30 March 2009
In solidarity with the International Global Day of Action for Palestine, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel announce the endorsement of over 300 US academics and cultural workers, and the affiliation of over 20 organizations.
As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions and its ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine. In response to the call of Palestinian civil society organizations and in solidarity with the growing international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, USACBI renews its call for the complete academic and cultural boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
A major element of the occupation and the blockade has been the destruction of Palestinian culture and of its institutions of education and the normalization of the occupation through academic business-as-usual and cultural “embassies”. We therefore encourage our colleagues throughout the United States to join us in pursuing this non-violent means to end Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and its apartheid system by:
(1) Refraining from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions that do not vocally oppose Israeli state policies against Palestine;
(2) Advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
(3) Promoting divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
(4) Working toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
(5) Supporting Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.
We believe that non-violent external pressure on Israel, in the form of an academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel, can help bring an end to the ongoing massacres of civilians and an end the occupation of Gaza and Palestine. We therefore urge a comprehensive boycott, including divestment, political sanctions, and the immediate halt to all military aid, sales and deliveries to Israel. However, as educators of conscience, we specifically call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions as a key element in this larger action.
We urge our colleagues, nationally, regionally, and internationally, to stand up against Israel’s ongoing scholasticide and to support the non-violent call for academic boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions.
This boycott should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
To endorse, please e-mail [email protected] with your name and institutional affiliation.
The newly formed Advisory Board consists of internationally known scholars, artists and human rights activists:
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town
Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Bill Fletcher, Jr., Executive Editor, The Black Commentator and immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum
Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report
Mark Gonzales, Educator, Poet, Human Writes Project
Marilyn Hacker, poet
Edward S. Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Wesleyan University
Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of History, University of Southern California
Ilan Pappé, Chair in the Department of History, the University of Exeter and co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies.
James Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton
Adrienne Rich, poet, essayist, activist
Michel Shehadeh, Executive Director, Arab Film Festival
Lisa Taraki, Associate Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine and a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel