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Academics working in Palestine/Israel

This branch notes that colleagues in science education and mathematics education have been working on a World Bank funded project, administered by the Palestinian Quality Investment Fund, to support capacity-building on science and maths teacher education in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and in Gaza.  This has involved staff in the IOE travelling to the West Bank to run workshops and Palestinians coming on study visits to London. Some IOE staff have encountered unreasonable obstruction in Ben Gurion airport when they have openly said they are going to work in the West Bank and have provided relevant documentation. The same has been true for a Palestinian colleague who is allowed to travel through Ben Gurion airport.  Other Palestinian colleagues on their way to London have been turned back by Jordanian soldiers at the Allenby Bridge even when they have visas and permits and have airline tickets and hotel rooms booked.  Travel within the West Bank to get to the workshops can be a harrowing experience at checkpoints and some colleagues have been refused permission to travel within the West Bank. Gazan colleagues have been linked to the workshops through video conferencing because they are not allowed to travel twenty or so miles to the West Bank.

This branch supports the right of all academics to travel freely for the purposes of knowledge exchange. It condemns the action by Israeli airport security to obstruct the legitimate exchange of knowledge for Palestinians and calls on the UCU and Israeli academic unions whose members can travel freely to publicise and act to mitigate this violation of rights of intellectual exchange with Palestinian universities.

 This branch resolves to:

  1. Write to the Israeli ambassador;
  2. Draw this issue to the attention of our national union, so that UCU can take the matter up with the Israeli and UK governments; and
  3. Write to Haaretz.