Category: News (Page 1 of 2)

Webinar on Covid-19 vaccines (in Arabic)

Scientists for Palestine and the Bisan Center for Research and Development are hosting a joint public education event in Arabic for the general Palestinian public to explain the science and efficiency of the available COVID- 19 vaccines with medical experts. The registration page and the speaker’s bios is available here.

Prominent Palestinian astrophysicist starts his eighth month of detention awaiting trial

Al-Quds Professor Imad Barghouthi was charged in August 2020 for the content of his Facebook posts.

Imad Barghouthi, renowned Palestinian astrophysicist, Professor of Plasma Physics at Al Quds university (West Bank), has been detained since July 22nd, 2020. It was only after being held in jail for several weeks that charges, related to the content of his Facebook posts, were moved against him. Now, more than half a year after his arrest, Imad is still incarcerated, awaiting trial.

Already in September, a judge had agreed on releasing him on bail, a decision which sparked hopes of seeing Prof. Barghouthi reunited with his family, as well as his colleagues and students at Al Quds. However, this verdict was rapidly overturned by the Isaeli Military commander of the West Bank who, based on secret evidence which not even the defense lawyer can access, placed Prof. Barghouthi in Administrative Detention since.  Administrative detention is a system regularly employed by Israel to imprison Palestinians without any charges or trials; it can be prolonged for indefinite periods of time and is mandated top-down from Israeli military commanders. The initial three months detention order has since been renewed, and to this day Prof. Barghouthi remains in prison.

Residents of the West Bank, like Imad, are tried in Israeli military courts which are known to have astronomical conviction rates and violating basic international law. Imad’s lawyer, with the support of his family, decided then to appeal to the Israeli High Court of Justice, which is instead a civil institution. Unfortunately the first hearing, scheduled for February 15th, was postponed and took place on February 22nd. Allegedly, after hearing both sides, the judge listened behind closed doors to the Israeli Secret Service and was convinced to reject the appeal. Thus Prof. Barghouthi, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists charged solely on the bases of a few Facebook posts, will remain in prison for the foreseeable future.

As concerned scientists and individuals, it is hard to remain silent in front of such a blatant human rights violation and in fact we should not. The harassment of scientists and their imprisonment without a fair trial is in direct violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 27, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, article 14. We ask for the immediate liberation of professor Barghouthi which should be granted a fair and just trial!

Webinar:

Mentorship: A Pathway to Succeed
in Medicine and Allied Health Professions

We were very happy to host a webinar with keynote speakers, to address topics ranging from developing strong mentorship relationships to academic research and career/networking advancement. The recording of the webinar is available here as well as the speaker’s slides. Thanks to everyone who participated and to our wonderful panelists!

Palestinian astrophycisist Prof. Barghouthi sees his administrative detention renewed

Hours before Palestinian Astrophysicist Prof. Imad Barghouthi’s scheduled release on Sunday November 8th, the military commander of the West Bank issued a new administrative detention order extending his imprisonment, which has been going on since July 16th 2020, by an additional three months and three weeks. The justification for this decision by the Israeli military referenced secret files in possession of the Israeli forces, which neither Prof. Barghouthi nor his lawyer have been provided access to.

Prof. Bargouthi continues to be held, in violation of international law, and kept from his family, students, and colleagues. More than a thousand of scholars worldwide have been engaged in demanding the release of the Palestinian Astrophysicist since his unlawful arrest earlier in the year and only weeks before the scheduled beginning of the Fall semester in Palestine.

Administrative detention, a procedure employed by Israeli authorities to jail indefinitely without trial and without charges and used routinely against Palestinians, has been condemned by the UN and is in direct violation of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Prof. Bargouthi’s detention has been justified based on his social media activity, but repeatedly judges on his case have ruled in favor of his release during the trial.

However, following an indictment by an Israeli military court, the judge decided to release him on bail on September 2nd. Hours before his release, the Israeli military commander of the West Bank ordered an extension of Imad’s detention until November 15th, in contradiction of the judge’s decision. Again, the judge decided to release him on November 8th which was communicated to his family as definitive. Again, the Israeli military commander has contradicted the judge’s decision.

Scientists for Palestine strongly condemns this unlawful detention of one of our Palestinian colleagues. Prof. Bargouthi’s situation is not uncommon and faced by many Palestinian scientists, students, and others. Through the case of Prof. Imad Barghouthi we hope to find a leverage to bring to the world’s attention also the situation of so many others. So long as this cruel, unlawful system continues, the hopes of Palestinian scientists (young and old) of becoming engaged members of the International Scientific Community will always fall short of becoming a reality!

Our thoughts are with Imad, his family and so many other Palestinians in similar situations. Please sign our petition if you have not done so yet.

Webinar: From Education in Palestine to Israeli Military Courts

A Conversation with Ubai Aboudi

On November 8th Scientists for Palestine will host an entire webinar dedicated to to celebrate the return to his family of our colleague Ubai Aboudi. Ubai will touch upon his experience in military jail, the prospects of education and research in Palestine and many other topics. The meeting will be convened and moderated by Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. See all details here.

Register for the event here.

Breaking news: Prof. Imad Barghouthi set to be released within days!

After nearly three months of detention, overwhelmingly either without charges or in administrative detention, Prof. Imad Barghouthi will come home!The judge on the case of our the internationally renowned Palestinian astrophysicist, announced that Imad is set to be released on November 8th.

Imad’s family cannot be happier about the news and, along with us, thank dearly the thousands of scholars worldwide who signed the petition to free him and took a stand to support the right to Science of Palestinians. Without your work this would not have been possible!

Today is time to celebrate for this great news, but we will keep following the case closely to avoid further surprises and you should too! Check our website and our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Breaking news: Ubai Aboudi finally freed!

Mr. Ubai Aboudi, Palestinian-American researcher and educator and director of the Bisan Center for Research & Development, who was abducted by the Israeli military without charges on November 13, 2019, is finally FREE! Over a thousand scholars worldwide, including Nobel prize winner George Smith and world renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, had signed a petition asking for his release.

Our thoughts are with Ubai’s wife, Palestinian writer Hind Shraydeh, who never stopped fighting for Ubai’s liberation, and Ubai’s three kids who have been waiting for almost a year to see their beloved father. Scientists for Palestine looks forward to finally returning to the many projects that we initiated with Ubai before his brutal abduction!

Webinar: Impact of the Israeli Occupation on Palestinian Science, Education, and Research

We are extremely excited to announce a new S4P webinar discussing the various impediments to higher education and research facing Palestinians within the context of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, covering the practical barriers at various functional levels of higher education, up to and including the arbitrary detention of Palestinian academics. The presentation will include a recent paper from the Bisan Center, “The Obstacles of Scientific Research in Palestine”. See all details and how to register here. The event will also be streamed on our Facebook page.

On my administrative detention: Palestinian astrophysicist writes from jail.

Professor Imad Barghouthi, the Palestinian astrophysicist arrested in July who was then set to be released on bail, has been placed in administrative detention until November 15th by an order of an Israeli military commander. Administrative detention is a procedure employed by Israeli authorities to jail indefinitely without trial and without charges and used routinely against Palestinian, and it has been condemned by the UN. We share here a letter from Prof. Barghouthi on his current situation:

On-my-administrative-detention-final

“Career Paths and Opportunities for Palestinian Students in Medicine and Medical Sciences”

Scientists for Palestine is organizing an online panel discussion with a Q&A session on different post-graduate opportunities outside of Palestine in medicine and medical fields. The event will take place on September 12 at 5PM Palestinian time and registration is required to receive the zoom link. Visit the page below for the speaker list and the registration link. Please share widely with Palestinian medical students or students in medical fields!

Prominent Palestinian Astrophysicist set to administrative detention by Israeli military order

NEW YORK—On September 2nd Dr. Imad Barghouthi, Professor of Physics at Al-Quds University, Palestine, was placed under administrative detention until November 15th by an order of an Israeli military commander in the West Bank which came only hours before his scheduled release on bail.

Prof. Barghouthi was first arrested on July 16th at an Israeli check-point, then held without charges for over two weeks and then finally charged in relation to his Facebook activity. After thousands of scholars worldwide demanded Prof. Barghouthi to be freed from prison, his lawyer successfully argued for his release on bail which was granted by the judge on his case on September 2nd. Then an Israeli military order was issued in contradiction to the decision of the judge, indefinitely continuing the unlawful imprisonment of Prof. Barghouthi.

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Breaking News: Prominent Palestinian Astrophysicist set to administrative detention!

Our colleague Dr. Imad Barghouthi, Professor of Physics at Al-Quds University, who was scheduled to be released on bail within 48 hours, by an order of an Israeli military commander in the West Bank will remain under administrative detention until November 15th.

Prof. Barghouthi was first arrested on July 16th at an Israeli check-point, then held without charges for over two weeks and then finally charged in relation to his Facebook activity. After thousands of scholars worldwide demanded Prof. Barghouthi to be freed from prison, his lawyer successfully argued for his release on bail which on September 2nd was granted by the judge on his case. But just when our hopes rose that Prof. Barghouthi could be freed, reunited with his family and restart his activity as a researcher and mentor of his many students, an Israeli military order was used to override the decision of the judge, indefinitely continuing the unlawful imprisonment of Prof. Barghouthi.

Administrative detention, a procedure employed by Israeli authorities to jail indefinitely without trial and without charges and used routinely against Palestinian, has been condemned by the UN (see for example paragraph 80 of document A/HRC/28/80/Add.1) and is in direct violation of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

As concerned scientists, we condemn the arbitrary and unlawful administrative detention of professor Imad Barghouthi. This violation of international law and basic human rights is an attack on Prof. Barghouthi and his family, as well as his students and the scientific community everywhere in the world. We therefore demand that the judge rejects the military order and releases Prof. Imad immediately.

A letter from prison from prof. Imad Barghouthi

Imad Barghouthi, the prominent Palestinian astrophysicist arrested by Israeli authorities last month, remains in arbitrary detention at the Ofer Israeli prison camp. A petition demanding his liberation has reached more than 1500 signatories, many of which distinguished scholars around the world. We publish here a letter addressed to the international scientific community that prof. Barghouthi wrote from prison.

Letter-from-prison-final-1

Sign the petition for the liberation of prof. Imad Barghouthi

Scientists for Palestine have initiated a petition for the release of Imad Barghouthi. Please follow this link to sign the petition. The names of the signatories appear below. For more information about the case, see here.

On Thursday, July 16th 2020, Professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds [1] in East Jerusalem was detained [2] by Israeli military forces at a military checkpoint outside of Anata while he was travelling from the university campus to his home in Ramallah. He is now being kept in an Israeli detention facility, prohibited from contact with his dear wife and children. No charges have been brought against him and he faces the potential threat of administrative detention. Administrative detention [3], an illegal measure used arbitrarily by the Israeli military forces to detain Palestinians without any charges or trials. If charges were to be placed against him, he would face trial by an Israeli military court, which notoriously has conviction rates of almost 100% [4].

This arrest is not an isolated case. Prof. Barghouthi, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists, was placed under administrative detention for two months [5] in 2014, and was again detained for six months [6] in 2016. Mr. Ubai Aboudi (a US citizen), the director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, was abducted from his home in November 2019 and placed in administrative detention. He remains in prison to this day. Both Prof. Barghouthi and Mr. Aboudi have worked with S4P on our international meetings and schools in Palestine, and their arrest and detention seriously hinders our work supporting science in Palestine.

The harassment of Palestinian Scientists is a direct violation of human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights [7], article 27, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [8], article 15), as well as an attack to scholars everywhere.

As concerned members of the international academic community, S4P calls for all scholars to join our plea and demand the immediate release of Prof. Barghouthi and a stop to the imprisonment of Palestinian scientists!

SIGN THE PETITION HERE!

INITIAL SIGNATORIES

Scientists for Palestine – Central Committee
Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de recherche au CNRS, Paris
Nasser Mohieddin Abukhdeir​, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Philip Argyres, Physics Department, University of Cincinnati
Michel Broué, Professeur émérite à l’université Paris Diderot
Noam Chomsky, Laureate Professor of Linguistics, Agnese Nelms Haury Chair, University of Arizona
Chandler Davis, Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto
Michel Anne-Frederic DeGraff, Professor of Linguistics, MIT
John Ellis, Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics, King’s College, London
Catherine Goldstein, Directrice de recherche au CNRS, Paris​
Michael Harris
, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University
Nabil Iqbal,
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University
David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge
Assaf Kfouri
, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
Madalena Lemos, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University
David Marsh, Professor of Physics, Stockholm University
Mario Martone, Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin
Anat Matar, Philosophy department, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Haynes Miller
, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Mumford
, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics, Field Medalist, Brown University
Rima Najjar
, Retired Professor, AQU
Andy O’Bannon,
Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Royal Society Research Fellow, University of Southampton
Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics​, Sorbonne University
Nasser Rabbat
, Aga Khan Professor, Department of Architecture, MIT
George P. Smith
, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate
Raid M Suleiman
, Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian
Annick Suzor-Weiner, Université de Paris-Saclay
Edriss Titi, Professor of Mathematics, University of Cambridge
Franz-Josef Ulm
, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thomas Van Riet,
​Institute for Theoretical Physics, KU Leuven
Roy Wagner
, Prof. Geschichte u. Philo. d. Math.Wiss., ETH Zurich
Bernardo Zan, Department of Physics, Princeton University

References:

[1] Department of Physics, Al-Quds University: https://www.alquds.edu/en/staff-profiles/faculty-of-science-technology/175-department-of-physics/707-imad-ah mad-barghouthi.html.
[2]: http://english.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/118539.
[3]: B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupation Territories: https://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention
[4]: Human Rights Watch report: https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/12/17/born-without-civil-rights/israels-use-draconian-military-orders-repress.
[5]: Nature:
https://www.nature.com/news/scientists-protest-detention-of-palestinian-physicist-1.16770.
[6]: Nature:
https://www.nature.com/articles/535231a.
[7]: Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.
[8]: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx.

Signatories (in order of signing, affiliations for identification purposes only):

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Freedom for Imad Barghouthi

A violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere.

On Thursday, July 16th 2020, renowned Palestinian scientist Imad Barghouthi was detained by Israeli military forces during a routine stop at a military checkpoint outside of Anata. A military court hearing is scheduled for Thursday July 23rd to discuss the case of professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds in East Jerusalem. No charges have been brought against him and his lawyer fears that he will be put under administrative detention, an illegal measure commonly used by the Israeli military forces to put Palestinians in arbitrary detention without any charges or trials.

This is not the first time that the Israeli military forces have arrested professor Barghouti, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists. In 2014 he was placed under administrative detention for two months, and in 2016 he was again detained for six months. In both cases his arrest triggered a significant indignation of the international Scientific community.

Scientists for Palestine condemns the continuous and arbitrary harassment of Professor Barghouthi in the strongest possible terms and calls on all members of the International Scientific community to demand the immediate release of our colleague. The right to science is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 27), as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 15). The violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere.

Palestinian Scientists in solidarity with black colleagues in the US and around the world!

Scientists for Palestine stands in solidarity with our black colleagues, in the US and around the world, in the struggle against the plague of systemic racism. We feel a particular resonance, as the similarities between the struggle faced by African-Americans and Palestinians are staggering. Palestinian scientists know all too well what it is like to have fundamental human rights stripped away from them. We join our colleagues in their commitment to ending the violent effects of systemic racism, wherever they take place.

As Dr. King said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. We hope that soon the scientific and academic world will stand up united to end systematic racism against our black colleagues, against Palestinians, and against racism in all of its forms. Until then we will be steadfast in our active solidarity with our black colleagues. That is why we endorse the strike on Wednesday June 10th. To show our active support, we call on our Palestinian colleagues to submit a short video to express their solidarity with as well as joining the strike on June 10th!

Guidelines on how to make the video:

  1. Please submit the video no later than Tuesday June 9th at 10 a.m. Palestine time to give us enough post-production time.
  2. The video should be no longer than 30 seconds, all submissions which exceeds this limit will not be considered.
  3. The video can be shot with professional cameras (preferred) or cell-phones, so long as the final product is of good enough quality.
  4. Please shoot the video horizontally so that post-production will be easier.
  5. Please start the video by introducing yourself mentioning your full name, your affiliation and your research field.
  6. Please end your video with the sentence “I believe that Black Lives Matter”.
  7. During the video, it would be appreciated if you could hold a sign with some of the hashtags created for the event, like #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia or other which can be found at: https://www.shutdownstem.com/.
  8. We would appreciate it if the video contained a sentence or two explaining the special empathy felt by us as Palestinians. (e.g. As a Palestinian Scientists I know too well what systematic racism is like).
  9. Please clearly state that you will be striking on June 10th (e.g. … that is why I am striking in solidarity with my black colleagues on June 10th).

Guidelines on how to submit the video:

Please upload your video via https://wetransfer.com/ and fill out the “email to” box with Scientists for Palestine email (admin@scientists4palestine.com).

For more info on what you can do: https://www.shutdownstem.com/

Covid-19

كرد على الإشاعات التي تدور مؤخرا على الإنترنت، أنشأ 

فريق من جامعة هارفارد بقيادة سارة الزعبي  و أمينة زياد رسوم توضيحية لنشر معلومات صحيحة و دقيقة عن فيروس COVID-19 للمجتمعات العربية حول العالم.

نرجو منك نشر الرسالة إلى أفراد عائلتك و أصدقائك.

In response to the misinformation being circulated online, Harvard University team, lead by Sara Al-Zubi and Amina Ziad, created these infographics with a focus on sharing accurate COVID-19 information with Middle East- North African communities around the world. Please share with your networks and family members!

Video: Third International Meeting for Science in Palestine

The third International Meeting for Science in Palestine was a great success, watch this video for the highlights of the weekend:

The meeting aimed to escalate and refine plans toward Scientists for Palestine’s primary objectives of advancing science in Palestine and integrating Palestinian sciences into the international scientific community by: enhancing collaboration between Scientists in Palestine and exile with key partners globally; highlighting Palestinian scientists and scientific development; and devising measurable goals toward these ends. The international meeting provides space to access information about the challenges and successes of Palestinians practicing and researching science under occupation while also providing concrete opportunities for international scientists to get involved. A working group track ran to help develop enhanced strategies to identify mechanisms for sustained international collaboration with and elevation of Palestinian scientists.

The meeting included presentations by Palestinian scientists from both Historic Palestine (Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel) and Palestinians abroad, as well as other young and established scientists from around the world, and will be joined by prominent scientists including 2018 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner George Smith, MacArthur fellow Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, and renowned Palestinian medic and innovator Dr. Tarek Loubani.

Call and email the US Department of State and demand they act to release Mr. Ubai Aboudi

A Palestinian US Citizen, a father, a husband, education activist, human rights worker and one of Scientists for Palestine closest partner unlawfully abducted by Israeli military without charge.

Our dear friend and close partner in Palestine, education activist Mr. Ubai Aboudi, remains in Israeli military detention. A Twitter storm, a Facebook storm, and call-in to the US Department of State (DOS) are set for Wednesday January first at 1p.m. EST. Please be ready to tweet, call and post.

Twitter storm for #Freedom4Ubai #Science4Palestine #AdministrativeDetentionIsAWarCrime #EducationNotDetention

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Petition for the immediate release of Mr. Ubai Aboudi

On Monday, November 18th, 2019, an Israeli tribunal placed Mr. Ubai Aboudi under administrative detention for 4 months despite no charges being brought against him.

We call on all scholars concerned about human rights and the enforcement of the universal right to education to join, among others, Nobel laureate George Smith and Noam Chomsky, to ask for Mr. Aboudi’s immediate release from military prison.

Update: Amnesty International has started a campaign for the release of Mr. Ubai Aboudi, see how to take action here.

Update from Dec. 2nd:

In the confirmation of detention hearing at the Ofer military court, the judge has reduced the detention order of S4P’s dear partner Mr. Ubai Aboudi to two months instead of the initial four. The judge unfortunately did not confirm that this detention order will be the last. Administrative detention orders can be indefinitely renewed. Also Ubai has thus far spent three weeks in jail, but no charges have been brought against him.

On the Abduction of Mr. Ubai Aboudi

Mr. Ubai Aboudi, one of Scientists for Palestine’s closest partners in Palestine, was brutally abducted from his house on Wednesday at 3 a.m. in the morning and is currently held in jail without charges.

For this reason S4P started a campaign to call for his release which will be escalated in case he is not released on Monday. Our statement has the full support of Ubai’s family as well as the signatures of many prominent scientists among which Nobel prize winner George Smith.

Please share it as widely as possible among your contacts and social media. On top of the moral duty that we have to call for the release of Ubai, with Mr. Aboudi in jail the fate of the upcoming Third International Meeting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is at stake.

The statement appears below, and here is a link to our Facebook post.

Registration open for the Third International Meeting for Science in Palestine

We are very happy to announce that registration for the Third International Meeting for Science in Palestine is now open. We are proud to inform that this third meeting will be hosted the by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston from January 10 to January 12, 2020 and will see the participation of high-profiles figures of the caliber of George Smith, 2018 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner, Nergis Mavalvala, MIT astrophysicists and MacArthur fellow and Mawan Awartani, Minister of Education of Palestine.

Over the past year, we have expanded and further developed the work and goals of Scientists for Palestine in collaboration with the broader scientific communities and in collaboration with Palestinian civil society. We are most excited to share these developments with you, as your input and participation is critical to the ambitious phase we are entering in the expansion of this important movement.

Please note that the weekend working groups and plenary sessions are strictly for registered participants and that registration will close December 15th, 2019, or whenever we reach capacity. Please also note that registration requires two steps:

  1. Registering for the conference by paying the fee here. (basic registration is $10, sponsor options also available); and
  2. Completing the registration form here

PAPS 2019 a great success!

PAPS 2019 group picture

The third Palestinian Advanced Physics School ended on July 18th 2019. The school took place in Birzeit University and was attended by around 30 students from different universities across the West Bank. An additional 10 students from Gaza, who did not receive travel permits to attend the school, gathered at the physics department of the Islamic University of Gaza to participate remotely in the school, through a video link. In addition to lectures on cosmology, quantum optics, electron microscopy and string theory, there was a public lecture on the expanding universe held at the A.M. Qattan foundation. Overall, the school was a resounding success, with all participants — students, lecturers and organizers — having a great time while learning physics.

Palestinian Advanced Physics School 2019

We are very happy to announce the third Palestinian Advanced Physics School, to be held at Birzeit University from July 14th — July 18th. The aim of the school is to provide Palestinian advanced undergraduate and master levels students with an overview of exciting recent developments in modern physics, not normally included in the regular curriculum. We encourage all qualified students to apply by May 31st at: www.scientists4palestine.com/paps2019.

Scientific cooperation in the face of occupation

The following statement was approved at the Annual General Meeting of Scientists for Palestine on January 13th 2019:


Scientists for Palestine believes that free collaboration among nations is one of the pillars of the way the scientific community should operate. Understanding how this principle is infringed in the case of Palestine is of tantamount importance, as we attempt to explain in this document.

The primary obstacle towards strengthening science in Palestine is the ongoing Israeli  occupation of the West Bank, and the siege of the Gaza strip. The occupation infringes on:

  1. The right to education of the Palestinian people: through systematic forced closure [1], raids [2], destructions and even bombing [3] of Palestinian universities, schools [4] and scientific infrastructures, Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from having the right to their own education [5], a right which is protected by Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [6]. Furthermore, there have been instances in which established academics have been held in Israeli jails with neither trial nor official charges, apparently just for criticizing these policies [7].
  2. The freedom of movement: the mobility of Palestinian scientists and students is critically limited by checkpoints in the West Bank [8], which tremendously delay internal travel, an incredibly convoluted system of permits to leave Gaza [9], which makes it a de facto open air prison, and the lack of a single operating airport between the West Bank and Gaza. Modern scientific collaboration can only flourish when scientists are free to travel and are able to experience an exchange of ideas and perspectives.
  3. Access to equipment and infrastructure: Israeli institutions control nearly everything that comes into Gaza and the West Bank, severely restricting what can be imported [8], as well as the granting of planning permissions in ‘Area C’ of the West Bank. This makes it almost impossible for Palestinian scientists to build experiments or the infrastructure needed for large scientific projects.

Those restrictions have a strong impact on potential collaborations between the Palestinian academic community and the international scientific community, including in particular Israel. In fact:

  1. There cannot be a true and fair collaboration between Palestinians and Israelis as long as the former do not have free access to the academic and scientific resources and infrastructure that the latter have (residents of the West Bank and Gaza cannot freely travel to Israel, for instance).
  2. As discussed above, the primary obstacle to Palestinian scientific progress is not a lack of friendliness, but instead those policies implemented by the Israeli government, many in open violation of international law, which repress and discriminate Palestinians.

The Palestinian academic community has largely recognized that their Israeli colleagues’ denouncement and active opposition to the occupation are important. This must be clearly understood as a joint opposition effort between partners that are unequal due to the impacts of the ongoing occupation. Such joint opposition efforts are in contrast to activities that, under the pretext of collaboration, ignore – and thereby normalize – the impact of the occupation in science. Efforts from Israeli academics and scientists of conscience recognizing the situation described in this document and condemning without reservation human right abuses against Palestinians should be encouraged.


References:

[1] University Closure History | Birzeit University.
[2] Birzeit University denounces early-morning campus raid by Israeli military (2017, 14 Dec).
Al-Quds University strongly condemns the raid by the Israeli forces of its campus (2017, 18 Dec).
[3] Israel strikes university in Gaza city, (2014, 2 Aug).
[4] EU Local statement on the dismantling of schools in the West Bank (2018, 26 Oct.).
[5] Israel’s assault on Palestinian universities is a threat to human rights and a tragedy for this generation of students (2018, 21 Oct).
[6] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
[7] Starved of justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel.
[8] Nature: In the Palestinian territories, science struggles against all odds.
[9] Science in the Gaza Strip: the impact of the Israeli occupation. Video produced by Scientists for Palestine.


 

Scientists for Palestine’s Second Annual General Meeting

Scientists for Palestine had its second Annual General Meeting on Sunday, January 13th 2019, the first one since the constituent General Meeting where S4P’s constitution was approved. During this important meeting members came together to assess the actions of the organization over the last year, and to discuss the direction to take for the future year. Members also voted and passed various amendments to the S4P constitution which was thus accordingly modified, other resolutions and elected the leadership of the organization for the following year.

Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine

Our  Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine ended this Sunday at Columbia University, NY, USA.

We are tremendously grateful to everyone who took the time to participate. The weekend was an incredible success and it was beyond wonderful seeing so many people, coming from different backgrounds and sharing different skills, all working towards the same goal: developing innovative visions to support and advanced the integration of the Palestinian scientific community into the broader international community.

Because of the incredible success of the conference, we had to face some exceptional expenses and we are currently $ 1150 dollar short. That is why we have raised our fundraiser goal from $ 5000 to $ 6150. If you haven’t donated yet, and you have money to do it, please consider donating to support our activities, share the fundraiser and ask your friends to support. No donation is too small!

If you missed the meeting you can watch the recordings of the events on our Facebook page, direct links to the various sessions are available here.

 

Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine starting soon

The second International Meeting for Science in Palestine will start soon at Columbia University, NY, USA.

The meeting starts this Friday at 5:30PM with a public event on Doing science under military occupation: the case of Palestine.

The rest of the weekend is for registered participant only, but we will try to live-stream the meeting – more information will be posted here and on our facebook page.

You see the full program here.

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Program now available

The program of the Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine is now available here.

The meeting will open with a public event on Doing science under military occupation: the case of Palestine.

The meeting will continue on Saturday and Sunday with sessions for registered participants only. We will hear updates from Palestinian academics on their research along with the challenges they face to carry it out. The meeting will be a unique opportunity to connect with concerned scientists who are willing to work to help build connections with Palestine.

Fundraising campaign for the 2nd International Meeting for Science in Palestine

Scientists for Palestine is raising funds for the Second International Meeting for Science in  Palestine, and we need your support.

Most of the money collected here will go towards the essential expenses to run the meeting and in particular towards funding airfare and visa fees for our Palestinian colleagues to make it possible for them to attend the gathering. The breakdown will be as follows:

  • $ 3400 will go towards reimbursing visa and travel expenses for Palestinian scientists.
  • $ 1000 will go towards meals during the event and one social dinner.
  • $ 600 will go towards advertisment and extra expenses.

No donation is too small, and all contributions are greatly appreciated!

From November 9th through 11th, 2018 Scientists for Palestine and many other members of the international scientific community, will gather at Columbia University in the City of New York for our Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine, a weekend-long meeting involving multiple plenary and parallel sessions.

The goal of the workshop is to reaffirm our vision and establish new and ambitious objectives for scientific collaboration between the Palestinian and the international community, transcending the limitations caused by 50 years of ongoing occupation.

International meetings for science in Palestine are essential to break the international isolation of the Palestinian academic community. Though organising high-level scientific events requires funding. To make sure that Palestinian academics are able to participate and take an active role in the event we need to face the high cost of airfares and visa fees. Unfortunately securing funding for non-standard scientific gatherings like the upcoming one at Columbia University, can be challenging. Very few universities, laboratories, or science agencies provide funding for such events.

Second International Meeting for Science in Palestine

From November 9th through 11th, 2018 Scientists for Palestine and many other members of the international scientific community, will gather at Columbia University in the City of New York for a weekend-long meeting involving multiple plenary and parallel sessions. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Science for the People and Within our Lifetime • United for Palestine. This will be Scientists for Palestine’s second international gathering, after a similar initiative hosted earlier this year at the University of Cambridge, UK.

The event is only open for registered participants, if you would like to participate please fill out the application form. The application deadline is October 30th 2018. Up to date information will be available in the gathering’s webpage, and on the Facebook event.

Participants are expected to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

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Scientists for Palestine is seeking support for a mentoring initiative

Scientists for Palestine is seeking a concrete support for a mentoring initiative involving Palestinian students and academics.

In keeping with S4P’s mission, we hope that many of you might be able to assist one or more Palestinian students or academics working in, undertaking a degree in, or seeking employment in your area of work. Examples of such assistance may include:

  • Academic writing mentoring (i.e. help with English and technical writing) for dissertations, research manuscripts, etc.
  • Review and feedback on a student application for a higher education degree or postgraduate employment.
  • Review and feedback on an academic’s research manuscript, grant proposal, etc.

Indeed, S4P has every indication that such assistance is in high demand at all levels of Palestinian science, from undergraduate to senior academic, so we expect no shortage of requests.

However, we are acutely conscious that spare time is in very short supply for many of you. That is why we would tremendously value your support in this mentoring project! We seek help of scientist of conscience who could make an immediate impact on the learning experience and/or career progression of Palestinian scientists, whose full potential is clearly thwarted by the direct and indirect effects of the Israeli Occupation.

Your contribution has the potential to open up opportunities to students and colleagues with a great passion for science and remarkable determination to excel, despite their right to education being compromised on a daily basis.

Please fill out this form if are willing to help in any way.

Funding opportunities for Palestinian Students and Academics

We are pleased to announce that our website has a new section collecting important information about a wide variety of funding opportunities for Palestinian students and academics.

Scholarships & Funding Opportunities

In particular, there are now links to various scholarships for students.

We are committed to keep this section as update as possible hoping this list will keep on growing. If you know of any funding opportunity which you think could be useful but that is missing, let us know filling out our appropriate form. It only takes a couple of minutes!

We are now currently working on expanding the section to also include information about different summer schools, as well as research grants relevant for Palestinian academics.

Funding opportunities for Palestinian students and academics

We are collecting information on funding opportunities for Palestinian students and academics, and to develop our activities (for example to organize scientific schools in Palestine, exchange programs for Palestinian students, funding opportunities for Palestinian students to study abroad, supporting media project to talk about the impact of the Israeli Occupation on education in Palestine).

If you know of any funding opportunity that might be useful please take a moment to share it with us here.
We plan to compile some of this information to make it publicly available on our website.

Thank you!

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