Dutch academics boycott Israeli universities

Nearly 500 researchers and lecturers are boycotting Israeli academic institutions because of their ties to Israel’s military. They want the Netherlands to express support for the Palestinians by cutting all economic, political and military ties with Israel for the time being. At the time of writing, the list of signatories doesn’t include a single TU/e researcher, but there are already eight TU/e students on the list.

photo Veterok / Shutterstock

The group’s petition has already been signed by 491 academics at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences, and by 550 students. They argue that there is an inherent power imbalance in the current armed conflict. According to the petition, Palestinians live as second-class citizens in a system of segregation, under military occupation. The signatories believe that this is the cause of the escalation of violence now taking place in Israel.

The petition calls on the Dutch government to cut “all economic, political and military relations with Israel, until such a time as all sections of the Palestinian people are afforded their rights”. The signatories themselves say they are heeding their Palestinian colleagues’ call to boycott Israeli academic institutions because of their ties to the country’s military. They do not see the need to suspend cooperation with individual Israeli academics.


TU/e is part of the EuroTech Universities Alliance, a partnership of six universities, of which the Israeli University Technion in Haifa has also been a member since 2019. When that was announced at the time, TU/e's then board chairman Jan Mengelers told the Eindhovens Dagblad (Dutch newspaper, ed.) that he did not see it as a problem that research conducted by Technion would also be used for military purposes.

On the website where the petition can be found, to which new names of scientists and students are constantly being added, were this morning the names of eight TU/e students, but still no TU/e researchers. However, around 10 AM, the list of student names had suddenly disappeared and a copy of the list of researchers was replaced. At this moment it is not clear what caused this.

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