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### Pitzer College Ends Haifa University Exchange Program

Pitzer College’s Decision to Close Study Abroad Program with University of Haifa

By News Desk

On Monday, April 1, 2024, Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges consortium, made the official announcement to terminate its study abroad partnership with the University of Haifa. This decision was rooted in the incongruence of the program with Pitzer’s Core Values.

The closure of the program comes after a sustained advocacy effort within Pitzer College in solidarity with the Palestinian cause, urging U.S. academic institutions to show support for Palestinian rights by severing ties with Israeli universities.

Pitzer College now stands as a trailblazer among U.S. higher education institutions by implementing a significant academic boycott of Israel. The decision to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was propelled by a series of resounding votes within the college’s governing bodies.

The Student Senate at Pitzer College voted overwhelmingly (34-1) in favor of cutting all institutional connections with Israeli universities. Subsequently, the Faculty of the College passed a similar motion with a notable majority of 20-3. The College Council, comprising faculty, students, and staff representatives, also lent its support to the BDS policy with a decisive vote of 67-28.

The impetus for this action stemmed from the calls by Birzeit University in the West Bank and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE) to sever ties with Israeli academic institutions. Notably, leaders of all Palestinian universities echoed these sentiments.

Responding to persistent advocacy efforts by student groups like Students for Justice for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as faculty supporters under Claremont Faculty for Justice for Palestine, the administration of Pitzer College took a definitive stance on the issue.

Additionally, pressure from Pitzer Alums for Social Justice, backed by over 430 pledges from alumni and parents, further underscored the demand for full adoption of boycotts and divestments from Israeli entities in alignment with the principles of the BDS movement.

As the college navigates this pivotal decision, the broader community is urged to consider supporting independent journalism platforms like Colorado Boulevard, which prioritize public interest over profit motives and offer a fresh perspective on critical societal issues.

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