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USACBI | 12 August 2013

Call to Boycott the Oral History Conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Open Letter

 The following open letter was issued on August 12 to oral historians and scholars planning to attend the June 2014 International Conference on Oral History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The letter is signed by 76 scholars, and endorsed by Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns: AURPID (France); BOYCOTT! (Israel); BRICUP (UK); InCACBI (India); PACBI (Palestine); USACBI (USA); and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel). To add your name to this list of signatories please email:hebrewuconferenceboycott@gmail.comDownload a PDF of the letter.



August 12, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

We are a group of Palestinian, Israeli, and other oral historians and academics from Europe, South Africa, and North America calling on you to boycott the June 2014 'International Conference on Oral History’ organised by the Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While all Israeli universities are deeply complicit in the occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy, as we explain below.

Your actions have a direct impact on our joint struggle for a just peace in Palestine-Israel and on our solidarity with fellow Palestinian academics whose universities have been closed down, blockaded and even bombed by Israeli aircraft in the last three decades; universities which have been subjected to a lengthy and brutal Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Specifically, the land on which some of its MountScopus campus buildings and facilities were expanded was acquired as a result of Israel’s 1968 illegal confiscation of 3345 dunums of Palestinian land. [1] This confiscated land in East Jerusalem is occupied territory according to international law. Israel’s unilateral annexation of occupied East Jerusalem into the State of Israel, and the application of Israeli domestic law to it, are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and have been repeatedly denounced as null and void by the international community, including by the UN Security Council (Resolution 252, 21 May 1968). Moving Israeli staff and students to work and live on occupied Palestinian land places the HebrewUniversity in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Further, the university is complicit in the unequal treatment of Palestinians, including those who are citizens of Israel. [2] For instance, it does not provide teaching services to the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in contrast to those provided to Jewish groups; no courses are offered in Arabic. [3] Additionally, the HebrewUniversity has chosen to remain silent when the entire population of Gaza has been excluded from the possibility to enrol and study in the university by the Israeli government. Palestinian students from Gaza have a better chance of getting into a university in the U.S than into HebrewUniversity.

The Hebrew University administration restricts the freedom of speech and protest of its few Palestinian students. For example, it had forbidden a commemoration event for the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces. [4] On the other hand, the Hebrew University offered special considerations and benefits to students who participated in that invasion as soldiers.

In December 2012 Israel’s Minister of Defence approved recognition of Arie lUniversity in the illegal colony of Ariel as an Israeli university in the Israeli academic system. As a result, staff from the Hebrew University take part in the supervision and promotion committees of students and staff from the colonial university of Ariel; and the (Jewish only) staff takes part in the supervision and in promotion committees for Hebrew University students and staff. The Hebrew University recognizes academic degrees awarded by the Arie lUniversity, which is built on confiscated Palestinian land and surrounded by Palestinian communities, but does not recognize degrees awarded by the nearby Al-Quds University. [5]

Ironically, the oral history conference is organised by an institute named after Avraham Harman, President of the Hebrew University from 1968 to 1983. As President of the Hebrew University he was directly responsible for the rebuilding and expansion of the original campus on Mount Scopus built on land illegally confiscated from Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

At a time when the international movement to boycott Israeli academic and cultural institutions is gaining ground in response to Israel’s flagrant and persistent infringement of Palestinian human and political rights, we urge scholars and professionals to reflect upon the implications of taking part in a conference at a complicit institution, and to refrain from such participation. The conference is an attempt to improve the image and reputation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the West and to cover up for the fact that the university is closely associated with Israeli annexation and 'Separation/Apartheid Wall’ policies—policies that were strongly condemned on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.[6]

Since the hegemonic world powers are actively complicit in enabling and perpetuating Israel’s colonial and oppressive policies, we believe that the only avenue open to achieving justice and upholding international law is sustained work on the part of Palestinian and international civil society to put pressure on Israel and its complicit institutions to end this oppression.

Inspired by the successful cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, in 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of institutions involved in Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. The Palestinian call appealed to the international academic community, among other things, to “refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” [7].

Following this, in 2005, an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society called for an all-encompassing BDS campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality [8]. The BDS movement adopts a nonviolent, morally consistent strategy to hold Israel accountable to the same human rights and international law standards as other nations. It is asking the international academic community to heed the boycott call, as it did in the struggle against South African apartheid, until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid” [9].

Paralleling the Apartheid era boycott of complicit South African universities, we believe that participation in academic conferences or similar events in Israel – regardless of intentions- can only contribute to the prolongation of this injustice by normalizing and thereby legitimizing it. It inadvertently contributes to Israel’s efforts to appear as a normal participant in the world of scholarship while at the same time it practices the most pernicious form of colonial control and legalized racial discrimination against Palestinians.

Until Israel fully complies with international laws and conventions, we sincerely hope that international academics will not participate in endorsing their violations and the basic human rights of Palestinians – even if inadvertently. We call on our colleagues to treat Israel exactly the same way that most of the world treated racist South Africa – or indeed any other state that legislates and practices apartheid: as a pariah state. Only then can Palestinians hope for a just peace based on international law, respect for human rights, and, more crucially, on the fundamental principle of equality for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or other identity considerations.

We, therefore, urge you to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem oral history conference and to call on your colleagues to refuse to participate in it; to refuse to cross the Palestinian picket line.



[Note: All footnotes are at the end of the document following a note on academic freedom.]

1.     Professor Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Bures-sur-Yvette, France
2.     Professor  Saleh Abdel Jawad (Hamayel), Birzeit University, Palestine
3.     Dr. Stéphanie Latte Abdallah, ; Researcher, French Institute for the Near East ( IFPO) Jerusalem, Palestine
4.     Dr. Adnan Abdelrazek - The Arab Studies Society – Jerusalem, Palestine
5.     Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi, Independent researcher, writer, poet, Palestine
6.     Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative - College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University, USA
7.     Hala Caroline Abou-Zaki, Phd Student, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France
8.     Line Abou Zaki, Clinical psychologist, Lebanon
9.     Professor Nadia Abu el Haj, Barnard/Columbia University, USA
10. Professor Saed Abu-Hijleh, An-Najah National University Nablus, Palestine 
11. Professor Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA
12. Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Researcher, UK
13. Professor Nadia Abu- Zahra, University of Ottawa, Canada
14. Professor Ghada Ageel, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
15. Professor Mumtaz Ahmad, Vice President (Academic Affairs), International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan 
16. Mazen Mustafa AlAbadlah, Al-Aqsa University, Palestine
17. Akkas Al-Ali, PhD candidate, University of Exeter, UK 
18. Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Germany
19. Professor Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon  
20. Majeda Al-Saqqa, Culture and Free Thought Association, Khan Younis, Gaza, Palestine
21. Professor (emeritus) Mateo Alaluf, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
22. Professor Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, City of New York, USA
23. Dr. Diana Allan, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
24. Professor Lori Allen, University of Cambridge, England
25. Professor Nina Allen, Suffolk University, Boston, USA
26. Dr. Valentina Anastasi, Independent researcher, Catania, Italy 
27. Professor Marcos Ancelovici, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
28. Dr.  Miriyam Aouragh, CAMRI, University of Westminster, UK 
29. Professor (retired) William Ayers, University of Illinois-Chicago; Cyprus Oral History Project, USA
30. Professor Alice Bach (retired) Archbishop Hallinan Professor of Religious Studies
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH, USA
31. Professor Angelo Baracca, University of Florence, Italy
32. Gustavo Barbosa, PhD candidate, London School of Economics, UK
33. Professor Amjad Barham, Hebron University, President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, Palestine
34. Ryvka Barnard, Doctoral student, New York University, USA
35. Professor Javier Barreda, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
36. Professor Isaías Barreñada, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain
37. Professor Munir Bashour, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
38. Professor Oren Ben-Dor, Southampton University, England
39. Julie Benedetto, student, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lyon, France
40. Specialist Israel Morales Benito, University of Alicante, Spain
41. Bonita Bennett, Director, District Six Museum, Capetown, South Africa
42. David Beorlegui, PhD candidate,  Basque Country University, Spain
43. ProfessorDan Berger, University of Washington Bothell, USA
44. Dr. Rima Berns-McGown, Independent Researcher/Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, Canada
45. Professor Doris Bittar,  California State University San Marcos, USA
46. Professor Dusan I. Bjelic, Department of Criminology, University of Southern Maine, USA
47. Professor Maylei Blackwell, Departments of Chicana/o Studies, and Gender Studies, UCLA, USA
48. Dr. Susan Blackwell, Independant language consultant, Birmingham UK
49. Professor Hagit Borer, Queen Mary, University of London, England
50. Professor (emerita) Joanna Bornat , Open University, UK
51. Dr. Samia Botmeh, Birzeit University, Palestine
52. Professor Glenn Bowman, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
53. Dr. Robert Boyce, London School of Economics and Political Science, London University, UK
54. Professor Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, University of London, England
55. Dr. Khaldun Bshara, scholar, Riwaq Centre, Ramallah, Palestine 
56. Professor (emeritus) Jacques Bude, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
57. Professor Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley, USA
58. Professor Angeles Castaño Madroñal, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
59. InesCastellano Picón,Phd Student, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
60. Professor Jesús M. Castillo, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
61. Professor John Chalcraft, London School of Economics, UK 
62. Professor Iain Chambers, Università degli Studi di Napoli, "L'Orientale," Italy
63. Professor  Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton, England
64. Professor Elise Chenier, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada
65. ProfessorElliott Colla, Georgetown University, USA    
66. Dr Indira Chowdhury, IOHA Council member; Centre for Public History - Bangalore, India
67. Nikoletta Christodoulou, Frederick University, Nicosia; Cyprus Oral History Project, Cyprus
68. Professor (retired) Raymonde Cloutier, University of Quebec (UQAM), Montreal,  Canada
69. Dr. Jane Collings, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
70. Dr Peter Collins, St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Ireland
71. Professor Miriam Cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University, USA
72. Susan Currie, PhD student, Central Queensland University, Australia
73. Mike Cushman, Independent researcher, London, England
74. Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York, USA
75. Professor Nabil Dajani,  American University of Beirut, Lebanon
76. Professor Edwin Daniel (emeritus) University of Alberta Canada
77. Professor (emeritus) Eric David, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
78. Professor Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, USA
79. Dr. Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University, USA
80. Dr. Uri Davis, AL-QUDS University, Jerusalem, Palestine
81. Professor (emerita) Sonia  Dayan-Herzbrun,  Université Paris, France
82. Professor Herman De Ley, Ghent University, Belgium 
83. Prof Philippe Denis, Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
84. Rafel Gustavo de Oliveira,  MSc student, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
85. Professor Angeles Diez Rodriguez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
86. Professor Anne-Marie Dillens, University Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium   
87. Professor John Docker, University of Sydney, Australia
88. Professor Chris Dole, Amherst College, USA
89. Professor Ann Douglas, Columbia University, New York, USA
90. Professor Laurence Dreyfus, University of Oxford, UK
91. Professor Louise Edwards-Simpson, Project Director, Voices of Homelessness, St. Catherine UniversitySt Paul, Minnesota, USA
92. Professor Haidar Eid, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, Palestine
93. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, PhD-candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.
94. Oroub El-Abed, Senior Teaching Fellow SOAS, London University, UK
95. Professor Nada Elia, Antioch University-Seattle, Washington, USA
96. Professor Mary Fakher-Eldin, University College, Dublin, Ireland 
97. Professor Hoda Elsadda, Cairo University, Egypt
98. Professor Samera Esmeir, University of California, Berkeley, USA
99. Professor Ghazi-Walid Falah, University of Akron, Ohio, USA
100.   Professor Laila Farah, DePaul University, USA
101.   Professor Randa Farah, University of Western Ontario, Canada
102.   Professor (emeritus), Emmanuel Farjoun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  Israel
103.   Dr. Adel Farrag, (retired) Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
104.   Professor(emeritus) Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University, Fresno, US
105.   Arie Finkelstein, student, Université  Paris Est, France
106.   Professor Ellen Fleischmann, University of Dayton, Ohio, USA
107.         Senior Scholar Bill Fletcher, Jr., Institute for Policy Studies; former President, TransAfrica Forum, Washington, DC, USA
108.   Professor Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, USA
109.   Professor (emeritus) Giorgio Forti, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
110.   Dr. Naomi Foyle, Coordinator of British Writers In Support of Palestine, UK          
111.   Professor Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawaiʻi, USA
112.   Daniela Fuentealba Rubio, Investigator/archivist, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile
113.   Professor Candace Fujikane, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA
114.   Professor Nell Gabiam Iowa State University, USA
115.   Professor (retired) Rosemary Galli, Observatorio das Nacionalidades, Brazil
116.   Professor Jose Maria Gago Gonzalez, Member, Seminario de Fuentes Orales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain 
117.   Professeur des Ecoles (en retraite) Marie Gérôme,  Ecole de Viuz,  Faverges, France
118.   Professor Julie Gervais, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France 
119.   Khalil Mohammad Gharra – student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
120.   Ana Ghoreishian, PhD student, University of Arizona, USA
121.   Professor Rita Giacaman, Birzeit University, Palestine
122.   Dr. Terri Ginsberg, ICMES, New York, USA
123.   Professor (emerita) Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University, Long Beach, USA
124.   Professor Heather Goodall, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
125.   Professor (emeritus)  Yerach Gover, City University of New York, USA 
126.   Professor Michel Gros,  CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research,  Rennes, France
127.   Professor Regina Beatriz Guimarães Neto. Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; 2006-2008 President Brazilian Oral History Association, 2008-2010/Brazil
128.   Professor Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University, USA
129.   Professor Ghassan Joseph Hage, University of Melbourne, Australia
130.   Professor (emerita) Elaine Hagopian, Simmons College, Boston, USA
131.   Dr. Andrea Hajek, University of Glasgow, UK
132.   Professor (emerita) Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
133.   Emad Hamdeh, PhD student, Exeter University, UK
134.   Lecturer Rola Hamed, University College,  Cork, Ireland
135.   Professor Carrie Hamilton, University of Roehampton, UK
136.   Dr. Rema Hammami, Birzeit University, Palestine
137.   Professor Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
138.   Karen S. Harper, community oral historian, Historical Society of Long Beach, California, USA
139.   Professor Michael Harris, Université  Paris-Diderot, France
140.   Dr. Jason Hart, Senior lecturer, University of Bath UK
141.   Professor Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State University, Lansing, USA
142.   Professor Frances Hasso, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
143.   Milton Hatoum,  writer, translator and professor, Brazil 
144.   Professor Laia Haurie, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
145.   Karim Hauser Askalani, Journalist, Casa Árabe Consortium, Madrid, Spain
146.   Dr Mahmoud Hawari, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK
147.   Professor Desiree E. Hellegers, Washington State University Vancouver, Washington, USA
148.   Professor Sami Hermez, University of Pittsburgh, USA
149.   Professor ElenaHernández SandoicaUniversidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
150.   Shir Hever, Independent Economist/Researcher, Palestine-Israel
151.   Professor (emeritus) Nicholas Hopkins, American University-Cairo, Egypt
152.   Professor Nubar Hovsepian, Chapman University, Orange, California, USA
153.   Professor (emeritus ) Heinz Hurwitz, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
154.   Professor  Takeji Ino, Wayo Women’s University, Japan   
155.   Perla Issa, PhD candidate, Exeter University, UK
156.   Kumiko Isumisawa, Chief Librarian, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
157.   Professor Ferran Izquierdo Brichs, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
158.   Dr Hana Jaber,  Histoire du Monde arabe contemporain, Collège de France, Paris, France
159.   Professor Richard Jackson, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, NZ
160.   Hazem Jamjoum, PhD student, New York University, USA/Palestine
161.   Dr. Colleen Jankovic, US Film Scholar, Al-qaws organization, AlQuds/Jerusalem, Palestine
162.   Tineke E. Jansen, Independent researcher, former IOHA Council member, England
163.   Professor Maher Jarrar, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
164.   Dr.Lena Jayyusi, Researcher, author, Palestine
165.   Chrischene Julius, Collections, Research and Documentation Dept District Six Museum, South Africa
166.   Professor Ray Jureidini, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
167.   Professor Sharif Kanaana (retired), Birzeit University, Palestine
168.   Professor Rhoda Kanaaneh, Columbia University, New York, USA
169.   Samar Kanafani, PhD Candidate, University of Manchester, UK
170.   Professor, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA
171.   Dr. Fatma Kassem, Independent researcher, Israel
172.   Professor Robin D. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
173.   Emma Jean Kelly, PhD Candidate, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand
174.   Dr. Bryan Kelly, Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland
175.   Professor Emeritus Douglas Kerr, Case Western Reserve University, USA
176.   Professor Amy Kesselman(emerita),State University of New York at New Paltz, USA
177.   Dr. Abdulhadi Khalaf (retired) Center of Middle East Studies, Lund University, Sweden
178.   Professor Muhammad Ali Khalidi, York University, Canada
179.   Professor Tarif Khalidi, Center for Arab & ME Studies, American University, Beirut Lebanon
180.   Professor Asem Khalil, Birzeit University, Palestine
181.   Dr. Laleh Khalili, Reader in Politics, SOAS, University of London, England
182.   Dr. Agnes Khoo, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
183.   Dr. Miyuki Kinjo, Post-doctoral researcher (Palestine/Israel), Ritsumeikan University, Japan
184.   Professor Gary Kinsman, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada
185.   Professor David Klein, California State University, Northridge, USA
186.   Dr. Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach, USA
187.   Felipe Gustavo Koch Buttelli, PhD student, Faculdades EST, Brazil; Lecturer, Religions Science Faculty, University of São José, Santa Catarina, Brazil
188.   Professor Eileen Kuttab, Birzeit University, Palestine
189.   Professor Hidemitsu Kuroki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan
190.   Dr. C S Lakshmi,  SPARROW Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women, Mumbai India
191.   Dr David Landy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
192.   Professor Nadia Latif, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA
193.         ProfessorBonita Lawrence (Mi'kmaw), Indigenous Studies, York University, Canada
194.   Zoe Lawlor, University of Limerick Language Centre, Ireland
195.   Dr. Clint LeBruyns, Theology and Development Program, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
196.         Professor Ronit Lentin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
197.   Dr. Les Levidow, Open University, UK
198.   Professor Miren Llona, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea; former Council member, IOHA, Spain
199.   Professor David Colles Lloyd, University of California, Riverside
200.   Dr. Elisabeth Longuenesse, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France
201.   Professor MariaLosé Lera, Seville University, Spain
202.   Arab Lotfi, film maker, university lecturer, journalist, writer, Lebanon
203.   Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Kings College, University of London, England
204.   Dr. Alex Lubin, Director, Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut; University of New Mexico (on leave) – USA/Lebanon
205.   Dr. Kenneth Macnab (retired), University of Sydney, Australia
206.   John Marquez, PhD Student,  University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
207.   Hala Marshood, Student, Humanities Faculty, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
208.   Dr. Michael Marten, Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies and Religion, University of Stirling, Scotland
209.   Professor Rocio Medina Martin, Universidad Pablo de Olavide Sevilla, España
210.   Professor Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, England
211.   Dr. Norma Masriyyeh, Bethlehem University, Palestine
212.   Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University, New York, USA
213.   Professor Dina Mattar, SOAS, University of London, England
214.   Dr. Rachel Mattson, public historian, archivist, educator, New York, USA
215.   Des McGuinness, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Ireland
216.   Dr. Bill McSweeney, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
217.   Dr. Daniel Meier, University of Oxford, UK
218.   Dr. Willem Meijs, independent language consultant, Birmingham, UK
219.   Professor Anne Meneley, Trent University, Canada
220.   Meena R. Menon, author and oral historian, Delhi, India
221.   Professor Laurie K. Mercier, Washington State University Vancouver, USA
222.   Professor William Messing, University of Minnesota, USA
223.   Jennifer Mogannam, Ph. D. candidate, University of California, San Diego
224.   Professor  Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University, New York, USA
225.   Professor Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto, Canada
226.   Professor Antonio Montenegro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
227.   Professor Annalies Moors,Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
228.   Professor Amir Mufti, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
229.   Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino, USA
230.   Professor Suroopa Mukherjee,  University of Delhi,  India-
231.   Dr. Corinna Mullin, University of Tunis, Tunisia
232.   Professor (emerita) Martha Mundy, London School of Economics, UK
233.   Dr. M.J. Muskens, University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands
234.   Professor Cynthia Myntti, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
235.   Dr. Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford, UK
236.   Professor Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, City of New York, USA
237.   Professor Eiji Nagasawa, Vice Director, Institute for Advanced Study on Asia, The University of Tokyo, Japan
238.   Dr. Khalil Nakhleh, researcher and writer, Palestine
239.   Dr. Dorothy Naor, Independent researcher, Israel
240.   Dr. Marcy Newman, Independent Scholar, India
241.   Dr. Sonia Nimr, Birzeit University, Palestine
242.   Professor Isis Nusair, Denison University, Ohio, USA
243.   Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, University College Cork, Ireland
244.   Dr. Féilim Ó’Hadhmaill,  University College Cork, Ireland
245.   Professor Mari Oka, Kyoto University, Japan
246.   Professor Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University, New York, USA
247.   Hussein Omar, PhD student, University of Oxford, UK
248.   Imranali Panjwani, PhD student, Kings College, University of London, UK
249.   Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University, England
250.   Professor Paul Parker, Baltzer Distinguished Professor of Religion,  Elmhurst College, USA
251.   Dr Nigel Parsons, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University, NZ
252.   Professor Willie Van Peer, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
253.   Dr. Ana Pego, Business and Economic Studies Department, Open University, Lisbon, Portugal
254.   Professor Sylvain Perdigon, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
255.   Professor Julie Peteet, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
256.   Dr. Elizabeth Picard, Directeur de Recherche (emerita), National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France
257.         Professor Gabriel Piterberg, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
258.   Dr. Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick, UK
259.   Dr. Nicolas Puig, Researcher, L'Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France
260.   Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University, New Delhi, India
261.   Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh,Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Palestine
262.   Dua’a Qurie, Executive Director, The Palestinian NGO Network, Ramallah, Palestine
263.         Jorge Ramos Tolosa, researcher and professor, Universitat de València, Spain
264.   Professor Marwan Rashed, Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne, Paris
265.   Professor Stuart Rees, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
266.   Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, Exeter University, UK
267.   Professor (emerita) Rosalie Riegle,  Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, USA
268.   Professor Martina Rieker, American University of Cairo, Egypt
269.   Dr. Rebecca Roberts, Independent scholar, UK
270.   ProfessorLisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
271.   Professor Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex, UK
272.         Professor Vincent Romani, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada
273.         Professor (emerita) Hilary Rose, University of Bradford & Gresham College, London, UK
274.         Professor (emeritus) Steven Rose, Open University & Gresham College, London, UK
275.         Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics, University of London, UK
276.   Dr. Alice Rothchild, MD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, USA
277.   Dr. Bashir Saade, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
278.   Professor Hanan Sabea, American University-Cairo, Egypt
279.   Professor Fatima Sadiqi, Senior Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies; Co-founder, International Institute for Languages and Cultures (INLAC), Fez, Morocco 
280.   Ann Sado, Independent lecturer, former Board member, Japan Oral History Association, Tokyo
281.   Professor (emeritus) Sadao Sakai, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan-
282.   Professor Masaki Sakiyama, Ritsumeikan University,Kyoto, Japan
283.   Professor Ruba Salih, SOAS, University of London, UK
284.   Professor Nisreen Salti, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
285.   Dr. Adel Samara, author, editor Kanaan Review, Occupied Palestine
286.   Mandy Sanger, Education Manager, District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
287.   Dr. Leena Saraste, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
288.   Professor Cecilia Sardenberg, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
289.   Professor Surajit Sarkar - Ambedkar University, Delhi. India
290.   Dr. Rosemary Sayigh, Center for Arab and ME Studies,American University of Beirut, Lebanon
291.   Professor (emeritus) Robert M. Schaible, University of Southern Maine, USA
292.   Professor (emeritus) Pierre Schapira, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
293.   Dr. Leonardo Schiocchet, Guest Researcher, Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences,  Post-doctoral grantee CAPES, Brazil
294.   Professor Sarah Schulman, ACT UP Oral History Project, New York, USA 
295.   Professor Richard Seaford, University of Exeter, UK
296.   Professor (Emerita) Evalyn F. Segal, PhD, San Diego State University, USA
297.   Professor May Seikaly, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
298.   Professor Sherene Seikaly, American University in Cairo, Egypt
299.   Professor Jihane Sfeir, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
300.   Dr. Anthony F. Visiting Scholar McGill University, Montreal, Canada
301.   Professor Anton Shammas, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
302.   Dorothy Sheridan, Honorary Professor of History (retired), University of Sussex , UK.
303.   Dr. Magid Shihade, Birzeit University, Palestine
304.   Professor (emeritus) Kazuko Shiojiri, University of Tsukuba;  Tokyo International University; Director, Institute of International Exchange (IIET), Japan
305.   Professor Andor Skotnes, Chair, Dept. of History and Society, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, USA
306.   Professor Souad Slim,University of Balamand, Lebanon
307.   Richard Saumarez Smith, Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
308.   Dr. Graham Smith, Oral History Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
309.   Dr. Kobi Snitz, Weizmann Institute, Israel
310.   Professor Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law, Washington, USA
311.   Dr. Jane Starfield, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
312.   Professor Ted Steinberg, Case Western Reserve University, USA
313.   Suzy Subways, SLAM! Herstory Project, New York, NY
314.   Professor Akiko Sugase, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
315.   Dr. Ziad Suidan, Independent scholar, USA
316.   Dr Mayssun Sukarieh , Fellow, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University. USA.
317.   Sady Sullivan, Independent Oral Historian Brooklyn, New York, USA
318.   Dr. Hitoshi Suzuki, Area Study Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
319.   Professor Paul Tabar, Director, Institute for Migration Studies, Lebanese American Univ., Lebanon
320.   Professor Neferti Tadiar, Barnard College, New York, USA 
321.   Rabah Tahraoui ,Professeur ,Université de Rouen, France
322.   Professor Carlo Taibo, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain
323.   Professor Ghada Talhami, Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA
324.   Professor Lisa Taraki, Birzeit University, Palestine
325.   Sibel Taylor, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England
326.   Professor Sunera Thobani, University of British Columbia, Canada
327.   Professor (retired) Chizuko Tominaga of Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University, Japan
328.   Professor Barry Trachtenberg, University of Albany, New York, USA
329.   Professor Judith Tucker, Georgetown University, USA
330.   Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao The School of Māori and Pacific Development, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
331.   Professor Masaki Uno, Hiroshima City University, Japan
332.   Professor Sharon Utakis, Bronx Community College, City University of New York, USA
333.   Professor C. Utathya, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
334.   Professor Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
335.   Dr. Toine Van Teeffelen,Arab Educational Institute, Bethlehem, Palestine
336.   Professor Agustin Velloso, Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) Madrid, Spain
337.   Professor Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas, USA
338.   Naomi Wallace, Independent scholar, award-winning playwright, UK/USA
339.   Professor Devra Weber, University of California, Riverside, USA
340.   Professor Mark R. Westmoreland, American University Cairo, Egypt
341.   Professor Johnny Eric Williams, Trinity College, Ireland
342.   Professor Ulrike Woehr, Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan
343.   Dr. Patrick Wolfe, Trobe University, Australia
344.   Adel Yahya, Director, Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE), Ramallah,  Palestine
345.   Yoshihiro Yakushige, PhD student, Kyoto University, Japan
346.   Dr. Hala Yameni, Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine
347.   Professor Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
348.   Professor Masae Yuasa, HIroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan
349.   Professor (emeritus)Takehi Yukawa, Keio University,  Japan
350.   Omar Zahzah, PhD student, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
351.   Professor (emeritus) Elia Zureik, Queen’s University, Canada 

Endorsed by the following Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns: AURPID (France); BOYCOTT! (Israel); BRICUP (UK); InCACBI (India); PACBI (Palestine); USACBI (USA); and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel).

To add your name to this list of signatories please




The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights defines academic freedom to include:

the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction. The enjoyment of academic freedom carries with it obligations, such as the duty to respect the academic freedom of others, to ensure the fair discussion of contrary views, and to treat all without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds. [10], emphasis added]

Keeping this definition in mind, we are keenly aware of the importance of the academic freedom of the individual, but also believe that such freedoms should not extend automatically to institutions. Judith Butler reminds us that: “our struggles for academic freedom must work in concert with the opposition to state violence, ideological surveillance, and the systematic devastation of everyday life.” [11]

It is incumbent on academics to develop such a nuanced understanding of academic freedom if we are to call for social justice and work alongside the oppressed in advancing their freedom, equality and self-determination.

The Israeli academy is not the bastion of dissent and liberalism it is purported to be by those who defend Israel and attempt to delegitimize the call for academic boycott.  The vast majority of the Israeli academic community is oblivious to the oppression of the Palestinian people–both inside Israel and in the occupied territory–and has never opposed the practices and policies of their state. In fact, they duly serve in the reserve forces of the occupation army and, accordingly are likely to be either perpetrators of or silent witnesses to the daily brutality of the occupation.  They also do not hesitate to partner in their academic research with the security-military establishment that is the chief architect and executor of the occupation.  A petition drafted by four Israeli academics merely calling on the Israeli government “to allow [Palestinian] students and lecturers free access to all the campuses in the [occupied] Territories, and to allow lecturers and students who hold foreign passports to teach and study without being threatened with withdrawal of residence visas,” was endorsed by only 407 out of 9,000 Israeli academics – less than 5% of those who were invited to sign it. [12]


[1] The decision was published in the official Israeli Gazette (the Hebrew edition), number 1425. It was therefore “legalized” by Israel. This land, for the most part, was (still is) privately owned by Palestinians living in that area. A large part of the confiscated land was then given to the HebrewUniversity to expand its campus (mainly its dormitories). The Palestinian landowners refused to leave their lands and homes arguing that the confiscation order of 1968 was illegal. When the case was taken to the Jerusalem District Court in 1972 (file no. 1531/72), the court ruled in favor of the University and the state, deciding that the Palestinian families must evacuate their homes and be offered alternative housing. See also

[2] Keller, U. (2009) the Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of

PalestinianTerritories. The Economy of the Occupation: A Socioeconomic Bulletin: Alternative Information Centre.








[10] UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “The Right to Education (Art.13),” December 8, 1999

[11] Judith Butler. “Israel/Palestine and the Paradoxes of Academic Freedom.” in: Radical Philosophy, Vol. 135. pp. 8-17, January/February 2006. (Accessed on December 10, 2011)


Posted on 13-08-2013

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