Italian academics have signed a petition calling for a boycott of Israeli universities due to their “notorious complicity” with the country’s “state violence.”

The petition, which was published Wednesday, is signed by 168 Italian academics from more than 50 institutes, including the universities of Rome, Turin and Florence, as well as the European University Institute. The campaign stresses its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling the petition an act of solidarity.

In the statement accompanying the signatures, the campaign denounces “the utter lack of any serious condemnation” of government policy by the Israeli institutes since the creation of the state in 1948.

The petition singles out the Technion, Israel’s Haifa-based institute of technology, which it claims “is involved more than any other university in the Israeli military-industrial complex.” The institute, the blurb continues, “carries out research in a wide range of technologies and weapons used to oppress and attack Palestinians.” It gives as an example Technion research into tunnel-detecting equipment, which it claims is “developed specifically to maintain Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip.”

A senior member of the Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip said Friday that the organization was “tirelessly” digging such tunnels, in order to carry out attacks inside Israel.

Supporters of a boycott against Israel protest in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Illustrative photo of protesters urging a boycott against Israel. (Wikimedia Commons)

The petition, which was produced by the “Italian Campaign for the Revocation of Agreements with Technion,” accuses the Israeli institute of working in lockstep with the IDF and arms producers.

“Technion develops joint research programs and collaborates with the Israeli army and the main weapons manufacturing companies in Israel,” the petition states. “In addition, Technion trains its engineering students to work for companies directly involved in the development of complex weapons systems.”

The petition argues that, “The operation of the vast Israeli military-industrial complex largely depends on the willingness of governments, companies and research centers around the world to collaborate with universities and research centers in Israel.”

Therefore, it continues, “We invite all those in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle to join the BDS campaign until Israel recognizes the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law.”