Northern Ireland

Queen’s University faces demands for ‘urgent review’ of Hillary Clinton’s chancellor position after Gaza ceasefire comments

Ms Clinton spoke out against a full ceasefire in Gaza in an article published in November

Queen's University Chancellor Hillary Clinton. Picture by PA
Queen's University Chancellor Hillary Clinton. PICTURE: PA

More than 260 students, alumni and staff at Queen’s University have called for the institution to review the position of Hillary Clinton as chancellor over her claims that a ceasefire in Gaza would be a “mistake”.

Former US first lady and presidential candidate Ms Clinton, who was appointed chancellor in 2020 for a five-year term, sparked criticism with an article she wrote for American current affairs magazine The Atlantic last November.

In the op-ed, published following the invasion of Gaza by Israel after the Hamas attacks of October 7, she said “a full cease-fire that leaves Hamas in power would be a mistake”.

She added: “For now, pursuing more limited humanitarian pauses that allow aid to get in and civilians and hostages to get out is a wiser course.”

Shortly before the article was published, Queen’s had faced a call by People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll to sever ties with Ms Clinton, after she told a panel discussion at a university in Texas that it was “not possible” to end the violence in Gaza.

Now a letter, headed as from the QUB Palestine Assembly, has been sent to the vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor, signed by over 260 people linked to the university and fiercely condemning Ms Clinton.

To date, over 31,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, with the conflict pushing the territory to the brink of famine.

“Given that the ICJ (International Court of Justice) decision considers that unlawful killing amounting to genocide is occurring, we have a duty as academics and as citizens to support without equivocation the call for an end to the violence,” the letter states.

Researchers from QUB were involved in the study
Hillary Clinton was appointed QUB chancellor in 2020.

“That call is severely diminished by the position that Hillary Clinton - our chancellor - has adopted.”

It adds: “We ask the university to call for an immediate ceasefire, an urgent review of the current chancellor’s position, and the introduction of a more rigorous ethical investment policy in consultation with staff and student unions.”

Queen’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Ian Greer, said in a recent statement posted to social media: “As the Head of a university that has a long history in promoting global peace and reconciliation, I have called for an immediate end to the conflict in Gaza with a humanitarian ceasefire so urgent aid relief can commence in the region. Dialogue must commence to secure a lasting peace and the violence must stop.

“The lesson of Northern Ireland is that peace can be achieved with hard work and compromise.

“Our young people have no memory of the conflict and thankfully no experience of it either, which is an outstanding achievement for all our leaders past and present. Let’s hope for the same in the Middle East in the years to come.”