In an illustration of Gaza’s near isolation, the Israeli military announced Tuesday that it was upholding its ban preventing students from Gaza from studying in Israel. The announcement was made in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem in response to a petition by Gisha, the Center for the Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement. Gisha had petitioned the court on behalf of Wisam Madhoon, a 28-year-old Gaza resident, who has not been able to reach his admissions interview for a doctoral program in environmental studies at Tel Aviv University, even though the army does not claim that his entrance into Israel constitutes any threat. Israeli institutions of higher education have asked the defense minister to be permitted to accept all students who meet the academic criteria, irrespective of nationality, according to Gisha. There are no doctoral studies programs in Gaza.The brains and driving force behind this NGO that challenges restrictions on freedom of movement? Sari Bashi, who went to Israel in 2005 on a Bernstein fellowship to create Gisha, which in two short years has grown to a staff of five. In addition to their multi-pronged efforts to challenge the travel ban that prevents students in Gaza from reaching academic institutions in the West Bank and abroad, Gisha staff have written reports on human rights violations in Gaza, including most recently Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza. You go, Grrl.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
One Woman's Movement
To numerous reflections on the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, I'd like to add recognition of one woman's efforts to fight for human rights in the Occupied Territories. Yesterday's NY Times discussed a case brought by Gisha: