Website lists university ties with Israel

WUR’s ties with Israeli institutes also shown.
The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is one of the Israeli institutes with which WUR has ties, according to the website. Photo Shutterstock

A newly launched website reveals known ties between Dutch universities and Israeli institutes and businesses. The goal is to incite a boycott, a call answered by some. Students continue to protest.

The website aims to map the universities’ “complicity” with the war against the Palestinians. Activists call it a continuing genocide and demand a boycott.

The website shows a map of the Netherlands, with its universities. Clicking a particular university reveals a list of Israeli or Israel-affiliated businesses, universities and institutes.

The website is owned by, among others, the pro-Palestinian human rights organisation The Rights Forum, which has sued universities to gain insight into their contacts with Israeli and pro-Israeli organisations. Other parties involved in the website are Stop Wapenhandel (caese arms trade) action group and the pro-Palestinian legal support centre ELSC.


The list contains much research funded by the EU, some of which may have military uses, The TU Delft, for example, is one of thirty parties in a consortium that develops better wings for short-distance flights. The consortium is led by Airbus Defence and Space, and an Israeli space aviation business is also involved.

Other research has nothing to do with war. The VU, for example, researches a non-invasive treatment for cancer with 28 other universities, businesses and institutes. Multinational Philips leads the project, while its Israeli branch is also involved.

The website builders claim all of this contributes to complicity in genocide, although they acknowledge that it may raise questions. ‘Some of the businesses mentioned are clearly not complicit in violating Palestinian rights, but they all contribute to an economy based on the expropriation of Palestinians.’


Meanwhile, some have answered the call for a boycott. The KNAW institute NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies) has decided to bar its employees from travelling to Israel for work. Moreover, NIAS has decided to boycott events sponsored by the state of Israel.

The NIAS will not abandon international networks in which the Israeli Institute for Advanced Study (IIAS) participates. The IIAS website shows a counter with the number of days, hours and minutes since the Hamas attack on 7 October and a call to liberate the hostages: ‘Bring them home now.’ There is no mention of Palestinian casualties.

The NIAS policy will remain in place until the situation changes but with a caveat: the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) may opt for a different course that the NIAS must follow. Additionally, government intervention is possible.


Despite the disassembly of tent camps and occupations, the student protests in tertiary education continue. The Nijmegen police department put an end to a protest on Wednesday night. Occupiers left one of the buildings in shambles.

The protests are a costly affair. Some 125 thousand euros in damages (graffiti, and destruction of property) were caused at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, according to Erasmus Magazine. The university has filed a report and is investigating whether the protesters can be held liable for the damages.

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