Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
At a time when the Israeli ongoing crimes against us the Palestinians are at their most visible, their most documented and their most condemned by civil society around the world, we were shocked to learn of the plans by the Universities of Harvard, Columbia, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Washington, Miami and New Jersey City to offer semester long free programs to American students in Israel at the Jerusalem Hebrew University, Haifa University, The Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center and Carmiel.
The goal of the Israeli military was clearly to leave an indelible imprint in the minds of the Palestinians, both the current and future generations -- an image of unprecedented destruction -- in the hope of erasing the memory of resistance and struggle amongst the people of Gaza. In doing so Israel would be free to impose its goals, and instill a culture of obedience, and compliance with the occupying power.
Al Quds University, with 10,000 students on campuses in the West Bank towns of El Bireh, Abu Dis, and East Jerusalem, had been noted for its ties to Israeli academe despite years of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
Students from the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), the London School of Economics (LSE), Kings College, Oxford University, University of Warwick, University of Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Sussex, Newcastle University, University of Birmingham, and the University of Essex have all acted to pressure their respective university administrations to respond to their demands.
The state of Israel began its military attack on the Gaza Strip on Saturday the 27th of December and on the same day an air missile hit the Gaza Training Centre in downtown Gaza City killing 8 students and wounding 19. In the early hours of Monday, an F-16 fighter plane bombed the Science Laboratory and Library of the Islamic University in Gaza, just a few hours before some of its 20,000 students were to enter the campus to sit their exams.