newsSchools & Higher Education

U of Amsterdam releases list of Israeli research partners

The university said it acted to meet the demands of anti-Israel protesters who have occupied its campus.

A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protest at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands on May 7, 2024. Credit: Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock.
A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protest at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands on May 7, 2024. Credit: Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock.

Lawmakers in the Netherlands are furious over the University of Amsterdam’s decision to release a list of Israeli research partners in an attempt to appease violent pro-Palestinian rioters.

MP Claire Martens-America of the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy on Wednesday requested a debate with Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf to discuss what she described as a “terrifying and unacceptable” move by the state-funded institution.

“It cannot be that the University of Amsterdam, under pressure from rioters, publishes a list of Jewish partnerships or scientists. Now is the time to stand up for Jewish citizens,” the lawmaker tweeted.

Bert-Jan Ruissen, who represents the Reformed Political Party in the European Parliament, in an interview on Wednesday accused the University of Amsterdam of “throwing academics under the bus.

“It’s scandalous what’s happening here. That the university went along so easily. That it revealed all those names so easily,” Ruissen said.

The University of Amsterdam said it released the list to meet one of the demands made by violent anti-Israel protesters who have occupied its campus since Monday, leading to violence against Jewish students.

On Monday night, a video showing an Arab activist hitting counter-protesters on the head with a wooden bat went viral on social media. According to the Netherlands’ Elsevier weekly, two Jewish students sustained injuries in the incident; one was evacuated by ambulance.

The members of the pro-Palestinian encampment called for the destruction of Israel, using genocidal chants such as “There is only one solution: intifada revolution” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Journalists covering the demonstration were subjected to violent threats and violence, the Netherlands Association of Journalists said.

Police on Monday arrested 150 people and razed the protest site, but activists returned and established a new encampment on campus.

The protesters, including some whom the Telegraaf daily claimed had ties to the terror-linked Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, are refusing to leave until the university cut all ties with Israeli institutions “complicit in oppression, apartheid and genocide.”

The university said in a statement just after midnight on Tuesday that it would like to reach a solution with the rioters, adding that the protest has “caused considerable damage” to its facilities.

University representatives have suggested setting up an email list to warn Jewish students so they can stay off the premises when protests take place, one student told the Folia campus magazine last week.

On Wednesday, the Dutch Union of Jewish Students called on the Amsterdam school to take “decisive action to ensure the safety and security of all students, staff and visitors on campus.

“The barricading of university access, the burning of the Israeli flag and the attacking of Jewish youth are clear manifestations of hatred and intolerance that have no place in our society, let alone on a university campus,” the student group added in a statement.

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