NTNU says no to academic boycott of Israel

(12.11.2009) The Board of NTNU decided today, Thursday, to reject the proposal for a boycott of Israel. The decision was unanimous and in accordance with the Rector's recommendation.

The background to the case was an appeal from a group of employees at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST), with a challenge to the institutions to approve a cultural and academic boycott of Israel. The goal of the boycott was to exert international pressure on Israel to start negotiations with elected Palestinian authorities and the international community in order to put an end to the suffering of Palestinians during the occupation by Israel.

The petition was presented by the Rector during the previous board meeting as an oral briefing, and the Board then asked to have the matter put on the agenda for today's meeting for a substantive discussion.

Board against the boycott
The Board voted against the proposal to boycott, and stressed the need for open lines of communication and between scientists at NTNU and academic institutions in Israel.

“As an academic institution, NTNU's mission is to stimulate the study of the causes of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and how it can be resolved. This means that the university is also dependent on being able to cooperate with Israeli academics, and hear their views on the conflict”, said the board.