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Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Resource Centre
UCU boycott, NATFHE boycott, AUT boycott and other academic boycotts targetting Israeli universities

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Zionism On The Web Notes

The following call for a boycott was refered to in the boycott motion to the AUT in 2005. The motion to NATFHE in 2006 included a mandate to "to circulate information to Branches" this was presumably the same information as given below, but it was not explicitly stated.

The call below gives an e-mail address, the domain that address belongs to is registered to Omar Barghouti. The PACBI group is a political campaign group that seeks to deligitimize the state of Israel using what has become known as the "Durban stratagy", named after the farce that was the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that took place in Durban, South Africa in September 2001. The Durban conference and the Durban stratagy seek to use the language of antiracism to spread racism. A summary on the durban conference can be seen in Time magazine, Sep. 9th 2001.

Palestinian call for Academic Boycott of Israel

Statement, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, 7 July 2004
Source: http://right2edu.birzeit!edu/news/article178

Palestinian Academics Call for International Academic Boycott of Israel

Dear fellow academics, intellectuals and activists:

Please find below a Palestinian call for boycott issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. It has the support of nearly sixty of the most prominent academic, cultural, professional, and trade unions and associations in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities' Professors and Employees and the umbrella organization of Palestinian NGOs in the occupied West Bank, PNGO. It is thus highly representative of the views of major sectors in Palestinian civil society. We urge you to endorse this call and distribute it as widely as possible to academic organizations, educational institutions, and cultural and professional associations.

The Israeli academy has contributed, either directly or indirectly, to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying the military occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza, the entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, which resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa, and the denial of the fundamental rights of Palestinian refugees in contravention of international law.

From our perspective, all forms of international intervention have until now failed to force Israel to comply with international law or to end its repression of the Palestinians, which has manifested itself in the brutal suppression of academic freedom, siege, indiscriminate killing -- just today, Israel murdered professor Khaled Salah, of an-Najah University, and his 16-year-old child in their home in Nablus -- wanton destruction and the racist colonial wall. And in view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community of scholars and intellectuals have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in their struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, we call upon you, our colleagues in the international community, to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to oppression.

To Palestinians, it is more urgent now than ever to finally establish a connection between the two formerly mutually exclusive words: "Israel" and "sanctions". Israel should not be treated with the moral inconsistency that has prevailed so far. It is precisely the automatic exoneration that Israel receives from western governments and some otherwise progressive movements that Palestinians and their conscientious supporters wish to challenge.

We realize that boycott is not popular yet when the target is Israel. We recognize the hesitation in Europe, and more so in the US (albeit for different reasons), in addressing the need to boycott the Israeli academic establishment; but we, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, cannot wait until divine intervention sways public opinion towards supporting a boycott. We need your help and that of international academic networks to actively contribute to the process that could make it happen.

Boycott is clearly among the clearest and least violent tactics in resisting occupation and injustice at an international level. We hope that you can endorse it and find the best, most nuanced and effective means of advocating and implementing it. This would be a highly appreciated and practical contribution to supporting Palestinian academic freedom and, indeed, to resisting injustice and fostering genuine peace in our troubled region.

Sincerely,

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel info@BoycottIsrael.ps

Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Israel's colonial oppression of the Palestinian people, which is based on Zionist ideology, comprises the following:

Denial of its responsibility for the Nakba - in particular the waves of ethnic cleansing and dispossession that created the Palestinian refugee problem - and therefore refusal to accept the inalienable rights of the refugees and displaced stipulated in and protected by international law;

Military occupation and colonization of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza since 1967, in violation of international law and UN resolutions;

The entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, which resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa.

Suggested Guiding Principles

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,

Given that all forms of international intervention have until now failed to force Israel to comply with international law or to end its repression of the Palestinians, which has manifested itself in many forms, including siege, indiscriminate killing, wanton destruction and the racist colonial wall,

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

Recognizing that the growing international boycott movement against Israel has expressed the need for a Palestinian frame of reference outlining guiding principles,

In the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression,

We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by applying the following:

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

2.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;

3.Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;

4.Exclude from the above actions against Israeli institutions any conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their state’s colonial and racist policies;

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

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


Reproduced at Zionism On The Web for educational purposes only. Commentry (c) Zionism On The Web, June 4th 2007


Related items:

Press Releases

2008
AFI Digest of March 28th

2007
National Postgraduate Committee (NPC)
National Union of Students (NUS)
Jewish Agency (JAFI)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Statement from The Russell Group on UCU motion on Israeli boycott
Statement from the LSE on UCU's motion in support of an Israel boycott
Columbia University response to boycotts of Israeli universites
Board of Deputies Response to UCU academic Boycotts
American Jewish Congress response to UCU boycott
American Physiological Society Response to the British academic boycott of Israel (includes feedback on this)
National Postgraduate Committee and the Academic Boycotts (14/8/07)
University and College Union (UCU) Press Release, Boycott illegal, 28th Sept 2007
Academic Friends of Israel Press Release, 29 September 2007

News Reports

2008
Union committee to reconsider Israeli academics boycott, The Education Guardian, March 27, 2008
UK group proposes boycott of Israeli academia, Jerusalem Post, March 30, 2008

2007
A slippery slope to totalitarianism, Education Guardian, May 24, 2007
Physicist who refused to lecture in U.K.: I'm not calling for boycott, Haaretz, May 25, 2007
Livni [Israeli FM] meets with British ambassador over U.K. boycotts, Haaretz, May 29, 2007
Memo From London: Should British Academics, or Rock Bands, Boycott Israel? New York Times, May 30, 2007
Lecturers back boycott of Israel, Education Guardian, May 30, 2007
Academics express outrage at Israeli boycott, Education Guardian, May 31, 2007
Divide and Rule, Education Guardian, June 5, 2007
Boycott should outrage academics, Inside Higher Ed, June 5 2007
Ignored by the Brits, Ynet, June 6, 2006
Boycott will destroy British academia, The Guardian, Saturday June 9, 2007
We Will Isolate Them, The Guardian, June 9, 2007 + ZOTW Commentry June 10, 2007
Government to form joint task force to counter U.K. boycotts, Haaretz, June 8, 2007
UK proposes joint academic seminar, Ynet News, June 10, 2007
US Unions condemn boycotts, The Jewish Chronicle, August 17 2007
Boycott a blessing in disguise, YNet News, Opinion, June 1 2007
FM praises British academics for nixing planned boycott of Israel, Haaretz, 30/09/2007
British academics forgo boycott call, Haaretz, 29/09/2007
Lecturers drop Israeli universities boycott call after legal advice, The Guardian, 29/09/2007

Responces, Blogs, Newsletters

2008
UCU Reconsidering Boycott, Little Bulldogs, March 27 2008

2007
UJS Chair's letter to UCU General Secretary
Lancaster University Students' Union Policy in repsonse
Academic Friends of Israel Digest vol 6 no 10 One week on
Academic Friends of Israel Digest vol 6 no 12
Goldhirsh Foundation Response
Responding to the Boycott by Shalom Lappin, at normblog, June 3 2007
Dark Days for the British Academy a letter by Prof Daniel Statman
A letter to UCU from Guy Handelman
SPME Petition against the boycott
Response from prominent British figures and law-makers, in Guardian Letters page, June 12, 2007

Other relevent documents and sources

The 2007 UCU motions
The 2007 document to be sent to branches
An explanation about the Durban Stratagy
Key quotes and summary of responses to the UCU policy
Why a cultural boycott of Israel would be banal, gestural and morally compromised
Relevent section of the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism
More background on anti-Israel boycotts in general

Other sites related to the boycott

UJS's UCU Academic Boycott
www.stoptheboycott.org
BICOM on the UCU Boycotts
Academic Friends of Israel
Engage
Jewish Agency page on Addressing the Academic Boycott of Israel at UCU