The Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: What Is It and

Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Who? Why? How?
Jim Bowen
March 2014
Israeli universities
(1) Ariel University
(2) Bar Ilan University
(3) Ben-Gurion University
(4) Hebrew University
(5) Technion , Haifa
(6) Tel Aviv University
(7) University of Haifa
Israeli 3rd-level institutions
(1) Afeka Tel Aviv Academic College of Engineering
(2) Ariel University
(3) Ashkelon Academic College
(4) Bar Ilan University
(5) Ben-Gurion University
(6) Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
(7) College of Management
(8) Emeq Yizrael College
(9) Galillee College
(A) Hebrew University of Jerusalem
(B) Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
(C) Jerusalem University College
(D) Open University of Israel
(E) Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
(F) Safed Academic College
(G) Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Ashdod campus
(H) Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Beer Sheba campus
(I) Shenkar School of Engineering and Design
(J) Technion , Haifa
(K) Tel Aviv University
(L) Tel-Hai Academic College
(M) University of Haifa
(N) Weizmann Institute
(O) Western Galilee College
Why should we boycott Israeli universities?
• Their complicity with the occupation of the West
Bank and Gaza
• Their involvement in discrimination against nonJewish citizens of Israel
• Their theft of property belonging to Palestinian
• Their doing nothing to stop Israeli attacks on
Palestinian academic freedom
Israeli University complicity with occupation
1. Some Israeli universities are physically part of the
occupation of the West Bank
• Ariel University
• Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University
Ariel University
• Ariel settlement almost splits
West Bank
• Ariel University is tip of dagger
• Note the Apartheid Wall around
three sides of the campus
Hebrew University,
Mount Scopus Campus
• Core is on former Mount
Scopus exclave
• But it has expanded into
occupied East Jerusalem
University complicity with occupation (contd)
Some Israeli universities are physically part of the occupation of the West Bank
Israeli universities support the Israeli Occupation Forces
Israel has been described as an army with a state:
all Israeli universities are run by high-ranking IOF retired or reserve officers
IOF permission was required for creation of Ariel University
Most Israeli academics serve in the reserves; hence some man checkpoints, while
others kill Palestinians, and everything in between (h/t Haim Bresheeth)
IOF outsources much of its training to Israeli universities
IOF is largest investor in R&D in Israeli univ., and is crucial for most R&D
TAU: project on ‘sweating during interrogation’ (h/t Haim Bresheeth)
Technion: development of drones and defence satellites
BGU: Robotics for military applications
HUJ: Intelligence services training programmes
HUJ: Biometric identification for the IDF
BIU: Chaotic micro-laser for military communication
BIU: Cipher-systems for military communication
BIU: Remote camera technologies for military uses
Israeli universities teach the architects and engineers who design and build the
Israeli universities teach the lawyers and judges who administer the apartheid
legal system in the occupied territories – one law for the settlers, another for the
University complicity with occupation (contd)
1. Some Israeli universities are physically part of the
occupation of the West Bank
2. Israeli universities support the occupation forces
3. Israeli universities engage in propaganda to promote
the occupation
TAU: special courses for schoolchildren about security and arms
TAU and Haifa: special courses in hasbara to students
Israeli University discrimination against
non-Jewish citizens of Israel
• Israeli universities practice discrimination, by techniques
which include:
using culturally-specific entrance tests designed to reduce intake
of non-Jewish citizens (eg, the Einstein question, with intended
answer being Arik not Albert)
providing preferential treatment to (ex-)soldiers, since most nonJewish citizens do not join the army (eg, discriminatory
accommodation provision at Univ. of Haifa)
restricting ability of non-Jewish students to express their culture
on campus (eg, ban on Xmas trees at Univ. of Haifa)
• The institutional racism is clear from the fact that the
proportion of non-Jewish students and staff is only a
fraction of the proportion of non-Jewish citizens of the state
Israeli Universities’ theft of refugee property
• Most land in Israel belongs to the refugees who were
expelled in 1948-50 and never allowed to return
• In 1948, there were only two universities in the area
that became Israel, the Technion and Hebrew
• So, Israeli universities occupy refugee property
– for example, Tel Aviv University is built on the lands of the
Palestinian village of Shaykh Muwannis
• the staff club in Tel Aviv University, officially called the Marcel
Gordon University Club, unofficially called the Green House ( ‫הבית‬
‫הירוק‬, Habayit Hayorik), is actually the home of Ibrahim Abu
Kheel, the mukhtar of the village, who was expelled in 1948
Israeli universities do nothing to stop Israeli attacks on
Palestinian academic freedom
• Israeli universities are part of the apparatus of a state which
attacks Palestinian academic freedom
– Israel collects taxes from the occupied territories but provides no
support to Palestinian universities
– Israel arbitrarily prevents foreign staff and students from visiting
Palestinian universities and often deports Palestinian academics
with foreign citizenship
– Israel prevents Palestinian students from accepting scholarships to
foreign universities
– Israel prevents Gaza students from studying in the West Bank
– Israeli air force bombs Palestinian universities
– Israeli apartheid wall steals land from West Bank universities
– ...
• No Israeli university tries to stop any of this
What does it mean for us?
• PACBI call will be summarized on final slide
• Basically, PACBI asks us to boycott institutions,
not individuals
– the boycott applies to individuals only when
they represent their universities or other
• When in doubt, ask PACBI for advice
[email protected]
• Typical boycott actions are shown on next
Typical boycott actions
• avoid organizing joint activities, directly or indirectly, with Israeli institutions,
regardless of pretext or sponsors
• avoid speaking at Israeli universities or visiting them
• do not attend conferences co-sponsored by Israeli authorities or academic
institutions, or held at Israeli universities
• avoid collaboration with Israeli institutions on EU-funded projects
• do not submit articles to, or referee articles for, journals based at Israeli
academic institutions
• do not accept either visiting lecturers or student exchange programmes that
are sponsored by Israeli universities or by the Israeli state
• object to proposals for holding international conferences in Israel
• object to proposals for conferences which include participation by Israeli
Summary of PACBI call for boycott
• The Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
(PACBI) asks us to
1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration
or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
2. Advocate 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. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic
4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be
adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to
partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

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