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PACBI-U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Joins International Calls To Boycott Israeli Academic and Cultural Institutions


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Press Release | January 22, 2009

U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Joins International Calls To Boycott Israeli Academic and Cultural Institutions

As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israelís indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.

Accordingly, in response to the call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and by more than 500 Israeli citizens to foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, we call for:

(1) Refraining from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions that do not vocally oppose Israeli state policies against Palestine;

(2) Advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

(3) Promoting divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;

(4) Working toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;

(5) Supporting Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

Israelís latest assault on Gaza has killed at least 1300 Palestinians, one third of them children, and injured 5300 or more. Israel has targeted civilians, using internationally-proscribed phosphorous bombs, deprived them of power, water and other means to life, and sought to destroy the infrastructure of Palestinian civil society, including hospitals, administrative buildings and UN facilities. It has targeted with peculiar consistency educational institutions of all kinds. Since December 27, Israel has deliberately bombed the Islamic University of Gaza, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, at least ten UNRWA schools, one of which was sheltering displaced Palestinian civilians, and tens of other schools and educational facilities. Each of these acts constitutes a breach of international law and a probable war crime. The unilateral ceasefire declared by Israel puts an end temporarily to the most brutal slaughter of civilians, but it inaugurates a new phase of occupation of Gaza. It is not a solution but a continuation by familiar means of the ongoing destruction of Palestinian civil society.

This most recent Israeli onslaught against Palestinian academic institutions is not exceptional, but is part of Israelís deliberate destruction of Palestinian educational and research institutions. Over the course of its 40-year long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has systematically deprived Palestinian children and youth of education, daily threatening their lives and restricting their access to schools and universities. Palestinians, who live as second-class citizens in Israel, face systematic educational discrimination education there too: although Palestinian-Israelis make up 20 percent of Israelís population, they constitute only 10 percent of its undergraduate student body, and only 1 percent of its university faculty. During the illegal siege of Gaza over the past year and a half, Israel intensified the destruction of the educational infrastructure that has been completed during the current war. These continual violations show no sign of diminishing and Israeli academic institutions and most Israeli academics have by their silence been complicit with these attacks.

We believe that non-violent external pressure on Israel, in the form of an academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel, can help bring an end to the ongoing massacres of civilians and an end the occupation of Gaza and Palestine. We therefore urge a comprehensive boycott, including divestment, political sanctions, and the immediate halt to all military aid, sales and deliveries to Israel. However, as educators of conscience, we specifically call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions as a key element in this larger action.

We urge our colleagues, nationally, regionally, and internationally, to stand up against Israelís ongoing scholasticide and to support the non-violent call for academic boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions.

This boycott should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian peopleís inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

For further information on the campaign, see: [url=http://usacbi.wordpress.com/]http://usacbi.wordpress.com/[/url]

Facebook and My Space: uscom acbi

To endorse this campaign, e-mail to uscom4acbi [at] gmail.com
Contacts:

Sherna Berger Gluck, shernagluck [at] gmail.com; Jess Ghannam, jess.ghannam [at] gmail.com; David Lloyd, davidcll [at] usc.edu; and Sunaina Maira, smaira [at] ucdavis.edu



   
 

 






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