Press Release on foreign academics working restrictions in Palestine

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeffrey D. Reger: 520-333-2577; jeff@mesana.org

SCHOLARLY SOCIETIES CALL ON ISRAEL TO REFRAIN FROM IMPOSING ARBITRARY RESTRICTIONS ON ENTRY VISAS AND WORK PERMITS FOR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMICS WORKING IN PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITIES

(September 12, 2019, Washington, DC) As Palestinian universities opened for the fall semester, the American Anthropological Association, American Political Science Association, Middle East Studies Association, National Women’s Studies Association, and Society of Architectural Historians issued a joint letter to Israel authorities asking them to clarify lawful procedures for issuing entry visas and work permits for international academics working in the West Bank and Gaza.

Arbitrary policies regarding visa renewals and re-entry visas threaten the ability of Palestinian universities to hire foreign nationals, and disrupts faculty recruitment, teaching, curriculum planning, program development, committee work, and supervision of theses. Amongst the immediate challenges facing foreign nationals this fall are changing documentation requirements without prior notification, lengthy visa processing periods that force applicants to overstay valid visas or require them to leave the country, shortened and arbitrary duration of visas, restrictions on ports of entry/exit, travel restrictions within the West Bank, and re-entry obstacles that prevent foreign nationals from traveling to participate in academic conferences.

The letter calls upon Israel authorities to issue a transparent policy that allows entry and the presence of foreign faculty and staff on Palestinian university campuses in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.

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