Three hundred and sixty-eight persons, a lot of them university professors, have sent a joint letter to The Guardian, UK today protesting the collaboration of the Science Museum in London and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. Apparently, these museums have asserted that they are not “sponsoring”, rather merely allowing their premises for the event to be hosted.
Here are some interesting excerpts from the letter:
“The event is being billed as a celebration of science. In fact it is an attempted celebration of Israel.”
“The event is promoted by the Zionist Federation [of Great Britain and Ireland] and is designed to showcase the scientific achievements of seven Israeli universities. But all of these are complicit in the Israeli occupation and in the policies and weaponry so recently deployed to such disastrous effect in Gaza.”
“In the immediate aftermath of the indiscriminate slaughter and attempted annihilation of all the infrastructure of organised society in Gaza, how can this “celebration” be allowed to borrow some respectability from the use of these distinguished institutions?”
The flyer prepared by the Federation announces: “As part of the celebrations of Israel’s 60th Anniversary, the ZF together with seven Israeli Universities are organizing two science days in the UK to promote the excellence of Israeli Science in new groundbreaking fields”. The days are to be held on 3rd March, 09 and 5th Marchi, 09 one on each of the mentioned museum’s premises, according to the flyer. According to the U.S. Campaign on the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, “Protests are rolling in from scientists and non-scientists alike.”
The text of the letter published in the Guardian has obviously been taken from the draft of a statement prepared by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine to be sent to the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum in London. Setting up a deadline of 21st February, the Committee offers an open invitation to put one’s name to the letter. If you wish to have your name included send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org