Petition for Palestine - Queen's University
Institutions of education were not spared during Israel's war on Gaza from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009. On December 28, 2008, Israeli aircraft bombed the Islamic University of Gaza in Gaza City. On January 6, 2009, Israel struck a UN school in the northern town of Jabaliya, a second school in the southern town of Khan Younis, and a third school in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. On January 17, 2009, Israel struck a UN school in the northern town of Beit Lahiya. In addition to killing dozens of non-combatants, these strikes on civilian educational institutions are a blatant attack on the free pursuit of education for Palestinians in Gaza. Our institution has a stated reputation "for scholarship, social purpose, spirit, and diversity," charged with "developing exceptional students and scholars for citizenship and leadership in global society." Therefore, We, the Undersigned, call upon Queen's University to condemn Israel's immoral and criminal assault on Gaza, and specifically the attacks on the university, schools, and students by the Israeli Defense Force, and to take the following actions accordingly: 1. STAND FOR THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION by publicly denouncing the targeted Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza, an independent institution of higher education, on December 28, 2008, an attack which has been preceded by the frequent imposition of restrictions on the right of access to education for Palestinian students in the Occupied Territories. 2. PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE through actively seeking exchange programs with Palestinian Universities and instituting a scholarship program dedicated to Palestinian students from the besieged Gaza Strip. 3. DIVEST FROM THE OCCUPATION by demanding that the Board of Trustee Investment and Pension Committee divest from all companies supplying munitions, arms, guidance systems, and all other related military equipment to Israel. 4. ACADEMIC BOYCOTT: We also call on Queen’s University to respect the call from the Palestinian Association of University Teachers in Gaza to sever institutional ties with Israeli academic institutions. In addition to targeting academic institutions during the recent war on Gaza, Israel routinely prevents Palestinian and Arab-Israeli students from studying abroad based on weak arguments related to national security. Therefore, the sanctity of academic freedom has already been compromised by the Israeli state. As such Queen’s would be acting in response to an existing assault on the right to education. This petition will be presented by print and email to Principal Tom Williams on February 10, 2009 by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Queen's University. Students and alumni, please include your degree and year with your name. Likewise, faculty and staff, please include your position at Queen's. PLEASE DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE IN YOUR NAME OR DEGREE. Your signature will not be recorded if you do. You may be asked to donate money after signing. Just to clarify: the donation has nothing to do with this cause or petition, it is a request from the iPetitions website.