Mardin Artuklu University: Courage Award

The 24th International Beth Al-Maqdis Academic Symposium was held at Mardin Atuklu University, Turkey, 18-20 April 2024. The conference theme was “Zionism and Academia: Pressures, Fears and Challenges”. Besides giving a presentation entitled, “A Biblical Refutation of Christian Zionism”, during the conference, I was also honoured to receive the Mardin Artuklu University Courage Award.

Symposium Programme

This is the background to the Courage Award cited from the conference publicity.

“Anti-Zionist discourses have been under obvious pressure in the US and Europe for years despite all emphasize on freedom of thought and academia in addition to following a policy to suppress those who voice such discourse. Especially following the Zionist massacres, which have started after the Al Aqsa Flood on 7 October 2023, these pressures have gone beyond the tolerance level. The sanctions implied against academicians and university students even showing minor reactions to Zionist genocide aim to turn academy/science world into a prisoner of the Zionist fear. Thus the objective is to make academicians and even students accomplices of the apartheid and genocide regime.

During the entire process, students and academicians standing with Gaza are tried to be intimidated via such pressures. These pressures have merged with demands to suppress and prevent activities and demonstrations organized in campuses against the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Pro-Palestinian student groups in countries like the US and Britain have also faced Zionist pressures and leaders of these groups have been forced to resign. As a result of these pressures, the free thought rights of those who criticize Zionist oppression have been directly violated, and these names have been blacklisted and forced to silence.

The pressures against academicians showing an anti-Zionist stance and oppose the genocide have reached the level of forcing some university rectors to resign from their posts. These pressures have turned to not only verbal but also to physical assaults; for instance, academicians and students organizing pro-Palestine demonstrations have been battered in some universities.

Israel has taken the Western academy under its influence thanks to its long standing propaganda campaign. As a result, Western countries such as the US, England, France and Germany have equalled criticisms against Zionism with anti-Semitism and took a stance with the Zionist regime. It is regretful to inform that there have been scholars and academicians who have adapted this non-scientific approach. This approach, which disregards the ethical character of science, questions the objectivity of the science world and reveals the pressure of Zionism as a form of racism on the world of science.

Zionist regimes ongoing massacres in Gaza, which violates international law and UN resolutions, demonstrate that the catastrophe is not only on a local level but rather the world is facing a political, legal and ethical crisis at the global level. The non-functionality of the political cooperation and norms together with the nulled ethical values when the genocide in Gaza s concerned, clearly indicates and demonstrates the current situation of the world.

This scene that has come forth together with the genocide in Gaza; indicates that the Zionist regime is a direct threat not only for Palestine but at the same time for the world peace and science. However, there are scholars and academicians who are aware of this threat and believe that “it is science’s fatal condition to have the courage to speak as well as to show the courage to know” and act accordingly. These people, who see ethic as a condition of science and production, have stood against the Israel occupation, which continues since 1948, and showed a pro-freedom stance by standing with the people of Palestine despite all pressures.

In this aspect, Mardin Artuklu University has decided to grant “Courage Awards” annually to support scholars who voice the free thought against Zionism. The “Courage Award” shall be granted this year and the following years to certain names chosen among academicians and students who protect the dignity and honour of science against the Zionist genocide regime. This award is primarily dedicated to the brave people of Gaza.”

Symposium Programme