Thanks to Robert Fantina for pointing out the bubble Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo lives in.
While visiting Israel in March of 2014 to participate in a ceremony celebrating joint ventures with Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Mr Hamdullahpor actually said “I am personally, and on behalf of my institution, proud to come to Israel because the Technion is a natural partner – it represents a ll the values, vision, ambitions and commitment towards excellence that we share”.
The man has no idea what is going on and gives instant credibility to the old saw about academics living in an ivory tower.Not to mention the opprobrium that comes with being an educator woefully uninformed.
On Thursday, October 8, Waterloo students presented a petition to Maaz Yasin and Carly McCready, two executives of the Federation of Students, the undergraduate student union, signed by over 4,000 undergraduate students, demanding that the Federation of Students hold a referendum about severing its ties with Israeli schools. It seems they do not “share” similar values with Israel.
Well it turns out the students were way more hip about Israel’s brutal occupation and daily humiliation of Palestinian students than Mr.Hamdullahpor.
Part of the petition read;
Whereas Palestinians’ right to education is systematically obstructed, and thousands of Palestinian students and teachers are prevented from reaching their schools due to military checkpoints and roadblocks, the illegal apartheid wall, and the frequent closure of cities;”.
Military checkpoints in the West Bank, opened and closed at the whim of the terrorist Israeli soldiers who operate them, divide towns and neighborhoods. It isn’t just students and teachers who are prevented from attending classes; farmers cannot walk from their homes to their fields, and shop keepers can’t reach their own places of business.
“Whereas Palestinians in Israel suffer restrictions imposed by the State of Israel and Israeli universities on education, scholarships, and participation in campus activities;”.
Palestinians seeking admission to Israeli universities are under restrictions that don’t impact potential Israeli students. Regarding scholarships and extra-curricular activities at these schools, Palestinians need not apply.
“Whereas in 2005, the Palestinian civil society called upon people of conscience around the world to initiate campaigns of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) aiming to end the ongoing violations of human rights in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era;”.
The violations of human rights include, but are not limited to, the official Israeli policy of not starving the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but using the internationally-condemned blockade to ‘keep them hungry,’ by carefully allowing in only sufficient food to prevent starvation; the arbitrary arrest, incarceration and fatal shootings of Palestinians in the West Bank; the periodic bombing of schools, mosques, residential neighborhoods and press buildings and vehicles, not to mention United Nations refugee centers, all in violation of international law.
Such major universities as the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, McMaster University and many others have endorsed the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement for many of the above reasons.
But Feridun Hamdullaphur appears to be unaware of the growing isolation of the apartheid nation.