Sunday 16 June 2024 - 00:30

German Scholars Urge Min. to Resign over Palestine Sanctions

Story Code : 1142042
German Scholars Urge Min. to Resign over Palestine Sanctions
“Academics in Germany are experiencing an unprecedented attack on their fundamental rights, on the 75th anniversary of the Basic Law,” the scholars said in a statement on Friday.

They underlined that recent actions carried out by Germany’s education ministry have rendered Bettina Stark-Watzinger’s position as minister untenable.

“The withdrawal of funding ad personam on the basis of political statements made by researchers is contrary to the Basic Law: teaching and research are free. The internal order to examine such political sanctions is a sign of constitutional ignorance and political abuse of power,” the scholars said.

“It illustrates an increasing rift between decision-makers in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and those who support the academic system through their research and teaching. Through its intimidating effect alone, the Minister’s actions risk permanently damaging the hard-won right of academic freedom against political and state interference,” they added.

The German education minister has faced increasing criticism following media reports that revealed her ministry’s decision to conduct a legal review last month. The review aimed to examine the open letter released by the scholars and assess the potential withdrawal of funding for their studies.

Back on May 8, more than 300 academics from Berlin universities showed their solidarity with pro-Palestine protest camps at the Free University of Berlin campus, advocating for the students’ right to demonstrate.

“Regardless of whether we agree with the specific demands of the protest camp, we stand up for our students, and defend their right to peaceful protest, which also includes the occupation of university grounds,” they said.

The academics lambasted the university’s management for subjecting the demonstrators to “police violence.”

Israel unleashed the Gaza onslaught on October 7 after Hamas-led Palestinian Resistance groups carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed about 37,300 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 85,102 others, according to the Gaza-based health ministry. 

The occupying entity has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.