With this letter, we reiterate the longstanding call on our university to cut all institutional ties with Israeli academic institutions and companies that are complicit in apartheid, the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and decades of atrocity crimes committed against Palestinians. These well-documented crimes have now escalated to unprecedented levels since October 2023, leading to formal charges of genocide in the International Court of Justice and a request by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for arrest warrants against the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Israel, as well as three members of Hamas. The State of Israel, with the unconditional support of our own Dutch government and other allies, has been committing these egregious violations of international law and inflicting unfathomable suffering on Palestinians in Gaza, as well as the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The deliberate nature of the violence perpetrated on civilians is underscored by three separate rulings of the International Court of Justice in the first half of 2024 that establish a plausible risk of genocide.

While our Board has publicly committed to review its institutional ties with Israeli universities and announced on 4 March 2024 that a committee will be established to conduct the review, it has now been three months and no information has been made public about the committee’s mandate, its members, or of its progress. We call on our board to follow through on its commitment and conduct the institutional review on the basis of Human Rights Due Diligence as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, we call on our university to immediately suspend all institutional ties during the review process.

We stress that the call to suspend and cut ties with Israeli academic partners and companies is not because they are Israeli, rather it is because they are directly complicit in atrocity crimes against the Palestinian people, in apartheid and in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, all in violation of international law. Following the well-established guidelines of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, we stress that this boycott is not directed at individuals based on their identity, rather it is directed at institutions based on their complicity. The aim is to pressure and incentivize institutions to end their complicity.

The complicity of Israeli universities is well-documented, including of the universities identified as EUR partners in the list released on 8 May 2024, and involves several modalities of oppression which are also comprehensively documented by Dr. Maya Wind in her recent book Towers of Ivory and Steel: How Israeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom. These modalities include extensive education collaborations with the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli military industry by all Israeli universities. Specifically, Israeli universities:

  • host military bases on university grounds,
  • provide study exemptions and compensations to active duty members in Gaza,
  • provide incentives and scholarships for joint research initiatives,
  • develop military and surveillance technologies that are deployed on Palestinian civilians – such as Dahiya Doctrine of collective punishment developed by EUR’s institutional partner Tel-Aviv University, and
  • produce and disseminate arguments that explicitly seek to legitimize atrocity crimes committed by the State of Israel.

Additional modalities of oppression include:

  • the subordination of academic enquiry to political interests – including in the field of law, where EUR has several activities,
  • direct contribution to the expansionist interests of the Israeli state, including programmes that have forcibly removed Bedouins in the Negev, Palestinian citizens of Israel in Haifa and Palestinians in the West Bank living close to Israeli settlements and plantations,
  • general and targeted restrictions of academic freedom against students; these include limitations on freedom of speech and academic freedom of students, as highlighted in a recent NOS special on Tel Aviv University,
  • general and targeted restrictions of academic freedom against scholars, including the longstanding persecution of, and recent, extreme denials of academic freedom and physical harm to EUR external colleague and renowned Professor of Criminology Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, and
  • structural denial of equal access to, and participation in, education of Palestinians at all Israeli universities.

Moreover, as scrupulously documented in Dr. Wind’s book, Israeli Universities have been purposefully built in Palestinian areas in order to expand illegal settlements across Palestinian land and neighborhoods. For example, students who go on exchange to Hebrew University of Jerusalem stay in a student village built on illegally occupied land. While it is the responsibility of students to arrange their own accommodation when they go on exchange, it is the responsibility of our university to ensure that ethical and legal standards are observed. A mobility exchange that involves a partnership with universities complicit in atrocity crimes not only violates international human rights law, but also our own code of integrity and research ethics framework.

The denial of Palestinian right to education and scholasticide has reached unprecedented levels, especially in Gaza: Israeli forces have killed more than one hundred university scholars, hundreds of educators and administrators, and thousands of students. The Israeli military has destroyed every single university, burned down libraries, and decimated the education infrastructure. Not a single rector or administrator at an Israeli university has expressed even a mild expression of concern or disapproval in response to these egregious attacks on Palestinian students, scholars, and education. To the contrary, universities in Israel explicitly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Israeli military.

Regarding the concern of isolating critical voices within Israeli universities, we emphasize that under the current circumstances, critical voices inside Israeli universities are targeted and silenced by their own administration and the State. Maintaining institutional ties with Israeli universities serves to legitimize and normalize the repressive policies of these institutions, along with their participation in atrocity crimes. Indeed, many of these critical voices wholeheartedly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, and insist on “the right not to be a perpetrator”. Critical Israeli colleagues will continue to be supported by international colleagues, as is also the case with colleagues at Russian universities from which institutional ties have been cut without our Board raising such concerns.

In addition to cutting ties with Israeli universities, we call on Erasmus University Rotterdam to disclose and cut its commercial and other relations with companies complicit in human rights violations, such as Hewlett-Packard that directly helps the Israeli army to maintain its apartheid regime.

Furthermore, while we appreciate that the administration recognizes the right to demonstrate and has permitted the student encampment thus far, we expect that the right to demonstrate, of students and staff, will continue to be respected and that our board will commit itself to not initiate police violence on its own students and staff. We support the student encampment and their demand for an immediate boycott. After months of dialogue, our university board must act urgently and follow the example of universities in South Africa, Spain, Belgium, Norway, the United States, Ireland and elsewhere that have cut their ties with Israeli universities, the most recent and exemplary of which is Ghent University.

To conclude, on 29 May 2024, Gaza academics and university administrators made a call in an open letter, “to help us resist the Israeli campaign of scholasticide and rebuild our universities”.

We fully support their call and affirm their rights to self-determination. In line with this specific and urgent plea by Gaza faculty and administrators, we call on our university Board to also affirm the right of Palestinian self-determination, to denounce the multiple atrocity crimes and scholasticide, and to urgently facilitate the reopening of education in Gaza, including transition to online education to mitigate disruption, and help rebuild their universities and education infrastructure.

Here you can find the open letter online

Signatories

Irene van Oorschot, Asst professor, ESSB

Jeff Handmaker, Associate Professor of Legal Sociology at the ISS (The Hague Campus of EUR)

Miriam Matthiessen, PhD Candidate, ESSB DPAS

Anissa Pelouto, MD, PhD-candidate, EMC

Jasmin Seijbel, PhD-candidate and lecturer, ESHCC

Daniela Garcia-Caro Briceño, PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Law

Çağlar Köseoğlu, Lecturer, Erasmus University College

Elise Alkemade, PhD candidate ESHCC

Friso van Houdt, Senior Lecturer Political Philosophy & Critical Theory, EUC

Sjoerd van Tuinen, Associate professor of Philosophy, ESPhil

Catherine Koekoek, PhD candidate, Erasmus School of Philosophy

Zara Sharif, Senior lecturer, EUC

Lotta Plomp, PhD student, Immunology and Neurology

Syed Mansoob Murshed, Professor ISS

Abdurrahman Erol, PhD at ESL

Lise Zurné, Lecturer, History, Eshcc

Juliette Mattijsen, Coordinator Planetary Health Education, Junior researcher, department of public health Erasmus MC

Anonymous, Hospital pharmacy resident

Hassnae Boubrik, Student, student-teacher emergency medicine and working student at Intensive Care Adults.

Isabel Awad, Associate professor ESHCC

Anonymous, DPAS, ESSB.

Wout van Wijngaarden, CIO/Director IT (EDIS)

Martine Lamfers, Associate professor

Mostafa Mohseni, PhD student, ErasmusMC

Anonymous, Policy Officer Academic Affairs

Otto SPIJKERS, Assistant Professor at Erasmus School of Law

Esmee nuninga, Director CPC, General Management Directorate

Mahdi Salih, Internist

Hannah Kay, PhD Candidate, DPAS

Naomi Rommens, PhD candidate

Anne Slootweg, PhD candidate at ESSB DPAS

JN van der Geest, Assoc. Professor

Christian van der Veeke, Senior Lecturer, EUC

Guusje Enneking, PhD at EUR

Maryse Kruithof, Senior Lecturer EUC

Claire Tio, PhD researcher ESPhil / tutor RASL

Amira Fretz, Lecturer, Erasmus University College

Jess Bier, Associate professor

Bart Hesseling, EUC

Krista King, PhD Candidate, ESSB DPAS

Maud van Roessel, Junior researcher, Strategy Office

Nicolás Soler, PhD candidate, ESSB DPAS

Anonymous, Retired senior lecturer

Alessandra Arcuri, Professor, Erasmus School of Law

Gabriele Mari, Assistant Professor, ESSB

Anonymous, Postdoc, arts

Anonymous, Research Assistant

Michał Stambulski, Assistant Professor

Esra Kahramanoglu, Member university council

Anonymous, ABD

Federica Violi, Associate Professor of International Law, Erasmus School of Law

Mustafa al Saffar, Medical Doctor

Mirwais Mehrab, MD, PhD Candidate EMC

Samir El Abdouni, Pharmacist/PhD-candidate

Latiffah salima Baldeh, Junior researcher @ Strategy office

Anonymous, Senior Policy Advisor/AA/General Management Directorate

Abderrahim Ghaddari, Medical doctor

Zemzem Shigute Shuka, Assistant Professor, ISS

Geke Hasperhoven, PhD-student/physician at Sophia Children’s Hospital

Daniele Rossi-Doria, PhD Researcher (ISS/EUR)

Ida Vos, PhD candidate, ESHCC

Xander Creed, PhD Researcher, ISS

Sophie van Balen, PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Philosophy

Natália da Silva Perez, Assistant Professor, ESHCC

Stephanie Triefus, Assistant Professor, Erasmus School of Law

Rosalba Icaza, Professor of Global Politics, Feminisms and Decoloniality

Sanne Boersma, Senior lecturer, EUC

Daan Tielenburg, Teacher, DPAS, ESSB

Tomris Cesuroglu, Senior researcher, PDPC, EMC

Loes de kleijn, Arts in opleiding tot huisarts en onderzoeker

Aysima Senyurek, Medical Doctor

Guido van Leeuwen, PhD student General Practice

David Ongenaert, Lecturer, ESHCC

Anonymous, PhD student

Ayse Zor, Health care psychologist

Kadir Caliskan, cardiologist at EMC

Phương Hoàn Lê, PhD/Lecturer at ESHCC

Ioannis Kampourakis, Associate Professor, Erasmus School of Law

Marjilla Jammy, AIOS huisartsgeneeskunde, huisartsopleiding ErasmusMC

Robyn Murning, PhD Candidate, ESHCC

Cox van de Weg, Consultant internal medicine

Shyamika-jayasundara-smits, Assistant Asst.Professor, ISS

Anonymous, Researcher, EMC

Anonymous, Student-instructur

Nicola Mangraviti, PhD Researcher, ISS

Ana C. Uribe Sandoval, Lecturer, Media & Communication, ESHCC

Leslie Sanderson, Assistant Professor, EMC

Siham Zabit, General practioner

Jeleesa Lynch, Nurse at EMC

Saliha Ergezen, PhD candidate, Erasmus MC

Gabi Helfert PhD, Director Educational Excellence, RSM

Maria Avraamidou, Lecturer  ESHCC

Débora Antunes, Lecturer (ESHCC)

Zana Brkic, Internist

Jan Pronk, Prof. Emeritus ISS

Thea Hilhorst, Professor of humanitarian studies, ISS

Nicky Nathaniël Papilaja, Student Experience Officer, ESHCC

Adam Anas, Internist-Infectioloog EMC

Jiska Engelbert, Associate Professor ESSB

Anonymous, Assistant Professor, ISS

Anonymous, Professional services, ESHCC

Gabriela Veronica Villacis Izquierdo, PhD candidate

Kevin Pijpers, Postdoc at ESSB

Parnian Ajami, Professional services staff, ESHCC

Anonymous, Resident Psychiatry

Kirsten Kardijk, Researcher, ECWO RSM

Lisa Doeland, Lecturer, EUC

Wander van Baalen, senior lecturer, Erasmus University College

Fatimah Albuainain, MD, PhD candidate at EMC

Willem Schinkel, Professor, ESSB

Florence Atrafi, AIOS klinisch farmacologie

Nuria Jansen, PhD Candidate EMC

Amod Shah, PhD Candidate, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Charlotte Waltz,Postdoc at ESSB

María Campo Comba, Assistant professor, ESL

Anonymous, PhD candidate, EGSL

Hyeonggeun Ji, PhD Researcher

Maria Panagiotou, Lecturer, Life Sciences, Erasmus University College

Maite Houwing, AIOS Psychiatrie

Eva Meyermans Spelmans, PhD researcher, Erasmus School of Law

Abdel el Hachioui, Erasmus MC

Ahmed Abofoul, Research Fellow on International law and legal mobilization in relation to Palestine

Ioana Tomici, Dean’s office, EUC

Gita Huijgen, PhD candidate, DPAS, ESSB

Lina Al-Hassany, AIOS and PhD-candidate, Erasmus MC

Ammar Muhammad, Resident Internal Medicine

Anonymous, Internal medicine

Mariela Miranda van Iersel, Junior Researcher, Strategy Office

Anonymous, Aios

Yara de Kwaasteniet, Programme Coordinator, ESHCC

Charlotte van Tuijl, PhD at ESSB

Julia Wetsteijn, Professional Services staff, ESHCC

Ryan Kopaitich, Postdoc – ESPhil, EUR

Palesa Mashigo, PhD Candidate and Lecturer, ESHCC

David van Putten, PhD ESPhil

Benjamin al Salehy, Platform and Eventmanager, Rotterdam School of Management

Thijs Heijmeskamp, PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Philosophy

Isis van Rooy, Junior researcher

Sonia de Jager, PhD student

Aikaterini Genidogan, PhD Candidate, ESPhil

Lorenzo Pellegrini, Professor, ISS

Anonymous, ABD

Ursula Arroyo Spinoso, Student Assistant ESHCC

Soumia Aammari, Research Policy Advisor, Erasmus MC

Marion Smits, Professor of Neuroradiology, Erasmus MC

Anonymous, Schaduw tutor Psychologie

Anonymous, PhD student

Aurélie Sapa Furaha, PhD candidate, RSM

Eva Borkhuis, PhD candidate, ESSB

Rogier van Reekum, Assistant Professor, ESSB

Anonymous, PhD candidate

Victoria Balan, PhD candidate ESHCC

Gijs Custers, Assistant Professor, ESL

M Savas, EMC

Anonymous, PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Law

Nasser Drif, AIOS Anesthesiologie

J Jansen, Assistant Professor, ESL

Anonymous, Geestelijk Verzorger

Zeinab Nosrati    student, Board member at GIDS, working student at HPB department Erasmus MC.

Ayman Aaliouli, Master student & student job on the intensive care

Tessi Nobbe, Junior lecturer, ESSB

Anonymous, Junior Researcher, ESSB

Pieter Van den Heede, Lecturer

Britt Veldhuis, Teacher, ESSB DPAS

  1. Livaha, Senior Lecturer, EUC

Anonymous, Coordinator, ESSB

Adriana Kasperowicz, Student, coordinator emergency medicine team, ErasmusMC

Ayoub Lalouti, ANIOS psychiatrie

Hilal Ince-Askan, AIOS

Tareq Abdel Alim, Postdoc Erasmus MC

Anonymous, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Faculteit der Gezondheidswetenschappen

Anna le Clercq, Student Researcher, Erasmus MC

Meryem Al Fatly, Junior researcher, EMC

Anahita Noruzi, MD, PhD candidate Erasmus MC

Anonymous, Pharmacist

Anonymous, PhD candidate

Anonymous, PhD candidate, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Serdar Yavuzyigitoglu, Medical specialist, EMC

Sam Passeport, ErasmusX

Anonymous, Education Manager, ESSB

Ilke Akdoğan- Biçer, General practioner, Lecturer, Erasmus MC

Silke Heumann, Assistant Professor, ISS

Samira van der Bas – El Abdellaoui, Dietist

Eileen de Veer, Sr. Nurse consultant, department of Internal Medicine, EMC

Elmi Wopereis, Diëtist

Rosalie Giesbertz, Dietetics

Anonymous, Prof.services

Melissa de Roos, Assistent professor, ESSB

Anonymous, Assistant prof ESSB

Isa Sanchez, Academic Teacher, DPAS- ESSB

Dana Mustafa, Assistant professor & group leader

Laia Salvat, Internship student

Ethell-Marjorie Dubois, PhD candidate

Mala Dengkeng, PhD candidate, ESPhil

Tim Pendry, Junior Lecturer, ESSB

Marianne Littel, Assistant professor, ESSB

Anonymous, Senior Lecturer EUC

Selin Celik, Working at Erasmus MC hospital pharmacy

  1. Al Arashi, PhD candidate

Rayan Chettou, Working student hematology, EMC

Anonymous, Logistiek medewerker

Anonymous, Pharmacy technician, Erasmus MC

Anonymous, Anesthesia assistant i.o.

Mustafa Kumas, Radiology

Julie Hoppenbrouwers, PhD Candidate ESL

Anonymous, Dietician

Haya AlFarra, PhD candidate, ISS

Senned Karrar, Medical doctor

  1. Goverts, Teacher, ESSB

Anonymous, Arbodienst EMC

Karapet Ghamoyan, Anios Psychiatrie, Erasmus MC

René van Swaaningen, Criminologist, ESL

Hadiye Ozturk, Cardiology resident

Kiki Giese, Secretary

Ahmed al Khanim, HAIO

Elise Maes, Erasmus school of law

Abdessamad Bouabid, Assistant Professor, Criminology, ESL

Anonymous, Postdoc, AIOS interne, EMC

Zeynep Kasli, Assistant Professor, ISS

Seline Westerhof, Junior researcher ESSB

Zamzam Al-Baz, Lecturer, Erasmus School of Law

Anonymous, Senior Lecturer ESSB

Jing Hiah, Assistant Professor, ESL

Mieke Kox, Assistant professor, ESL

Thomas Swerts, Assistant Professor , ESSB

Lieke van Eijk, Marketing & Communication, ESHCC

Rob Willemsen, Em. professor

Geerke Visser, Junior Lecturer ESSB

Lena van de Lande, Teacher, ESSB

Anonymous, Project lead, Academic affairs, EUR

Kay Mars, PhD candidate, ESSB-DPAS

Marlon Valentijn Kruizinga, PhD Candidate

Josien Kamp, PhD candidate, ESSB

Anonymous, ESSB

Majsa Storbeck, Phd Student

Lieke van der Veer, EUR

Tokameh Mahmoudi, Professor, departments of Pathology and Urology, Erasmus MC

Emma Weerd, Phd researcher, ESL

Leanna Cobanovic, Tutor Criminology

Anonymous, PhD student EMC

Amr Marzouk, PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Law

Anonymous, ABD

Anonymous, PhD Candidate at DPAS

Pieter van Lamoen, PhD candidate at ESSB

Arash Khamooshian, Cardio-thoracic surgeon

Ilias attaye, Aios interne

Anonymous, Research Assistant, ESSB

Sanne Koevoets, Humanities Department Head at EUC, DIT Academic

Anonymous, Staff, RSM

Fiore Geelhoed, Assistant Professor

Anonymous, PhD Candidate, ESL

Daniël van Dijk, Lecturer Educational Sciences

Claartje ter Hoeven, Professor, ESSB

Gresa Gashi, Junior Researcher IDEA center ABD

Anonymous, Erasmus mc

Liset de Vries, PhD candidate Biochemistry

Debbie Varekamp, Professional services ESSB

Isabella Regan, PhD researcher ESL

Anonymous, PhD student and GP trainee

Gergana Boncheva, PhD Candidate, ESPhil

Anonymous, Assistant professor and epidemiologist EMC

Anonymous, PhD student en huisarts in opleiding

Anonymous, Lecturer in Social & Behavioural Sciences

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