Based on an ethical framework

Vuur wants UU to reexamine its collaborations with Israeli universities

Studenten en docenten maandag bij de pro-Palestina walk-out. Foto: DUB
Utrecht University. Photo: DUB's archives

Utrecht University should take a critical look at its institutional ties in light of the "accusations of human rights violations and crimes against humanity" against the Israeli government, writes student party Vuur in a statement (available to those in possession of a Solis ID, Ed.) addressed to the Executive Board.

The student members of the council state that they have reservations about certain collaborations and call on the board to "investigate which of these cooperations are not aligned with the university's values" and which Israeli institutions "openly support the war."

Ethical framework
Vuur would like to see UU set an ethical framework to evaluate its collaborations, in which the university's societal role would be made clear. This framework would not only apply to Israeli partners but any partners from regions in conflict, to "avoid double standards." The student members also propose a committee of experts, employees and students who would keep an eye on the university's collaborations to ensure they meet the standards. Given that the International Court of Justice ruled Israel's actions as a plausible genocide in January, the Executive Board should sever "all ties" with "institutions and people who openly support the war," writes the party. 

Open disapproval
The students also find that the university should set an example and use its "political and societal weight" if genocide is proven. "As a university, it is our role to oppose genocide. Doing nothing while a genocide is taking place only strengthens the perpetrator. This way, the university is implicitly choosing a side," writes the statement's author, Saban Caliskan.

UU's ties with Israeli universities have been under fire for quite some time. Pro-Palestine activists have been calling on the university to get rid of them for months, as they believe in a boycott against Israel. Yesterday, the city centre library's courtyard was occupied by protesters who believe that the university risks being complicit with genocide.