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A Joint Letter to the International Society of Iranian Studies on “Ariel University of Samaria, Israel”

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

Dear Professor Sandler
Members of the Executive Committee
International Society for Iranian Studies

We write to register our deep concern that during the 2010 Iranian Studies Biennial Conference in Santa Monica, California, the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) intends to host a faculty member from “Ariel University of Samaria, Israel.” We understand that due to some concerns expressed, recently on your website you have changed “Ariel University of Samaria, Israel” to simply “Ariel University.” But the change cannot mask the nature of the affiliation.

As you know, “Ariel” is the fourth largest illegal Israeli settlement in the heart of occupied West Bank.  Ariel College in fact began as a campus of Bar-Ilan University in 1982. Its recent upgrade to “university” by the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak highlights the involvement of the Israeli military establishment with this institution.  A “university” built illegally on confiscated Palestinian land is not recognized under international laws. The establishment of such a “university” in occupied Palestinian territories is in flagrant violation of numerous UN Resolutions, as well as Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), which clearly states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Moreover, by hosting a representative of such “university,” your organization not only shows disregard for international law, but also effectively lends legitimacy to the brutal military occupation of a people’s homeland.  By recognizing this “university,” the ISIS is endorsing the illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine.  Such recognition would also show ISIS disregards the call of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions complicit in the occupation and other violations of international laws.

As concerned academics, we urge you to reconsider a decision which disregards international law and lends legitimacy to a prolonged and brutal military occupation of the Palestinian homeland.

Cordially,

Rabab Ibrahim ABDULHADI (San Francisco State University, USA)
Ervand ABRAHAMIAN (City University of New York, USA)
Nadia ABU EL-HAJ (Barnard College, USA)
Bashir ABU-MANNEH (Barnard College, USA)
Fawzia AFZAL-KHAN (Montclair State University, USA)
Gilbert ACHCAR (SOAS, UK)
Nadje AL-ALI (SOAS, UK)
Norma ALARCON (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Kazem ALAMDARI (California State University, Northridge, USA)
Charlotte Karem ALBRECHT (University of Minnesota, USA)
Hamid ALGAR (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Noor AL-QASIMI (SOAS, UK)
Sama ALSHAIBI (University of Arizona, USA)
Janet AMIGHI (Montgomery County Community College, USA)
Jacqueline ANDRES (American University of Beirut, LEBANON)
Naseer ARURI (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA)
Barbara ASWAD (Wayne State University, USA)
Bill AYERS (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA)
Paola BACCHETTA (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Margot BADRAN (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, USA)
Janet BAUER (Trinity College, USA)
Oren BEN-DOR (School of Law, Highfield, UK)
Sherna BERGER GLUCK (California State University, Long Beach, USA)
Haim BRESHEETH (University of East London, UK)
Stan COHEN (London School of Economics, UK)
Noam CHOMSKY (MIT, USA)
Ned CURTHOYS (Australian National University)
Susan CURTIS (UCLA, USA)
Hamid DABASHI (Columbia University, USA)
Lawrence DAVIDSON (West Chester University, USA)
Lara DEEB (Scripps College, USA)
Randi DEGUILHEM (Institut de Recherche & d’Etude sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman, FRANCE)
Judith DEUTSCH (University of Toronto, CANADA)
John DOCKER (The University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA)
Eleanor DOUMATO (USA)
Aseel Nasir DYCK (Portland State University)
Nada ELIA (Antioch University, USA)
Noura ERAKAT (Georgetown University, USA)
Sasan FAYAZMANESH (California State University, Fresno, USA)
Manzar FOROOHAR (California Polytechnic State University, USA)
Katherine FRANKE (Columbia University, USA)
Nancy GALLAGHER (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
Irene GENDZIER (Boston University, USA)
Terri GINSBERG (USA)
Jess GHANNAM (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
Deborah A. GORDON (Wichita State University, USA)
Mary GREY (St Mary’s University College, UK)
Marilyn HACKER (City University of New York, USA)
Elaine C. HAGOPIAN (Simmons College, USA)
Sondra HALE (UCLA, USA)
Barbara HARLOW (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Mahamood HASSAN (California State University, Fullerton, USA)
Nubar HOVSEPIAN (Chapman University, USA)
Nancy JABBRA (Loyola Marymount University, USA)
Suad JOSEPH (University of California, Davis, USA)
Mohsen KADIVAR (Duke University, USA)
Mohja KAHF (University of Arkansas, USA)
Rhoda KANAANEH (New York, USA)
Ousmane KANE (Columbia University, USA)
Persis M. KARIM (San Jose State University, USA)
Simin KARIMI (University of Arizona, USA)
Paul KELERMAN (University of Manchester, USA)
Assaf KFOURY (Boston University, USA)
Katherine KING (UCLA, USA)
David KLEIN (California State University, Northridge, USA)
Yael KORIN (UCLA, USA)
Dennis KORTHEUER (California State University, Long Beach, USA)
Adi KUNTSMAN (University of Manchester, UK)
Frank LAND (London School of Economics, UK)
Mark LEVINE (University of California, Irvine, USA)
Genny LIM (California Institute of Integral Studies, USA)
David LLOYD (University of Southern California, USA)
Yosefa LOSHITZKY (University of East London, UK)
Shireen MAHDAVI (University of Utah, USA)
Saree MAKIDSI (UCLA, USA)
Sunaina MAIRA (University of California, Davis, USA)
Mahmood MAMDANI (Columbia University, USA)
Nur MASALHA (St. Mary’s University College and SOAS, UK)
Joseph MASSAD (Columbia University, USA)
Afshin MATIN-ASGARI (California State University, Los Angles, USA)
Minoo MOALLEM (University of California at Berkeley, USA)
Chandra Talpade MOHANTY (Syracuse University, USA)
Fouad MOUGHRABI (University of Tennessee, USA)
Bart MOORE-GIBERT (Goldsmith, University of London, UK)
Martha MUNDY (London School of Economics, UK)
Marcy NEWMAN (Amman Al-Ahliyya University, JORDAN)
Gary Y. OKIHIRO (Columbia University, USA)
Jennifer OLMSTED (Drew University, USA)
Cecile PINEDA (San Diego State University, USA)
Gabriel PITERBERG (UCLA, USA)
Nicola PRATT (University of Warwick, UK)
Bruce ROBBINS (Columbia University, USA)
Lisa ROFEL (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA)
Jonathan ROSENHEAD (London School of Economics, UK)
Roshni RUSTOMJI-KERNS (Sonoma State University, USA)
Ahmad SADRI (Lake Forest College, USA)
Mahmoud SADRI (Texas Woman’s University, USA)
Mariam C. SAID (New York, USA)
George SALEM (University of Southern California, USA)
Vida SAMIIAN (California State University, Fresno, USA)
May SEIKALY (Wayne State University, USA)
Anton SHAMMAS (University of Michigan, USA)
Simona SHARONI (SUNY Plattsburgh, USA)
Magid SHIHADE (Lahore University, Pakistan)
James SCHAMUS (Columbia University, USA)
Yumna SIDDIQI (Middlebury College, USA)
Gayatri Chakravorty SPIVAK (Columbia University, USA)
Samir TARTIR (Philadelphia University, Jordan)
Ali TIZGHADAM (University of Toronto, CANADA)
Nayereh TOHIDI (California State University, Northridge, USA)
Corbin TREACY (University of Minnesota, USA)
Shouleh VATANABADI (New York, University, USA)
Patrick WILLIAMS (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
Howard WINANT (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
Patrick WOLFE (Harvard University, USA)
Sherifa ZUHUR (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies, USA)

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

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