Newsletter Archive:.
  June 2013  

PACBI Mourns Iain Banks

 The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) mourns the passing of renowned Scottish author Iain Banks, who personified in his life the meaning of commitment to justice.  Two months before his death, Banks announced his ill heath and simultaneously reiterated his unflinching support for the global and Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement [1], particularly the cultural boycott against Israel.  Aside from giving inspiration to writers the world over, this position underlined Iain Banks’ moral distinction.

 After Israel’s bloody attack on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010, Iain Banks was among the first international figures to endorse the boycott of Israel, urging [2] writers, artists and academics to “convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation, preferably by simply having nothing to do with this outlaw state.”  Banks was joined by leading authors from around the world, including the late Stephane Hessel, a holocaust survivor himself, Naomi Klein, Henning Mankell and Alice Walker, all of whom had reached the same conclusion that only through effective pressure, not “constructive engagement,” can they contribute to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people. As Iain Banks writes, “The problem is that constructive engagement and reasoned argument demonstrably have not worked, and the relatively crude weapon of boycott is pretty much all that’s left.”  


New Israeli Plan to Undermine BDS, “humiliate” Critical Academics

The Israeli foreign ministry hosted fourth international conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism placed hasbara (propaganda) and combating BDS as top priorities for Israel and its lobby groups. “Humiliating” academics critical of Israel was part of the conference’s “action plan.”


Freedland: When the Israel Boycott Goes Mainstream

“Sometimes it takes just a single word. This particular word, used three times in a newspaper article, offered a glimpse of an unwelcome future - one in which Israel is seen all but universally as a pariah state… Regime. That's the word reserved for Iran and North Korea. Yet here it was applied to Israel…”  


Via Dolorosa: Racial Discrimination against Palestinian Students in Israeli Universities

 New report documents 14 Israeli obstacles denying Palestinian students equality in higher education. The report concludes: “The road of young Arabs to the acquisition of a higher education is fraught with difficulties and obstacles. That is their Via Dolorosa.”  


PACBI Editorial

BNC’s Fourth National BDS Conference Highlights Academic & Cultural Boycott

 Academic and cultural boycott of Israel (ACBI) issues were at the heart of the conference’s deliberations. This included presentations and debates on the principles and guidelines of countering normalization, according to the definition adopted by representatives of the absolute majority of civil society at the First National BDS Conference in 2007. Academic and cultural normalization was highlighted as particularly detrimental to the struggle for self determination, given how Israel is increasingly seeking Palestinian and other Arab fig-leaves, particularly in the academic and cultural spheres, to cover up its intensifying occupation, colonization and apartheid.

 The conference also highlighted youth and student normalization and its role in colonizing minds and hindering the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. Speakers also addressed the role of cultural boycott in the Palestinian and Arab struggle for freedom and emancipation.

 The Fourth National BDS Conference represented a turning point in the impressive global growth of the BDS movement, and ACBI activities in particular, for a number of reasons. It provided a distinguished platform for exchanging ideas among representatives of political parties, Palestinian youth and student activists, trade unionists, women activists, decision makers, intellectuals, academics, representatives of the private sector, and leading NGO networks. It also brought together a unique combination of Palestinians, other Arabs and internationals working in the area of academic and cultural boycott, including artists and writers from Lebanon (via videoconference), Druze Palestinian writer and conscientious objector from the Galilee, activists from the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, academics and students from local Palestinian universities as well as from the 1948 territory, amongst others. 



Hasbara: Israel’s Academic Institutions Serving Government and Army

 Report reveals that Israeli universities have recently added courses on Hasbara (propaganda), with the declared objective of providing students with tools and skills of marketing Israel and its policies.  


Far-right NGO funding Tel Aviv University Illegal Dig in Occupied Jerusalem

 “The dig aroused widespread protest against the university, which was accused of working with Elad,” a far-right settler organization involved in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Silwan and elsewhere.


Kenya BDS Activists Protest Israeli Film Festival

 “We urge you … to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and alongside the people globally who have committed to the BDS campaign against Israel.” 

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