Students in Louvain-la-Neuve demand change with Break Up With Israel campaign

Around 70 students took part in the Break Up With Israel protest in Louvain-la-Neuve and other student cities on Wednesday. The students are calling on higher education institutions in Belgium to "stop their cooperation with Israeli institutions that contribute to the genocide against the Palestinians".

In Louvain-la-Neuve, the protesters are asking UCLouvain to cut academic ties with Israeli universities and institutions that support Israel's policies. They also criticise the university for not stating its position or openly calling for a ceasefire since the outbreak of fighting in Gaza.

UCLouvain says a joint position was taken within the Council of Francophone Rectors of the French Community. In doing so, the francophone universities in Belgium expressed their support for the federal government, which has called for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

UCLouvain denies funding scholarships for students in Israel, saying there are no exchange agreements with Israeli institutions. A blind boycott is not a solution, according to the university, and although there are no ties between UCLouvain and Israeli institutions, UCLouvain says maintaining people-to-people relations is helpful, especially in conveying moderate views.


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