“Incredibly disappointing”: TCD Academics for Palestine’s wish to meet with Provost left ignored

The group are calling for Trinity to “cut ties with institutions that are involved with, and complicit in, genocide”

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Academics for Palestine, a group of around two dozen academics on campus, claim that their multiple requests to meet the Provost have been ignored, except for a recognition of receipt of their emails. 

Dr. David Landy, a representative of the group and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, says that the Provost’s office has “refused any more contact” with the group after the recognition of receipt, labelling this as “incredibly disappointing”. 

He further opined that the discrepancy between College’s reaction to Israel’s assault on Gaza and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “painful”. 

In February 2022, College released a statement which read, in part: “Trinity College Dublin condemns the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people at this most difficult time. A peaceful resolution to the conflict is needed.”

In January 2024, an email exchange by the acting director of College’s communications office, obtained under a freedom of information request, read that their “stance is to remain neutral on issues such as this”. 

TCD Academics for Palestine urges Trinity to take part in an academic boycott of Israeli universities and institutions. This “is a boycott on institutions not individuals”, Landy says, “so if somebody is Israeli and is associated with a university outside of Israel, of course people can still keep academic ties with them and still collaborate with them”. 

“It’s collaborating with those in institutions within Israel, that’s the problem”, particularly focusing on “research collaborations which bring money to these institutions”. 

The group is currently conducting audits across various schools and departments regarding their ties to Israeli institutions. Out of 228 research projects funded by the European Union that Trinity is participating in, only seven involve Israeli institutions. 

Dr. Landy views this as “a grey boycott on Israel already happening in academia”, and further evidence of the desire for an academic boycott to be conducted by College. 

He took issue with the “talk in Trinity about decolonising the curriculum”. “People are patting themselves on the back because we have renamed the library (formerly known as the Berkeley Library), you can’t talk about decolonising if you’re collaborating with institutions that are participating in colonial genocide”. 

He claimed that Trinity “has a moral responsibility” to act on the situation in Gaza. “Trinity’s response to the killings has been incredibly disappointing. It has been, to say, as little as possible”, he said.

Moreover, he commended student activists, such as the actions of the Trinity Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, for their “energy, conviction, and moral clarity”. 

Dr. Landy hopes to see a similar amount of action from staff across College. “It’s just horrific to see this genocide being played out and our institution is doing nothing”, he said. “So it has been somewhat relieving that my colleagues are doing something, that we are standing up. I’d just like our college to do it as well”.

College declined to provide a comment to Trinity News.