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NEW DELHI: Students at India’s top law school have joined a global university movement to sever ties with Israeli academic institutions accused of complicity in Israel’s deadly war on Gaza and atrocities against the Palestinian population.

The academic boycott of Israel is part of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign that started in 2005. Since the beginning of the war in October, more and more student communities have been supporting Israeli universities, research institutes and their activities. .

Students at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad formally joined the campaign on June 15, demanding that the NALSAR administration sever ties with Tel Aviv University and the Radzyner Law School.

The public petition was signed by 362 people, including 275 students, 70 alumni and 12 teachers.

“Israeli universities such as Tel Aviv University and Radzyner Law School have directly and indirectly either contributed to the current attack on Gaza or defended its legitimacy in academic literature,” Hamza Khan, who will complete his degree at NALSAR this year, told The Arab . News.

“They were instrumental in working with defense technology companies whose products are now being actively deployed by the IDF against the Palestinians. These institutions remain part of Israeli militarism and contribute to the infrastructure of oppression and open support for Israel’s crimes.”

The petition calls on NALSAR’s vice chancellor to “sever all international exchange ties with Israeli institutes: Tel Aviv University and Radzyner School of Law as part of a complete academic and economic disengagement with the Israeli state and academia that remains unabated . only a silent spectator but an active accomplice in the ongoing crisis.”

Israeli forces have killed more than 37,000 people in Gaza in the past eight months, wounded tens of thousands, destroyed the enclave’s health infrastructure and cut off access to water, food, fuel and medical aid.

Israel also destroyed 80 percent of Gaza’s schools, which, coupled with the persecution and targeted killing of Palestinian scholars, has been called school murder by international rights groups and UN experts, leading to the complete destruction of Palestinian education.

“To remain silent in the face of such violations would be hypocritical and would indicate a double standard,” Khan said.

“NALSAR’s legacy goes beyond producing corporate lawyers and being the top ranked national law school. It is about instilling in us the humanity, ethics, values ​​and courage to act against injustice.”

NALSAR is widely regarded as one of the best law schools in India.

Its distinguished alumni include Dr. Anup Surendranath, India’s leading expert on criminal and constitutional law, Supreme Court advocate Talha Raman, and Alok Prasanna Kumar, co-founder of the Vidhi Center for Legal Policy, a leading Indian think tank. advises the government on legislative, regulatory and policy matters.

Despite India’s historical support for Palestine, the Indian government has been mostly silent in the wake of the deadly attacks in Gaza and has also sold weapons to Israel, according to local media reports.

Students disagree with the policy and try to break the silence.

“We have not shied away from asking questions that matter, questions that are essential to the ideas we believe in,” said Shreyam Sharma, a final-year student and one of the convenors of the student action.

“Israel has disregarded all existing agreements. The ICJ (International Court of Justice) has already hinted at the possibility of a violation (preferably of a genocidal nature). A number of human rights experts have produced reports based on concrete evidence that have concluded that genocide is taking place.”

Akhil Surya, also a final year student, said they were “ashamed” of their country’s inaction.

“The Palestinian genocide has been the most documented and broadcast in real time. Many of us who have been watching the visuals from Palestine for over eight months now have wondered… “What can we do that we are so far away?” – He told.

“Inspired by the BDS movement that is emerging in all corners of the world, we felt that as students we could do what we could.”

Despite repeated attempts, the NALSAR vice-chancellor did not respond to comments.

Dr. Srijan Mandal, who teaches constitutional history and is one of the university’s faculty members who supports the petition, said the students feel they “need to do something to acknowledge what is happening in Palestine, what Israel is doing in Palestine,” and take every step. despite their weak position in the power structure.

“The least we can do is that our institution does not have an official agreement on student exchange and other possible exchange programs with Israeli institutions,” he told Arab News.

“It’s the least we can do.”

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