Newsletter Archive:.
  May   2013  

Stephen Hawking refuses to cross the BDS picket line!


In what is being seen as a watershed moment among the growing successes of the BDS movement, Stephen Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel. After some initial confusion it was confirmed that Hawking's remarkable stance was indeed political, informed by eminent academics like Noam Chomsky. A Boston Globe Editorial, marking a rare moment of clarity in a mainstream American newspaper regarding Palestine, wrote that "Observers need not agree with Hawking’s position in order to understand and even respect his choice. The movement that Hawking has signed on to aims to place pressure on Israel through peaceful means."

Ali Abunimah wrote about Hawking's move - "When we look back in a few years, Hawking's decision to respect BDS may be seen as a turning point – the moment when boycotting Israel as a stance for justice went mainstream." Ben White further emphasized, with five reasons, why Hawking was right to boycott Israel. Apologists for Israeli apartheid and the establishment talking heads were caught completely off guard, resulting in vile online abuses directed at Hawking, but in the end, as Hillary Rose noted in a blog piece hosted by The Guardian, "Stephen Hawking's boycott hits Israel where it hurts: science," adding, "That the world's most famous scientist had recognised the justice of the Palestinian cause is potentially a turning point for the BDS campaign. And that his stand was approved by a majority of two to one in the Guardian poll that followed his announcement shows just how far public opinion has turned against Israel's relentless land-grabbing and oppression."



Alicia Keys: Come Together with Your Sisters. Boycott Apartheid!

 Watch this video and sign the petition calling on Alicia Keys to cancel her concert in apartheid Israel on July 4th.





AAUP “desperately trying to stem the tide” of Academic Boycott of Israel

AAUP's position on academic boycott succeeds in making nonsense of any claim that an organization of academics could have any practical impact on an issue that concerns us most closely: namely, the protection of rights to academic freedom.


Oberlin College Student Senate endorses divestment

On May 5th, Oberlin College Student Senate voted to divest from six companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians. Oberlin’s divestment campaign provides the university community with a non-violent initiative to effect change.


PACBI Editorial
On Hawking’s Decision to Heed the Palestinian call to Boycott Israel


Stephen Hawking’s decision to heed the call of Palestinian academics to refuse to lend legitimacy to Israel and its complicit institutions until Palestinian self-determination is realized is having a tremendous impact among Palestinians, especially in the academic community. The principled, direct, and unambiguous decision communicated by Hawkins to the organizers of the high-profile, public relations Israeli conference at which the president of the state is to be honored in June is unprecedented for a global scholar of his stature, and is deeply appreciated by Palestinians.   


The Palestinian civil society call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions because of their multi-faceted complicity in upholding and legitimizing Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid has caught the imagination of increasing numbers of academics around the world. Hawking’s decision is precedent-setting in the sense that it will set an example for many other academics who have, for various reasons, not found it easy to declare their support of the boycott openly.  Advocates of any sort of pressure on the Israeli state, inside and outside the academy, have had to face charges of anti-Semitism, stifling academic freedom, and dragging politics into academia. While the efforts of the Israel lobby in the western academy are being daily challenged by more and more academics and students, Hawking’s example is bound to further the legitimacy of boycott as a means to achieve justice for Palestinians.  We believe the day is coming sooner than we expected when isolating Israel and its complicit institutions through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) becomes more of a mainstream practice. The South African anti-apartheid struggle, in which boycott played a prominent role, inspires Palestinians and gives hope that sustained international solidarity can hasten the end of oppression.


"Academia Undermined: Israeli Restrictions on Foreign Academics"

This new report deals with the implications of Israeli restrictions on the entry and residency of foreign passport holding academics wishing to serve at institutions of higher education in the OPT.


Declaration in Support of the Academic Boycott of Israel

Organizers of and participants in the International Community Psychology Conference – Global Perspectives and Local Practices, declared their support for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.


Int’l Society for Political Psychology: Heed the BDS Call!

Your participation in and organization of this conference in Israel will constitute a direct rejection of Palestinian civil society’s act of nonviolent resistance. We call on you to change the venue.

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