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  December 2013  

PACBI salutes the American Studies Association for Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the American Studies Association’s members (ASA) who voted to endorse the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions on December 16th 2013. In an election that attracted 1252 voters‚ the largest number of participants in such a referendum in the history of the organization‚ 66.05 percent of voters endorsed the resolution. By doing so‚ the ASA’s members send a message that it stands in full solidarity with the world–wide BDS movement initiated and led by Palestinian civil society.

 The ASA resolution‚ unanimously endorsed by the National Council in early December 2013 and ratified by the ASA membership‚ resolves that the association “endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ASA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel–Palestine and in support of the boycott‚ divestment‚ and sanctions (BDS) movement”.



Moddi cancels Tel Aviv gig after appeal from Gaza

“[The] discourse of peace creates a thick veil, concealing the increasingly tighter besiegement of Gaza, the ongoing fragmentation of the West Bank and the continuing discrimination of Arab-Israeli citizens.” Moddi wrote, “As long as 'dialogue’ continues to be a goal in itself…I will not lend my voice to it.”


Cyndi Lauper: Entertaining violent segregation, not equality

In the state of Israel, equality is a word frequently used, but rarely practiced...we both believe in equality, we believe in freedom, in peace, in justice, and I hope that some day, we can celebrate them together. But you cant find freedom, where there is occupation, you cant find justice under apartheid, you cant find equality in the state of Israel.

Native American Studies Group Joins Israel Boycott

The elected council for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association has unanimously opted to support the academic boycott of Israel, making it the third U.S.-based scholarly association, after the Association for Asian American Studies and the American Studies Association, to do so...


PACBI Editorial

Academic Boycott of Israel in 2013: A Tipping Point

The BDS movement set an impressive number of precedents in 2013. Weeks ago, in a letter of support to the ASA, the University of Hawaii Ethnic Studies department became the first academic department in the west to support the academic boycott of Israel. In April, the Association for Asian-American Studies endorsed the academic boycott – the first professional academic association in the United States to do so. Around the same time, the Teachers Union of Ireland unanimously called on its members to “cease all cultural and academic collaboration” with the “apartheid state of Israel,” and the Federation of French-Speaking Belgian Students (FEF), representing 100,000 members, adopted “a freeze of all academic partnerships with Israeli academic institutions.”

These and many other BDS developments have led to an explosion of interest in scrutinizing and criticizing Israel’s regime of oppression of the Palestinian people, or at least aspects of it. This has caused a heightened sense of alarm in the Israeli establishment as well as unprecedented debate there, to the degree that Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly said that Israeli leaders are terrified of the fast-growing BDS movement as much as they are scared of Irans rising influence in the region.

Indeed, the behavior of Israeli universities and their deep, decades-old complicity in Israels occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights have been a key driving force behind the proliferation of academic boycott initiatives and union resolutions all over the world…

If the Palestinian-led academic boycott of Israel succeeds in isolating Israeli institutions, Israeli academics are likely to lose their privileges and perks, but certainly not their academic freedom. To understand the difference, one must reference internationally accepted definitions of the latter.

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UNESCR) defines academic freedom as including “the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction.” Nothing in the PACBI boycott conflicts with any of this.


University of Hawai'i Ethnic Studies Department Supports BDS  

In standing in solidarity with USACBI, we recognize this as an opportunity to teach our students…the profound differences as well as similarities between Palestine and other sites of settler colonialism, including Hawai'i.



Why I voted for an academic boycott of Israel

"Having recently returned home from a trip to Israel and Palestine…I feel more strongly than ever the urgency of taking a stand in solidarity with Palestinians and their beleaguered Israeli allies."

Boycott Israeli Cinema and TV Studies Conference at Tel Aviv University

We, the undersigned, call on international academics to show conscientious respect for the academic boycott of Israel by declining to submit proposals to, or participate in, this Academic Conference.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter