Creating new perspectives since 2009

Belgian university vows to support reconstruction of academia in Palestine

May 9, 2024 at 3:04 pm

People carry banners as they organize a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the campus of ULB (The Universite libre de Bruxelles) University in Brussels, Belgium on May 07, 2024. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

The Free University of Brussels on Wednesday reiterated its condemnation of the systematic attacks or destruction of Palestinian educational institutions, and in particular of the Palestinian higher education system in Gaza while vowing to contribute “in the reconstruction of a scientific and academic environment in Palestine.”

In a statement issued in response to protests held on campus calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, the administration highlighted that it reaffirmed “its commitment to a just and lasting peace, respect for international law and the protection of the fundamental rights of all individuals” in November last year.

Adding that it had agreed a month later to suspend “institutional collaborations with organisations, whatever their origin, which repeatedly support or are directly involved in violations of international law and human rights.”

In March this year, it suspended its student exchange agreement with Tel Aviv University, adding that an in-depth analysis of research projects which include academics and researchers from certain Israeli universities was also underway. The Academic Council is due to carry on discussions on these matters duringits next meeting, due at the end of this month, the statement added.

Students from the university have taken part in pro-Palestine campus protests that began in the US and spread to Europe, condemning Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

UPDATED: This news piece and headline were updated on 10 May 2024 at 7:37 PM to include correct clarify the university’s position.

READ: 1,700 staff, alumni call on Cambridge Uni to negotiate with pro-Palestine activists