PACBI Newsletter
Newsletter Archive:

  December  2012  


Roger Waters Reiterates Support for BDS at the UN

Roger Waters addressed the UN on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, advocating for Palestinian rights, for BDS to achieve them, and urging the world body to act to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.  Excerpts from the speech:

 In 1982 and again in 1983, the General Assembly passed resolutions holding Israel accountable for its violations. Those resolutions called for a complete arms embargo on Israel and an end to military aid and trade with Israel. Those resolutions were never implemented.  We never expected the United States or my government, I’m from The UK, by the way, to implement those GA resolutions – the U.S. is giving Israel $4.1 billion this year to bolster its already bloated military. The IMF says Israel is the 26th wealthiest country in the world, and Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East – why would any government be giving them money for more arms? Beats me. But the reality that they are does not excuse other governments from their obligations to implement those arms embargo resolutions.

 No such embargo has been imposed. Instead, it has fallen to global civil society to take the lead. Following a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists, and increasingly church bodies and even some local government authorities around the world have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims, as many of you know, to bring non-violent economic pressure to bear on Israel to force an end to its violations, an end to occupation and apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Palestinian citizens of Israel being required to live as second class citizens, discriminated against on racial grounds, and subject to different laws than their Jewish compatriots. The BDS movement is gaining ground hand over fist. Just last week I was happy to write a letter of support to the Student Government of the University of California, Irvine, congratulating them on demanding that their University divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.


South Africa’s ANC makes Israel boycott official policy

For the first time ever, the ANC, South Africa’s ruling party, adopted the Palestinian BDS Call as part of its official policy. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa said the decision “is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”


PACBI Presentation at the World Social Forum-Free Palestine in Brazil 

Watch PACBI members and partners from the South African Students Congress, BRICUP, Faculty for Palestine - Canada, SAIA, and USACBI present and share experience on the academic boycott of Israel at this year’s World Social Forum-Free Palestine in Brazil.  


Israeli Celeb Quits UNICEF Post due to Racist Remarks

Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, who expressed a desire for Palestinian children to “suffer,” quit as Chair of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF after just months. UNICEF had previously distanced itself from her, stating that her lengthy compendium of violent and racist statements “do not reflect the views of UNICEF.”


PACBI Editorial

2012 Academic & Cultural Boycott Highlights

2012 has been an exciting year for the growth of the cultural and academic boycott of Israel, a pillar of the global BDS movement.  Each month saw a range of successes on both the cultural and academic front.  A few of these highlights are presented below.  You may read the full summary and list of 2012 successes here.

In December, the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union endorsed Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) after an effective campaign by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA).  In November, Roger Waters, musician and founder of Pink Floyd, reiterated support for BDS in a UN address on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (Dublin Colleges Branch AGM) declared support for BDS.  In October, PACBI issued a call for action, “Interrogating Israel Studies in the Academy,” including suggestions for how to mobilize against Israel Studies schemes at universities around the world.  That month Turkish alternative band Baba Zula canceled their planned concert in Israel after BDS appeals.

In September, University of California Student Association (UCSA), a body that represents hundreds of thousands of students across the University of California, passed by a 12-0 vote (two abstentions) a resolution condemning CA House Resolution 35 that equates Palestine activism with anti-Semitism.  During that month, the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) lead spirited protests against the participation of three Israeli universities in the Indo-Global Education Summit in Hyderabad calling for a boycott of all complicit Israeli academic institutions. 

In August, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Student Representative Council came out in support of academic boycott of Israeli institutions.  In July, Nino Katamadze’s quietly canceled a five-concert tour of Israel after being contacted by Israeli BDS activist group Boycott From Within, and Palestinian dance troupe Juthor withdrew from a celebration in Switzerland that involved normalization and the promotion of Israeli culture.  In the previous month, Arizona State University Student Government Voted to Divest from Israel.
May saw Indian writer Vikas Swarup, author of Slumdog Millionaire, cancel his participation in the International Writers Festivals in Jerusalem heeding appeals from InCACBI, PACBI and BDS activists around the world.  While in April, the Irish band, Dervish, canceled their Israel gigs, and decided, “not to break this boycott.”

Early in the year, in March, chapter leaders of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán), the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, voted by a landslide decision to endorse BDS against Israel, due to its military occupation and settlement of Palestine.  In February, Cat Power, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Cassandra Wilson all boycotted Israel and canceled their shows.  And in January 2012, the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK endorsed divestment from companies implicated in Israel’s violations of human rights.

We call on our partners and activists around the world to continue in this spirit in 2013, and to especially work on the academic front to press for the isolation of Israeli academic institutions so long as Israel continues to practice apartheid, occupation and colonialism.  We wish everyone a 2013 closer to freedom, equality and justice.


Univ. of Toronto Graduate Students Union Endorses BDS

For the first time ever, the ANC, South Africa’s ruling party, adopted the Palestinian BDS Call as part of its official policy. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa said the decision “is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”


Birzeit University group calls on Cornell to end partnership with Technion

Cornell University's students, professors and partners alike will be implicated in Israel's colonial project in Palestine through the University's decision to work in collaboration with the Technion.


A comprehensive analysis of the arguments surrounding the call for a cultural boycott of Israel

 International artists find themselves standing at a crossroad between their desire to support all forms of artistic expression, Israeli or otherwise, and the Palestinian call to support a cultural boycott.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter