Academic boycott against Israeli apartheid

Academic Boycott

In August 2002, the Palestinian Civil Society launched a call for Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with
international law and universal principles of human rights:
PACBI call

The construction of the Israeli wall across and through Palestinian land
in flagrant violation of the rulings of the International Court and
despite international condemnation is one more step in making everyday
life, to say nothing of teaching and research, ever more difficult for
our Palestinian colleagues.

In the context of this broad international BDS campaign, Palestinians
academics and intellectuals have called upon their colleagues to
boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, as a
contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization
and system of apartheid:
PACBI statement

What is the Academic Boycott

An academic boycott is a personal and a collective act made in
solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues whose academic freedom is
currently denied. It can take one of the forms below:

-Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural
cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;

-Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the
national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of
funding and subsidies to these institutions;

-Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international
academic institutions;

-Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for
resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural
associations and organizations;

-Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly
without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an
explicit or implicit condition for such support.

BRICUP statement

Why boycott the academia?

Given that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have
until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian
law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and
oppression of the people of Palestine;

In view of the fact that people of conscience in the international
community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight
injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South
Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions;

As in the case of South Africa, it will be a long haul from ethical acts
of solidarity to full UN-administered economic cultural and academic
sanctions. The comparison with the anti-Apartheid movement and the
need for pressure from international civil society – specifically from
universities – has been made by leading ANC figures and also
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

We recognise that there are a number of courageous individual Israeli
academics who are openly critical of their country’s policies, who
support their Palestinian academic colleagues and who work with the
peace movement. We pay tribute to such individual academic colleagues
of conscience and stand in solidarity with them. However, they are few
in number (less than 1%), and institutionally, Israeli universities are at
worst active supporters of Israeli state policy, at best in passive
compliance with it, from direct support for military to discrimination
against non Jews and particularly students from OTs, to providing
ideological support for Zionism, or links with high-tech and military
companies etc… If continuing support to the Israeli academia is
what the Palestinian academia considers best for its future, we should
hear it from them. So far, Palestinian academics are fully and
unequivocally supporting the boycott.

Since Israeli academic institutions (mostly state controlled) and the
vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have either
contributed directly to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying
the above forms of oppression, or have been complicit in them through
their silence;

The academic boycott is a non-violent punitive measure that should be
maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the
Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully
complies with the precepts of international law.

BRICUP background information
The Case for Academic Boycott against Israel, by AIC
Oppose the New “Settler University”, by Bill Templer

What you can do

Examples:
-refuse to collaborate with Israeli or joint Israeli institutions
-refuse funds from Israeli or joint Israeli institutions
-contest the funding of Israeli institutions by other contries or
institutions
-refuse to participate in conferences in Israel
-refuse to referee or to edit articles for Israeli journals
-refuse to evaluate research proposals for Israeli or joint Israeli
institutions

To make things clear, and although this has been debated, the present
form of boycott does NOT call for full boycott of ties with INDIVIDUAL
Israeli academics.

You may have received a call for one of the proposals above (joining
a conference or refereeing an article, for example) and you want to
refuse, based on this boycott campaign that you think is fair and that
you want to join. But you may not know exactly how to phrase your refusal.

Click here to see some examples of letters by individual academics that,
at some point, have refused to collaborate with Israel, have stated it
with a letter and do not mind have their letters published publicly on
this website. If you want, you can copy and adapt these letters to your
particular case before sending them to the relevant person.

We are hearing from many academics who are aligning themselves
with the boycott in a variety of practical ways. Sometimes, academics
hesitate to send a boycott letter because they are afraid of retaliation
and they do not want to be the only ones doing so. Although it is
perfectly understandable that they prefer to join this boycott silently,
as a private matter, we feel that if they made their letters public,
more people would feel more comfortable joining in. Therefore we
encourage academics, famous or not famous, who have joined this
boycott campaign, to publish their letters, as they encourage others to
do likewise.

We, at Tadamon, provide this website for those letters to be public, so
please send a copy of your letters to us and let us make them public,
for a better efficiency of this whole campaign.

Other examples of letters sent:

Ilan Pappe
Tanya Reinhardt
Richard Seaford
Letters sent to PACBI

Background information

PACBI call
Right to Education Campaign of Birzeit University in Palestine
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

1 Comment »

Hi,

I am a Poli Sci/ IR Double Major at UBC. I don’t know you but I was doing some reading and saw that you were involved in the discussion regarding boycott of israeli academia and i thought this would of interest to you:

http://ubc.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10530675405

its a none profit that i started in hopes of raising awareness for children in Palestine and their plight as well as funds to get them an education. I wont bore you as you can look further into it yourself (and feel free to ask any questions). Its very grass roots and we have our first event in the UBC Art Gallery feb 10th to the 6th.

Thought you would like to know :)

Cheers,

Yashar

Comment by Yashar Keramati — February 4th, 2008 @ 4:33 AM

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