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Palestine: Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University

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    Greetings from the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University October - November 2005 Right2edu @ birzeit.edu Right to Education Bulletin #5 Birzeit
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5 11:19 AM
      Greetings from the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University
      October - November 2005
      Right2edu @ birzeit.edu
      Right to Education Bulletin #5

      Birzeit University student, Walid Hanatche, has been arbitrarily
      imprisoned without charge or trial for the last three-and-a-half
      years, on the basis of an administrative order. We would like to
      thank everyone who has written to the Israeli military authorities in
      response to our appeal last month, calling for Walid's immediate and
      unconditional release. Amnesty International has also taken on
      Walid's case, demanding that he be either charged or released, and
      condemning the attempts by the Israeli authorities to pressure Walid
      to accept deportation or remain in administrative detention
      indefinitely http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article330.

      Unfortunately, despite growing international pressure, the Israeli
      military court renewed Walid's detention order for a further three
      months. Walid's lawyer is appealing against the decision and has told
      the Right to Education Campaign that it is crucial that we maintain
      the pressure on the Israeli military authorities during this period,
      so please continue to send your letters to the Israeli Army Legal
      Advisor and the Chief Military Attorney

      The growing education crisis in occupied East Jerusalem is reaching
      new proportions as the construction of Israel's illegal Wall cuts
      through more Palestinian areas. An estimated 52% of teachers and 22%
      of students at schools in East Jerusalem hold West Bank identity cards
      and are now being denied access to their schools by the occupation
      authorities. In a letter to UNESCO, over 30 prominent Palestinian
      civil society organizations urgently called on "the guardian of
      education around the world to take action"
      http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/downloads/pdfs/UNESCOeducation.pdf. The
      Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the
      Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs are also appealing for action
      from the international community to address "the dire constraints
      placed on Palestinian students and teachers' access to schools and
      universities due to the adverse impact of Israel's Wall in occupied
      East Jerusalem."

      Finally, we are encouraged by the efforts of university student unions
      around the world to publicly stand beside Palestinian students under
      occupation. Most recently, Stirling University and Edinburgh
      University in Scotland have won landslide votes in their student
      unions to support the Right to Education Campaign. If you belong to a
      university, trade union or any other movement or organization, please
      join us and help build an international coalition of organizations to
      collectively campaign in support of Palestinian students, teachers and
      the right to education in Palestine. Please see the Campaign's
      International Call to Action and the Sample Motion to affiliate to the
      Right to Education Campaign.

      This bulletin is divided into 3 sections: 'News and Updates', 'Calls
      to Action' and 'How you Can Support the Right to Education Campaign'.
      It includes links to recent key articles on the Right to Education
      website http://right2edu.birzeit.edu and ideas for action.


      Raise awarenessÂ… Screen the Campaign's film!
      "A Caged Bird's Song", follows Palestinian students in their daily
      struggle to reach school and university. The Right to Education
      Campaign has recently released a new version of the film, in Arabic
      with English, French and Spanish subtitles (30 minutes). Copies of
      the film available online at www.PalestineOnlineStore.com.

      1. News and Updates

      Israeli Army Harassment of Students on their Way to University
      Right to Education Campaign, 7 November 2005
      Today, four Birzeit University students face interrogation at the
      Israeli military base, Ofer, near Ramallah in the West Bank. The four
      students were pulled out of a taxi and instructed by soldiers to wait
      at the side of the road. They were not given any reason why, and after
      waiting for four hours the students were told that they must come back
      for a 'meeting' with Israeli soldiers at Ofer military base on Monday
      7 November. Israeli Army jeeps and soldiers frequently block the road
      from Ramallah to Birzeit on an arbitrary basis. Traffic is brought to
      a total standstill and soldiers harass and prevent students and
      teachers trying to reach the University.

      Trend Analysis: "Education Under Occupation: Disruptions to
      Palestinian Education Stemming From Israeli Military and Settler Activity"
      Palestine Monitoring Group (PMG), 30 October 2005
      A new report by the Palestine Monitoring Group examines disruptions to
      Palestinian education stemming from Israeli military and settler
      activity and highlights the fact that the Palestinian educational
      process is deliberately targeted.

      Launch of Public Outreach Campaign for Education in East Jerusalem
      Palestinian Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs, 26 October 2005
      The Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs has launched a public
      outreach campaign to address the dire constraints placed on
      Palestinian students and teachers' access to schools and universities
      due to the adverse impact of Israel's Wall in Occupied East Jerusalem.
      Such measures are an indication of Israel's intention to annex
      Occupied East Jerusalem, tearing the socio-economic fabric that
      sustains Palestinian livelihoods and effectively jeopardizing the
      viability of a two state solution.

      Amnesty International Appeals for Birzeit Student Walid Hanatche
      Amnesty International, 21 October 2005
      Birzeit University student, Walid Hanatche, has been detained without
      charge or trial since May 2002. He has been put under pressure by the
      Israeli authorities to accept deportation to an unspecified country or
      face the possibility of remaining in administrative detention
      indefinitely. Amnesty International is concerned that the Israeli
      authorities intend to use this as a test case, and that if they
      succeed in deporting Walid Hanatche they may deport more Palestinians.

      Stirling University Students Landslide Vote Against Israeli Crimes
      Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 19 October 2005
      Stirling University students voted yesterday in a referendum to
      support the Palestinians' struggle for their right to education. The
      votes were 347 FOR, and 88 AGAINST, a margin of almost 4:1 which
      reflects the growing commitment to solidarity with Palestine among
      Scottish students. Stirling University Students Association will now
      twin with the students council in Birzeit University and pressure the
      University to twin. It also publicly condemns the occupation, wall and
      settlers. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article328

      Letter to UNESCO on Education Crisis in East Jerusalem
      Coalition for Jerusalem, 13 October 2005
      "We, the Palestinian educational institutions, Palestinian Non
      Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and Religious
      Dignitaries in Occupied East Jerusalem are writing to you to draw your
      attention to the disastrous implications of Israel's policies on the
      education sector in Occupied East Jerusalem. By constructing the
      illegal Apartheid Wall in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, imposing
      severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in and out of
      Occupied East Jerusalem, and building and expanding Jewish colonies in
      Occupied East Jerusalem, Israel is succeeding in its aim to isolate
      Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories in
      order to consolidate its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. These
      measures and their continuation will ensure that the Palestinian
      education sector in Occupied East Jerusalem will collapse,
      jeopardizing the education and future of Palestinian children."

      Open Letter to Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary
      General, on the Targeting of Palestinian Students and Educational
      Institutions by the Israeli Occupation
      Right to Education Campaign, 7 October 2005
      We would like to take the opportunity of your visit to the occupied
      Palestinian territory (oPt), to draw your attention to the human
      rights issues facing Palestinian students in pursuing their higher
      education. Students are one of the most targeted groups under the
      Israeli military occupation. As is the case around the world,
      particularly in countries engaged in national struggle, students are
      often at the forefront of movements for social and political change.
      Furthermore, the ongoing targeting of educational institutions in the
      oPt impedes the development of Palestinian society as a whole.

      Israeli Colony Seizes School Grounds
      Al Jazeera, 6 October 2005
      Palestinian schoolboys in a Jerusalem suburb have lost their football
      pitch and volleyball court to a giant cement wall Israel has built
      through their playground. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article325

      "Education is Freedom"
      Helen Murray, Adalah Newsletter, 5 October 2005
      When the Israeli military authorities closed down Birzeit University
      for nearly five years between 1987 and 1992, along with all other
      Palestinian educational institutions, including schools and
      kindergartens, the University community refused to accept the
      criminalization of education and continued to hold classes
      'underground' in homes, offices, churches, mosques and community
      centers. These classes were frequently raided by the Israeli Army and
      any students and teachers found in attendance were arrested. In
      defiance of military rule, the very act of pursuing an education
      became a way of directly challenging the occupation.

      I Don't Remind You of Anyone
      Nagham F. Awadallah, 1 October 2005
      A student of English Literature and Translation at Birzeit University,
      Nagham Awadallah reflects on her identity and expresses why "a
      person's humanity should be the sole basis on which he or she is
      perceived. Humanity should come first in interactions, whereas
      ethnicity, religion, color, languageÂ…shouldn't be an excuse or a
      reason for negative or prejudiced interactions. The actions of some
      who belong to a certain ethnicity, religion, or color shouldn't be
      generalized to the whole. Collective punishment is not the answer."

      Panic in Schools and Kindergartens in Gaza
      Wisam Afifeh, Palestine News Network, 29 September 2005
      In the weeks after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, frequent Israeli
      air raids over the Gaza Strip detonated deafening sonic booms by
      breaking the sound barrier at all times of the day and night.
      Speaking out against the raids, Dr. Saraj, Director of the Gaza
      Community Mental Health Program, described the "devastating effects,
      especially on the children, and these effects are spreading into panic
      attacks and group panic in elementary schools and kindergartens."


      2. Calls to Action

      Demand the Release of Birzeit University Student Walid Hanatche
      Right to Education Campaign
      Walid Hanatche, M.A. student in Economics at Birzeit University in the
      occupied West Bank, has been arbitrarily imprisoned without charge or
      trial for the last three-and-a-half years. We need your help to put an
      end to this gross violation of Walid's fundamental human rights and
      allow him to return to his family, his life and his studies, by
      writing to the Israeli military authorities to demand his immediate
      release. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article326

      Israeli Assault on Palestinian Education in Jerusalem and other
      Occupied Areas Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education,
      15 September 2005

      Israeli attacks on Palestinian social and educational institutions
      continue in violation of international law. The occupation's
      restrictions on movement, and the land grabbing Separation Wall,
      prevent school children from reaching their schools and disrupt their
      daily life. The Israeli military continues to target school children,
      teachers and administrators through its policies of collective
      punishment. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education strongly
      urges the international community to investigate the conditions of
      education under occupation and to intervene to ensure that children
      and teachers can exercise their right to reach their schools safely
      and freely. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article321


      3. How You Can Support the Right to Education Campaign

      New! Screen the Campaign film "A Caged Bird's Song" (Arabic with
      English, French and Spanish subtitles) Help raise awareness by
      screening the Right to Education Campaign film, "A Caged Bird's Song",
      which follows Palestinian students in their daily struggle to reach
      their schools and universities. The Campaign has
      released a new version of the film, in Arabic with English, French and
      Spanish subtitles. Copies of the film are available online at

      1. Affiliate to the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit
      University through your union or organization.

      2. Raise awareness within your constituency about the issues
      facing Palestinian education, students and teachers under Israeli
      military occupation.
      Screen the Campaign film, "A Caged Bird's Song" (copies available
      online www.PalestineOnlineStore.com).
      Organize an action on campus. For example, set up a 'checkpoint',
      stopping students and faculty on their way to classes, demanding to
      see their student and staff IDs and raising awareness about the issues
      facing Palestinian students under occupation.
      If you are a student group, set up a correspondence with Birzeit
      University students, through email, instant messenger and video
      3. Support the Right to Education Campaign's calls for
      international action against violations of the human right to
      education in occupied Palestine.
      4. Lobby your government to pressure the government of Israel to
      adhere to its legal obligations to end attacks on civilian
      infrastructure and to allow unimpeded access for all Palestinians to
      their educational institutions.
      5. Establish connections with Palestinian universities, students
      and faculty, through solidarity links or academic exchange.
      6. Start or join divestment campaigns at your university.
      7. Organize a delegation to visit Birzeit and other universities
      in Palestine, or help to organize a delegation of Palestinian students
      and faculty to come on a speaking tour to universities and
      organizations in your country.
      8. Support a student at Birzeit University through a "Seeds of
      Hope" scholarship

      The Right to Education Campaign was set up by Birzeit University to
      reach out to students, teachers and campaigners worldwide to support
      the right to education in Palestine.

      with love

      mohammad - palestine


      Writing Letter to INTEL

      Dear all,

      I just wanted to quickly report that we are getting a very strong
      response to the Intel alert we sent out yesterday based on the number
      of letters cc'ed to alerts @ al-awda.org. I wanted to ask everyone
      subscribed here not to forget to send your letters in as well if you
      have not done so already. Please remember to send a copy of your
      correspondence to alerts @ al-awda.org

      The text of the alert is posted at

      In Solidarity

      As a suggestion, the letter i sent:

      Dear, Craig R Barret, Chairman of the Board, INTEL,

      Dear Paul Otelline, President and CEO, INTEL,

      I find it completely worrying that INTEL plans to invest for expansion
      on land confiscated from the Palestinian village of Iraq Al-Manshiya,
      as it is clearly documented by Israeli historian Benny Morris.

      I therefore demand from INTEL that:

      * Intel abandon its investments in Israel, as Israel forced out the
      original inhabitants of Iraq Al-Manshiya and the nearby village of
      Al-Faluja after the 1948 war ended contrary to international law and
      an armistice agreement sponsored by the UN and which Israel signed.

      * Intel not participate and allow Israel to have economic benefits
      from the illegal dispossession of Palestinians. Israel is denying
      Palestinian refugees their right to return to their lands and homes
      which it is occupying. This natural and inalienable right is enshrined
      in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Law,
      and is supported by numerous UN resolutions.

      On the other hand, Intel has far more attractive long-term options for
      building and expanding in other countries. These options serve Intel's
      customers, shareholders and employees in far more productive and
      honorable ways.


      Enrique Ferro, Brussels, Belgium.



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