The ultimatum to the demonstrators was made due to the HeartBeat Festival, scheduled for Thursday, which will take place partially where the tents are now located. The festival is a lustrum event for students and university staff.

'Palestine wants us to stay'

The protesting groups have already announced on Instagram that they do not plan to comply with the request. “The administrators want us gone by Sunday. Palestine wants us to stay,” they wrote in a call to followers to join the camp. “To them, a festival is more important than the destruction of campuses in Palestine.” They offer the Executive Board an option: if the board severs all ties with Israel, the demonstrators will leave.

However, it appears that the Executive Board is not planning to do so. The fifteen rectors of Dutch universities, including Annelien Bredenoord of EUR, declared in an open letter in newspaper Trouw on Saturday that they do not want to end cooperation with Israeli institutions unless the government compels them to do so (as with Russia). “We believe it is important not to isolate critical Israeli scientists, just as we strongly support our Palestinian colleagues.”

Consequences unclear

What Erasmus University is doing instead, is establishing a special committee to examine ties with Israeli and Palestinian institutions, among others. The Sensitive Collaborations Committee (CGS), chaired by Ruard Ganzevoort, launched on Friday. There was also an ‘open and respectful’ conversation between the Executive Board and the demonstrators on Wednesday.

It is still unclear what the consequences will be if Aboutaleb’s ultimatum expires without the demonstrators leaving. The mayor has not mentioned any potential police intervention or the impact on the HeartBeat Festival’s permit if the demonstration is still on the Plaza on Thursday.

Dag5 campus protest Palestina campus plaza kamp tenten closeup_4.6.2024_Feba Sukmana

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