University of Essex Students’ Union – Statement on Deputy Israeli Ambassador Visit

The University of Essex Students’ Union opposes unequivocally the Department of Government’s move to invite the Deputy Israeli Ambassador, Mr Alon Roth-Snir.

As the policy of our Union states:

Israel in its complete disregard of the human rights of the Palestinians and in its illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is in breach of over 30 UN resolutions. Furthermore, Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinians both inside Israel proper, and the Occupied Territories has been compared by South African trade unionists and activists to the Apartheid regime; nowhere is this more visible than in the construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall. Palestinians living within Israel proper and the Occupied Territories are treated as second-class citizens with no equal rights confirming that Israel is not a democratic state for its entire people. To therefore invite a representative of such a state to the University beggars belief.

The position of the state of Israel within the international system, its diplomatic relations with neighbouring states and its conduct as an occupation force is well known and documented. It is unnecessary therefore to invite such a representative.

In addition, the invitation of a representative of the state of Israel calls into question the ethical practices of the University as an institution and I feel, with the passage of time will reflect badly on the University. My question is – would we have invited a representative of the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s?

We should be proud that University of Essex Students’ Union has policy to boycott Israeli goods and also to be part of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), but policy alone is not enough. We therefore call upon students to assemble in Square 3, at 12:30pm on Wednesday, February 20th to protest against the decision made by the Department of Government to invite the Deputy Ambassador for Israel.

Nathan J Bolton

University of Essex Students’ Union President (pc)

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2 Responses to University of Essex Students’ Union – Statement on Deputy Israeli Ambassador Visit

  1. Keep it peaceful people and remember the way to conquer the angry man by love!

  2. Alexandra Virlan says:

    Nathan, if you want to protest against this, or fight it or whatever, fine, But do it with your own name, not using the SU name. The SU is not supposed to be politically, ethnically, racially or religiously biased in its actions and with the recent political concern of the SU I can’t help but feel that the point of its existence it’s left behind. It doesn’t mean that I agree with the Israel situation; it means just that if the Government Department considered that it is appropriate to invite the Israeli Ambassador the SU has no right or reason to try to stop this; this is, after all an University and the main purpose for all of us to be here is the education provided by this institution, not the SU, therefore I do believe that the Department of Government has a stronger word in this matter. I know this comment is a bit late, but after seeing the chaos from outside the LTB yesterday I can’t help but wonder: is this what the SU is supposed to do? And if yes, why?

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