University of Sydney academics sign pledge to boycott Israeli universities

Academics at the University of Sydney signed a pledged to boycott Israeli universities following the recent killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 April 2018
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University of Sydney academics sign pledge to boycott Israeli universities

  • Signed by at least 37 university professors and research fellows, the petition vows to break all official contact with Israeli universities until Israel complies with international law

Academics at the University of Sydney signed a pledged to boycott Israeli universities following the recent killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, The Australian reported on Thursday.

Signed by at least 37 university professors and research fellows, the petition vows to break all official contact with Israeli universities until Israel complies with international law and the principles of human rights, as well as recognise Palestinians’ right to return to the homes from which they were expelled from during the 1948 war.

The move follows the principles of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which works to end international support for “Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”

A senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and a member of its BDS group, said the lack of international condemnation following this month’s killing of at least 30 unarmed Palestinian protesters and the wounding of hundreds of others had made the campaign necessary.

The protests call on Israel to accept the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.


Turkish police detain 12 academics, activists in raids

Updated 21 min 39 sec ago
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Turkish police detain 12 academics, activists in raids

  • They are being questioned over their links to the Anatolia Culture Association founded by Osman Kavala
  • Police are searching for eight other people linked to the association

ANKARA: Police in Istanbul detained 12 academics, businesspeople and journalists as part of an investigation into an association that was headed by a jailed prominent businessman and activist, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Friday.
Anadolu Agency said professors Betul Tanbay and Turgut Tarhanli of Istanbul’s Bosphorus and Bilgi universities and journalist Cigdem Mater were among those detained in simultaneous police operations in the city.
They are being questioned over their links to the Anatolia Culture Association founded by Osman Kavala, a philanthropist businessman who was arrested a year ago pending trial, accused of alleged attempts to “abolish” the constitutional order and the government. No indictment has been issued against him.
Anadolu said police were searching for eight other people linked to the association which says it aims to promote peace and minority rights through culture.
Since an attempted coup in 2016, Turkey’s government has been accused of stifling freedom of expression for arresting thousands of people for alleged connections to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the failed attempt, or links to terror groups. It has purged many more people from state institutions and jailed dozens of journalists.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Kavala “Turkey’s Soros,” a reference to American billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundations have funded education, health, justice and media projects around the world. Pro-government media in Turkey accuse Kavala of engaging in anti-government conspiracies.
Eleven prominent activists, including Amnesty International’s former Turkey chairman, were arrested last year at their hotel on an island off of Istanbul while training. They were eventually released from jail pending the outcome of their trial for supporting terror groups.
Separately on Friday, police detained 86 people, most of them former Air Force personnel, in operations across Turkey and were looking for 100 others for alleged links to Gulen’s movement, Anadolu reported.
More than 15,000 people have been purged from the military since the coup, Turkey’s defense minister has said.
The cleric denies involvement in the coup.