Waltham, Mass. — Brandeis University has suspended its partnership with the West Bank’s Al-Quds University in light of recent events at the Palestinian school, including a Nazi-style demonstration on its main campus in Jerusalem.
Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence, in making the announcement Monday, said the suburban Boston university will re-evaluate the relationship in the future. The universities have been sister institutions since 1998.
During the Nov. 5 demonstration at Al-Quds, which also has campuses in the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis and Al-Bireh, protesters marched in black military gear with fake automatic weapons while waving flags and offering the traditional Nazi salute. Banners with images of Palestinian suicide bombers decorated the main square of the campus, according to a statement from Brandeis. Several students also portrayed dead Israeli soldiers.
Following the demonstration, Lawrence called on Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh to issue a condemnation of the demonstration in Arabic and English.
In a statement issued Sunday to Al-Quds students, Nusseibeh said “Jewish extremists” were using the demonstration to “capitalize on events in ways that misrepresent the university as promoting inhumane, anti-Semitic, fascist, and Nazi ideologies.”
Without these ideologies, he said, “there would not have been the massacre of the Jewish people in Europe; without the massacre, there would not have been the enduring Palestinian catastrophe.”
The Brandeis statement called Nusseibeh’s message “unacceptable and inflammatory.” It said the partnership was formed more than a decade ago with an eye toward “opening a dialogue and building a foundation for peace,” and called the relationship “productive in many respects.”