Al-Quds University President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh is once again under attack for
agreeing to cooperate with Israeli universities and
Palestinian academics on Tuesday published a statement
strongly criticizing Nusseibeh for being part of a German-sponsored
Israeli-Palestinian academic project aimed at enhancing understanding between
The project has been initiated by al-Quds University
and the Hebrew University in cooperation with The University of
The academics denounced the project as a form of normalization
with Israel and pointed out that cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian
academics was in violation of a ban issued by the Palestinian Council for Higher
The academics also noted that the joint project was in
violation of local and international campaigns promoting academic boycotts of
In their statement, the Palestinian academics urged Nusseibeh to
end all forms of “normalization” with Israeli universities until Israel “ends
The statement added: “While we praise the important role
of al-Quds University as a national icon, we call on the university and its
president to abide by the position of most Palestinian academics against
normalization with the state of apartheid and occupation.”
also noted that Nusseibeh’s cooperation in the past with Hebrew University had
thwarted a decision by British academics to initiate a boycott of Israeli
universities and professors.
“Normalization projects are today the
strongest weapon employed by Israel in its battle – which has been unsuccessful
so far – against anti-Israel boycott campaigns,” the statement read.
last year, Nusseibeh came under attack from various Palestinians, including top
Fatah leaders, for planning to meet with Israeli peace activists at a hotel in
The meeting was canceled after Palestinian protesters
demonstrated outside the hotel and put pressure on the hotel management to call
off the gathering.
Since then, the protesters have been waging a campaign
against Nusseibeh, accusing him of promoting “normalization” with Israel. They
have also repeatedly called on the Palestinian Authority to dismiss Nusseibeh
from his job.