“Over a dozen rights groups have accused Oxford University of using politicised numbers and x93celebratingx94 a military occupation because its website tracking coronavirus vaccine delivery, Our World in Data, does not include Palestinians in its figures on Israelx92s vaccine rollout.”

The Independent: Rights groups accuse Oxford University website of using x91politicisedx92 numbers in Israel vaccine row

The full version of the letter from 19 NGOs on the BDS Movement website

BRICUP Statement: Bias in revisions made to two Pearson GCSE Textbooks

A group of academics have uncovered bias that has been introduced into GCSE textbooks on Middle East history. They found hundreds of changes in two books published by Pearson, averaging over 3 alterations per page. The changes to the books were made at the instigation of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and UK Lawyers for Israel. The examinations at which these textbooks are targeted are sat by thousands of GCSE and International GCSE students annually.

The report of this investigation, below, finds that changes have been made to what facts are presented, what interpretations given, and what language employed. In almost every case the alterations move these books towards supporting an Israel-friendly version of that history, and away from presenting the Palestinian narrative.

The reportx92s authors call for the booksx92 immediate withdrawal.

BRICUP Press Release: Academics uncover bias in GCSE history textbooks.

BRICUP report on revisions made to Pearson GCSE textbooks.

BRICUP Statement: the Attacks on Professor David Miller

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) has expressed its deep concern to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol over the renewed attacks on the integrity of one of the Universityx92s distinguished members of staff, Professor David Miller. It has also been in contact with Professor Miller to offer whatever support the Committee can provide.

BRICUP is not qualified to comment on Professorx92s Millerx92s scholarly work but affirms the responsibility of all academics, irrespective of discipline or political view, to defend his right to teach and research without the threat of external intervention. That is a principle that is at the core of academic freedom.This assault on Professor Millerx92s character is an attempt to remove that freedom.

The accusations of antisemitism against Professor Miller result from his criticisms of Israel, of Israeli government policy, and of Zionism as the political ideology of the state. Such criticisms could, of course, issue from someone motivated by antisemitism. There is, however, no evidence that this obtains in the case of Professor Miller. Indeed, there is a body of evidence to show him to be a committed anti-racist.

Over the last decade, there have been repeated demands that Professor Miller be dismissed from his position. He has been a target, for reasons entirely unconnected with antisemitism, since 2011. That was the year in which he exposed the misleading information provided to the Government by the Community Security Trust in an attempt to prevent the admission to the UK of a Palestinian religious leader who was scheduled to speak at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting.

As on previous occasions, the current attack on Professor Miller as an alleged antisemite relies on the highly contentious International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This is the definition that was rejected overwhelmingly by the Academic Board of University College London in February 2021. Any definition should provide clarity x96 but the IHRA definition whether by accident or design is so opaque that it requires examples to give it any content.It is these contentious examples that focus especially on statements that might be made about Israel.

Reliance on this definition to identify antisemitic speech without consideration of context or motivation is entirely inappropriate. Professor Millerx92s accusers present no such evidence; and surely if they had any it would have been produced.Without such evidence neither the University nor the court of public opinion should take these accusations at face value.

The potential chilling effect of the IHRA definition on academic freedom and freedom of expression needs to be resisted fiercely by all academic staff and by all educators, and especially by those in positions of trust in our academic institutions.

This assault on Professor Miller is not an isolated case. Academic colleagues at a number of other universities are currently being targeted in just this way with the aim of securing their dismissal. In all of these cases, as at Bristol, student complaints against lecturers are being assisted if not coordinated by outside bodies. A related attack was made this month at the University of Oxford on the celebrated film director, Ken Loach, a life-long anti-racist and defender of the oppressed. The campaign to x91no platformx92 him alleged antisemitism. That accusation was grounded, of course, not in any evidence of hostility or hatred towards Jews but in his outspoken support for the struggle of the Palestinians, and his criticism of Israel. His attackers cited the IHRA definition as justification.

This widespread and deplorable activity is not simply designed to achieve the dismissal of individuals. Its aim is clearly to create an atmosphere in which all academic staff self-censor when it comes to any analysis of the nature of Israel, and of the consequences of its policies.

BRICUP has urged the management group at the University of Bristol to defend the academic freedom of Professor Miller, and to defend the integrity of theUniversityx92s guarantee both of academic freedom and of freedom of expression, as it is duty bound in law.

BRICUP Webinar briefing: Palestine, Antisemitism and Academic Freedom

Recordings of BRICUP’s 23 January webinar briefing

Recordings of a Zoom briefing on how to understand and resist the pressure on universities and colleges across the country to adopt the contentious IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. In England this has now taken a new form: the attempt by the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, to force universities to comply through the threat of financial penalties.

The briefing addressed both the abuse of the definition as a means of silencing Palestine advocacy, and the attack on academic freedom and university autonomy which Wiliamsonx92s demand represents. And it was designed to provide a toolkit for negotiating with managements, preparing motions or statements or talks on the definition, and campaigning amongst staff and students.

Briefing on IHRA Definition of Antisemitism Part I

With speakers Ben Jamal (PSC), Omar Barghouti (PACBI), Jonathan Rosenhead (BRICUP) and Salma Karmi-Ayyoub (Barrister and Human Rights consultant).

Briefing on IHRA Definition of Antisemitism Part II

Briefing programme
Links to readings referred to in the videos


Prof. Imad Barghouti now in Administrative Detention

Professor Imad Barghouthi has been placed under administrative detention until November 15th. He will therefore not be able to be reunited with his family and supervise his students, despite a judgex92s decision to release him on bail.

Read his latest letter from detention on the pages of Scientists for Palestine.

Omar Barghouti Banned from the USA

On April 11th, 2019, the co-founder of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights, Omar Barghouti, was prevented from boarding a plane to fly from Tel Aviv to the United States for a lecture tour, and to attend his daughterx92s wedding. The US government had cancelled his visa and denied him entry.

The BDS campaign world-wide is united in its condemnation of this act of repression of free speech, and has issued this joint statement.

Birzeit University condemns breach of academic freedom after academics forced to leave Palestine

This statement, issued by Birzeit University on July 12th, has been endorsed by BRICUP.

Is your university complicit in breaking international law?

Pass the model motion for non-recognition of Ariel “University”

Stand Against Apartheid Lawfare! Stand with the American Studies Association

Sign the petition in support of the ASA in the face of attacks from the Brandeis Center.

Joint statement of Palestinian Student Societies of Universities in the UK on Trump

Read the Joint statement of Palestinian Student Societies here.

Press Release: International scientists and academics say it is colleagues’ “moralduty” to boycott conference in Jerusalem

The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), has scheduled its 2017Congress for 10-14 September. But the venue – the International Convention Centrein Jerusalem – has made it a target for the Palestinian-led campaign for the academicboycott of Israel.

Read the joint press release from BRICUP and AURDIP here.

UCU Congress rejects “confusing” IHRA definition of antisemitism

BRICUP’s model resolution has been adopted by UCU Congress, no doubt to the dismay of the Board of Deputies and other sections of the Israel lobby.

Read the joint press release from BRICUP and Free Speech on Israel here.

Sciences Po students walk out from Israeli ambassador

Students at Sciences Po, the leading French social science university, protested strongly when the university management invited the Israeli ambassador to France to lecture at the university.

The students delivered an uninterrupted five-minute statement indicting Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, condemning efforts to censor the Palestine solidarity movement in France and calling for full support of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). After they had expressed their anger they staged a mass walk out.

Read full report in Electronic Intifada
View video of the protest

Support of our colleague Eleonora Roldán Mendívil

BRICUP has co-signed a letter in support of Eleonora Roldán Mendívil who is being victimised for alleged antisemitism. She has not been informed about what material of hers is claimed ot be antisemitic; an allegtion she firmly denies.

We were dismayed to hear of the decision taken by the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science of the Freie Universität Berlin to suspend the follow-up teaching contract of Eleonora Roldán Mendívil, and to initiate an investigation of alleged antisemitic content in material that she has published.

The precise allegations against her have not been made public, but seem to relate to material posted on a website notorious for its links to far right European politicians. The provenance of these claims should itself give pause to any academic institution, a main part of whose remit should be to protect academic freedom in research and teaching. This website does not present any specific evidence to corroborate its allegations, other than the young scholar’s impertinence in applying a settler colonial analysis to the state of Israel. This analysis was in any case outside her course ‘Racism in Capitalism’, in which (see her recent interview) she also made no statements at all on Israel…

Read the open letter in full

Professor Catherine Hall withdraws from Israel’s Dan David Prize

Catherine Hall Photo:UCL

In a significant boost to the campaign to support Palestinian rights and Palestinian academics, Professor Catherine Hall of University College London, the widely respected cultural historian, has withdrawn her acceptance of the Israeli Dan David Prize.

Catherine told BRICUP, “I have withdrawn from the prize – this was an independent political choice, undertaken after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine, but with differing views as to how best to act.”  

Catherine Hall has renounced her share of $1million, placing principle above financial gain.

Catherine’s stance ws reinforced by the decision of Professor David Shulman, Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, to donate his prize to to Ta’ayush, an Israeli group that assists Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills. He also released a video documenting the attacks on Hebron Palestinians by settlers and the IDF.

Read BRICUP’s statement on Catherine’s decision
BRICUP Press release: Academics take the shine off Israel’s tarnished prizes
Ha’retz: Prominent Feminist Historian Rejects Israeli Academic Award read more

Israel imposes travel ban on PACBI activist Omar Barghouti

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Omar Barghouti, co-founder of PACBI, in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on non-violent Palestinian human rights defenders and on the BDS campaign.

Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to

Omar Barghouti


travel in and out of Palestine/Israel. His immediate reaction was: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace”.

Read report by Palestine News Network
Sixteen international organisations condemn the travel restrictions on BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti – including BRICUP

Leading Palestinian scientist seized -again

Professor Imad al-Barghouthi,Photo by Jamal Mimouni

On 24 April Imad al-Barghouthi, Professor of Astrophysics at Al-Quds University, was again siezed by the Israeli Army and placed into administrative detention. Professor al-Barghouti has an international reputation for his work and has been employed by the US NASA.

He was previously arrested and held without charge in December 2014 but released in January 2015 following by an international scientific outcry which culminated in a stinging article in Nature. BRICUP and our

French partners AURDIP played a leading part in the campaign to get him released. BRICUP and AURDIP members met Professor al-Barghouti on their tour of Palestinian Universities and were impressed by his seriousness and hs calm resolve to continue to oppose Israeli occupation peacefully despite the risks to him and his family.

BRICUP and AURDIP are committed to securing his prompt release again and will be publicising very soon how academics and others can take action in support.

BRICUP, AURDIP and BACBI have written to the European Commissioners asking them to demand that the Israelis allow international observers to attend Professor Barghouti’s trial to lessen the risk to his human rights and enhance the prospects of a fair trial.

Report of arrest in Palestine News Network

Boycott BIRAX! Appeal to UK scientists not to apply for tainted funding

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) has issued a call directly to academic colleagues in the UK scientific community NOT to apply for funding through the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange (BIRAX). This is a politically motivated scheme whose purpose is to protect Israel from the growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement.

BIRAX seeks to normalise an intolerable status quo and to undermine the civil society BDS movement aiming to hold Israel

UoT GSA building

accountable for its crimes against Palestinians. We call on UK-based scientists to follow the example of Stephen Hawking – who chose to boycott Israel in 2013 by refusing to attend the Israeli Presidents Conference – and decline to participate in BIRAX.

BRICUP joins European colleagues to protest EU presence at ‘Stop the Boycott’ conference

BRICUP, along with its sister organisations in France and Belgium, has written to EU Foreign Policy Chief to protest against the participation of the head of the EU delegation to Israel, in the x93Stop the Boycottx94 Conference in Jerusalem on 28 March. His presence both undermines the EU policy on the illegaility of settlement goods and implicitlyt endorses the threats to the safety, and even lives, of BDS advocates issued at the conference.

The letter demands that the EU “reassert the EU’s opposition to existing and prospective Israeli settlements in the illegally occupied territories, and above all warn the Israeli government against attacks on Omar Barghouti and other Palestinian civil rights activists”

Read the letter to Federica Mogherini

Organisers of banned Southampton Law Conference appeal for financial support

A year ago Southampton University succumbed to Zionist and Government pressure and cancelled International Law & the State of Israel: Responsibility, Legitimacy and Exceptionalism Conference. The organisers, with the support of hundreds of supporters launched legal action to get the university’s actions reviewed. At the same time they have been trying to negotiate the re-instatement of the conference but have been told they must pay a prohibitive security bill of £25,000.

The organisers have also asked for judicial review of this effective ban. These cases are both due in the courts in April and the conference organisers are appealing for financial support.

Financial appeal for Freedom of Speech for academics

Israeli Sociological Society calls for a boycott of settler Ariel University

Ariel campus

Ariel campus
Photo by Reuters

Professor Uri Ram, the newly elected president of the Israeli Sociological Society, has called for a boycott Ariel University, located in a West Bank settlement. “We will not cooperate with the institute known as Ariel University, which is not located within the bounds of the State of Israel,” he said in an interview with Army Radio.

The boycott initiative by Prof. Ram of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will first need to pass a vote of the Israeli Sociological Society, which includes some 1,000 researchers and academics.

The members are expected to discuss the initiative at an upcoming Society meeting in April. Should the motion pass, it would mark the first time that an Israeli academic association would boycott an Israeli university.

Ariel University management denouced this call for a moral stance as “semi-fascist”  – takes one to know one.

Sociological Society calls for boycott of Ariel University – Jerusalem Post


McGraw-Hill censors text book showing Israeli seizure of Palestinian land

McGraw-Hill, the major US text book publishing house, has withdrawn, and is destroying all copies of, a political science textbook , Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World following objections to a map showing the shrinkage of Palestinian land from 1946 to the present.

This sequence of maps, which is a graphic representation of successive Israeli land seizures, has long been the object of Zionist ire and they have frequently protested at its use.

McGraw-Hill stated, “As soon as we learned about the concerns with it, we placed sales of the book on hold and immediately

censored maps

initiated an academic review. The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards.” They did not say what the academic standards were or what were the backgrounds and qualifications of the reviewers and why they were more qualified than those engaged in the pre-publicatin review process.

Textbook Destroyed – Inside Higher Ed
Protest Censorship of Palestinian History, send a letter to McGraw-Hill – US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

University of California policy equates anti-zionism with anti-semitism

Zionist lobby groups have been engaged in a long running camapign to demonise the powerful Palestinian rights campaigns on University of California campuses. They have been fighting back against powerful divestment campaigns at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley and UC Riverside; a BDS vote in the Student Workers UAW trade union branch; and camapigns in support of professors under attack for support of Palestinians at UC Santa Barbra and elsewhere.

While the lobby groups have fallen short of getting the full EUMC definition of antisemitism included in the policy document, they have succeeded in gettng a false and damaging equation of anti-semitism and anti-zionism inserted.

Zionists in the US, as well as in the UK and many other countries, know htey have lost the arguments about the illegality and inhumanity of the Israeli regime and are determined to prevent open discussion. To do this they have demonstrated they will abuse both political and judicial processes.

UC’s intolerance policy goes dangerously astray on anti-Semitism – LA Times Editorial Board
Anti-Zionism Isn’t a ‘Form of Discrimination,’ and It’s Not anti-Semitism – Rabbi Brant Rosen, Ha’aretz

BRICUP protests at cancellation of panel on the academic boycott at Catania University

BRICUP has written to Professor Giacomo Pignataro, Rector of Catania University, to protest that a panel on the implications of academic and cultural boycott campaigns against Israel, meant to take place during the conference of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies  has been removed from the official programme.

This follows on the banning or cancellation of events around Palestine at a number of Italian Universities in recent months. These multiple occurrences suggest a worrying pattern of an organised campaign to disrupt and prevent the open discussion of key human rights issues – exactly the sort of liberty which should be second nature to universities. Complicity in this campaign of censorship threatens to bring the whole Italian university system into disrepute.

Send your own message to Professor Pignataro

Billionaire donor using British Council to combat Israel boycott

Birax proposal cover

BRICUP has been keeping the British Council’s BIRAX: the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership under review for some time. The British Council’s role is to promote British culture globally but here it is being used to promote Israeli, not British, interests.

Document disclosed under a Freedom of Information request revela that that Nathan Kirsh, a billionaire businessman profiting directly from the apartheid wall.

In 2012, after the Palestine Festival of Literature spoke out in favor of BDS, its dismayed financial sponsor the British Council ironically justified its own decision to issue a statement opposing the boycott

by describing itself as a “non-political organization.” Yet internal correspondence shows that behind the scenes the British Council has been making strenuous efforts to track and oppose the boycott.

Read full report by Hilary Aked in the Electronic Intifada

Ten new pieces of Israeli discriminatory and anti-democratic legislation

Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, has published a report drawing attention to 10 new pieces of legislation – 5 newly-enacted laws and 5 currently-proposed bills – before the Knesset. This new legislation contains discriminatory and/or anti-democratic provisions that are liable to severely harm the human rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), as well as those who related to the latest, ongoing round of violence in Israel and the OPT that

UoT GSA building

began in late September 2015; and legislation targeting human rights organizations and supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The measures include a new anti-boycott bill which will ban ‘BDS advocates’ from entering Israel and territories under its control. This will bar many academics from meeting thier colleagues in Palestinian universities and further isolate Palestinian higher education.

Adalah report
Adalah database of discriminatory laws

Doctors condemn WMA president for glossing over complicity of Israeli Medical Association

A submission was made in January this year by 71 UK doctors to the WMA, attaching a comprehensive report from the Israeli organisation Physicians for Human Rights (PHRI), with detailed case studies showing the complicity of Israeli doctors working in security units in which torture of Palestinian detainees was routine. The BMJ has previously reported on this. We also submitted a study published last November which showed that sexual torture too was endemic. Why are the doctors posted to these units not protecting the detainees and protesting, and why has the IMA never acted on such reports, as required to do by the WMA Declaration of Tokyo?

The new WMA President is the UK medical academic Sir Michael Marmot, and we looked to him to bring his international reputation to bear on a case that has been a standing reproach to the idea that global regulation of the ethical behaviour of doctors is even-handed and effective. His response is superficial and issued without examing the evidence provided. A response ot the dismissal of these concerns has been published in the British Medical Journal.

Read the BMJ article
Backed by the System: Abuse and Torture at the Shikma Interrogation Facility – B’Tselem

Vassar Trustees threaten to garnishee $900K if Student Association endorse #BDS

Vassar College


The Vassar Student Association (VSA) Executive Board was informed last week that if it were to pass a BDS amendment, the collegex92s Board of Trustees would x93removex94 student control of college funds for student activities, amounting to around $900,000.

The resolution, authored by Vassarx92s Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, x93encourages the reconsideration of Vassar Collegex92s economic contributions to human rights violations worldwide.x94 It also included an amendment to the VSAx92s

bylaws prohibiting VSA from using funds to purchase items from Sabra, Tribe, Ben & Jerry’s, Hewlett-Packard Company, Ahava, General Electric, Eden Springs, Motorola, Caterpillar, G4S, and Elbit Systems.

read report in Palestine Legal

University of Toronto faculty endorse Graduate Studentsx92 Union divestment campaign

Over 125 University of Toronto faculty members have announced their support for the Graduate Students’ Union’s (GSU) campaign to divest from three companies, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard, and Lockheed Martin, that are directly profiting from the ongoing military occupation of Palestine territories. It also urges the Governing Council to form a committee to review and divest from all companies implicated in violations of international law.

The students’ campaign calls on the University of Toronto Asset

Vassar College

Carolyn Levett/The Varsity

Management Corporation (UTAM) to divest from companies that are directly profiting from the ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territories, namely: Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard, and Lockheed Martin. It also urges the Governing Council to form a committee to review and divest from all companies implicated in violations of international law.

Read report in the University of Toronto student newspaper

The Tantura massacre of 1948 and the academic character assassination of Teddy Katz

Remains of mosque in Tantura ruins

Remains of mosque in Tantura ruins
Photo by Zalameh Zalameh at Zochrot

Jonathan Ofir conducted a long interview with Teddy Katz. Katz was a student of Ilan Pappé at Haifa University who wrote his masters thesis on The Tantura massacre in May 1948, committed by Haganah forces just days after the declaration of the State of Israel. Katz’s well researched thesis contradicted the Zionist narrative of a humane occupation of Palestinian land.

Katz came under enormous pressure to renounce his research and the interview reveals how he came, under duress to sign a recantation.

The interview reveals how Israel’s commitment to academic freedom abruptly terminates when researchers reveal the basic flaws in the State’s Zionist narrative.

read interview in Mondoweiss

Emerging from a x91reign of terrorx92: Palestinians in Israel hold first BDS conference

Israel’s large Palestinian minority held its first-ever conference on BDS in February 2016 in spite of anti-boycott legislation introduced five years ago that exposes activists in Israel to harsh financial penalties.The conference – titled “BDS and ‘48 Palestinians: Between International Influences and Local Contexts” – had been a long time in the making.

One participant called it a sign that the Palestinian minority was slowly emerging from the law’s “reign of terror”.

Conference panel

Read Joanthan Cook’s report in Mondoweiss

Mental health professionals protest decision to hold conference in Jerusalem

Over 140 psychotherapists, researchers and other mental health professionals have written an open letter to the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) to express dismay at its decision to hold its next international conference in Jerusalem.

In the letter, the group of professionals called for the conference to move locations, explaining that Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including house demolitions, movement restrictions and imprisonment without trial, result in “insecurity, despair, helplessness and humiliation”.

Read the open letter
Report in the Middle East Monitor

Academics of Jewish origin defend Oxford University Labour Club against charges of antisemitism

10 UK academics of Jewish origin sent a message of support to Oxford University Labour Club after the club was accused of antisemitism for supporting Israel Apartheid Week. They told the club “As academics of Jewish origin we know what antisemitism looks and smells like and we know that IAW is not antisemitic”

Read the letter

Covertly, Israel prepares to fight boycott activists online

The Israeli government recently allotted nearly $26 million in this year’s budget to combat what it sees as worldwide efforts to “delegitimize” the Jewish state’s right to exist. Some of the funds are earmarked for Israeli tech companies, many of them headed by former military intelligence officers, for digital initiatives aimed at gathering intelligence on activist groups and countering their efforts.

Vaknin-Gil, the director general of Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy [hasbara] said her ministry is encouraging initiatives to expose the funding and curb the activities of anti-Israel activists, as well as campaigns to “flood the Internet” with content that puts a positive face on Israel. She said some of these actions will not be publicly identified with the government.

Read full report on Yahoo News

We will not work with Israel’s universities” say 343 UK academics

Academic Commitment launched in Guardian Advertisement

500 more signatures by end of first day Add your name

The call received worldwide coverage. You can follow links to the items we have come across.

  • In an unprecedented statement university teachers say they will not do business with Israel’s university institutions and system.
  • Professors and lecturers, Fellows of the Royal Society and Fellows of the British Academy say they will not visit Israel’s universities.
  • Academics from across 72 different institutions have made the Commitment, more expected to follow as campaign grows.
  • Full page advertisement in The Guardian newspaper on 26 October announces launch of the Commitment.
  • Israeli universities are “deeply complicit” with Israeli violations of international law.

A commitment signed by 343 academics across UK’s higher education system says they will not accept invitations for academic visits to Israel. They will not act as referees in activities related to Israel academic institutions, or cooperate in any other way with Israeli universities

This Academic Commitment is a response to the appeal for such action by Palestinian academics and civil society due to the deep complicity of Israeli academic institutions in Israeli violations of international law. Signatories have pledged to continue their commitment until Israel complies with international law, and respects Palestinian human rights.

View a copy of the Guardian advertisement
Read the press release from the commitment organisers

What you can do

We invite all UK based academics to sign this commitment and we invite academics world wide to initiate similar commitments in their own countries

  • Go to the Commitment website, and add your name;
  • Argue for the importance of using this commitment to show our solidarity with Palestinian academics, and all Palestinians, under occupation and siege
  • Forward the link to the Commitment website to all academic members of your department, and to all your academic lists;
  • Circulate the Commitment, and the invitation to add names, as widely as you can in your university;
  • Ask your UCU Branch Committee to circulate the statement and the invitation to all members – this is within current UCU policy;
  • Organise a campus meeting on the Commitment later this term or in the spring, contact BRICUP or the Commitment organisers to request a speaker.

Columbia University NY Faculty Call for Divestment

Acadremics at this leading US university announce they stand with Columbia University Apartheid Divest, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine as well as with Jewish Voice for Peace in calling upon the University to take a moral stance against Israel’s violence in all its forms. They demand that the University divest from corporations that supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people for over 68 years. They note that our position unequivocally stands in support of a non-violent movement privileging human rights as the only means toward finding a political resolution.

Read the decleration and signatories
Students say pro-Israel group spreads hate at Columbia University

Law firm sponsored pro-Israel events at Columbiax96 but only raised objection to x91Palestinex92 event

The law firm Milbank Tweed sponsored many pro-Israel events at Columbia Law School and a session on CIA torture, too, with its name plastered all over these events, and there was no problemx96 but it blew a gasket and reportedly asked for its money back from Harvard Law School because an event last October was pro-Palestine and had Milbankx92s name on it, thanking the firm for its support.

Read report in Modoweiss

Faculty for Justice in Palestine launched in USA

USACBI issued a call to launch Faculty for Justice in Palestine groups on campuses in order to provide a structure for faculty to engage in Palestine solidarity work and support SJP organizing and BDS campaigns.

Faculty at UC Davis, Kent State University, University of Florida, University of Hawai‘i and Purdue University have launched groups including faculty, graduate students, and staff.  Alternatively titled “Faculty for Justice in Palestine” or “Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine,” the members make a minimal commitment to the founding principles of USACBI.  USACBI has called on faculty, graduate students, and staff at other universities within and beyond the US to follow the lead of these solidarity formations to provide a structure for local organizing.

European call to defend the right to education in Palestine: EU must act now

AURDIP and BRICUP have written to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and to the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation to alert them to the dramatic situation of Palestinian students confronted by the new Israeli aggression which targets in particular Palestine’s youth and its education system. The letter urges the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

If you are an active or retired academic (whether in Europe or not) you can signify your support for this appeal by filling the signature form here. Your signature will appear with those of other supporters, and will be sent in due course to the European Commissioners.

Palestinian Universities under Occupation – delegation report published

In April 2015 three BRICUP members were part of a pan-European delegation that visited six Palestinian Universities to learn at first hand how the occupation undermines research, teaching and learning. There would have been four BRICUP delegates but one of us was refused entry at Tel Aviv Airport.

We were treated with great courtesy at all the universities where, in each case, we met the President of the University or their deputy as well as a great number of staff. students and trade union reps. They unanimously expressed great appreciation of the global movement for the academic boycott of Israel. Our meeting deepened our understanding of the indignities and disruption Israeli occupation imposes on Palestinian academics and the lack of concern expressed by Israeli academics for those who they should regard as their peers even when professors at Palestinian universities are arrested and detained without charge or trial.

While we all knew that the occupation disrupted Palestinian universities our visit taught us how the multitude of, what may be individually small, disruptions combine and interact to create total inability to conduct normal academic business. It is the combination of travel delays; the refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow the import of standard text-books; the delays or impossibility or acquiring mundane and innocuous materials necessary for teaching and research; the time spent freeing students from arbitrary arrest (or even finding out if they have been arrested and if so where they are held); the impossibility of employing overseas scholars to teach specialist modules; and so on and on and on.

Read the delegation report

Defend Academic Freedom at Southampton University

Latest developments

UK High Court upholds conference ban and undermines academic freedom

A high court judge decided that political pressure backed up by spurious claims of threats to health and safety outweighed academic freedom and upheld Southampton Univerity administration’s ban on the conference.

The conference organisers are determined that the conference will take place at a later date. They are urgently seeking a venue whose mangers believe that threats should not determine what may be discussed in Britain and that the discussion of the legal basis of the Israeli state must not be outlawed

UK High Court backs shutdown of Israel conference – The Electronic Intifada
Statement by the Conference Organisers

Appeal for funds: Defend Academic Freedom – Fight the ban on discussion of the legal
basis of Israel (or any other state)

Petition to uphold free speech & allow the conference on Israel and international law to proceed now has over 10,000 signatures – add your name

Haim Bresheeth has prepared an update on developments at Southampton University following the unprecedented ban of the academic conference on International Law and the State of Israel, on behalf of BRICUP. His article details the pressure Zionist organisations, Conservative MPs and Cabinet Ministers put upon the University administration. He demonstrates the falsity of the University’s claim that it cancelled the conference on Health and Safety grounds. The article places the cancellation of the Southampton conference in the context of cancellation of events promoting Palestinian rights at other UK and European Universities; increasing aggression by Israel; and an escalating campaign to label all criticism of Israel as anti-semitic.

The next stage of Israel’s game in the UK: Lawfare, silencing and
suppression – the test case in Southampton
– Haim Bresheeth

Update from the conference organisers -31 March
Free Speech and Academic Freedom trumped by Zionist Pressure – BRICUP press release

Academics’ statement in support of the University of Southampton

This statement has been overtaken by events

We, the undersigned academics, express principled and full support for the University of Southampton’s commitment to freedom of speech and scholarly debate.

We commend the University of Southampton administration, including Vice-Chancellor Don Nutbeam, for its resolute defence of academic freedom.

It is standing principle and recognised practice that academic conference organisers have the right to choose those speakers and topics they feel would best address the purposes of the conference, without these being dictated to them by outside parties. To the best of our knowledge, the conference invitations in this case are based on qualification to speak on the topic rather than on political positions held.

We affirm, as academics from various disciplines and institutions of higher education, that the themes of the conference, such as the relationship of international law to the historic and ongoing political violence in Palestine/Israel, and critical reflections on nationality and self-determination, are entirely legitimate subjects for debate and inquiry.

We are very concerned that partisan attempts are being made to silence dissenting analyses of the topic in question. For external pressure and interference, especially from political lobby groups and a government minister, to censor lawful academic discussion would set a worrying precedent.

We trust that the programme of ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’ will go ahead as planned, to the credit of the University of Southampton and all those involved.

Add your name to the statement
See the signatory list

Zionists threaten to boycott The Lancet for article on Gaza

On 24 August 2014 The Lancet published an open letter for the people in Gaza signed by Paola Manduca and 23 other doctors. This provoked a belligerent campaign by Israel’s defenders attacking not only the letter and its authors but also the journal itself and its editor. The open letter attracted over 20,000 additional signatories before The Lancet closed the list. The journal felt it necessary to publish the following unprecedented statement on its website ‘Following the response to “An open letter for the people in Gaza”, The Lancet has decided not to publish the names of signatories. We are concerned about several threatening statements to those signatories, which have recently been posted on social media.’

Mark Pepys and others issued an attack on Robert Horton, the distinguished editor of the Lancet which included, inter alia, such terms as: grossly irresponsible; vicious and deliberately inflammatory falsehoods; grave breach of editorial ethics; betrays the scientific process; malignant wilful disregard of honest and ethical. These outraged correspondents, opponents to a woman and man, of BDS as an abuse of academic exchange announced without a hint of irony that they would boycott the Lancet.

In April 2015 Richard Smith, a former editor of the BMJ and a co-founder of the Committee on Publication Ethics, published a determined defence of Richard Horton in the Independent:

Richard Horton has taken The Lancet back to its radical roots, speaking truth to power, holding the powerful to account and giving a voice to those who are not heard, like the children of Gaza. Most editors follow their readers, but the way Richard has led on global health is extraordinary.

The 500 complaining academics remind me of the White Russians, continuing to fight a battle that has been lost. The Committee on Publication Ethics has ruled there are no grounds for retracting the open letter, as has The Lancet’s ombudsman. Reed Elsevier, the journal’s owner, has sensibly stayed silent to avoid compromising the editorial independence of The Lancet, its most valuable possession.

Have all the academics actually read the highly intemperate, sometimes inaccurate letter they have signed? Academics should not be in the business of stifling free speech and putting their name to such bad prose

Most recently John Yudkin and Jennifer Leaning have published a BMJ editorial denouncing the Pepys attack; BRICUP chair Jonathan Rosenhead and BRICUP member and open leter signatory Derek Summerfield have responded to the editorial.

Add your name to the Hands off the Lancet response

Actors, writers and directors denounce demonisation of Palestinian Jenin Fredom Theatre

Leading theatre figures including Mark Rylance, Caryl Churchill, Maxine Peake and David Edgar have responded vigorously to a Daily Mail attack on the widely-applauded Jenin Thetreas terrorists. They say:

‘Neither the Daily Mail nor the Board of Deputies has seen Freedom Theatre’s play The Siege, yet both somehow feel qualified to suggest that it is “promoting terrorism”. Not for the first time, Palestinian voices are in danger of being drowned out by a vociferous pro-Israel lobby that smears all Palestinians as terrorists and antisemites. This lobby wants us to believe that theatre-goers in the UK cannot be trusted to hear these voices and make their own judgements.’

They endorse the words of British playwright Howard Brenton, an honorary director of the Freedom Theatre:

‘This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. [The Freedom Theatre] are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us.’

Artists for Palestine UK news release

Front-page attack in NY Times says BDS movement is driven by minoritiesx92 x91hostility toward Jewsx92

The main claim is that the BDS movement is led by darkskinned people who are angry at Jews: “College activists favoring divestment have cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a powerful forcex92s oppression of a displaced group, and have formed alliances with black, Latino, Asian, Native American, feminist and gay rights organizations on campus. The coalitions x97 which explicitly link the Palestinian cause to issues like police brutality, immigration and gay rights x97 have caught many longtime Jewish leaders off guard, particularly because they belonged to such progressive coalitions less than a generation ago”

The article ignores both Israeli crimes against humanity and increasing Jewish campus support for BDS.

Mondoeweiss report

Tel Aviv U supports Israeli army, military companies with fellowships

Tel Aviv University notes that the honorary fellowships are awarded to the recipients “for their unprecedented contribution to the strength and security of Israel and its citizens; the determination and vision in developing the Iron Dome system in the face of numerous obstacles and difficulties; many years of activity in service of the state, in the framework of the Israeli army and defense industries; the personal example in promoting cooperation in scientific research for the security of Israel; and enhancing the reputation of Israel for technological ingenuity, which is a source of pride for Jewish communities throughout the world.

Report from Alternative Information Centre

US Chicana and Chicano Studies Association backs BDS

The National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference took place in San Francisco from April 15-18, 2015. The business meeting, open to all members, took place on Saturday evening at the close of the conference. At the business meeting, the membership gave unanimous support to the Resolution to Support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. In addition, individual FOCOS (regional caucuses) and interest group Caucuses all voted to support the resolution.

Association press release on the vote

Over 100 academics protest about invitation of denier of Palestinian human rights to give keynote to philosphy event

Well over a hundred prominent academics from the Europe and the United States—including Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Rancière, Judith Butler, Angela Davis, Richard Falk, and Gayatri Spivak–have sent an open  letter to Mériam Korichi, Curator and Stage Director of A Night of Philosophy. The letter calls attention to the tremendous irony of having as one of the keynote speakers Monique Canto-Sperber. For a major event on philosophy, a field that is predicated on free inquiry and intellectual exploration, to give a forum on free speech to someone who, as the head of one of the major prestigious schools in France, was responsible for two of the most egregious acts of censorship of Palestinians and of critics of Israeli state policies, is beyond being a stark contradiction—it is appalling.

While the signatories recognize and respect Canto-Sperber’s right to speak at the event, they find it incumbent upon themselves to register hteir profound disappointment and to protest in the strongest terms possible that one of the key people you have selected to promote free speech at your Night of Philosophy has been an open practitioner of denying the same to Palestinians and their supporters.

Boycott for Peace; Divest for Justice; Sanctions for Liberty – BRICUP response to Board of Deputies attack on BDS

The Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) have performed a valuable service is compiling
the common mis-representations of the BDS campaign, along with a few original ones, in a
single glossy 50 page document A Better Way than Boycotts. BRICUP has analysed the document and prepared a response pointing out the misrepresentations and distrortions of the document spring from four false premises:

  • Firstly, that although the Israeli Government may have made mistakes, some serious, it has done nothing criminal or beyond the usual failures of democratic states.
  • Secondly, all calls for BDS arise from malevolence at best and outright antisemitism at worst.
  • Thirdly, there is no fundamental imbalance of power between Israelis and Palestinians and so an open and productive dialogue between equals can be straightforwardly fostered and will be effective.
  • Fourthly, that a two state solutions is desired by the Israeli government and is still a feasible outcome.

BRICUP’s response: Boycott for Peace; Divest for Justice; Sanctions for Liberty

Artists for Palestine UK launch pledge

Over 1000 UK based artists have signed a pledge to support Palestinian rights:

We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. In response to the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Read more and add your name

New booklet on The Case for a Cultural Boycott of Israel

The Case for a Cultural Boycott of IsraelOppose Witch-Hunt of Pro-Palestine Staff at the University of Sydney

Jake Lynch, who last year defeated the case brought against him by anti-BDS law firm Shurat HaDin, is again in the crosshairs of the Israel lobby in Australia. After an incident at Colonel Richard Kemp’s appearance at Sydney University on March 11, false accusations of anti-Semitism were made against Lynch and colleagues present at the talk. While these charges have since been thoroughly debunked, and dropped by the Zionist press that first circulated them, the university is still pushing ahead with an investigation into Lynch and others. It will announce whether it will lay disciplinary charges against them on Thursday April 9. 

Sydney Staff for BDS, is hosting an open letter to Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence, calling on him to reject these calls to discipline or sack staff involved in pro-Palestine activism at the University of Sydney. 

Read the open letter and add your name

The Business of Backlash: How wealthy zionists fund disruption of opposition to Israel on US campuses

IJAN, the International Jewish Anti-zionist Network has just published a detailed analysis of the individuals and foundations that are financing anti-Palestinian activity in the US, on campuses and elsewhere. The 120 page report includes five case studies on how disruption of campus campaigns were financed and organised; how donors pressurised universities; and the disinformatoin spread to undermine legitimate campaigns.

The report, which synthesizes thousands of pages of tax returns, demonstrates that a small handful of individuals, including right-wing donors Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, Newton and Rochelle Becker, the Sarah Scaife foundation and the Bradley foundation are responsible for a huge portion of this funding. These same donors, many of whom earned their wealth from or are invested in industries that profit from war and instability in the Middle East, are involved in attacks on other progressive causes.

Download the executive summary and full report

Protest against attempts to stop Prof Esak speaking at French Universities

Professor Farid Esak, a leading South African campaigner for Palestinian rights has approached BRICUP for help in getting people to support his protest against French attempts to stop him speaking. He wrote:

‘ My statement is self-explanatory. I require your support in getting the decision at the University of Paris 1 reversed and to put pressure on other French universities to not succumb to pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby to cancel my scheduled speaking engagements. This is the first time in my life that I am personally accused of anti-Semitism and so I feel really slighted. It is also about also about a bigger thing – the closing of intellectual spaces for people who believe that a particular religious or ethnic group, no matter how deep or genuine its historical wounds, should never be synonymized with an ideological invention.’

Read the statement and add your name

Zionists assault protestors at University of Sydney then claim victimhood

Students at the University of Sydney noisily, but non-violently, disrupted a talk by Gaza massacre apologist Colonel Richard Kemp. Members of the audience threw water a the protestors and kicked Professor Jake Lynch who intervened to try to halt the rough removal of the protestors by university security staff.

NSW zionist bodies and the Murdoch owned Australian then claimed that the audience were traumatised by the violence they were subjected to. Video evidence demonstrates that these claims are fictions and the protestors were clearly chanting against Israeli crimes and were not, in any sense, anti-semitic.

Blaming The Victims: What Really Happened At The Colonel Kemp USyd Protest – New Matilda

McGill students reject Justin Trudeau’s attack on Palestine activism and free speech

Students at McGill University in Montreal have ben campaigning for a divestment motion. This attracted the atention of Justin Trudeau. leader of Canada’s Liberal Party. He claimed the campaign was anti-semitic.

Students and professiors a the university responded furiously condemning his attack on thier right to campaign in defence of Palestinian rights and his contempt for free speech.

Canadian students reject Justin Trudeau’s attack on Palestine activism, free speech – Electronic Intifada

Noam Chomsky joined other widely respected international scholars in expressng outrage at Professor Fortier’s, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill, dismissal of the students’ protest at her condemnation of their BDS call. There was also a letter of protest from over 50 McGill professors and a letter from over 300 alumni.

Letters: profs, alumni, Noam Chomsky on Fortierx92s BDS statement – McGill Daily

Wesleyan University Flouts Hillel Ban on Pro-BDS Speakers

Further evidence of the fragmentation of US Jewish opposition to BDS. The Wesleyan University, Conneticut, Jewish Community, in an act of open defiance against its parent-organization Hillel International, hosted a “Jewish Voice for Peace Shabbat” on February 27, according to a statement issued by Wesleyan’s “Open Hillel” chapter. The group Jewish Voice for Peace advocates for the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and therefore is barred from all Hillel-affiliated events or institutions under the Hillel International “Standards of Partnership.”

Read fully story – Jewish Daily Forward

Let Northeastern Students Vote on Divestment

On Feb. 20, Northeastern University (Boston, USA) Students for Justice in Palestine received a memo from the student government cabinet disqualifying a proposed divestment referendum on the grounds that it would create a “hostile, threatening, intimidating, humiliating, or otherwise abusive environment” for students. We know that the opposite is true — divestment is a time-honored, nonviolent tool to rectify gross injustice. The full student government will decide on March 16 whether to allow a divestment vote or not.

Sign the petition to support the students

SOAS, London, Staff and Students back Academic Boycott

At the end of February Staff and Students at the prestigious London School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS) voted overwhelmingly to back the academic boycott of Israel. 73% of the over 2000 votes cast backed the boycott. They are calling on the School management to end its collaborative arrangements with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The campaign for a yes vote was backed both by UCU, the academics’ trade union, and UNISON, the support staff union as well as by the Student Union.

History of, and reports on, the campaign on Facebook

BRICUP and AURDIP write to EU to point out Israel’s breaches of their undertakings

Israel gave binding undertakings when the EU allowed Israel as a non-EU member to join the European Research area and share in EU research funding. Israel agreed to respect “for human rights and democratic principles which guide their domestic and international policies and are an
essential element of the Agreement.”

BRICUP and our French partners AURDIP have written to the EU commisioner for Research,
Innovation and Science
pointing out the repeated examples of how Israel has breached their undertaking and demanding that Israel’s participation in the ERA is suspended until it complies.

Toledo students back divestment

While Ohio State students are fighting their student government for their right to vote on divestment students at nearby University of Toledo overcame all the obstacles put in their path. Local and national Zionist organisations lobbied hard to stop their vote. They repeated the common slurs against BDS – that it was anti-Semitic; that it singled out Israel; and so on – but the student senate respected a 5400 signature petition and voted 21 to 4 to divest from companies which profit from Israeli violations of Palestinians’ rights.

This vote follows closely on similar victories at Northwestern University and Stanford University.

Ohio students approve Israel divestment vote by landslide

Imperial College London and University of Rome III cancel Palestine bookings at the last minute

Imperial College Islamic Society booked accomodation at the College for the 2015 Palestine Confererence wiht a range of repsected speakers including Mustafa Barghouti, Ilan Pappé and Ben White. At the last minute the College management cancelled the booking without providing any reason and the organisers had to post a Facebook notice announcing the change the day before the event.

The action by Imperial College follows on a similar move by the University of Rome III which denied an event’s organizers use of its prestigious Center for Italian and French Studies for a debate the use and abuse of identity in Europe and the Middle East, again due to feature Ilan Pappé. The debate was relocated to an alernative, less suitable, venue. While the University gave no substantive reason, a pro-Israel website, Informazione Corretta, claimed victory, stating that thanks to “friends in Rome,” the venue had been denied due to protests over its proximity to the city’s Jewish quarter.

The new venue was packed with a standing room only crowd, as was a last-minute overflow room, providing the opportunity to listen to an open debate in which Palestine was one issue in a wider conversation about power and knowledge.

After 10 years Israeli Apartheid Week spreads to over 200 cities

In March 2005, the Arab Students’ Collective, a campus organisation at the University of Toronto, held a series of local events to support Palestinians and protest Israeli policies. Hoping to broaden debate at the end of the second Intifada and on the eve of Israel’s redeployment of ground forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip, originally called “the separation plan,” they called their proceedings Israeli Apartheid Week.

A decade on, their creation has become an annual and globally-recognised event. This year, it will feature cultural and educational events, as well as public protests in more than 200 cities on six continents.

“In the wake of Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, this year’s IAW takes on even greater significance,” said Michael Deas, a London-based member of the IAW international coordination committee.

10 years after modest launch, Israeli Apartheid Week spans the globe – Midle East Eye
Students in Brussels defeat Israeli embassyx92s attempt to silence apartheid week events – Mondoweiss

Support Ohio State students right to vote on divestment

Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Panel has invalidated OSUDivest‘s petitions for inclusion on the ballot through a technicality that has been unevenly applied to others on the ballot and has no bearing on the integrity of the signatures we collected or the integrity of the upcoming USG election.

The disqualification of our initiative from tomorrow’s ballot is an attack on the more than 3,000 student voices that asked for this initiative to receive a fair hearing from our student body. That the Judicial Panel of USG delayed until the absolute, last possible moment to tell us about a perceived irregularity in our petitions, so that we had no time at all to defend ourselves or appeal the decision suggests this is not about technical violations of USG bylaws, but instead about a concerted effort to stop OSU students from voting on divestment.

Sign petition organised by OSUDivest

In a further move against supporters of Palestinian Rights the USG JP have informed the three Palestinian candidates for USG positions that they would also be removed for the ballot. The reason given by the JP was that they had not included their signatures on their nominating petitions, although they had already received approval to be on the ballot. Given the context of the decision, it clearly appears to be both retaliatory and discriminatory.

Paris 8 university shuts down ‘Israeli Apartheid is Real’ event featuring Max Blumenthal

AURDIP COMMUNIQUÉ – We have just learned that, once again, the presidency of the University Paris 8/Saint-Denis decided, at the last moment, to ban a conference, this one entitled Israel apartheid is real [featuring Max Blumenthal and Bilal Afandi]. The conference intended to shed light on Israel’s apartheid policy toward the Palestinian people, a policy that AURDIP itself has constantly condemned. As a collective of academics, we are outraged by this attack on academic freedom, the freedom of expression, and the freedom of open debate. As defenders of human rights and the respect of international law, we wish to express our deep dismay at the complicit silence that the administration of the University Paris 8 aims to force upon its students and faculty. We demand that the president of this university reverse a decision that can only exacerbate tensions while pretending to calm them.

Paris 8 university shuts down ‘Israeli Apartheid is Real’ event – Mondoweiss

Oppose xc9cole Polytechnique’s links with Technion

AURDIP has launched a petition opposing École Polytechnique’s links with Technion. École Polytechnique is one of France’s leading research universities while Technion, Israel’s leading technical research university which is heavily involved in developing drones and other weapons and surveillance systems used in the attack on Gaza and supporting the occupation.
The new double agreement involves the exchange of faculty and students and takes the first steps towards a joint masters level programme.
These agreements involve French academics in strengthening Technion’s weapons programmes and make the benefits of French research available to Technion for their own programmes.

Read and sign the petition
About Technion

How Israeli universities are supporting war crimes in Gaza

Israeli universities are proclaiming how they have supported the attack on Gaza.

Tel Aviv University dean Yoav Ariel told his students “The university is proud of all its students and thanks those who did reserve service, I wish us all a swift return to our blessed routine.” The university had already announced last month that it would be providing one year of tuition stipends to soldiers.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem sent out a letter declaring “The university is joining the war effort to support its warrior students, in order to minimize the financial burden” on those who were called up to join the attack on Gaza. The university called on “friends and alumni” to donate to a special scholarship fund and links to a donation page that allows gifts to be earmarked for the “Protective Edge” fund.

On 11 August, Haifa Rector David Faraji wrote to soldiers informing them that “… blesses your return and expresses great appreciation for your activity and contribution within the framework of your service in Operation Protective Edge.” His letter provides “details of the adjustments and benefits that have been decided upon, jointly with the student union.”

“Warrior students”: How Israeli universities are supporting war crimes in Gaza – Electronic Intifada gives a fuler account of the actions of these and other Universities

Account of Ordeal With the Israel Lobby and University of California

Professor William Robinson of UC Santa Barbara was the target of a campaign of intimidation, silencing, and political repression that included techniques described in the “Hasbara handbook” by the Israel lobby for his support of BDS; in contravention of academic freedom and university rules.

“I may well have been run from the university if it were not for graduate and undergraduate students (together with a handful of committed colleagues), who early on in the persecution set up the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom that launched a worldwide campaign in my defense. This in turn sparked a good portion of the faculty into action, several months into the campaign of persecution against me, to defend my academic freedom. “

As Repression Escalates on US Campuses, an Account of My Ordeal With the Israel Lobby and UC – Truthout

Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies calls for Academic boycott

BRICUP is one of the organisations endorsing the cinema and media call for academic boycott. The statement has already attracted almost 150 signatures. This call follows on from calls by philosphers, Middle East studies and African studies academics, Spanish academics and the Critical Ethnic Studies and African Literature Associations since Israel launched its latest assault on Gaza.

This call further demonstrates the growing anger of academics worldwide at Israel’s criminal activity, inflamed by events in Gaza but flowing from anger at the long history of occupation and blockade. The global academic community is stating clearly that it will not stand idly by but will actively support their Palestinian colleagues.

Imagine you are a Palestinian academic or a student

One of the reasons for the Academic Boycott is the way in which Israeli actions make normal university life impossible in Gaza and the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This account from Nazmi Al-Masri, a Professor of English at the Islamic University of Gaza, describes in detail how research and studying (and everyday life) are disrupted.

Imagine you are a Palestinian academic or a student – Mondoweiss

Philosophers and political theorists call for academic boycott of Israel

Over 100 philosophers and political theorists have issued a public call for the academic boycott. They say

“As academics, we specifically support an academic boycott, by which we mean a principled refusal to associate with Israeli academic institutions that have not explicitly condemned the occupation. The urgency of this measure is underlined by the fact that, so far, not a single Israeli academic institution has issued such a condemnation, and many have even made their support for the state’s recent actions clear – witness the University of Tel Aviv’s recent offer to waive a year’s fees for students who served in the attack on Gaza, whilst threatening to discipline students for criticising Israeli forces on social media.”

Add your name

1,200 Spanish University professors and researchers demand break academic relationships with Israel

As members of the [Spanish] university community, we answer the call of Palestinian society and Palestinian universities for people and NGOs around the world to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. This is the most peaceful and effective way of making Israel comply with international law. The BDS campaign against Israel started in 2005 in response to Israel’s constant human rights violations and the lack of determination of other countries and international organisations to take effective action. The campaign is inspired by the successful experience of the international boycott of South Africa, which brought down apartheid. It has received the support of outstanding activists like the Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, progressive Jewish organisations such as the Jewish Voice for Peace and a growing number of Israeli academics. This shows how BDS is an effective way for us to put international pressure, through non-violent action, on Israel to respect Palestinian Rights.

Read call in full

Over 400 African Scholars call for boycott (now over 600)

African Scholars have added their voices to the call for Academic Boycott

“We, the undersigned African scholars and scholars of Africa, hold that silence about the latest humanitarian catastrophe caused by Israel’s new military assault on the Gaza Strip—the third and most devastating in six years—constitutes complicity. Member states of NATO which mounted an air war on Libya ostensibly to protect civilians in Benghazi have been by and large quiet about the fate of civilians in Gaza. World governments and mainstream media do not hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. We, however, as a community of scholars have a moral responsibility to do so. ..”

Read the call and add your name

US University withdraws job from Steven Salaita for Gaza comments

Dr. Steven Salaita, a Palestinian American and world-renowned scholar, was fired from his new position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) because of his public criticism of the U.S.-sponsored Israeli massacres in Gaza. He was also a prominent campaigner for the American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions last December.

Letter from BRICUP and AURDIP to the Chancellor of UIUC
Send an email to UIUC
Sign petition demanding reinstatement
Sign a call to people of conscience not to speak at the University of Illinois Urbana -Champaign
Academic heavyweights slam Univ. of Illinois firing of Steven Salaita for Palestine views – Electronic Intifada
A (poor) defence of the UIUC decision
Return of the blacklist? Cowardice and censorship at the University of Illinois – Salon

Staff of Hague International Institute of Social Studies call on Dutch Government to implement BDS

96 professors and staf fof of the IISS in the Hague have endorsed BDS and stated:

The example of the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa shows that offending governments do not easily change their ways unless put under intense diplomatic pressure. It took decades of struggle to achieve the abolition of apartheid. What helped in this struggle was the work of countless numbers of individuals, organizations and institutions across the world, and in the Netherlands, that acted in solidarity with the oppressed. Equally important were the actions of world governments, including the Dutch Government, that took a stand against the oppressors. We therefore ask the Dutch Government to officially implement boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel.

Read the full statement

Over 100 Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (now over 400)

Following in the footsteps of the growing number of U.S. academic associations that have endorsed boycott resolutions, we call on our colleagues in Middle East Studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and we pledge not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel. We call for doing so until such time as these institutions end their complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law, and respect the full rights of Palestinians by calling on Israel to:

  1. End its siege of Gaza, its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and dismantle the settlements and the walls;
  2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the stateless Negev Bedouins to full equality; and
  3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194. 

Read the full statement
Sign the Middle East Scholars and Librarians Call

Palestine Trade Unions issue renewed call to boycott Israel

The Palestinian Boycott National Committee has issued a call for international support for the Saturday 9 August Day of Rage on Gaza: ‘Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel‘. As part of the call Palestinian trade unions are:

“calling on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel. The trade union movement has a proud history of direct action against Apartheid in South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions has joined us in the call for direct action to end Israel’s impunity.”

Tricycle Theatre boycotts Israeli Embassy funded film festival

The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London has reponded to protests at the theatre last year against their hosting of the 2013 Israeli Film Festival. Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle said in relation to their decisoin to withdraw form the 2014 festival, “The festival receives funding from the Israeli embassy and given the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, we feel it is inappropriate to accept financial support from any government agency involved.”

The Tricycle Theatre is a leading London fringe theatre with a distinguished record of mounting radical plays.

Tricycle Theatre in Jewish film festival row over Israeli funding – BBC News

National Union of Students vote to support BDS

The British NUS has long opposed BDS but in a dramatic reversal of policy it has agreed that it would support local student unions who “impose sanctions on Israel” and it would “support campaigns to boycott Israeli products on their university campuses.”

An NUS spokesperson said: “The motion passed by our national executive council commits us to ensuring that, as far as is practical, NUS does not employ or work with companies identified as facilitating Israel’s military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity, and to actively work to cut ties with those that do.”

Report of decision in Jewish Chronicle

Largest UK trade union calls for BDS

Unite, the largest UK trade union passed a resolution which commits it to develop a “campaigning and leverage strategy around BDS within the next 12 months” at its annual policy conference.

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