Tuesday, June 3, 2008

AAA Teams Up to Defend Fulbright Awardees in Gaza

The AAA joined Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) in writing a letter to the Department of State this week regarding 7 Palestinian Fulbright recipients who nearly lost their rewards due to Israel’s refusal to allow students in Gaza to travel abroad to continue their education. The State Department initially planned to “redirect” the awards of the recipients in Gaza to students in the West Bank, but ultimately decided to reverse its decision. Although we are pleased by the State Department’s final response, we remain concerned by the “disturbing readiness on the part of the United States to actively support Israel’s policy of strict closure on the Gaza Strip, a policy that has caused grave harm to the population there and constitutes collective punishment, a serious violation of international law.”

Israel’s refusal to allow students to study outside of Gaza has adversely affected students far beyond those of the Fulbright awardees. AAA, HRW, and MESA wrote, “We urge you [the State Dept.] to take this opportunity to call on Israel to allow all students in Gaza, except where there are legitimate security concerns specific to particular individuals, to exercise their right to freedom of movement and access to education. At a minimum, the United States should clearly and publicly disassociate itself from Israel’s policy of collective punishment as it affects students seeking to study abroad.” The Israeli Supreme Court also called upon the government to drop travel restrictions for Palestinian students.

Please take a moment to comment on AAA's response, as well as the actions of Israel and the US Dept. of State.

AAA, HRW, and MESA letter [pdf]
Israel Court Condemns Student Ban (BBC)
State Dept. Reinstates Gaza Fulbright Grants (NYTimes)


daniel said...

Gna just share my views from top to bottom as I see them.
I feel this is a good simply because it’s consistent with how the user is used to seeing the comment form and filling out information in general. Filling out the name and email wont take me much time, and if you really wanted to go ahead and type the comment first, you can do so, not really that big of a work around. I’m .

study abroad

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