Victoria University: Shut Down Unethical Israeli Prize

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Why is this important?
Victoria University of Wellington has refused to remove an essay prize funded by the Apartheid government of Israel. The prize is insulting to the university's own Palestinian students who have been forced from their homeland by the Israeli government.

The Embassy of Israel Prize of $250 is awarded to one student per year on the merit of an essay on one of the given topics - including "Israel in the Middle East", "Israel's bilateral relations with its neighbours", and "Israel's democracy in the context of the Middle East".

This prize is unethical because the Israeli government is guilty of building illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, preventing the flow of essential resources, and denying Palestinians the right to vote. It is a regime akin to Apartheid South Africa. These injustices have been officially recognised by the UN (see footnote)*.

By accepting this prize money, VUW is aligning themselves with the Israeli Governments' abhorrent treatment of Palestinians.

We are Students for Justice in Palestine, a group of Palestinian and non-Palestinian Victoria University Students.

Join us in demanding the immediate removal of this racist and unethical prize.



*Since May 1991, there have been 13 Security Council resolutions relating to or condemning the State of Israel about the human rights abuses and violence directed at Palestinians. These include Res. 694, 726 and 799, which call on Israel to uphold prior commitments to the Fourth Geneva Convention and highlights failure to recognise the rights of Palestinians.[1] These resolutions have been repeatedly met with further violations and action from the Israeli Government, contrary to the requests of the Security Council. Further resolutions specifically regarding Israel (Res. 904, 1073 and 1322) express shock over mass shootings, condemn violence and use of unnecessary force against Palestinians and show deep concern on the safety and security of Palestinian civilians.[2]

[1] UN Security Council, UN Documents for Israel/Palestine: Security Council Resolutions, UN Security Council Report, (date accessed: 15/05/19) 

[2] Ibid.