The guilty indulgence of the Collège de France with regard to Israel


The Collège de France intends to hold a day-long workshop in collaboration with Tel Aviv University on June 7. The day should conclude with the signing of a cooperation agreement and would be part of the Franco-Israeli exchange season. To honor in this way a state that confines a population of 2 million inhabitants in a ghetto, and that fires into a crowd when it attempts to free itself, is unacceptable.

When we contacted the initiator of the day’s activities, he replied that it had been planned for a long time and is in no way meant to honor a state, but is rather just one among many of the ordinary scientific exchanges that the Collège de France maintains with research and educational establishments around the world. “Business as usual,” in other words. Thus more than 120 dead and more than 13,000 wounded by the Israeli army don’t suffice to make the Collège de France reevaluate the appropriateness of holding this workshop, of signing this cooperation agreement, or of participating in this shameful Franco-Israeli exchange season. The murder by snipers of civilians, of children, of journalists, and of medical personnel doesn’t justify the slightest reaction in the eyes of the Collège de France?

The signing of a cooperation agreement with Tel Aviv University is the more scandalous for having as an affiliate the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where General Gadi Eizenkot created the Dahiya doctrine of disproportionate force. In the words of Gadi Siboni, and INSS analyst: “The IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.” This doctrine was applied in the past by Israel during the bombings of Lebanon and Gaza.

Finally, the first round table planned for the workshop at the Collège de France was given the title “Biblical Archeology,” without the slightest consideration for the sensitivity of Palestinian archeologists, who have for years complained that they have been refused access to the excavations being carried out by Israeli archeologists in the Occupied Territories, in disregard of international law, and that they have been dispossessed of the objects discovered there. Moreover, some of these excavations, notably those directed by Tel Aviv University in the City of David in East Jerusalem, have endangered Palestinian homes, and are financed by Elad, a far-right settler association, that is motivated by the wish to confirm Biblical claims about ancient Jewish civilization, and whose goal is to substitute a Jewish population for the Palestinian residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine - AURDIP