May 30, 2008

Israel's academic boycott

The International Herald Tribune reports that Fulbright grants that would enable Palestinians from Gaza to study in the US are being withheld because they might go to waste if Israel doesn't let its hostages go. I think that's the gist:
GAZA: The State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted permission for the students to leave Gaza.

Israel's restriction is in keeping with its policy of isolating this coastal strip, which is run by the militant group Hamas.

The United States consulate in Jerusalem said the grant money had been "redirected" because of concern that if the students were forced to remain in Gaza the grant money would go to waste. A letter was sent by e-mail to the students Thursday telling them of the cancellation.

Abdulrahman Abdullah, one of the seven Gazans who received the letter, was in shock.

"If we are talking about peace and mutual understanding, it means investing in people who will later contribute to Palestinian society," he said. "I am against Hamas. Their acts and policies are wrong. Israel talks about a Palestinian state. But who will build that state if we can get no training?"

Might it be that Israel isn't serious about the so called two state solution?


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