British academics: ‘Israel must lose’

LONDON (JTA) — A group of Britain-based academics are claiming that “Israel must lose” the war with Hamas in Gaza.

In a letter to the Guardian newspaper the group of more than 300 academics and writers stated that the “massacres in Gaza [are] the latest phase of a war Israel has waged against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years."

The letter also states that “The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources.”

The intellectuals, among them Palestinians as well as Israel-born academics Professors Haim Beresheet and Ilan Pappe, wrote: “Israel must lose,” and “We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and not upon the criminal use of force.”

While it was already clear when the letter was written that cease-fire was imminent, they added: “It is not enough to call for another cease-fire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.”

Among the signatories of the letter is long-time supporter of an academic boycott of Israelis, Prof. Mona Baker of the University of Manchester, who in 2002 fired from the editorial board of her academic journal two Israelis, because of their affiliation with Israeli universities. One of them, Dr. Miriam Schlesinger of Bar Ilan University, is a leading member of the Israeli branch of the human rights organization Amnesty International.

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