International Convention Against War and Destructive Use of Science

ANNOUNCEMENTS, 11 Dec 2023

Assaf Kfoury – TRANSCEND Media Service

Scientists Against Israeli Apartheid, Occupation, and Genocide in Gaza

Nearly 500 scientists from 40 countries, including physicists, mathematicians, biologists, chemists, medical doctors, and engineers, working in academia and in industry, attended the convention. Here is the recording, YouTube link. A “Scientists’ Declaration Against Genocide and in Support of Palestine” has been adopted by the convention after voting, with an absolute majority (97%).

We request you to sign to endorse the declaration here:

 https://forms.gle/pME7sbdaGcpd6mxM9.

Through the convention, we have announced to form an international platform of scientists, namely the “International Union of Scientists Against War and Misuse of Science,” to carry forward our activities. Please mention in the Google form if you are interested in joining us and participating in our activities in the coming days.

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Scientists’ Declaration Against Genocide and in Support of Palestine

9 Dec 2023 – We, the undersigned members of the international scientific community, strongly condemn the Israeli state’s continuing genocidal attacks on Palestinians, who are indigenous to Palestine. For generations, the Palestinians have been forced to live in subjugation and unequal treatment in an apartheid regime [1,2,3]. We recognize this gross human-rights violation as the root cause of the ongoing war on Gaza, which has already resulted in a horrendous number of casualties, among whom nearly half are children [4]. We mourn all violent deaths, and deplore atrocities against all non-combatants of any ethnicity and nationality, including the attacks on October 7 against Israeli non-combatants and foreign nationals. However, this violence occurred in the context of decades of Israel’s apartheid policies and its inhumane siege of Gaza. We condemn Israel’s actions that include the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas of Gaza, the cutting off of electricity, fuel, water, and medical supplies, the destruction of hospitals, schools, universities and refugee camps in Gaza, and both Israeli state and settler violence against Palestinians. These acts are war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide as defined by the Genocide Convention and the International Criminal Court [5,6,7].

As scientists, we are deeply concerned about the increasing weaponization of science and technology, with a devastating effect on humanity. There is a relentless rise in the funding of scientific and technological research for militaristic ends. The military-industrial complex underpins the economies of many nations [8], driving a vicious cycle of increasing military budgets, profits of arms manufacturers, and arms trade, with little accountability or benefit to public society [9,10]. Global arms sales have driven the militarization of societies, the normalization of war, and the expansion of armed conflicts. Constant warfare is being waged in different parts of the globe, with the instigation of nations that enable these crimes against humanity, either due to their direct or indirect involvement, or from their marketing of sophisticated arms, ammunition, and other weapons of destruction. The genocide in Gaza risks an expansion of hostilities—between heavily armed actors—into a regional or world war. In this context of escalation of global warfare and increasingly brazen massacres, we strongly oppose the weaponization of scientific and technological research. We appeal to scientists of all countries to raise their voices against wars and the destruction of humanity.

We call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza [11], for Palestinians to be treated with equal human rights as all people, and for international support for the rebuilding of Gaza. We call for academic and science related boycotts as well as other peaceful actions in line with calls from Palestinian scientists and anti-apartheid Israel organizations. These measures are needed to press for an end to the occupation and an end to apartheid. We affirm Palestinians’ right to resist oppression, their right to return to their homeland, and we call for a lasting political solution for both Israelis and Palestinians to live together peacefully side by side in dignity, with equal rights. Only then can lasting peace be achieved for Palestinians, Israelis, and all peoples living in the region and, by extension, the world at large.

Finally, we commit to support our Palestinian colleagues and students, who remain steadfast in building scientific research and education in Palestine and abroad under incredibly hard conditions. We believe that science and scientists have a key role to play in delivering freedom for all, today and in a free Palestine of the future.

References:

  1. Israel’s apartheid against Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2022/02/israels-system-of-apartheid/  (2022).
  2. Not a ‘vibrant democracy’. This is apartheid. B’Tselem https://www.btselem.org/publications/202210_not_a_vibrant_democracy_this_is_apartheid.
  3. Shakir, A Threshold Crossed. https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecu tion (2021).
  4. Gaza: ‘Thousands of children killed’ within a few weeks, says UN’s Guterres. UN News https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/11/1143772 (2023).
  5. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. ICC-PIOS-LT-03-002/15_Eng (1998).
  6. United Convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide. (1948).
  7. Gaza/Palestine: States have a Duty to Prevent Genocide. International Commission of Jurists https://www.icj.org/gaza-occupied-palestinian-territory-states-have-a-duty-to-prevent-genocide/ (2023).
  8. President Dwight Eisenhower Farewell Address. https://www.c-span.org/video/?15026-1/president-dwight-eisenhower-farewell-address (White House, 2010).
  9. Sorensen, Understanding the War Industry. (Clarity Press, 2020).
  10. Rufanges, C. Military Spending and Global Security: Humanitarian and Environmental Perspectives. (Routledge, 2020).
  11. Gaza/Occupied Palestinian Territory: Immediate Ceasefire Necessary to Prevent Further Civilian Casualties and Crimes under International Law. International Commission of Jurists https://www.icj.org/gaza-occupied-palestinian-territory-immediate-ceasefire-necessary-to-prevent-further-civili an-casualties-and-crimes-under-international-law/ (2023).

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Announcement made at the Saving Humanity and Planet Earth (SHAPE) Consultative Council on Sun 10 Dec 2023 (Zoom mtg) by Profs. Joseph Camilleri, Richard Falk, et al.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 11 Dec 2023.

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