Provisions such as these, Quinn wrote, “raise serious concerns that applicants may be reviewed in an opaque and potentially arbitrary and inconsistent manner and that Palestinian higher education institutions will be severely impaired in their ability to recruit scholars.”
A Reminder to Israel
Daniel Munier, senior program officer for advocacy at Scholars at Risk, also criticised “the burdensome requirements and restrictions imposed by the directive,” saying they “endanger international relationships and academic work that are crucial to the scientific, political, economic, and social progress that universities bring about.”
In an email to Al-Fanar Media, Munier said: “We write to express our solidarity with members of the Palestinian higher education community, letting them know that we stand with them and will not let attacks and pressures on academic freedom like this go unnoticed.”
The organisation’s letter is a reminder to Israel that it is obligated under international law “to refrain from actions or policies that restrict academic freedom and the right to education,” Munier said.
In the letter, Quinn mentioned several ways in which the directive might harm Palestinian higher education.
Scholars currently employed at Palestinian universities would be at risk of being forced to depart, he wrote, “upending courses and research projects that implicate hundreds, if not thousands, of local students and scholars.”
Palestinian universities would likely struggle to fill those vacancies, he said, further disrupting teaching and research.
A Strong Condemnation from MESA
The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) also protested the Israeli directive in a letter to Prime Minister Bennett and other Israeli officials.