First ever Italian student council approves boycott of Israeli academic institutions

PNN/ Bethlehem/

On March 1, 2017, the Student Council of the University of Turin approved by wide majority (76%) a motion (text of the motion) supporting the academic boycott of Israel, calling for revocation of the agreements between the university and the Israel Institute of Technology – Technion in Haifa. For the first time, an Italian academic body has endorsed the BDS movement as a nonviolent method aimed at ending the continuous and systematic denial of the rights of the Palestinians by Israel.

The decision of the Student Council is part of an ongoing campaign launched in 2016 at several Italian universities in response to a call by professors and researchers – 351 to date – to end the collaboration between Italian universities and Technion, a research institution directly involved, through its collaboration, in the Israeli military-industrial complex.

The campaign targets Technion due to the fact that the institute is involved more than any other university in the Israeli military-industrial complex. The institute contributes to the Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid in Palestine. Technion collaborates with the Israeli military and the main weapons manufacturing companies in Israel, such as Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense, companies that produced various weapons systems used against civilians, such as the drones used to fire on civilians in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008-2009, or the surveillance equipment for Israel’s Apartheid Wall that transforms what remains of Palestinian territory into an open-air prison. The collaboration with the Israeli military and weapons industry makes the Technion an institution directly complicit in Israeli violations of international law.

The decision of the Student Council of the University of Turin, supported at an academic level, is to be considered a bold statement calling for the end of any collaboration with Israeli institutions that contribute to or benefit from the violations of international law perpetrated by the State of Israel and that have ties to its armed forces. The students of the University of Turin refuse all collaboration with the Israeli regime.