The rift between Israel and Brazil just got worse – More than 200 Brazilian academics signed a letter supporting an academic boycott on Israel.
Among the signatories are known diplomats and prominent academic figures, who have expressed their protest against Israel's “occupied territories, racist policy and apartheid."
The letter further states that “while all Israeli universities are deeply complicit in the occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy,” referring to the fact that majority of the Mount Scopus campus spans over the eastern part Jerusalem.
It goes on to claim that “the university is complicit in the unequal treatment of Palestinians, including those who are citizens of Israel, restricts the freedom of speech and protest of its few Palestinian students, and is affiliated with Ariel University in the occupied West Bank, while refusing to recognize academic credentials from the Palestinian Al Quds University.”
The relationship between the two countries has been rocky following Brazil’s refusal to accept the appointment of Dani Dayan as ambassador to Brazil, and 40 Brazilians diplomats lashed out against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's conduct.
In a television interview, President Dilma Rousseff's diplomatic advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia declared Dayan's appointment controversial over Brazil's stance "against the occupation of Palestinian territories."