Statement from the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities and Higher Education Institutions

Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities and Higher Education Institutions

Public Statement
In a meeting held in Ramallah, the Federation of Unions of Employees in the Palestinian Universities discussed the incidents which took place on the campus of Birzeit University following the visit of French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The federation issued the following statement to clarify its position towards the incident:

  1. All Palestinians appreciate the French position of support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State. The position towards Jospin’s visit and the boycott of his visit is a direct response to his statements expressing his support and bias towards Israel and encouraging its aggressive attacks against the dignity and freedom of the Arab people.
  2. The reaction that went beyond the peaceful protest against the visit was not planned or expected by Birzeit employees, the student movement, or the university administration and does not express its peaceful direction.
  3. We, in the Federation, insist on the need to coordinate the efforts of all bodies in the university to overcome the current crisis in a manner which ensures the continuity of the academic process and the sanctity of the university campus.

Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities and Higher Education Institutions

Union of Teachers and Employees of Universities and Private Institutes 
Birzeit University Chapter
Birzeit- Ramallah

At a time when the Palestinian people appreciate the professional and popular French position towards Arab issues, we condemn the statements made by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin which coincide with the racist statements of David Levy to burn Lebanon and its children, leading to feelings of anger which have taken over the Palestinian people.

Birzeit University was and remains a national edifice reflecting the feelings of Palestinians and continues to affirm its democratic and national foundation.

The general board, teachers, and employees have discussed the effects of Jospin’s visit to the university and have decided the following:

  1. The general board insists on the independence of the university and its academic and administrative systems as well as the need to protect the sanctity of the campus and reject its being preyed on regardless by whom.
  2. The general board condemns the recent mass arrests and calls for the immediate release of all detained students. It also affirms its position of not returning to work at the university until all the students are released.
  3. The general board affirms the fact that the responsibility for dealing with the incident which took place during Jospin’s visit falls on the university alone, through the application of university regulations by the relevant bodies.
  4. The general board asks that all security procedures and individuals be removed from around the campus and on the roads leading to the campus.

Administrative Board of the Employees Union