Spanish Universities Cut Ties with Israeli Institutions over Alleged Genocide

Spain's Conference of University Rectors suspends collaboration with Israeli universities that haven't committed to peace and international humanitarian law. The move affects 76 Spanish universities and responds to the International Court of Justice's ruling on Israel's alleged genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Spanish Universities Cut Ties with Israeli Institutions over Alleged Genocide

Spanish Universities Cut Ties with Israeli Institutions over Alleged Genocide

In an unprecedented move, theConference of UniversityRectors in Spain (CRUE) has suspended collaboration agreements with Israeli universities and research centers that have not expressed a firm commitment to peace and compliance with international humanitarian law. The decision, affecting 76 Spanish universities, comes in response to the International Court of Justice's ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Why this matters: This move sets a significant precedent in holding Israel accountable for its alleged crimes against Palestinians, and could inspire other academic institutions worldwide to reevaluate their ties with Israeli universities. As international pressure mounts, this decision may contribute to a broader shift in the global response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel has defied the ICJ's provisional measures to end all genocidal acts and the UN Security Council's resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. The UN Human Rights Council and dozens of UN human rights experts have called for targeted sanctions against Israel, including onscientific and technologicalcooperation. Israeli universities have a long history of actively supporting Israel's regime of military occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid, as well as providing logistics support to military units.

Haidar Eid, a genocide survivor and associate professor at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza, hailed the CRUE's decision as a "historic, concrete step to hold Israel, and its complicit academic institutions, accountable for the genocide against us Palestinians in Gaza." Eid, who has lost students and colleagues to Israeli attacks that also destroyed his university, emphasized the significance of the move. "Israel has killed some of my students and colleagues and destroyed my university, just as it has destroyed every university in Gaza," he stated.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urged all international universities to follow Spain's lead and end ties with companies and Israeli universities complicit in Israel's genocide and its underlying decades-old regime of settler-colonial apartheid. Fifteen major Palestinian universities have called on international scholars and academic institutions to isolate Israeli universities in response to their complicity in the destruction of Palestinian universities and schools.

The CRUE's decision comes amidst growing international pressure on Israel over its actions in Gaza. A recent report by the Biden administration found that Israeli forces likely used US-supplied weapons in a manner "inconsistent" with international law during the war in Gaza, which has resulted in nearly 35,000 Palestinian deaths, many of them women and children. UN experts have repeatedly warned of a "risk of genocide" in the territory.

The groundbreaking move by Spanish universities sets a significant precedent in holding Israel accountable for its alleged crimes against Palestinians. As international calls for sanctions and isolation of Israel grow louder, the decision puts pressure on other academic institutions worldwide to reevaluate their ties with Israeli universities and take a stand against the ongoing genocide in Gaza.