Palestinian academic calls for boycott of Israel

By Gulsum Incekaya

ISTANBUL (AA) – If the international community take a common stance against Israel, it cannot continue blatant killings in Palestine, a Palestinian academic said on Saturday.

Speaking at the "Palestine: Facing New Challenges, Preparing for Future" session on the second day of Muslim Future Thinkers Forum at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, Sami al-Arian of Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, called on a boycott of Israel.

"This can be an economic or cultural boycott. We have to raise our voice. If the world takes a common stance on Palestine, Israel will not be able to continue its blatant murders," Al-Arian said.

Palestinian-American civil rights activist cum academic Al-Arian is the Director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and public affairs professor at Sabahattin Zaim University.

He said the distress stems from the fact that Jews, who came from Europe and settled in Israel, reject Muslims and Christians living in the region.

The Palestinian problem is rooted in the Israeli occupation with the ideology of Zionism rather than the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories Al-Arian said.

"We have a Jewish problem. The Palestinian problem began especially after the European Jews settled in Palestine. The Jewish problem is not only the Palestinian issue, but an issue of the whole world. When the Jews settled in Palestine, a genocide against the Palestinian people has begun. [Ottoman] Sultan Abdulhamid II turned all the Palestinian lands into the property of the palace after he succeeded to the throne. Thus, the doors of Palestine were closed to the Jews.

"Until the World War I, the Palestinian territories remained under the control of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the World War I, Britain invaded and redesigned the region in 1918 and settled the Zionists in the Palestinian territories. Since then, the Jews and the state of Israel have continued settlements while trying all forms of oppression and persecution to remove the Palestinian people from this land," Al-Arian said.

He added that Israel continues to invade the Palestinian territories like an imperialist state, while the Palestinian people continue to struggle for their own freedoms, and that they will use every means to publicize this just cause.

Al-Arian emphasized Turkey's support for the Palestinian cause and said Turkey "always holds the Palestinian cause on the agenda".

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