In that letter, the rectors wrote that they do not want to cut ties, because they consider it more important ‘not to isolate critical Israeli scholars, as much as we are strongly committed to supporting our Palestinian colleagues’. The students did not find this argument compelling. “Who these critical voices are is left unclear in the letter, as is what they mean for the millions of Palestinians whose lives hang in the balance. Incidentally, the rectors did not mention the fact that these cherished critical voices are harshly suppressed by the institutions with which they want to continue to collaborate.”

The students also complained about the many cancelled meetings on Gaza, including at VU Amsterdam, Leiden University and TU Delft. They described the police intervention at the tent camps as ‘extreme police brutality’.

Protests will continue

The commitment by Erasmus University, among others, to set up an ethics committee to investigate links with Israeli and Palestinian institutions also failed to impress the protesters. “Apparently, now is the time to meet for a few weeks, if not months, to discuss an evaluation framework, while tens of thousands of Palestinians have already been killed and hundreds more are being killed every day.”

The protesters concluded by announcing that the protests will continue until ties are severed. “Nothing can stop us, and nothing will.”

11edag_9juni2024_B3_protest palestina gaza campus plaza studenten politie ontruiming ME wegsturen4_9.6.24_Daan Stam

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