Tag Archives: Israeli apartheid

Faculty for Palestine Demands End to Genocidal Attack on Gaza 

Faculty for Palestine expresses our unwavering support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people. We heed the call from our colleagues at Birzeit University on international academic institutions to intervene immediately to stop the genocide being waged against the Palestinian people. We mourn losses from all sides, and affirm that all human life has equal value. As scholars, we recognize that the current situation finds its roots in the 75-year Israeli occupation of Palestine accomplished through a settler colonial apartheid regime. 

We condemn the major powers of the world for actively supporting Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza. Israel has cut off the passage of food, water, electricity, medicine, and fuel to Gaza. UN aid agencies are faced with reducing their operations. Journalists, medics, hospitals, and educational institutions are systematically being targeted. Israel’s bombardment has struck approximately 185 educational facilities, including UNRWA schools and the Islamic University, which has been partially destroyed. As we write, over 7000 Palestinians have been reported killed in Gaza; among the dead, 3000 children and entire families have been wiped out. 1.1 million people have been forced to evacuate their homes, towns and cities in northern Gaza as uninterrupted bombing has destroyed many areas, including over 60,000 residential units. Telecommunication towers and cables have been destroyed further disabling an already collapsed health care system. The communication blackout has cut off Gazan’s from the outside world. 

As an organization of academic workers located in the settler state known as Canada, we condemn the Canadian government’s refusal to demand an end to the genocide by supporting an immediate ceasefire being called for by governments, diplomats, human rights organizations, trade unions, the UN, and civil society across the world. In fact, Canada is complicit in the oppression of Palestinians as it has a history of selling military technology to Israel, $21 million in 2022 alone, and maintains extensive economic ties with this occupying power.  We refuse to remain silent as we watch a systematic genocide underway supported by major western powers. 

The current events in Israel-Palestine have context and histories which have been largely erased by the statements released at Canadian Universities, and the mainstream media provides erroneous or one-sided news reporting that dehumanizes the Palestinian people. The Israeli state uses massacres, expulsion, demolition, siege, expanding illegal settlements, checkpoints, blockade, and the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, including children across all of Palestine. In Gaza the majority of the people are refugees from 1948, who have been living under a 16- year siege, and are at immediate risk of genocide.

We observe the narrowing of permissible speech in Canada and note with alarm increased attacks upon academic freedom at several universities across the country, as disciplinary actions are being issued against students, faculty, student organizations and unions that have spoken out or issued statements critical of Israeli policies or expressing solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Faculty for Palestine opposes all forms of racism including anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism. We note with alarm the increased targeting of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and allied communities of students, faculty, and staff across universities and call on administrations to put an end to the harassment and sanctions these groups are facing. Universities and colleges across Canada have a responsibility to ensure that all their members are free from censorship, violence, intimidation, doxxing, harassment, and bullying. Universities also have the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right to academic freedom and freedom on speech on their campuses.

Faculty for Palestine demands that Canadian Universities uphold academic freedom, freedom of speech, and end all collaborations with Israel. We demand that universities:

  • Protect academic freedom and the rights of students, staff, and faculty to critique the state of Israel and its genocidal violence against Palestinians
  • Reject the censorship of critical and engaged scholarship on Israel and Palestine 
  • End the censorship and criminalization of support for Palestine
  • Stop conflating criticism of the Israeli state and its policies with anti-semitism
  • End their complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime by, among other things, canceling all joint projects and activities with complicit Israeli universities

Faculty for Palestine demands that the Canadian government to take a stand against genocide. We demand:

  • An immediate ceasefire
  • Humanitarian aid into Gaza
  • UN protection for Palestinians in Gaza
  • A stop to the mischaracterization of calls for justice as anti-semitism

We demand concrete efforts to stop a genocidal war. We call on our colleagues at Canadian universities and colleges to demand justice for all oppressed and colonized people especially the Palestinians. We remain steadfast in our view that a political solution that is premised on equality, justice, and freedom of the Palestinian people is the only path forward. 

As always, our hearts are with the people of Palestine.
Ceasefire Now!

Faculty in Canada Condemn the Israeli Invasion of Birzeit University & Arrest of Palestinian Students

3 October 2023

Dear Lisa Stadelbauer, Ambassador of Canada to Israel

We write on behalf of Faculty for Palestine (F4P) Canada to condemn the Israeli military’s invasion of Birzeit University (BZU) on September 24, 2023, one day after the start of the 2023-24 academic year. F4P includes over 600 faculty from over 40 universities and 15 colleges across Canada. We condemn in the strongest terms the forcible entrance of undercover Israeli special military forces and military vehicles that laid siege to the campus and arrested 8 Palestinian students on September 24th. The identified students arrested include: Abdulmajid Hassan (the elected Student Council President), Amro Khalil, Abdullah Mohammad, Ahmed Awaidat, Yahya Farah, Mahmoud Nakhleh, Hassan Alwan, and Abdullah Abu Qiyas. We also oppose the violent assault on the university’s security guards and the break in and vandalization of the Student Council’s office at BZU.  

Birzeit University has a long history of fostering education, promoting critical thinking, and providing opportunities for Palestinian students to exercise their right to education, to fulfill their potential, and to pursue their dreams and aspirations. The arrest of these young scholars disrupts their educational journeys and violates their human rights. Palestinian students, like students elsewhere in the world, have the right to education, the right to dissent, and the right to protest and organize in ways they see fit while living under military occupation.

BZU, located in the West Bank, has been subject to military raids, arrest campaigns, and closure since the establishment of the university. In 2022 several Palestinian students were shot at and imprisoned by the Israeli military. The recurring invasions of Palestinian universities, particularly BZU, and the arrests and detention of Palestinian students are a grave violation of the basic right to education and academic freedom. Currently the number of Palestinian students from BZU being held in Israeli prisons exceeds 80. The arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinian students are not only a violation of the right to education enshrined in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). They also violate Article 13 of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESR). As a signatory of the UDHR and ICESR, Israel is obligated to uphold these rights under international law.

We recognize that these recurring invasions of Palestinian education institutions are an extension of the Israeli military occupation and its systematic policy to besiege and destroy the educational system in Palestine.

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested BZU students. As academics we also demand that the rights of these students are protected in accordance with international law. In the meantime, we express our unconditional support and solidarity with the arrested students, faculty, and staff of Birzeit University and the BZU Right to Education Campaign, and call for an end to Israel’s military invasions of Palestinian educational institutions.


Faculty for Palestine – Canada

Endorsing Organization

Hearing Palestine, University of Toronto


Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada 

Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories 

David Da Silva, Canada’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority

Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the rights of opinion and expression 

Yoav Kisch, Israeli Minister of Education

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 

UN Human Rights Office Ramallah 

Dr. Talal Shahwan, President of Birzeit UniversityThe Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University