BELGIAN CAMPAIGN FOR AN ACADEMIC AND CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL (BACBI)
 

 
 




BACBI: Academic Boycott Endorsements


In a very important ruling handed down on 11 June, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously condemned France for violating freedom of expression by criminally convicting activists who had called for a boycott to protest against the violations of Palestinian rights committed by the Israeli State.
The ECHR's decision has major implications for anti-BDS state repression in Europe including Germany, where advocates for Palestinian rights face fierce restrictions on their civil rights.

PS In order to respect privacy regulations the list of the (nearly 500) Belgian scholars and intellectuals endorsing the call for an academic boycott of the Israeli apartheidsregime, is not freely available online. Contact: info@bacbi.be.


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# "BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) [PACBI (Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) included] 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."

# "In effect, we need to free the political and moral imagination from the dead end characteristics of feasibility, acknowledge the necessities of a just peace with dignity, and by so doing, set our sights high above horizons of desire. This is the message that is sent by many Palestinian politicial prisoners who have been resisting Israeli occupation for decades. This is the message of Palestine's poet, Mahmoud Darwish, it is the message of Edward Said, and it is the message that I wish to impart by way of invoking these inspirational Palestinian voices. This is also the message of the 'Legitimacy War' being waged by Palestine on many symbolic and substantive battlefields throughout the world to gain control of the legal and moral heights, and thereby strengthen the legitimacy of Palestinian claims.
There exists an implicit message of hope at the heart of the Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS), which is building a global solidarity movement based on nonviolent coercion, and gains confidence from the outcome of many prior anti-colonial struggles and from the success of the worldwide anti-apartheid movement that resulted in the collapse of a racist regime in South Africa. BDS is essentially a secular faith-based movement that seeks to make Israel and the US rethink and recalculate their sense of 'the feasible' in light of the mounting costs and dangers associated with continuing the denial of fundamental Palestinian rights."

# "In many respects, Palestinian resistance hopes have shifted to the context of a Legitimacy War, which depends essentially on a soft power global approach. (...) Perhaps, the time has come for civil society at least to switch its hopes and allegiances away from the Oslo/Roadmap approach, and put its efforts solidly behind BDS and the logic of Legitimacy War.
"Despite the passage of years, Edward Said's wise words written in 2000 still hold true, and remain as unheeded as ever:
« My assumption throughout this is that as a Palestinian I believe neither the Arabs nor the Israelis have a real military option, and that the only hope for the future is a decent fair coexistence between the two peoples based upon equality and self-determination. »"
# "The Palestinian struggle is more than ever a lost cause in the uplifting Edward Said sense of being centered on a commitment to Palestinian self-determination achieved by Palestinian resistance reinforced by a global solidarity movement.(...) Such a resolve also includes accepting what Said so often insisted upon - that achieving Palestinian rights should never be realized through a second dispossession, this time dispossessing the Jewish presence in historic Palestine. In effect, this presupposes a Palestinian acceptance of the core Zionist idea of 'a Jewish homeland' while rejecting both the notion of 'a Jewish state' and the maximalist Zionist view currently being implemented that such a state should include the whole of historic Palestine, including the West Bankd and Jerusalem. It is a hopeful sign that the Palestinian civil society consensus is also explicit in accepting a permanent Jewish presence in historic Palestine under these terms."

Quotations taken from: Richard Falk, "Palestine's Horizon. Toward a Just Peace" (Pluto Press, 2017, p. 85, 37, 21 & 156-157).

Richard Falk was the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine (2008-2014). He is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University. In 2017 he co-authored with his colleague Virginia Tilley an extensive report on Israeli Apartheid, commissioned by the UN-Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA): "Palestine and the Israeli Occupation, Issue No. 1: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid", March 15, Beirut 2017 (pdf, 74p.). The full report can be found on this website: http://www.bacbi.be/pdf/un_apartheid_report_saved.pdf. As summarized in its 'Executive Summary' (p.1), the report concludes “that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law”. Under pressure from the US and Israel the ESCWA-report and its Summary were removed from the UN website, but they have not been rejected.
 

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