The students of the American University of Beirut believe that Israel’s legitimacy isn’t a subject of debate. It has no right to exist; it’s a colonial entity. Amid this conflict in particular, there are only two parties. It’s either a supporter of Palestinians’ right to exercise resistance and regain complete sovereignty over their land, or a supporter to the Israeli occupation.
This is the key message that the students wanted to convey to the American researcher at Oxford University and the adviser of the Department of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jeff McMahon, who was hosted by the Department of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut few days ago to give a lecture about “reviewing war ethics”.
The opponents who decided to attend the lecture and protest in there, after failing to cancel it, were really provoked when McMahon described the principle of boycotting in Zionist institutions as a collective punishment. He also called for listening to Israeli academics, as some figures oppose Israeli policies and stand up to them. The opposing students said that “those words are not enough reason to host such people in our university. Being an academic who is directly connected to an Israeli institution and a direct contributor to legitimizing the Zionist entity, the guest Jeff McMahon is not welcomed here. Our problem has always been in having Israel as a colonial entity. Our problem does not lie in the practices of the Israeli government as McMahon and others claim.”
The students suggested that Israeli authorities promote this battle “either for the purpose of normalization or to give the impression that it’s a tolerant, civilized entity. In fact, these figures pose no threat or challenge to the hegemony of the Israeli entity.”
“Equating the acts of Hamas, the resistance of oppressed people, with the acts of oppressors doesn’t conform to Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations which preserves the right of the oppressed to resist. Therefore, we cannot refer to resistors as terrorists or equate them with the Israeli colonial forces, which do not defend themselves but practice merciless persecutions and commit horrible murders,” said the students addressing McMahon.
“The students have decisively opposed hosting academics who are directly connected to colonialists in Lebanon that has always stood at the forefront of the conflict against Israel and has spared no effort to sacrifice its sons in this struggle. As we witness an academic and cultural boycott of Israel in the west, it is our duty as students to be leaders of this movement in the university.”
Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper