British academics: 'Israel must lose' war with Hamas

300 UK academics: Israel wants to destroy Palestinians as political force.

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT, LONDON
January 18, 2009 00:44
2 minute read.
British academics: 'Israel must lose' war with Hamas

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A group of British-based academics have called for Israel to lose the battle with Hamas in Gaza, stating that the "massacres in Gaza [are] the latest phase of a war Israel has waged against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years." In a letter in Friday's Guardian newspaper, more than 300 academics said they must do all they can to prevent Israel from winning the war. A cease-fire is not enough, they say, adding: "Israel must lose." "We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war," the letter said. "Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and not upon the criminal use of force." "It is not enough to call for another cease-fire, or more humanitarian assistance," they wrote. "It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. "If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides... against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank," they wrote. The letter accused Israel of wanting to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force. "The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel's ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. "Israel's war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities." The letter ends with a call for a blanket boycott of Israel. "We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions," the group wrote. The letter is signed by an array of academics from across the UK. It includes a number of Palestinian and Israeli-born academics, including Haim Bresheeth, who has been active in the call to boycott Israeli academic institutions over the year. It also includes Mona Baker, the Egyptian-born academic at Manchester University who infamously removed two Israeli academics, Dr. Miriam Schlesinger of Bar-Ilan University and Prof. Gideon Toury of Tel Aviv University, from the editorial boards of her journals in 2002 because of their affiliation to Israeli institutions.

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