Has the administration at your institution taken a public stand for the right to education
of Palestinian students? Ask them to.

Here is a letter written by University of Minnesota faculty to their campus administration. Text can be freely borrowed.

Check here to see if your chancellor or president signed the N.Y. Times advertisement criticizing the boycott of Israeli universities.


Dear President [add name],

In August 2007 you joined hundreds of other U.S. university presidents to publish a full-page ad in the New York Times rejecting an academic boycott of Israeli universities. Your ad criticized the boycott effort as a "politically biased attempt to hijack the central mission of higher education."

Are you now willing to speak out in defense of the right to education of Palestinian students?

Over the past week, the Israeli Defense Forces have bombed and destroyed the Islamic University of Gaza, an institution of higher education that serves some 20,000 students. The IUG is the largest independent university in Gaza, and is a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), a UNESCO-based worldwide association of higher education institutions. In addition to the destruction of the IUG, Israeli defense forces have also bombed the Ministry of Education headquarters, the American International School in Gaza (AISG), and numerous other educational institutes as part of a systematic campaign to destroy the infrastructure that supports life in Gaza.

As the group California Scholars for Academic Freedom has noted, these direct assaults on Palestinian students and educational institutions are only the latest chapter in Israel’s ongoing denial of the right to education guaranteed in international conventions. Since the first uprising in 1987, Israel has systematically frustrated or denied Palestinian students their right to study, not just in the Occupied Territories, but also at universities abroad. This was most recently demonstrated by the Israeli government's refusal to allow several Palestinian students awarded prestigious Fulbright fellowships to leave for the United States, in spite of the urging of the U.S. State Department to allow them to do so. Students living in Gaza have not been able to leave in order to attend even Birzeit University, let alone universities throughout the world, and students in the West Bank regularly negotiate roadblocks and checkpoints to get to their classes – often never making it.

As faculty, staff and graduate students at [add name], we urge you to remain consistent in your defense of higher education. We are confident that as a leader with a principled commitment to higher education, you will publicly speak out in support of the right to education of Palestinian students and condemn Israel's systematic attempts to deny education to students in the Occupied Territories. We will be happy to meet with you and/or provide more information if needed.