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PFUPPE | 14 December 2013

The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees Warmly Salutes the American Studies Association for its Principled Solidarity

14 December 2013 -- We at the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE) warmly salute the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) in the United States for standing in solidarity with our struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine and endorsing a resolution for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions on December 4, 2013, following the widespread support for the boycott at the association’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. [1]

 

We are deeply moved and inspired to hear that hundreds of ASA members attended sessions on Palestine and resoundingly applauded speaker after speaker who explained the moral and political imperative of boycotting Israel and its complicit institutions as a concrete contribution to ending its regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid against the Palestinian people. We know that this support rising up from deep within the belly of the US empire broke the climate of fear and intimidation that was created by well-endowed Zionist organisations in the United States, and represents a powerful turning point for the Palestine solidarity movement in the US and worldwide.

 

PFUUPE would like to commend the conscientious intellectuals who worked tirelessly to bring this resolution before the ASA’s National Council. We salute the courage and determination with which they confronted the virtual silence within the US academy, and faced the atmosphere of bullying produced by the Israeli state and its supporters.  Furthermore, we applaud the commitment of these academics to stand with us as we oppose the Israel’s daily denial of our academic freedom in the context of its overall denial of our human rights, through systematic ethnic cleansing, dispossession and institutionalized racism. We Palestinians have long been expected to remain silent and “ignore if not celebrate (our) own oppression” [2].  The ASA has broken a taboo.   

 

The ASA National Council’s unanimous endorsement of this resolution is “an ethical stance” [3] that opposes this oppression. Its message is a resounding “no” to the impunity with which the Israeli state maintains its multi-tiered system of oppression against the Palestinian people. This resolution is a victory for our movement and its use of boycott as a form of civil resistance that seeks to isolate the Israeli state and its complicit institutions internationally, until Israel abides by international law and restores the rights of all of the Palestinian people, as outlined in the BDS call. [4]

 

As ASA members vote on this historic resolution, we would like to take this opportunity to address the members directly.  Comrades and colleagues, by adopting this resolution you will be building on the important precedence set by the Association for Asian American Studies, leading the way in integrating BDS into the academy, and strengthening our movement worldview in the pursuit of freedom, justice and equal rights to all other humans.

 

Israeli academic institutions are not only complicit by virtue of their silence in the face of the racist, colonial laws and policies of the Israeli state, but they are also intimately part of this infrastructure of oppression through their organic links to the Israeli military establishment and their ties to the occupation regime.

 

Adopting the academic boycott is not only a position in solidarity with Palestinian rights but a position that defends academic freedom as well. The boycott upholds the right of individuals to critique the Israeli state’s illegal and racist policies without facing criminalization or punishment, and it upholds the right of individuals to “decline participation in sites of injustice.” [5] Furthermore, the boycott is institutional and ASA has already gone to lengths to explain how it does not work to restrict collaboration with individual scholars.

 

Comrades, like your organisation, we affirm that the struggle against racism, war, corporatization of academia and disenfranchisement of communities of color in the United States and the struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine are interconnected. After all, your Congress, government and tax dollars are the main reasons why Israel can maintain its regime of oppression against us with such impunity. We remind you that in South Africa, the apartheid regime “died on the sharp edges of principles, struggle and solidarity, not forgiveness, apologetics and compromise.” [6] We firmly believe that it is only through principled international solidarity that contributes to bringing real pressure to bear on Israeli institutions that we can end their complicity in the oppression of our people.  You have an opportunity to join us by ratifying this historic resolution that will make a significant contribution to the struggle for freedom and dignity for all Palestinians.

  

[1] http://www.theasa.net/american_studies_association_resolution_on_academic_boycott_of_israel

 

[2] http://electronicintifada.net/content/theses-zionism/12982

[3]http://www.theasa.net/from_the_editors/item/council_statement_on_the_academic_boycott_of_israel_resolution/

[4] http://www.bdsmovement.net/call

[5]http://www.salon.com/2013/12/04/academics_should_boycott_israel_growing_movement_takes_next_step/

 

Posted on 14-12-2013


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