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Belgian Academic Boycott of Israel
Bulletin 2 (3 November 2021)

Glasgow University accused of undermining academic freedom in 'antisemitic' ruling

(Alison Campsie, The Scotsman, 25 October 2021):

A group of distinguished scholars has accused Glasgow University of undermining academic freedom after the institution apologised for the publication of an article it claimed was antisemitic. Continue...

« Petition: Glasgow University must stop undermining scholarship by deferring to false claims of antisemitism »

(with full list of 500+ international endorsers, 14p., pdf) 

We wish to publicly express our rejection of the decision by Glasgow University in May 2021 to apologise for an article on pro-Israel advocacy originally published in its eSharp journal in 2017. This followed complaints, amplified in a news report, that it s content was antisemitic. The paper was accepted for publication following the standard process of double-blind peer-review. The article is an academic account of public relations, lobbying, advocacy and information management, which is a well-established area of academic study. However the editorial board of the journal and Glasgow University have since endorsed the view that because the subject is advocacy for Israel, then the article promotes 'an unfounded antisemitic theory'. Continue...

We call on the university to withdraw both its apology and its statement linking the article to hate speech, and to assert its commitment to free speech and the right to critical commentary in scholarship.

Criminalising 6 Palestinian NGOs:

"Israel's 'terrorism' designation an unjustified attack on Palestinian civil society"
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(26 Oct 2021):

Israel's decision to designate six Palestinian civil society organizations as "terrorist organizations" is an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression and on the right to public participation, and should be immediately revoked, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday. The organizations concerned are some of the most reputable human rights and humanitarian groups in the occupied Palestinian territory and for decades have worked closely with the UN. Continue...

PS "Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan chastised the UNHRC on Friday for its disproportionate condemnation of Israel, tearing up the organization's annual report while at the podium" (The Times of Israel, 30 Oct 2021).

« Solidarity Statement With Palestinian Human Rights Defenders »
(ECCP, 28 Oct 2021):

On Friday October 22, 2021, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz criminalised six major Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations. These organisations are: Al-Haq, Defense for Children International - Palestine, Addameer, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees. Continue...

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), a network of 43 European organisations, stands in solidarity with these six Palestinian partners, which are doing excellent work to promote and defend human rights in the context of Israel's brutal settler-colonial and apartheid regime.

 We call on the European Union and European countries to:

  • condemn publicly Israel's decision to outlaw Palestinian human rights defenders;
  • demand the revocation of Israel's statement;
  • ensure continuity of the financial support provided to Palestinian civil society;
  • guarantee the safety of human rights defenders and the staff of civil society organisations.

In this context of Israel's multiple attacks against Palestinian civil society, the EU and its Member States must immediately suspend the process for signing the 'Horizon Europe' research agreement with Israel. 

ECCP's Letter to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, 
Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell (Oct 29, 2021, pdf, 3p.):
click here!

The International Community Must Support and Protect Palestinian Civil Society

As a group of 235 regional and international organizations, we express our full solidarity with Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders as Israel continues to escalate its attacks to shut down critical human rights work and silence opposition to its occupation of Palestinian territory and apartheid over the Palestinian people as a whole. We urge the international community to take all necessary action to support and protect Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders and ensure the continuation of their invaluable work. Continue...

CIHRS - Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Oct 29, 2021.

« Israël : stop à la criminalisation des organisations palestiniennes de défense des droits humains ! »

Association belgo-palestinienne, le 25 octobre 2021
(avec liste des signataires)
:

Vendredi 22 octobre, le gouvernement israélien a annoncé qualifier de « terroristes » six organisations de la société civile palestiniennes de défense des droits humains, parmi lesquelles des partenaires directs des ONG belges.
Nous, organisations belges signataires de la présente déclaration, condamnons fermement cette criminalisation des organisations palestiniennes de défense des droits humains et réaffirmons notre soutien et notre solidarité avec les organisations de la société civile palestinienne. Nous demandons à la Belgique et à l'Union européenne d'exiger d'Israël qu'il révoque immédiatement cette mesure
. Continue...

Stand Strong with Palestinian Civil Society
Stand up for Human Rights!

Petition avaaz.org:

  Sign here, please! (1/11, 14h50: 5.184)

"I stand in full solidarity with the six Palestinian civil society organisations - Addameer, Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International - Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Union of Palestinian Women's Committees - subjected to an escalated Israeli attack as a part of its settler-colonial and apartheid regime. On 19 October 2021, these organisations were unlawfully designated by the Israeli colonial rule as "terror organisations," under Israel's domestic Counter-Terrorism Law, 2016. An attack on Palestinian civil society is an attack on universal struggles against oppression and colonisation. Continue..."

The ELSC calls on the EU to oppose Israel's latest attempt to suppress Palestinian Civil Society
(Oct 29 2021):

On 22 October 2021, the Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced the official designation of six prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations (CSOs) as "terrorist" organisations. This decision is the most recent development of a longstanding strategy by Israeli authorities and disinformation groups such as NGO Monitor to repress Palestinian civil society through criminalisation and delegitimisation. This phenomenon has been widely acknowledged and denounced by national European governments, including in the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium and the UN. Continue...

Israel:

« A4E's position regarding the Israeli defense minister's declaration on Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist »

Academia for Equality 
(posted on Jewish Voice for Labour, 25 Oct 2021):

'Academy for Equality' is an organization of over seven hundred members of the academic community, committed to promoting a just and democratic future. Academy for equality expresses its unreserved support for the Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations targeted by the deplorable decision of Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, to declare them as terrorist organizations in order to ban their activities by decree. Continue...

« A Stain Upon Israel »

Haaretz Editorial 24 Oct 2021
(reprinted in: Jewish Voice for Labour):

The government's declaration of civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist organizations is a destructive folly that tarnishes all of the parties in the coalition and the state itself. The outlawing of human rights groups and persecution of humanitarian activists are quintessential characteristics of military regimes, in which democracy in its deepest sense is a dead letter. Continue...

12 European States Urge Israel to Stop Settlement Expansion

Joint statement by the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden

(Tweet GermanForeignOffice, Oct 28

 "The Israeli government is advancing 30 plans with 2860 units for settlers and 6 plans with 1303 units for Palestinians," Peace Now, Oct 22, 2021.

Analysis:

"30 Years On: The Ruse of the Middle East Peace Process"
Inès Abdel Razeq (Al-Shabaka, Oct 31, 2021):

Thirty years ago, representatives of the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) met in Madrid to start bilateral negotiations. Purportedly meant to bring about a just and peaceful future in the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, the so-called Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), conceived at the meeting, has instead consolidated a dire reality for Palestinians of permanent occupation by a nuclear military power with an ever-expanding settler-colonial enterpriseContinue...

BACBI Resources:

Herman De Ley, "De 'Omvolking' van Palestina 1917-2021"
Deel 1: "Van Yishoef naar Nakba" (pdf)

BACBI Bulletin 1 (October 2021)
BACBI Culture: 
Newsletter N°65 (Summer 2021)

Website BACBI Academy -- Website BACBI Culture

BACBI's Academic Boycott Statement:

The academic and cultural boycott campaign was launched by Palestinian academics, students and civil society already in 2004. Guided by PACBI and the Palestinian BDS National Committee, it gets a hearing on more and more campuses all over the world. The academic campaign, in particular, is directed at Israeli academic and research institutions because of their profound collusion with the Israeli apartheid regime and their close ties with the Israeli armament and security companies using the Occupied Territories as their laboratory where new high-tech military weapons and surveillance systems can be tested (and sold afterwards as being "battle-tested"). 
Just like the general BDS campaign, the academic boycott is not an end but a tool. It is a temporary, democratic and nonviolent tactic aimed at putting an end to Israel's criminal policies of apartheid, aggression and persecution, especially in the fields of education and research. We aim at a constructive dialogue and collaboration with our Israeli colleagues for the restitution of the full human rights of the Palestinian people and for the compliance of the Israeli state with international law.

We pledge our full solidarity with and support for our embattled Palestinian colleagues and students. Thanks to their much-praised "sumud" or resilience, Palestinians wherever they live persist to stand up as a society, in spite of all the evil and injustice still being done to them. They are counting though on our support. Let us stand with them, also in our capacity of scholars, i.e. human and nature scientists, researchers and intellectuals.

Statement with possiblity to endorse (google form): click here.

Coordination Committee:

Prof. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Prof. ém. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KU Leuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), Lieve Franssen (director Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (director CAMPO), Prof. ém. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. ém. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Em. Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).

Email: info@bacbi.be


Palestinian civil defense volunteers help people to travel across flood waters in Gaza City following rain storms, on December 14, 2013. A fierce winter storm shut down much of the Middle East at that time, burying Jerusalem in snow, and flooding parts of Gaza. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

"Stopping the environmental Nakba."
The Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability
(
Mondoweiss, Nov 4, 2021).

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Mailing address: Herman De Ley, Kasteellaan 12, Deinze, E-Fla, 9850, BE