Open Letter to the International Society for Iranian Studies

UPDATED 25.2.10

To our academic endorsers:

Please read the letter below in relation to the inclusion of an Israeli colonist participating in the upcoming International Society for Iranian Studies Conference in Santa Monica, California.
Faculty members who wish to sign onto the letter, should send their names and institutional affiliations to NoArielU@gmail.com
. Please be sure to include your academic affiliation.

Dear Professor Sandler
Members of the Executive Committee
International Society for Iranian Studies

We write to register our deep concern that during the 2010 Iranian Studies Biennial Conference in Santa Monica, California, the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) intends to host a faculty member from “Ariel University of Samaria, Israel.” We understand that due to some concerns expressed recently, on your website you have changed “Ariel University of Samaria, Israel” to simply “Ariel University.” But the change cannot mask the nature of the affiliation.

As you know, “Ariel” is the fourth largest illegal Israeli settlement in the heart of occupied West Bank.  Ariel College in fact began as a campus of Bar-Ilan University in 1982. Its recent upgrade to “university” by the Isareli Defense Minister Ehud Barak highlights the involvement of the Israeli military establishment with this institution.  A “university” built illegally on confiscated Palestinian land is not recognized under international laws. The establishment of such a “university” in occupied Palestinian territories is in flagrant violation of numerous UN Resolutions, as well as Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), which clearly states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Moreover, by hosting a representative of such “university,” your organization not only shows disregard for international law, but also effectively lends legitimacy to the brutal military occupation of a people’s homeland.  By recognizing this “university,” the ISIS is endorsing the illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine.  Such recognition would also show ISIS disregards the call of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions complicit in the occupation and other violations of international laws.

As concerned academics, we urge you to reconsider a decision which disregards international law and lends legitimacy to a prolonged and brutal military occupation of the Palestinian homeland.

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I'm a teacher, writer, and activist based in Bangalore. I am dedicated to various issues including #BDS and Palestine, living a Zero Waste life, and putting the carbon back into the soil through composting!

Posted in Boycott, Take Action, U.S. Academica, Why Boycott?!
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