Academic Boycott Grows in May 2014
In 2012, PACBI called on its supporters world-wide to
intensify all aspects of BDS, but to especially focus, whenever possible, on academic boycott. Specifically, we call on faculty and student activists to pressure their academic organizations to end collaboration with complicit Israeli academic institutions or organizations, and not to organize or participate in conferences in Israel. Furthermore, we appeal to academics not to publish in Israeli academic journals and to withdraw from editorial boards of international journals based at Israeli universities. We also urge academics and students to oppose study-abroad programs that place students from the US and Europe at Israeli universities.
One and a half years later, the Association for Humanist Sociology and the Association for Asian American Studies passed resolutions endorsing a full academic boycott of Israel. Less than two years after the 2012 statement, four other U.S. academic associations had passed resolutions or shown unwavering support for BDS, these being the Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA), the Arab American Studies Association (AASA), Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), and the American Studies Association (ASA). In addition, at least one university department, the University of Hawai’i Ethnic Studies department, came out officially in support of BDS. The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) led that direction in the US.
Just recently, over 700 academics appealed to participants of a Film Studies conference and an Oral history conference both taking place in Israel. Those appeals resulted in cancellations from major participants of the Film studies conference and the loss of Alessandro Portelli as Keynote speaker in the Oral History conference .
Student councils on campuses across the US, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Norway, South Africa, among others, have taken to heart the BDS movement’s message and succeeded in passing BDS-related resolutions, mostly divestment from companies involved in the occupation, despite unprecedented bullying and smearing from Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups.