Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel


Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI):

"BDS represents an extraordinary campaign to address an extraordinary situation of prolonged oppressive occupation, colonization, apartheid, refugee and exile confinement, and denial of human rights, including the right of self-determination,"
Richard Falk in his book "Palestine's Horizon Toward a Just Peace, " Pluto Press 2017, p. 85.

Useful information on the Palestinian campaign for an international boycott of Israel : click here!
(a) launch and objectives of the international BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) and PACBI campaigns: click here!
(b) a selection of resources: click here!
(c) international list of academic associations supporting the academic boycott of Israel: click here!
(d) Endorsing PACBI's Boycott Call: click here!
(e) Israel's fight against BDS against BDS with the support of its international acolytes and partisans: click here!

(a) Origins and basic principles of the Palestinian Boycott Call:

The Palestinian call for the "Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" was initiated in 2004 in order to contribute to the anti-colonial fight of the Palestinian people for freedom, justice and equality. It advocates in particular for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions and structures (1) because of their deep and persistent complicity in the denial of the Palestinians' rights that are stipulated in international law and (2) in order to put effective international pressure on the Israeli apartheid regime.
PACBI is a founding member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), and is tasked with overseeing and supporting the academic and cultural aspects of BDS. The BNC, PACBI included, is committed to freedom of expression as stipulated in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), covenant that commits nations to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. It was adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966 (entering into force on 23 March 1976). As such, BDS rejects on principle boycotts of individuals based on their opinion or identity (such as citizenship, race, gender, or religion). 
The PACBI campaign in particulatr was launched by: the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, the Palestinian NGO Network, West Bank, the Teachers' Federation, the Palestinian Writers' Federation, the Palestinian League of Artists, the Palestinian Journalists' Federation, the General Union of Palestinian Women, the Palestinian Lawyers' Association and tens of other Palestinian federations, associations, and civil society organizations (BDS Movement, 6 July 2004, click here!).

(b) Some written resources for the academic and cultural boycott calls:

  • 'Why boycott Israel? What is BDS?' (BDS Movement): click here!
  • 'PACBI Guidelines for the International Academicl Boycott of Israel' (BDS Movement, July 9, 2014): click here!
  • Omar Barghouti, "Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions. Globalized Palestinian Resistance to Israel's Settler Colonialism and Apartheid" (Institute for Palestine Studies-USA, Current Issues, December 2020, pdf, 42p.): click here!
  • Sunaina Maira, "Boycott! The Academy and Justice for Palestine ." University of California Press, 2018, 172p. [S.M. is Professor of Asian American Studies University of California, Davis).
  • Nick Riemer, "Boycott Theory and the Struggle for Palestine. Universities, Intellectualism and Liberation." Rowman & Littlefield Publ. (US), January 2023, 224p. (N.R. is "senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Sydney").
    The academic boycott of Israel, a branch of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, is one of the richest—and most divisive—topics in the politics of knowledge today. In "Boycott Theory and the Struggle for Palestine," Nick Riemer addresses the most fundamental questions raised by the call to sever ties with Israeli universities, and offers fresh arguments for doing so. More than a narrow study of the boycott campaign, the book details how academic BDS relates to a range of live controversies in progressive politics on questions such as disruptive protest, silencing and free speech, the real-world consequences of intellectual work, the rise of the far right, and the nature of grassroots campaigning.
    Written for open-minded readers, the book presents the fullest justification for the academic boycott yet given, considering BDS efforts on campuses around the world. The opening chapters explore the fundamentals of the academic boycott campaign, detailing the conditions on the ground in Palestinian and Israeli higher education and analyzing debates over the boycott and its adoption or resistance in the west. The later chapters contextualize the boycott with respect to broader questions about the links between theory and practice in political change. Directly rebutting the arguments of BDS’s opponents, "Boycott Theory and the Struggle for Palestine" demonstrates the political and intellectual soundness of a controversial and often misrepresented campaign. In defending an original view of the differences between reflecting on politics and doing it in the specific context of the liberation of Palestine, the book’s arguments will have a resonance for many wider debates beyond the context of either universities or the Middle East.
  • For a selection (since 2002) of articles, comments and discussions, see the present website, click here!
  • (c) International Academic Associations Supporting an Academic Boycott of Israel:

  • Academics for Palestine (AfP, Ireland): click here!
  • Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions: click here!
  • Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP): click here!
  • BDS Académico en Argentina: click here!
  • Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
  • British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP): click here!
  • Faculty for Palestine (F4P, Canada): click here!
  • Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI): click here!
  • Moroccan Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (MACBI): click here!
  • Norwegian Committee for Academic and Cultural Boycott of the state of Israel (AKULBI): click here!
  • PACBI - Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: click here!
  • Sidney Staff for BDS: click here!
  • Tunisian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (TACBI): click here!
  • US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI): click here!
  • Carta de boicot académico a Israel: Hasta febrero del 2022 más de 220 investigadorxs y docentes universitarixs de 14 países latinoamericanos se han adherido a la carta latinoamericana de boicot académico a Israel: click here!
  • (d) Endorsing PACBI's Boycott Call:

    Responding to the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel (BDS), in our capacity of academics, intellectuals, artists and cultural workers living in Belgium we support PACBI's call to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions. Our friends and colleagues in Belgium's academic, intellectual and artistic community have been called upon to undertake this same commitment while applying the following principles:

    1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint project with Israeli institutions and research entities.
    2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions, but nót of individual Israeli colleagues, at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to those institutions.
    3. Promote divestment and disinvestment by international academic institutions from Israel and multinational corporations that are instrumental in the systematic violations of international law committed by the state of Israel.
    4. Work towards the condemnation of Israeli settler colonial policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organisations.
    5. Support constructive dialogue with Israeli colleagues to jointly strive for the respect of international law by the state of Israel, in the same spirit as the call for co‐resistance by Palestinian academics who launched the PACBI initiative;
    6. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions, specifically in their fight against Israel policies of scholasticide.

    (e) Information:

    Between 2015 and 2019 PACBI's international call to boycott Israeli universities and artistic/cultural institutions has been endorsed by some 495 academics and intellectuals and 198 artists and cultural workers, all living in Belgium. Whenever possible we participate in international boycott campaigns, not only against Israeli academic institutions complicit with Israel's occupation but also against international academic conferences being held or planned in Israel. In Belgium we participated actively in the campaign against Belgian participation in a European research project based on close collaboration with the Israel Police (Horizon 2020). Cf. BACBI-Dossier Nr 2 (EN): « The "LAW-TRAIN" Project: Why A Partnership With The Israeli Police Is Indefensible » , March 8, 2017, 50p., pdf: click here!

    An important, recently published resource on the importance of the academic boycott against Israel:

    Nick Riemer (Univ. of Sidney), «Boycott Theory and the Struggle for Palestine. Universities, Intellectualism and Liberation».
     Rowman & Littlefield Publ., January 2023, 224p., pb $35.00: click here!

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