As academics, researchers and educators associated with Victoria University, we are dismayed to learn that the Student Union Building will play host next week to soldiers from the Israeli Defense Force, touring Aotearoa/New Zealand as part of a nation-wide campaign to justify Israeli crimes in last year’s war in Gaza.
Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip in July last year, killed some 2 194 people over 51 days. 1 523 of these casualties were civilians. The United Nations stated that Israel’s use of heavy artillery against Gaza “may amount to a war crime.”
This attack had a devastating effect on educational and academic life in Gaza. Three universities, seven United Nations schools and at least 140 local schools suffered severe damage from Israeli attacks. Over 20 students were killed in an attack on Al Quds Open University. 60 academic staff and their families were displaced, as were over 2000 students and their families. Summer courses in 2014 were largely cancelled. Read more »