PACBI Newsletter
Newsletter Archive:

  November  2012  

Stevie Wonder: Stand Against Apartheid Everywhere!

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and all its international partners, particularly in the U.S., are relieved that the legendary African-American musician Stevie Wonder has cancelled his ill-conceived performance at a benefit concert in Los Angeles for the Israeli military forces. The idea that anyone would raise funds for an army that has just ended yet another massacre against Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip betrays a deep-seated apathy to human rights and a repulsive tendency to be -- quite literally -- a partner in crime. For a prominent civil rights fighter who stood unflinchingly against apartheid in South Africa to even consider performing for an army that has committed as many war crimes and crimes against humanity as the Israeli army is beyond unfortunate. Yet, Stevie Wonder's cancellation letter, reiterating his opposition to all wars, may indicate that he was indeed ill-informed when agreeing to entertain and support the most criminal and brutal tool of Israeli apartheid: its military. Lending his name to such an immoral cause, after all, would have contradicted his record of supporting freedom and human rights elsewhere.


UC Irvine Students Adopt Historic BDS motion challenging Zionist bullying


The Associated Students of UC Irvine voted unanimously to call for divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation. The vote deals a major blow to efforts by Israel and its allies to suppress Palestinian solidarity activism on campus.


Nobel Laureates among 52 figures calling for a military embargo on Israel

“We support the [Palestinian] call for an urgent and comprehensive military embargo on Israel … to stop [its] wars and repression and to bring about Israel’s compliance with its obligations under international law. This is now a moral and legal imperative to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.”  


Israeli Universities Intensify repression of Palestinian students during Gaza assault

Israel’s universities have a habit of rallying behind the military. During Israel’s latest attack on Gaza the repression of Palestinian students in Israel reached a new level of ferocity. Those who have been reluctant to support an academic boycott of Israel should reflect on what has happened recently.  


PACBI Editorial

From Soweto 1976 to Gaza 2012: What we need is People’s Power!

In 2008/2009 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and F16 and V58 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1400 Palestinians, predominantly civilians. Israel, with all the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment on the ruins of Palestinian society, returned to Gaza two weeks ago and repeated some of the same crimes in 8 days, launching 1800 aerial strikes, killing more than 175 Palestinians -- including 34 children, 11 women, 19 elderly -- and injuring 1399 people, including 465 children, 254 women, and 91 elderly, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel’s academic institutions have played a key role in the planning, development, implementation and justification of this and many other Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people. Tel Aviv University, for instance, takes pride in playing the central role in the development of the Israeli military doctrine of “disproportionate force” against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.[1] Technion, Israel’s institute of technology, takes credit for developing many of the deadly weapon systems used against civilians in Gaza and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.[2] And the list goes on. This entrenched and fatal academic complicity in the commission of crimes against civilians has made PACBI and its partners around the world intensify their campaign for a comprehensive academic boycott of Israel in light of the latest massacre in Gaza. Israel has been getting away with its war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza and elsewhere due to international complicity. The “international community,” under U.S. hegemony, seems apathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people. In fact, from diplomatic support to intricate military, academic and economic relations, the US-European establishment has been deeply complicit in prolonging and strengthening Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, as well as in justifying and whitewashing it. The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in the wake of the 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign led ultimately to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state. Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza 2012, like Soweto 1976, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it. A crucial dimension of BDS that is more urgent than ever is an academic boycott of Israel’s universities, which have once again been shown to be full partners in crime.  


Dublin teachers’ union passes BDS motions against Israeli apartheid

The Dublin Colleges Branch of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) passed a number of motions recognising Israel as an Apartheid state and in full support of the international campaign of BDS.

York University Graduate Students’ Assoc. Endorses BDS

In a momentous vote that adds to the growing list of student unions in Canada, York University’s Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA) voted overwhelmingly for a resolution endorsing BDS.

Technical University of Denmark ends collaboration with Israeli colony-college

"We have ended the cooperation immediately after we were made aware of [the facts].... If you fund [research] at Ariel University, it can be seen as supporting a settlement, something we will not [do]."  
  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter