The Situation in Palestine - Building Solidarity in Danish Academia

Statement and Event: The Situation in Palestine - Building Solidarity in Danish Academia

As scholars, researchers and educators of the Middle East and the Arab world in Denmark, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they face settler colonial violence, bombardment, police brutality and dispossession from their homes and land across historic Palestine - and as we witness the mass mobilisation of the Palestinian people and a global solidarity movement in resistance. 

 

In light of current events, attached is a solidarity statement we have prepared in support of the Palestinian people. The collective statement emerges from the urgent need to make our position on Palestine clear and public. The statement has been signed by a large number of scholars, researchers and educators of the Middle East and the Arab world in Denmark. The statement will be published in the Danish press on Tuesday 25th May. 

 

In addition to the statement, we will host an online event on Tuesday 25th May at 12pm-1pm open to our colleagues, our students and the public to learn from the expertise of Middle East and Palestine scholars,  researchers, and activists on the current situation, and the ways in which we can take a stand in the face of injustice, in our universities, in Denmark, and as part of an international movement. 

Tuesday 25th May, 12pm-1pm (DK time)

Speakers:

PAACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) 

Miriyam Aouragh, Westminister University

Moderator: Sune Haugbølle, Roskilde University

Zoom link: https://ruc-dk.zoom.us/j/65528958083?pwd=V0lrQllPOG1LNkg1ZTdTNTU3S0VUUT09 

 

You can read the English version of our statement below. If you would like to add your name to the statement, please email samt@ruc.dk with your title, name and affiliation.  

 

Statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Scholars, Researchers, and Educators of the Middle East in Denmark

We as scholars, researchers, and educators of the Middle East in Denmark stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, as well as the 7 million Palestinian refugees around the world, including those living in Denmark, some of whom are our colleagues, students, and friends. 

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, as they face bombardment, police brutality and dispossession – and with their right to resist occupation and discrimination. The violence happening now in Gaza, Jerusalem and across historic Palestine is the result of the continuous expansion of settler colonialism and the implementation of a system of apartheid. We as teachers, researchers and human beings concerned with decolonization and international justice stand with the Palestinian people’s broad resistance to this oppression across civil society and all geographies that connect them.

The perception that the conflict is one between two equal sides is an obfuscation; it deflects from the reality that it is the Palestinians who live under military occupation, who are dispossessed of their homes, and who live as second class citizens in a system of segregation, described as apartheid by both Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations. 

We condemn the Israeli government’s acts of war and violence against Palestinian civilians. We call on our elected representatives to support targeted sanctions on Israel as pressure to cease attacks on the Gaza Strip, end efforts to ethnically cleanse Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and stop the continued encroachment on Palestinian land in the Occupied Territory. We call on the Danish government, the EU and the UN to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid. 

Israel’s military technology is marketed as “field-tested” and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and systematic denial of Palestinian rights. Denmark was the first Western nation to impose full sanctions on apartheid South Africa in 1986 – we believe that Denmark should take a leading stand in the fight against Israeli apartheid today.

We call on Danish universities and research institutions to fully divest and end all official collaboration with Israeli institutions in violation of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction). This entails the boycott of institutional collaborations with Israeli universities and research institutions complicit in Israeli occupation and militarism.

It should be made clear that this position has no effect on collaboration and cooperation with individual Israeli scholars and colleagues. We extend our support and solidarity to Palestinian scholars, researchers, and students. Over the past decade, more than 400 Palestinian students have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, often without trial. There are many reports of these detainees being subjected to forms of torture. Palestinian scholars have been subjected to harassment, and academics living abroad are banned from entering Israel. 

We call for taking action in support of the Palestinian people – attend local demonstrations, speak out on Israeli apartheid, amplify Palestinian voices in our work and in our public engagement, change the language we use to describe settler colonial violence, support BDS, and pressure our elected representatives to be accountable for their silence on the root causes of the current situation and hence their complicity. We will not be complicit with settler colonial violence or its normalization.

As scholars, researchers, and educators in Denmark, a former colonial power, our support for Palestinian liberation is integral to the broader process of decolonization. We advocate for equality for all people, an end to all racism, and an end to all colonial violence. This cause is integral to both our teaching and scholarship.

 

Signed:

 

Sorcha Thomson, PhD Fellow, Roskilde University

Pelle Valentin Olsen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Roskilde University

Sune Haugbølle, Professor, Roskilde University

Michelle Pace, Professor, Roskilde University

Henrik Andersen, PhD Fellow, Roskilde University

Saer El-Jaichi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Danish Institute for International Studies

Marc Schade-Poulsen, Visiting Researcher, Roskilde University

Somdeep Sen, Associate Professor, Roskilde University

Rasmus Christian Elling, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Christine Crone, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen

Laure Guirguis, AIAS - COFUND Fellow, Aarhus University

Ehab Galal, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Claus Valling Pedersen, University of Copenhagen

Anders Hastrup, Post. Doc. Fellow, University of Copenhagen

June Dahy, Teaching Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Lise Paulsen Galal, Associate Professor, Roskilde University

Sara Lei Sparre, Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Zenia Yonus, PhD Fellow, University of Copenhagen

Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Peter Seeberg, Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Southern Denmark

Marie Odgaard, PhD fellow, Aarhus University

Abir Mohamad Ismail, PhD fellow, Aarhus University

Katrine Mandrup Bach, PhD Student, Aarhus University

Ahlam Chemlali, PhD Fellow, Aalborg University and DIIS

Birgitte Stampe Holst, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen

Mette Edith Stendevad, PhD Fellow, University of Leicester

Nina Grønlykke Mollerup, Associate professor, University of Copenhagen

Özlem Has, PhD Fellow, University of Copenhagen

Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Jørgen S. Nielsen, Affiliate Professor, University of Copenhagen 

Buthaina Shaheen, PhD Fellow, Bundeswehr University Munich 

Rasmus Aarslev, PhD Fellow, University of Copenhagen

Rasmus Alenius Boserup, former senior researcher at DIIS 

Andreas Bandak, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Anne Kirstine Rønn, PhD Fellow, Aarhus University

Jihan Zakarriya, Assistant Professor, Aarhus University 

Maj B. Ørskov, PhD Fellew, Aarhus University