Newsletter Archive:.
  March 2015  

Lauryn Hill: Boycott Apartheid Israel as Would Sun City!

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply troubled to learn that you are scheduled to perform in Rishon Lezion's Live Park amphitheater on May 7, 2015, while Israel continues unabatedly with its settler colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress and ethnically cleanse native Palestinians from their homeland. As a conscientious artist who opposes racial oppression, we urge you to cancel your performance and boycott Israel until it complies with international law and ends its oppression of the Palestinian people.

Performing in Israel today is the equivalent of performing in Sun City South Africa during the apartheid era. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared that Israel has created a form of racial apartheid that is far worse than anything that existed in South Africa. As a woman of colour and conscientious artist we urge you not to lend your name to cover up Israel's crimes.

PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, thus appeal to you to respect our struggle. We ask you to uphold our strategy of non-violent resistance and refrain from crossing a picket line called for by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive Israelis. Standing in solidarity with struggles against racism, as in the case of the civil rights movement in the US, and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, was powerful in bringing an end to racial injustice and colonial oppression. Be part of the fight against Israel's colonialism and apartheid and strengthening the connections between the African American and Palestinian peoples. It is only by standing in solidarity with one another that we can bring about freedom, justice and equality.


Israel: science in service of hasbara

  Israel's Foreign Ministry has budgeted NIS 5 million for the World Science Conference – Israel (WSCI), which head of the ministry's public diplomacy unit Yuval Rotem called an opportunity to "expose Israel as a country that promotes innovation and creativity."


Robert Cray: Stay on the right side of history and say no to Israeli apartheid

  We are calling on you to shun Tel Aviv in the same way that South African activists called on artists to boycott Sun City ... to refrain from crossing a picket line called by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive-Israelis.


No Hipster Apartheid! Petition to Keep @SXSW Creative, Not Criminal

  The scheduled events of "Israel: Land of Creation" and "Israel: Small Country, Big Ideas" are clear examples of Israel's rebranding campaign, which was explicitly designed to put a "prettier face" on Israel in the face of worldwide outrage over its massacres and apartheid policies targeting Palestinians.


PACBI Editorial

"We are Farid!"

An open letter to French university administrators: Stop silencing advocates for Palestinian Rights!

  The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) condemns the ongoing censorship and attacks on the academic freedom of supporters of Palestinian human rights by French universities' administrations. The latest episode in this anti-democratic repression was the silencing of the prominent South African anti-apartheid activist and scholar Farid Esack through cancelling his speaking engagements at several French universities.

  Contradicting the letter and spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which called for "a world in which human beings ... enjoy freedom of speech and belief," this attempt to silence professor Esack is yet another indicator of the despicable disregard for human rights and freedom of expression that prevail in French universities today when it comes to defending Palestinian rights or criticizing Israel's regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

  By conflating criticism of Israel's systematic oppression of the Palestinian people with anti-Semitism, administrators of some French universities are shamelessly parroting Israeli propaganda, engaging in fear mongering, and ultimately cheapening the very meaning and gravity of anti-Jewish racism.

  This all too familiar tactic is used by Israel, its lobby groups, and its propaganda mouthpieces around the world to muzzle voices that challenge Israel's criminal impunity.

  We stand in full solidarity with Professor Farid Esack against this repression, and we remind French universities of their obligation to uphold and protect freedom of expression and academic freedom, which includes ensuring a "fair discussion of contrary views."


Virginia State Bar cancels Israel trip, citing 'discriminatory' border policies

 The Virginia State Bar has canceled its midyear legal seminar in Jerusalem, citing "unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers."



Anti-Semitism Charge to Silence Student Advocates for Palestinian Human Rights

 For every real incident of anti-Semitism on campus, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support has documented many more false accusations aimed at thwarting serious discussions about Israel's treatment of Palestinians.


Debate on BDS at American Anthropological Association Conference

 Highlights of the debate on academic freedom at the December 2014 meeting of the American Anthropological Association, and an exclusive audio recording of the panel.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter