Jewish couples who move to the East Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Zeev will receive rent assistance in order to discourage Palestinians from renting flats in the area. "The idea is to halt the plague of Arabs renting flats throughout Pisgat Zeev," notes "A", coordinator of this initiative, who refused to give his name or that of the funding organization. The local Hebrew-language newspaper Mynet noted that the target population of this initiative is national-religious couples and primarily settlers. According to "A," "the more settlers, the better. The Arabs get angrier when they see a settler who rents a flat here.
Rising housing costs in Jerusalem, propelled largely by Israel's construction of the Separation Wall around the city and its refusal to provide building permits to Palestinian Jerusalemites, have compelled Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel to increasingly seek more affordable housing in the city's Israeli settlements. Settlements in northern Jerusalem, including French Hill and Ramat Eshkol, serve as temporary residence for a number of Palestinian citizens of Israel attending the nearby Hebrew University. According to the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, at least 30,000 Palestinians with Jerusalem residency returned to the city following Israel's construction of the Separation Wall and its attendant restrictions on freedom of movement, employment and worship, amongst other human rights violations.
Support for the racist funding for Jewish couples to push Palestinian residents out of Pisgat Zeev is provided by Eli Ben Hamo, Head of the state-funded Community Administration of the settlement. "Recently there has been a decline of rentals to Arabs as there is no supply, but new building is now being carried out in Pisgat Zeev and better that national religious (Jewish) people enter and not Arabs," he told Mynet.
and further evidence of racial discrimination against Arab students...........
Tel Aviv University Discriminates in Dorm Allocation
A secretary in the dean's office at Tel Aviv University has told dozens of Israeli Palestinian students that they were denied spots in college dormitories for the coming academic year, due to preference given to students with military records.
Israeli law stipulates that universities give special treatment to military reservist students and none of the universities have ever expressed even symbolic opposition to this political interference in the academic sphere, according to the AIC report Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories by Uri Yacobi Keller.
Israeli Palestinians students at Tel-Aviv University often find it next to impossible to find apartments for rent near the university, because most owners are racist (see for example: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11151.shtml). Thus, Israeli Palestinians make do with the university dorms, which are inferior in quality.
As a result, the dorms are normally divided about equally between Arab and Jewish students, with each group getting about 40 percent of the beds, and another 20 percent going to the overseas students, according to a report in the Israeli news daily Haaretz. This year, however, because of an influx of students from abroad, the university changed the system it uses to assign dorm rooms and is now granting more weight to military and national service records.
Balad chairman MK Jamal Zahalka has asked Yoav Ariel, the university’s dean of students, to reexamine the application criteria because Arab students are legally exempt from military and national service, according to the newspaper.
Taymur Mansur, a second year social work student of Druze origin, told Haaretz that while he lived in a dorm last year, the university rejected his request for the coming academic year. Mansur did not serve in the army for religious reasons, and is convinced that is what's keeping him from university-provided housing.
Dormitory spots are not the only way universities favor those that serve in the Israeli army, including scholarships and academic benefits. Many scholarships, including some university sponsored ones, grant academic credit to applicants who have served in the army, and some universities offer monetary scholarships that are open to soldiers only, according to Yacobi Keller. Such benefit are not available to most Palestinian students, who do not have the opportunity to serve in the Israeli military and are therefore not eligible for the scholarships and grants from which Jewish Israeli students are able to benefit.
Tel Aviv University would not comment on the breakdown of the dorm allocation system, but told Haaretz that 600 beds are going to Israeli students, 300 to overseas students and 50 to new immigrants. The university did confirm that there are fewer available spots in the dormitories this year, but said that was because of extensive repair work.
Such action on the part of Israeli universities provides further reason to support the internationally called for boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions. A number Israeli and Palestinian academics have openly come out in support of an academic boycott of Israel. The goal being to isolate the Israeli academic world in order to push those involved to help press for a change in Israel's discriminatory policies towards Palestinians.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has called for five specific actions that a number of international boycotts are adopting:
- Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
- Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
- Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
- Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
- Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.
If you are interested in endorsing a call for boycott at your academic institution, visit here.