Denmark's Foreign Minister welcomes the move: "Danish scientific institutions should not support illegal settlements" Gush Shalom calls upon party leaders in the ongoing Israeli elections: supporting settlement activity leads to Israel's total isolation in the world
The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) announced the complete severing of its ties with the college at the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. The Danish university had hitherto conducted joint researches with the Ariel college and was going to finance experiments to be carried out at the Ariel laboratories. However, the investigative journalism organization "Danwatch" drew the attention of the DTU administration to Ariel being a settlement established in Occupied Territory in violation of International Law. The Copenhagen-based Danwatch is devoted to investigative journalism on corporate ethics in such areas as Human Rights, climate, poverty, labour market, corruption and treatment of animals.
Following the results of the Danwatch investigation, DTU president Anders Bjarklev announced the complete and immediate severance of the university's collaboration with the Ariel college: "We have ended the cooperation immediately after we were made aware of it. The money that was intended to experiments in the laboratories of Ariel University has been suspended and will be paid back to the fund that supplied the finances If you fund analyses in laboratories at Ariel, it can be seen as supporting a settlement, something we don’t want to do".
Denmark's Foreign Minister, Villy Søvndal, praised the university's decision: "We do not want Danish scientific institutions participating in activities that may help to maintain the illegal settlements. If there has been any doubt about our position on this matter, the case of DTU is a good opportunity to reiterate. And I am satisfied with DTU's decision".
The Ariel college is also highly controversial in Israel itself, especially regarding its aspiration to be upgraded to a full university.
In the context of the ongoing elections campaign going on in Israel, towards general elections due in January, Gush Shalom Spokesperson Adam Keller sent letters to leaders of mainstream parties, to make them aware of the wider implications. To Yair Lapid, head of the newly founded "There is a Future" party, he wrote:"Dear Mr. Lapid, You have chosen to launch the elections campaign of your party, which purports to bring new hope to the citizens of Israel, at Ariel, declaring: 'I do not know of a map in which Ariel is not part of Israel'. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark will be happy to provide you with such a map - as would the foreign ministries of all other countries in the world, including the State Department of our great friend the United States. Nowhere outside of Israel would you find a map in which Ariel is part of Israel - and indeed, by Israel's own laws, Ariel is not part of the state of Israel, no government had ever annexed it. Advocating the annexation of Ariel is advocating the complete international isolation of Israel. A party taking such a position while calling itself There is Future makes itself into laughing stock." future. "
Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson +972-54-2340749 "Danwatch" office in Copenhagen +45-32105214 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.danwatch.dk/en/articles/danish-universities-work-illegal-settlements/225