Against Scholasticide

These are unbelievably heartbreaking times. Unfathomable horrors. Israel has begun bombing Rafah in what Amnesty International calls “unlawful attacks in Gaza causing mass civilian casualties amid real risk of genocide.” By the time I finish writing this and publish this post, likely more than a hundred civilians (in addition to the 27,000+ already confirmed dead) — nearly half of them children — will have been killed by Israel. Amnesty has described this as “likely direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects and must be investigated as war crimes.”

An important dimension of these horrific attacks concern scholars, academics, scientists — my colleagues — in what constitutes scholasticide. According to this recent article in The Conversation:

In the past four months, all or parts of Gaza’s 12 universities have been bombed and mostly destroyed.

Approximately 378 schools have been destroyed or damaged. The Palestinian Ministry of Education has reported the deaths of over 4,327 students, 231 teachers and 94 professors.

The destruction of education systems and buildings is known as “scholasticide,” a term first coined by Oxford professor Karma Nabulsi during the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on Gaza. Scholasticide describes the systemic destruction of Palestinian education within the context of Israel’s decades-long settler colonization and occupation of Palestine.

Ceasefire now. CEASEFIRE NOW.