Author Archives: David McDowall

How Israel frustrates Palestine’s education

In the current issue of Times Higher Education (13 September), you’ll find a piece by Palestine’s Raja Shehadeh, about the way Israel discourages foreign faculty from teaching in Palestine.  Precisely half of the 64 foreign academics working in Palestine, have been adversely affected by denial or restriction in their permission to work, over the past two academic years. 

Once a university has invited a foreign academic to join its faculty, Israel uses an opaque two-tier system of control, through the Civil Administration in the occupied territory and, if an application clears that hurdle, the power of veto by Israel’s Interior Ministry.  The process is uncertain, Kafkaesque and has every appearance of being discriminatory, to impair the fundamental purpose of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the deepening of understanding. Unable to plan their future, such applicants give up, seeking employment elsewhere. Some Palestinian-born faculty educated in the US or Europe have also been denied residency. 

Israel’s handling of these applications seems tainted with illegality. In his ground-breaking book, Occupier’s Law, published in 1985, Shehadeh showed how the Civil Administration in the West Bank, which issues (or withholds) work permits, was created as part and parcel of ‘solutions for the legal problems encountered in achieving the goal of annexing the West Bank without its inhabitants,’ itself a profoundly illegal process. 

The second tier of Israeli control, however, lies within Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, which issues (or withholds) entry visas for residence in the Occupied Territory. Even where visas are issued, visa extensions may be denied on the grounds that foreigners may not reside in Israel for more than five years. But they are, of course, residing in the Palestinian territory, not in Israel. Under the Laws of Occupation, it may be debatable whether this illegally transfers powers that should remain within occupied territory. Yet it clearly transgresses operative clause 5 of the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (December 2016), which requires all Member States, and that of course includes Israel itself, ‘to distinguish in all their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.’  

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 2 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTom Harney 21st Oct - 3:52am
    I would like to think that it is everyone’s duty to put forward ideas on how our country should be run. There is a lot...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 21st Oct - 12:23am
    It is not merely the task of a democratic opposition to hold a government to account; it is also (and, I might add, primarily) their...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 20th Oct - 11:20pm
    Just on the VONC issue it can be said that Jo was too quick in pointing out the impossibility of Corbyn getting the necessary support...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 20th Oct - 10:51pm
    John Marriott, here is my explanation: leavers in 2016 had indeed no clue and were lied to. Their vote had nothing to do with the...
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 20th Oct - 10:20pm
    @Nigel Jones No actually. Should Bulgaria raise it's minimum wage from 1.7 euros per hour to be on part with ours? Or should Sweden, Norway,...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 20th Oct - 10:10pm
    "The last thing we want is a race towards the USA’s methods under which too many people work excessive hours; we have already gone far...