Newsletter Archive:.

  July  2012  

World Psychiatric Association: Enabling Israeli Apartheid?

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply disturbed by the decision of the World Psychiatric Association – Transcultural Psychiatry Section (WPA-TPS) to hold its 1st International Conference on Cultural Psychiatry in Mediterranean Countries in Israel in November 2012 [1]. We urge the WPA-TPS to uphold its commitment to ethical standards, dignity and human rights by relocating this conference to another country that does not embody injustice through maintaining a regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid [2], as Israel does. We also appeal to all members of WPA-TPS to refrain from participating in the conference if it is to be convened in Israel.

We wish to stress that conferences of this kind are being used politically as an Israeli public relations tool against the globalboycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. A mainstream Israeli news source reported recently that many international professionals are staying away from Israel for its violations of international law and out of their respect for the Palestinian boycott call [3]. Your participation in and organization of this conference will work contrary to this, and be a direct rejection of Palestinian civil society’s act of nonviolent resistance to colonization and oppression.

More importantly, the Israeli medical establishment has consistently refused to shoulder its ethical responsibility to ensure that its institutions and members do not engage in serious violations of universal medical ethics, not to mention basic human rights, particularly Palestinians’ rights to life and freedom from torture and ill treatment. It is in this context that we expect your association not to lend its name to covering up these injustices--to do no harm, at the very least.


Jazz was not meant to be played under apartheid!

Don’t Play Israeli Apartheid issued calls to a variety of eminent artistes including the Sean Jones Quintet, Geri Allen, and Christian McBride to join an ever-expanding group of artistes, including jazz musicians like Tuba Skinny and Cassandra Wilson, who have refused to cross the BDS picket line.



European academics protest involvement of Israeli arms companies in EU research programs

More than 260 academics from 20 different countries have written to the European Commission urging it to take action to prevent Israeli arms and other companies involved in abuse of Palestinian human rights from participating in EU funded research consortia.


Canadian band attacked by Israel lobby group after playing song titled ‘Apartheid’

“We do not use the term 'apartheid' lightly,” says band member Angela Schleihauf. “According to the definition of apartheid under international law, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, Israel is undoubtedly operating as an apartheid state.”


PACBI Editorial

Roger Waters and BDS:

Moral Courage and Unwavering Commitment to Human Rights

“Where governments refuse to act people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal. For me this means declaring an intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government's policies, by joining the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel.” – Roger Waters [1]

With this simple yet compelling logic and exceptional sense of moral responsibility to end complicity in the commission of injustice, Roger Waters announced on the pages of The Guardian his endorsement of the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement.  His move has effectively ushered in a new phase in the spread of BDS to millions across the world who had not previously heard of the budding rights-based movement.

In the same statement, Waters issued a plea to his “colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines” to join the cultural boycott of Israel, in particular, comparing Israel’s system of oppression of the Palestinian people to South Africa’s apartheid regime and recalling how artists boycotted the latter and its infamous Sun City resort as a matter of moral duty.

Roger Waters has set an example in social responsibility and in redefining the role of artists, especially illustrious ones, in using their unique access to the world stage to stand up for rights, for justice and against all oppression.  For this and everything else that Waters has stood for, he has won the hearts and deep appreciation of Palestinians and people of conscience everywhere.


Interview with Alice Walker after She Declines to Publish with Israeli Publisher

In an interview with an Israeli paper, Alice Walker explains her decision not to publish her novel, The Color Purple, with an Israeli publisher

Jordan and the effort to support BDS in the Arab world

Now more than ever, Arab populations are prone to mobilize for their collective liberations. In Jordan activist efforts are up against transnational corporations bent on profit, as well as classism

A Letter from Palestinian Students to Wits Student Representative Council, South Africa

Just as students around the world were banning Barclays Bank from campuses for their investment in [South African] Apartheid, we call on you to boycott Apartheid Israel.
  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter