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PACBI-PACBI Salutes Spains Growing Academic Boycott Movement

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1 June 2014

PACBI Salutes Spains Growing Academic Boycott Movement

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the “BDS Academic Movement for Palestine,” a state-wide campaign across Spain, for its principled solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. Through the tireless efforts of the activists involved in this campaign, support for the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel is growing across universities in Spain, particularly in Catalonia, expanding BDS work on campuses and raising awareness about the role Israel’s academic institutions play in planning, implementing, justifying and whitewashing Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.  

More than 800 university staff (including 100 professors), researchers and students, as well as major unions representing students and university workers across Spain, have endorsed the campaign’s call for a boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions. [1] This wide-reaching campaign has also received the adherence of research groups and a university department, the Arab and Islamic Studies Department at the Autonomous University of Madrid.  The campaign’s petition calls for the “suspension of the current preferential access that Israeli universities and research centres have to the European Research Area, under Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements,” and demands the “suspension of relations between our universities and Israeli universities and higher education centres until such time as the State of Israel respects international law and UN resolutions.” [2]
Palestinians are inspired by this growing movement and its efforts to pressure Spain’s universities and EU funding bodies to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions for their complicity in Israel’s three tiered system of military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. The intensification of BDS work in Spain comes as partnership agreements are being signed behind closed doors between Israeli universities and western governments and heads of universities, in an attempt to entrench and institutionalize ties with Israeli universities on campuses abroad. In this regard, we salute the courageous action that was recently organized by activists in Catalonia, who occupied the offices of the Secretariat for Universities and Research in Catalonia to protest the signing of academic collaboration agreements between the autonomous region of Spain and Israel. [3] This action exposed the lack of transparency through which partnership agreements are signed with apartheid Israel’s universities and imposed on campuses in Europe and North America.
PACBI acknowledges with deep respect and appreciation the determination of academics, students and activists across Spain who are confronting these underhanded tactics and showing that there can be no business as usual with academic institutions that are directly and indirectly involved in Israel’s racist policies and systematic and routine violation of Palestinians’ basic human rights.  
Just like in South Africa where boycott, divestment and sanctions played a pivotal role helping bring down the apartheid regime, we believe that outstanding displays of international solidarity such as these are the most effective way to contribute to bringing an end to Israel’s multi-tiered oppression of the Palestinian people. 





[2] Ibid


Posted on 01-06-2014

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