Twenty-one Norwegian academics at the University of Tromsø have signed a call for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. The initiative calls for the University to “establish an academic boycott of Israel,” of Israel’s “institutions of education, research and culture, and the institutions’ representatives, regardless of religion and nationality.”
The University of Tromsø has 9000 students and is known in Norway as the “peace university.” It was a leading force in Norway during the massive boycott of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. The city of Tromsø has a twinning relationship with the city of Gaza and inhabitants of Tromsø turned out in good numbers for a Gaza demonstration in January.
The boycott call comes at the same time that the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has begun a series of lectures on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The lectures are supposed to build a “broad perspective.” The list of speakers includes the American Stephen Walt and the Israelis Ilan Pappe and Moshe Zuckerman. The latter claimed initially on German radio that 400,000 people were killed during Operation Cast Lead. These names and those of several Norwegian anti-Israeli lecturers leave little doubt about the pro-Palestinian thrust of the series.
For the text of the boycott call, see http://www.bricup.org.uk/documents/archive/BRICUPNewsletter17.pdf