As might have been expected, the UK government is flourishing funds to promote collaboration with Israel, and regrettably no fewer than 12 UK universities have agreed to take up the offer. By their collaboration, they are becoming complicit in one of the greatest assaults on human rights in modern times, since Israeli universities are deeply complicit in their government’s assault on Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The original report in Skwawkbox can be found here.

In middle of Gaza genocide, 12 UK universities sign new research partnerships with Israel

Deaf ear to the suffering of Palestinian civilians as UK government gives away cash to incentivise partnering with Israel

Twelve universities across the UK have applied for and accepted government grants to undertake ‘a range of ‘mobility projects focussed on innovation and entrepreneurial skills development’ in partnership with Israeli universities.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is handing out the cash to pay for researchers to ‘hone their expertise via international collaboration’ with a focus on ‘entrepreneurship and Technology Readiness Levels’ (TRLs) ‘, according to the Universities UK website. The cash will also fund researchers to travel to Israel and will ‘further links with the Israeli ecosystem through existing research and innovation collaborations and open the door to new opportunities’.

At a time when students and activists around the world are demanding a boycott of Israeli products, services and institutions, the universities below have taken the cash – some of them twice:

  • Aston University – Weizzman Institute of Science and Bar-Ilan University
  • Edge Hill University – Tel Aviv University
  • Queen Mary University of London – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University
  • Royal Veterinary College – Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Teesside University – Tel Aviv University
  • UCL – Tel Aviv University
  • University of Exeter – Tel Aviv University
  • University of Greenwich – Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • University of Kent – Technion
  • University of Leeds – Tel Hai College
  • University of Plymouth – Technion
  • University of Surrey – Bar-Ilan University

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement has described Israeli universities as working closely with the Israeli state to develop weapons and systems that can be used to oppress and kill Palestinians:

Israeli universities are major, willing and persistent accomplices in Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

They are involved in developing weapon systems and military doctrines deployed in Israel’s recent war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza, justifying the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, rationalizing gradual ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians, providing moral justification for extra-judicial killings, systematically discriminating against “non-Jewish” students, and other implicit and explicit violations of human rights and international law.

To end this complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, Palestinian civil society has called for an academic boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions. Refusing to normalize oppression, many academic associations, student governments and unions as well as thousands of international academics now support the academic boycott of Israel.

As Skwawkbox revealed yesterday, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting last week promoted – and visited in 2022 – an Israeli data company with close links to the Israeli military that is processing NHS test results. The founder of the firm is a ‘tech entrepreneur’ who has spoken and written about the importance of technology in fighting ‘terrorism’. Yet another occasion where the ‘Labour’ front bench is completely aligned with the views and behaviour of the Tories they are supposed to be opposing.