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Students, staff criticise TU Dublin’s ‘silence’ on Gaza


Students and staff at the country’s second largest university have written to its president criticising what they call its “ongoing silence on the systematic genocide of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel” and calling for a statement.

The open letter, signed by leaders of TU Dublin Students’ Union and its three staff Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) branches, says the president’s silence “is in stark contrast to the swift statement made by you following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

It states that “Israeli forces killed more civilians within the first 30 days of this war than Russian forces have killed within over 600 days of their brutal war in Ukraine”.

Addressed to university President Professor David Fitzpatrick, the letter goes on to state that “TU Dublin should be an exemplar of solidarity for global justice and reflect the views of its students and staff”.

It says that the two unions are requesting that the technological university release a statement “acknowledging Israel’s genocidal war against the People of Palestine”, and demanding that the Irish Government takes a far stronger stance in defence of the Palestinian people, including supporting of the genocide case being taken by South Africa at the International Court of Justice.

It also asks the college to call for “an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages held in Gaza and in Israeli jails, entry of life-saving humanitarian aid into Gaza, UN protection for the 2.3 Palestinian Civilians trapped under Israeli siege in Gaza, and development & enhancement of links with Palestinian Universities in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem”.

Letter seeks Israel boycott policy

In the letter students and staff leaders also request that TU Dublin suspends all academic links to Israeli academic institutions, and adopt a university-wide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions policy (BDS).

“As educators and students, we condemn in particular the destruction of the Palestinian education system through carpet bombing, controlled explosions, targeted assassinations, and forced closures.

“An open letter dated 25 January 2024 from the US-based Middle East Studies Association (MESA) details the attack on education in Gaza.

“All 12 universities in Gaza have either been wholly or partially destroyed. Academics have been purposefully targeted and killed, including 3 university presidents, 7 deans and 94 professors”, the letter states.

Detailing at length the killing and human rights abuses in Gaza the letter states “we recognise that this exceptional violence against a largely unarmed civilian population can only occur because of decades of impunity granted to Israel since 1948”.

The letter adds that it is TUI policy to support the Palestinian people and the academic boycott of Israeli education institutions, and that TU Dublin Students’ Union also supports the defence of the Palestinian people, as well as the BDS campaign.

Extending sympathy to students and staff “of all backgrounds” who may have been affected by the war the letter concludes that the unions “reject and condemn any form of racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia” and “stress our commitment to justice and equal rights for all who live in Palestine and Israel”.


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