldwide to seek the facts and speak out!" - said the Committee in a statement.
The Birzeit University Student Council, representing 7,600 students, also declares its support for the boycott. Last year it famously managed to replace all Israeli products on campus with Palestinian ones or other alternatives. This is a significant feat considering the 'free-trade' arrangement between Israel and its occupied territories which effectively allows Israeli products to flood the Palestinian market. Israel also controls all borders of the occupied territories thus controlling all import-export activities.
The R2E Student Committee also points out that the academic boycott is an institutional boycott that does not prevent Israeli academics from speaking or publishing their work. It is not a witch-hunt. It requests the suspension of institutional links and calls for Israeli academics to speak up against the breaches of humanitarian law and basic human rights committed in their name. The message the Committee's students want to get across to Israeli academics is simple:
"The situation is intolerable. There is currently no outside pressure reining-in Israeli state practice in the occupied territories. Change must come before worse atrocities are allowed to happen."