Students set up tent villages on campuses – demand an end to cooperation with Israeli universities | Homeland

The turmoil caused by the situation in the Middle East can be seen in the area of ​​universities in various parts of Finland. In Jyväskylä, protesters are demanding that the university support studies of Gaza refugees.

Doctoral researcher Iballa Burunat Perez and Freepalestinejkl joint activist Vattu Korhonen participated in Thursday’s tent demonstration. Photo: Riina Mäentaus

Sarah Heiskanen,

Riina Mäentaus

Pro-Palestine demonstrations at the University of Helsinki, which have continued for a second week, have spread to other cities.

On Tuesday, a tent camp was set up on the campus of Tampere University, where protesters demanded an academic boycott of Israeli universities. The students have announced that they will continue their protest until Tampere University responds to their demands.

In Oulu and Jyväskylä on Wednesday evening, pro-Palestine demonstrators camped out on university campuses. In Jyväskylä, protesters spent the night in the courtyard of the seminary complex.

The Freepalestinejkl collective, which is organizing the demonstration, is demanding that the university end its cooperation with an Israeli university and support studies by Gaza refugees, according to a collective activist. Disc Korhonen.

Vatu Korhonen says what the protesters want from the University of Jyväskylä. Video: Riina Mäentaus, Yle / Isto Janhunen / Yle

According to Korhonen, cooperation continues to support Israel’s actions in Gaza and Palestine. The protesters also demanded that the university provide students who fled Gaza with the same level of support for their studies as students who fled Ukraine.

– At the very least, we hope that the university will take a stand on the situation, Korhonen says.

See also  EQ's decision meets expectations - the company no longer wants to guide the development of asset management

According to him, the university’s way of taking a stand was selective, as support has been given to Ukraine and Pride, but they do not want to comment on the situation in Gaza.

Narrator: Research projects are not going to be disrupted

Principal Zari Öcalan According to the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Jyväskylä is involved in an international neuroscience research project, which also includes an Israeli university. In addition, the university has individual research projects in collaboration with Israeli researchers.

According to Ojala, the research projects are in no way related to the Israeli Armed Forces.

– They are basic research projects that have little to do with world politics, says Ojala.

The university does not want to disrupt the ongoing projects. Nor was a policy made that there would be no future collaboration with Israeli researchers.

– Here we come to the big question of policy, to what extent we can interfere with the freedom of research. Research is done in international networks, and there may be situations where Israeli researchers are also involved, Ojala says.

According to him, new contractual partnerships with Israeli universities are currently not being developed.

According to Ojala, intervening in an international neuroscience research program would be problematic, and unilateral withdrawal from it would be against the legal protection of exchange students at the University of Jyväskylä.

– We must also adhere to our own fundamental values, where the freedom of research and the freedom of students to study are central.

The university does not plan a statement

The University of Jyväskylä has not planned a statement on behalf of Palestinian students and researchers, as protesters have demanded. Chancellor Jari Ojala says he discussed the matter with the chancellors of other universities this morning.

See also  Ossi Virra, HJK - Head coach of HJK ​​Helsinki

– The situation in Gaza is different from the situation in Ukraine, in which neither the Finnish government nor the EU has taken a clear political position.

Ojala says the university condemns Israel’s use of force in Palestine and follows the lead of the Finnish government in its decision-making. According to him, the university does not have its own foreign policy.

According to Ojala, the university does not have permission for those camped out at Seminarinmaki to demonstrate on campus, but the protesters will not be removed from the area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *