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Swedish academics call for boycott of Israeli institutions

JTA

October 6, 2011 | 5:32 pm

Main building at the Royal Institute of Technology. Photo by Stern/Wikipedia

Main building at the Royal Institute of Technology. Photo by Stern/Wikipedia

More than 200 professors and students from Sweden have signed on to a call for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

The boycott petition was initiated by the Action Group for the Boycott of Israel at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

According to the petition, “Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. They cooperate closely with the security-military establishment. They offer advice to military intelligence and assist in developing weapon technologies for the Occupation forces. So far, none of the Israeli academic institutions have dissociated themselves from the occupation regime, or condemned the entrenched system of discrimination of Palestinians.”

The petition adds that the boycott is not aimed at individuals but against institutions. It calls on the Swedish academics to refuse to participate in collaborations with Israel universities; to refrain from attending academic activities at Israeli universities; to suspend all funding to Israeli universities; to promote divestment from Israel by academic institutions; and to foster initiatives that support Palestinian educational institutions.

The Royal Institute of Technology has an ongoing relationship with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, home to Israel’s latest Nobel Prize winner.

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor slammed the boycott call.

“It is incongruous that in the week that an Israeli scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a group of Swedish academics are calling for a boycott of Israeli educational institutions,” Kantor said.

“This merely demonstrates that those who are involved with calling for boycotts against Israel are uninterested in the free transmission of values, education and progress.”

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