« Academics and Artists Call For Solidarity with Palestine » (BAA4P)
The State of Israel having come, after the elections of November 1, 2022, under the almost complete control of the Zionist fascist far right wing, it is abundantly clear: more than ever the military occupation and colonization of the West Bank and East-Jerusalem as well as the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip will continue unabashedly. The Israeli Peace and Human Rights Movements, their good intentions notwithstanding, are unable to stem the tide of overt racism and political as well as religious extremism. They themselves have become subject to an orchestrated vicious campaign against dissenting voices supporting Palestinian rights.
Palestinian society, more than ever, is collapsing due to an economic, medical, psychological as well as social crisis. The West Bank has been broken up into enclaves ("indian reserves") by the Wall, the checkpoints and roadblocks and the "settlers-only" motorways, while being at the mercy of arbitrary aggression and harassment by the army and the settlers, day ànd night. The Gaza-Strip, on the other hand, was, a year ago, once more subjected to a cruel, punitive war. More than two thousand people died, among them 551 children, and many thousands were wounded; there was an immense devastation of infrastructure (18.000 houses), as well, which so far has not been repaired. Today Gaza is collapsing in the grip of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis and waiting for the next war. The only hope the Palestinians might have to recover, one day, their freedom and human dignity, comes primarily from without: i.e. from the increasing pressure on Israel by the world community. Inspired by the boycott movement against South-African Apartheid, Palestinian civil organizations (more than 170 at the launching of the campaign in 2005) are urging us to participate in a comprehensive and consistent movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The boycott will take as long as the Israeli State is refusing to respect international law and the universal principals of human rights, among them the Palestinians' right to self-determination.
The urgent call for a global boycott is taken up by Palestinian academics and artists as well. The moving force, here, is PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel). Its statement of principles has to date been endorsed by nearly sixty Palestinian academic, cultural and other civil society federations, unions, and organizations, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities' Professors and Employees and the Palestinian NGO Network in the West Bank. The campaign has also established an advisory committee comprised of well-known public figures and intellectuals.
Some hundreds of Israeli professors and researchers, it is true, did condemn Israel’s colonial policies, putting their job at risk in doing so. Some of them are even calling for a boycott (e.g. initiating "Boycott from Within", a BDS support group). They deserve our fullest support and solidarity. The academic institutions as such, however - i.e. the universities, embodied by their administrations, departmental governing bodies, senates, unions, staff associations, student governments and tenure and promotion committees - either maintain a complicit silence, or, most commonly, collaborate closely with the State, the army, the intelligence and security agencies and/or the arms manufacturers (in high-tech fields). So the Israeli academy as an institution is complicit in violations of international law, grave violations of international humanitarian law, and outright war crimes, the wars against the Gaza Strip having been supported by them. The Israeli academy, that is, is firmly planted within the structures of power and domination in Israel and has historically been an active partner in the oppression of the Palestinian people. More especially, the partnership between the academy and the military - creating "a warm and active relationship between the University, on the one hand, and the command of the IDF on the other" (thus, formerly, on the website of the National Security Studies Center at Haifa University) - constitutes an organic part and instrument of Israel’s colonial project, not allowing for any hope for changes from within.
At the same time, Palestinian universities, their teachers, researchers and students, are subject to discriminating and repressive measures. There is a long history of confiscations of Palestinian archives and destruction of university buildings, libraries and research centers. The same goes for Israel’s ignoring the right to education and academic freedom and blocking free contact and academic exchange with the rest of the world. Here as well Israeli academics (407 of a total of 9000...) protested (in 2008) against the infringements on the academic freedom of their Palestinian colleagues. At the same time they expressed their “great concern regarding the ongoing deterioration of the system of higher education in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”. The petition, though, ignored the basic political - i.e. colonial - context within which the academic freedom of Palestinian academics and students is being violated. On the other hand, not a single academic institution or association has petitioned the Israeli government to protect Palestinians' right to education or to cease interference with and destruction of Palestinian schools and colleges.
The signatories of the present appeal feel compelled to join academics around the world supporting the Palestinian call to boycott the Israeli academic institutions. For that reason we are creating a Belgian branch of PACBI: “BACBI”, or “Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel”. Our call for a boycott, though, is aimed at the Israeli academic institutions, not at individual academics and scholars, whatever their religion or nationality. At this moment our basic principles are endorsed by more than 450 colleagues belonging to Dutch- as well as French-speaking institutions for higher education and scientific research. We are calling on our colleagues to join us. “For those concerned with the plight of the Palestinians, it is now more than ever time to redouble our efforts. Only outside pressure on Israel will make a difference” (David Glick, March 25). And... “there is no better way than boycott” (Robert Cohen, April 12). This being said, we'd like to emphasize that, together with all other forms of racism, we condemn unconditionally all manifestations of anti-Semitism. At the same time, though, we refuse the traditional mixing up of anti-Semitism and robust criticism of the Israeli state's policies. This criticism implies also a measure of self-criticism as Westerners, the injustices that happen happening also in our name (cf. the FAQs).
Finally: the Middle East, presently, is being subjected to unspeakable human tragedies. Can this be a reason, one could ask, for ignoring Israel’s violations of international law and human rights? We think not. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been at the root of anti-western radicalization amongst Arabs and Muslims for over 60 years, in the Middle East as well as in Europe and the rest of the world. Solving it – which is still possible in a non-violent way – would remove one of the long-standing confrontations between the “East” and the “West”.
Please read BACBI's Statement of Principles here. And sign online here.
Defense for Children International-Palestine: "Israeli settler, soldier shoot and kill Palestinian boy" (DCIP, August 1, 2022). Tamara NASSAR: "Israeli forces kill fleeing Palestinian child" (EI, 6 July, 2022). Maureen Clare MURPHY: "Israel executes three Palestinians in Jenin" (The Electronic Intifada, June 18, 2022). "Thirteen Palestinian children killed in the West Bank since January 2022" (UNICEF, May 29, 2022). "Israeli forces use Palestinian girl as a human shield in Jenin" (Defense for Children International-Palestine, May 19, 2022). Shatha HAMMAD: "Israeli forces fatally shoot two young Palestinians in occupied West Bank" (Middle East Eye, April 13, 2022). "Israel kills Palestinian boy in Jenin raid" (MEMo, March 31, 2022).Staat van Beleg: " Israëlische Schendingen februari 2022 " (7 maart 2022). Jesse ROSENFELD, Oren ZIV & Ahmad AL-BAZZ : "Triple West Bank assassination recalls darkest days of the Intifada" (+972, Feb 15, 2022).Jack KHOURY & Yaniv KUBOVICH: "Man Killed by Israeli Fire Near Ramallah, Palestinian Health Ministry Says" (Haaretz, Feb 15, 2022). "Israel’ Issues 1595 Administrative Detention Orders Against Palestinians In 2021" (PalestineOnline, Jan 2, 2022)."Israel a tué 357 Palestiniens, dont 79 enfants et 69 femmes en 2021 " (EuroPalestine, 2 janvier 2022). Gideon LEVY: "A Brief History of Killing Children " (Haaretz, Nov 20, 2021). Allison WEIR: "Israeli forces have killed 39 Palestinian men, women, & children since May" (Israel-Palestine News, Oct 19, 2021). "Israel settlers open fire on Palestine homes in West Bank" (Middle East Monitor, September 11, 2021). Gideon LEVY: "Yes, the Palestinian Prison Escapees Are Freedom Fighters" (Haaretz, Sept 9, 2021; archive.today). "Developing news: Six Palestinian political prisoners liberate themselves from colonial Israeli prison” (Samidoun, Sept 5, 2021). "Israeli troops kill Palestinian teen in West Bank clash” (Middle East Eye, July 24, 2021). Tamara NASSAR: "Israeli gunfire takes lives of two more Palestinian teens” (+972, July 15, 2021). Yuval ABRAHAM: "Joint militias: How settlers and soldiers teamed up to kill four Palestinians” (+972, July 15, 2021)."Palestinian boy loses eye after Israel soldiers shoot him” (Middle East Monitor, April 12, 2021).Gideon LEVY & Alex LEVAC: "Palestinians Protested the Theft of Their Land. An Israeli Army Officer Shot One of Them in the Head” (Haaretz, March 26, 2021). "Israel to displace 1,550 Palestinians to build park in Jerusalem” (MEMo, March 18, 2021)."Reconstitution de l’exécution d’un Palestinien qui ne constituait aucune menace” (EuroPalestine, 27 février, 2021).Mairav ZONSZEIN: "Vaccination Under Occupation” (Jewish Currents, 12 Jan, 2021).Orly NOY: "Why B’Tselem is calling Israel an apartheid regime, from the river to the sea” (Mondoweiss, 12 Jan, 2021)."Deaf Palestinian man shot by Israeli soldiers dies of his wounds” (Israel Palestine News, Dec 11, 2020)."New Israeli ambassador in Britain describes Nakba as 'Arab lie'” (Middle East Monitor, Dec 8, 2020)."Israeli settlers flood Palestinian farmland with sewage” (Middle East Monitor, Oct 19, 2020).Ahmad MELHEM: "Family of Palestinian boy disfigured in 2015 firebomb attack still seeking justice” (Al-Monitor, Sept 20, 2020).Maureen Clare MURPHY: "Palestinian child shot by Israel dies in detention.” (The Electronic Intifada, August 21, 2020).Yumna PATEL: "Young Palestinian woman killed by Israeli forces in Jenin.” 23-year-old Dalia Samoudi is the 24th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories this year (Mondoweiss, August 7, 2020)."Israeli Soldiers Demolish Under-Construction Covid-19 Testing Center in Hebron” (IMEMC, July 21 2020). "Mother of Slain Palestinian: “My Son Was A Child In A Man’s Body”" (IMEMC, June 31 2020).Sondos SALEH: "Mustafa Went to Tel Aviv for Hospital Tests. He Was Shot Dead" (Haaretz, May 19, 2020).Jonathan OFIR: "Slapping Israeli Apartheid — the sentencing of Yifat Doron" (Mondoweiss, May 15, 2020)."Israëlische politieman schiet Palestijnse jongen kogel in het gezicht" (The Rights Forum, 18 feb, 2020).Jonathan OFIR: "Getting away with murder: Why Israeli police left Bedouin teacher to bleed to death in 2017." Some murder cases are so full of lies, that every attempt to hide them from public view only brings more attention to the crime. Such is the case of the extrajudicial execution three years ago of Israeli Bedouin citizen Yaqub Mousa Abu al-Qia’an. (Mondoweiss, March 1, 2020).Amira HASS: "The Trump Plan’s Vision for the Palestinians: Israel’s Security Slave." Direct lines can be seen between the ‘deal of the century,’ the Oslo Accords and their fraudulent implementation, which led to the creation of separate Palestinian enclaves. (Haaretz, Jan 31, 2020)."B’Tselem: Israel soldiers ‘wantonly’ shoot Palestinian children" (Palestine Post24, Dec 18, 2019).<
Voor het archief klik hier!
- * "Israel soldier executes Palestinian youth in cold blood " (MEMo, Dec 2, 2022).
- Gideon LEVY & Alex LEVAC: "A Palestinian Boy Went Out With Friends. An Israeli Soldier Shot Him in the Head" (Haaretz, Oct 15, 2022).
- Yumna PATEL & Mariam BARGHOUTI: "Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in occupied West Bank, including two brothers" (Mondoweiss, Nov 29, 2022).
- Motasem A DALLOUL: "Who's going to stop the madness of extremist ministers of next Israeli government? " (Haaretz, Nov 11, 2022).
- Jack KHOURY & Hagar SHEZAF: "14-year-old Among Two Palestinian Teens Killed Within Hours of Each Other by IDF Fire in West Bank" (Haaretz, Nov 11, 2022).
- Gideon LEVY & Alex LEVAC: "This Palestinian Teen Was Shot Twice, Cuffed and Detained by Israeli Troops – Then Released" (Haaretz, Sept 2, 2022).
- "Invading Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian photographing them, Injure 17 in Jenin" (Israel-Palestine News, Sept 6, 2022).