Occupied Jerusalem, March 16, 2016 -- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urges UN officials, academic associations and scholars to boycott the 2016 conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS). The conference is sponsored by five deeply complicit Israeli academic institutions and scheduled to be convened from June 26-29 at the Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University, which is partially built on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli universities are profoundly complicit in developing weapon systems and military doctrines deployed in Israel’s recent war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza; justifying the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, rationalizing the gradual ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians; providing moral justification for extra-judicial killings and indiscriminate attacks against civilians; systematically discriminating against “non-Jewish” students in admissions, dormitory room eligibility, financial aid, etc.; and many other implicit and explicit violations of human rights and international law.
This conference has been called for at a time when Israel’s state terrorism is being exposed to the world. Israeli police, military and fundamentalist settler lynch mobs have been savagely attacking Palestinian protestors and committing crimes with impunity.
New repressive and discriminatory Israeli laws and a dominant culture of racism and intolerance that has been instilled over decades in Israeli society by the state have enabled Israel’s occupation forces to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinian child and youth protesters in situations where they pose no serious threat. A report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has detailed some of the “arbitrary killings” carried out by the Israeli military, calling on the UN to immediately investigate them.
Encouraged to do so by the racial incitement of Israeli leaders (see here and here), large numbers of ordinary Israelis are increasingly praising and calling for attacks and killings of Palestinians (here and here). Recently, an Eritrean asylum seeker at an Israeli bus stop was mistaken for a Palestinian assailant and subsequently shot and beaten to death by an Israeli “lynch mob” in full sight of Israeli soldiers.
The conference’s main venue, the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus Campus, partly sits in an Israeli colony built on Palestinian land occupied after 1967. Mount Scopus campus buildings and facilities were expanded as a result of Israel’s 1968 illegal confiscation of 3345 dunums of Palestinian land, which is deemed occupied territory under international law.
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 organized by complicit institutions and taking place in a colony on occupied land.
Based on the above, and unless the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) relocates its conference from Israel, and its colonies, and sheds its institutional Israeli sponsorship, PACBI calls on:
1) Scholars, UN officials and people of conscience to boycott this conference and refrain from lending their names to covering up Israel’s serious violations of international law;
2) Academic associations to discourage their members from participating in this conference, and to take a public stance against it.
For background analysis on this boycott call, please click here.
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 Hebrew University 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 http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/12/un-report-accuses-israel-of-pushing-palestinians-from-jerusalem-west-bank/
Posted on 16-03-2016