Twinning with the Islamic University of Gaza

jeudi 26 novembre 2009 ·

Three years ago, I was in Sderot, Israel at one and a half kilometres from the border with Gaza. Along with my fellow travelers, I went to visit a local police station. On the way, we saw a school where there was a 30 centimetres concrete dome above the location where school buses usually picked up kids after classes. Our guide told us that this was placed to protect them from rocket attacks. I knew that rocket attacks occurred on a somewhat regular basis, however I never saw the effect it had on the everyday life of Israelis. When we arrived at the police station, I had the chance to chat with someone whom I believe was the chief of police. He wanted to show me and the others something. He led us in the backward where we saw 200 casings of rockets which fell on the city during the last year. Already shocked, I dared to ask how that compared with other years. His answer was that what I was seeing was only half of it and that this year had been somewhat less "rocket-rainy". The targets were non-discriminatory: from school buses, to hospitals, to kindergartens without forgetting police stations. All of that was the product of Hamas. How should we, LSE students, feel about now being affiliated with the Islamic University of Gaza that receives funding from them?

To be clear here, I am not trying to settle the eternal debate on the two-state solutions, on the refugees, on the settlements and everything else. I am trying to say that no matter what our side is, we can’t be blinded to the fact that Hamas targets civilians and aims for the complete eradication of the Israelis. They are not committed to peace. They are not committed to democratic principles or individual liberties for that matter either. The domination of Gaza by Hamas was not the result of political persuasion, but of a systematic use of violence and coercion against its opponents of the Fatah. Summary executions, murders and intimidation explain how Hamas came to rule Gaza. Hamas funds hospitals and schools like the IUG to gain the support of the masses. On top of that, a few years ago, a story emerged in the French media about how foreign aid money was used in Hamas-run school to buy copies of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a faussaire concocted by the Russian Tsarist Police of the 19th century to warn the world against jews. So the funding serves their agenda. It could not be expressed more plainly than by Professor Jameela El Shanty of IUG who that "Hamas built this institution (…) the university presents the philosophy of Hamas, if you want to know what Hamas is, you can know it from the University".

Between poison and food, every compromise leads to harm. How could we think that there could any form of compromise between the principles of a democratic and lawful society where minorities are protected from the tyranny of the majority and the authoritarian and theocratic ideas of Hamas. The issue here is not to take sides in the debate between Israel and Palestine, the issue at hand requires us to stand either for the uncompromising virtues of a free and open society that values human rights against those of a group of theocrats and violent authoritarians who blatantly admit that they seek to indoctrinate students. At the London School of Economics, we have a proud tradition of promoting reason, higher learning and above all of standing in favour of the democratic society. By twinning with a university that openly demands the death of all jews and the submission of infidels (like yours truly!), we have sacrificed these principles! There are no justifications for such action, I feel sickened by such a situation!

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Bryan Breguet est candidat au doctorat en sciences économiques à l’université de Colombie-Britannique. D’origine Suisse, il a passé les cinq dernières années au Québec au cours desquelles il s’est engagé en politique provinciale malgré le fait qu’il ne possédait pas encore la citoyenneté canadienne. Il détient un B.Sc en économie et politique ainsi qu’une maitrise en sciences économiques de l’université de Montréal. Récipiendaire de plusieurs prix d’excellences et bourses, il connaît bien les méthodes quantitatives et leurs applications à la politique.

Vincent Geloso holds a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics, with a focus on business cycles, international development, labor markets in preindustrial Europe and the new institutional economics. His research work examined the economic history of the province of Quebec from 1920 to 1960. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the Université de Montréal. He has also studied in the United States at the Washington Centre for Academic Seminars and Internships. Mr. Geloso has been an intern for the Prime Minister’s cabinet in Ottawa and for the National Post. He has also been the recipient of a fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies and an international mobility bursary from the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec. Currently, he is an economist at the Montreal Economic Institute.

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