May 28, 2007
From: FFIPP-I, Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace International
To: Prof.Yael Tamir, Minister of Education
Cc: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
In the recent spate of seizures carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces, Dr. Nassereddine Shaer, (Minister of Education and Higher Education (Palestine) Dean of Faculty of Islamic Law, An-Najah National University (Palestine)) was abducted, along with over 30 others, some of whom are elected Palestinian representatives and government Ministers. This practice of the Israeli authorities is illegal under international law. More so, it goes against any attempt to promote a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
As academics – Israeli, Palestinian, and International – we view this act as one more destructive step in the Israeli policy of obstruction of the right to education and academic freedom in Palestine. It is in line with the ongoing policy of the Israeli military authorities to deny access to Palestinian students and academics to venues of study or research. Abducting the Minister of Education at this time, when final preparations are underway for 80,000 high school students to take the general high-school examination, is a major blow to the educational system in Palestine. It is, in fact, a blatant act of persecution which we vigorously oppose.
As academics we have an obligation to guard and promote critical thinking, personal morality and human solidarity. We are witness now to the intensification of human suffering which has spiraled into a grave crisis. You – an academic, a professor of philosophy and education, and Minister of Education – are a party to actions which are devastating for the Palestinian society, its cultural and educational subsistence, and its very existence. You must speak up and act! Release the Palestinian Minister of Education and all those who have been unlawfully detained.
“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” Albert Einstein
We urge all academics and intellectuals of conscience worldwide to sign this letter.
FFIPP-I would like to publish this statement in the press.
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Please make check to: FFIPP-USA , PO Box 2091, Amherst MA 01004