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October 11, 2016 8:17 am

Students in Amman, Abu Dhabi Launch Campaign Against Israel-Jordan Gas Deal, Claiming It Funds ‘Genocidal’ Zionist Regime

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Anti-Israel student protesters stand outside the dining hall on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus. Photo: Video Screenshot.

Anti-Israel student protesters stand outside the dining hall on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus. Photo: Video Screenshot.

Students in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have launched an anti-normalization campaign against a recent gas deal signed between Jerusalem and Amman, which they claim supports the “genocidal” Jewish state.

Activists at the University of Jordan (UJ) have formed a group called the Student Coalition for the Cancellation of the Gas Deal (SCCGD), which aims to use debates, conferences, marches and protests to undermine the deal, the Jordan Times reported.

SCCGD spokesman Anas Hussein told the Jordan Times that the gas deal — valued at $10 billion — “will mainly affect students and youth, [most of whom] are not aware of the fact that more than 30% of their electricity bills will fund the Zionist entity.” 

According to the report, over the past week, students at UJ and the Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted protests and marches on their campuses, demanding the immediate cancellation of the gas deal. In addition, members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Jordan shut off all electrical appliances and lights in their homes for one hour.

In solidarity, a group of students at the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on September 30 carried out a “performance” protest in front of the campus dining hall, student newspaper the Gazelle reported, during which they stood with medical masks covering the lower half of their faces for three hours during lunch period — and every 15 minutes chanted, “Blood is thicker than gas.” 

One organizer explained the symbolism of the masks, saying they:

represent the irony in how gas is necessary to generate electricity for warmth, lighting…while simultaneously choking us because the gas itself finances the apartheid and genocidal regime of the Israeli government, which systematically alienates, abuses and kills our own people. To me it represents a rejection of inhaling gas which is produced by an entity that systematically targets my own people.

Israel and Jordan finalized their historic gas agreement in September. The deal — which is part of long-standing energy cooperation between the two countries — will see Israel supply its eastern neighbor with 45 billion cubic meters of natural gas over the next 15 years from its Leviathan reservoir.

Officials from Jordan’s National Electric Power Company have said the deal with Israel will save Jordan some $600 million each year.

Watch a clip of the NYU Abu Dhabi protest below:

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