Cut and Defund UCONN Study Abroad Programs to Israel

Cut and Defund UCONN Study Abroad Programs to Israel

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UConn Students for Justice in Palestine started this petition to Thomas Katsouleas and

In January of this year, Trump released his apartheid plan, endorsing the Israeli government on the illegal annexation of the West Bank. Well before Israel has been planting illegal settlements into Palestinian land for years. They have also violated basic Palestinian human rights, depriving them of water, electricity, shelter, and ultimately their right to life. In 2019 alone 169 Palestinian homes have been demolished displacing well over 500 Palestinians, in addition to the 7.2 million Palestinian refugees. Also just recently Ahmed Erakat and Eyad Hallaq were executed by Israeli soldiers. These executions are in fact very common. 


Currently Ahmed Erakat along with 63 other frozen Palestinian corpses are being withheld in the Greenberg Forensic Institute which is part of Tel Aviv University without a promise for return. 


The University of Connecticut has 9 study abroad programs to the Middle East, 8 of which are to Israel. Two of the programs are at Tel Aviv University. We are asking the University to cut and defund if not in whole, then partially all of these programs. The current funding and support into these programs are perpetuating and supporting the apartheid happening in this state, the persecutions and discrimination as well. 


These programs are most importantly discriminatory as they bar many students from being able to go on these programs due to Israel’s policies. Law of Entry No. 38 actually bans entry of persons due to their political speech which is grounds for the violation of our freedom of speech that the University so proudly endorses. Not only that but there have been significant difficulties and barring of people with Palestinian and Arab or Muslim heritage to the country that even the State Department warns of. 


As a University that prohibits discrimination, and promotes equal opportunity and also advocates for the security of their students they are being very hypocritical by allowing EIGHT programs to Israeli academic institutions. These programs are not secure due to the apartheid happening in the country. They are at the base discriminatory for the vast population of students on our campus. These programs offer courses named “Islamic Terrorism” that emphasizes Islamophobic rhetoric to students. There is no equal opportunity here when all the programs in the Middle East consist of just Israel. 


We ask you to sign this petition to call the University to cut all ties to Tel Aviv University first for their current violation of human rights. Defund and cut the rest of Israel programs as well. These are basic human rights we are calling for. 

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