Wednesday 16 September 2009

Norwegian scholars call for Israel boycott

Source: SPME Emily Tall, University of Buffalo, and Manfred Gerstenfeld

Twenty-one Norwegian academics at the University of Tromsø have signed a call for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. The initiative calls for the University to “establish an academic boycott of Israel,” of Israel’s “institutions of education, research and culture, and the institutions’ representatives, regardless of religion and nationality.”

The University of Tromsø has 9000 students and is known in Norway as the “peace university.” It was a leading force in Norway during the massive boycott of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. The city of Tromsø has a twinning relationship with the city of Gaza and inhabitants of Tromsø turned out in good numbers for a Gaza demonstration in January.

The boycott call comes at the same time that the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has begun a series of lectures on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The lectures are supposed to build a “broad perspective.” The list of speakers includes the American Stephen Walt and the Israelis Ilan Pappe and Moshe Zuckerman. The latter claimed initially on German radio that 400,000 people were killed during Operation Cast Lead. These names and those of several Norwegian anti-Israeli lecturers leave little doubt about the pro-Palestinian thrust of the series.

NTNU rector Torbjørn Digernes: “Seminar series is praiseworthy initiative”
NTNU is one of Norway’s most prestigious universities. This autumn the university is presenting a series of seminars on the Palestine-Israel conflict where all of the speakers, as well as the members of the organizing committee, are known adherents of the Palestinian narrative. Why is the Israeli narrative not given equal attention? Is Israel so fundamentally evil that her perspective is irrelevant? NTNU rector Torbjørn Digernes says that all speakers at the seminar are required to be objective, and that he as rector stands by the decision to host the seminars.

Unauthorized translation from NTNU’s Rector’s Page: HERE
(Norway, Israel and the Jews blog)

Anatomy of a media manipulation, Manfred Gerstenfeld

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