Call to Boycott the Oral History Conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem : Open Letter

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Note of 12/1/2013 : In light of the recent withdrawal of the two international keynote speakers, the text of the original letter/boycott call of 8/12/2013 has been revised and re-formatted. See the revised version and the upadated signatures to 12/25/2013.

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The following open letter was issued on August 12 to oral historians and scholars planning to attend the June 2014 International Conference on Oral History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The letter is signed by 377 scholars, and endorsed by the following Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns : Academics for Palestine (Ireland) ; AURDIP (France) ; BAB (Germany) ; BOYCOTT ! (Israel) ; BRICUP (UK) ; InCACBI (India) ; PACBI (Palestine) ; PBAI (Spain) ; USACBI (USA) - and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel) ; Groundwell : Oral Historians for Social Change, core working group ; Independent Jewish Voices Canada ; University of Toronto SJP (Canada) ; SJP of UCLA – and by Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, anti-apartheid activist and writer. To add your name to this list of signatories please email : hebrewuconferenceboycott chez gmail.com Download a PDF of the letter (update 11/15/2013).

CAMPAIGN TO BOYCOTT THE ORAL HISTORY CONFERENCE AT HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

hebrewuconferenceboycott chez gmail.com

August 12, 2013 (signatures updated November 15, 2013)

Dear Colleagues :

We are a group of Palestinian, Israeli, and other oral historians and academics from Europe, South Africa, and North America calling on you to boycott the June 2014 ‘International Conference on Oral History’ organised by the Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While all Israeli universities are deeply complicit in the occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy, as we explain below.

Your actions have a direct impact on our joint struggle for a just peace in Palestine-Israel and on our solidarity with fellow Palestinian academics whose universities have been closed down, blockaded and even bombed by Israeli aircraft in the last three decades ; universities which have been subjected to a lengthy and brutal Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Specifically, the land on which some of its MountScopus campus buildings and facilities were expanded was acquired as a result of Israel’s 1968 illegal confiscation of 3345 dunums of Palestinian land. [1] This confiscated land in East Jerusalem is occupied territory according to international law. Israel’s unilateral annexation of occupied East Jerusalem into the State of Israel, and the application of Israeli domestic law to it, are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and have been repeatedly denounced as null and void by the international community, including by the UN Security Council (Resolution 252, 21 May 1968). Moving Israeli staff and students to work and live on occupied Palestinian land places the HebrewUniversity in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Further, the university is complicit in the unequal treatment of Palestinians, including those who are citizens of Israel. [2] For instance, it does not provide teaching services to the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in contrast to those provided to Jewish groups ; no courses are offered in Arabic. [3] Additionally, the HebrewUniversity has chosen to remain silent when the entire population of Gaza has been excluded from the possibility to enrol and study in the university by the Israeli government. Palestinian students from Gaza have a better chance of getting into a university in the U.S than into HebrewUniversity.

The Hebrew University administration restricts the freedom of speech and protest of its few Palestinian students. For example, it had forbidden a commemoration event for the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces. [4] On the other hand, the Hebrew University offered special considerations and benefits to students who participated in that invasion as soldiers.

In December 2012 Israel’s Minister of Defence approved recognition of Arie lUniversity in the illegal colony of Ariel as an Israeli university in the Israeli academic system. As a result, staff from the Hebrew University take part in the supervision and promotion committees of students and staff from the colonial university of Ariel ; and the (Jewish only) staff takes part in the supervision and in promotion committees for Hebrew University students and staff. The Hebrew University recognizes academic degrees awarded by the Arie lUniversity, which is built on confiscated Palestinian land and surrounded by Palestinian communities, but does not recognize degrees awarded by the nearby Al-Quds University. [5]

Ironically, the oral history conference is organised by an institute named after Avraham Harman, President of the Hebrew University from 1968 to 1983. As President of the Hebrew University he was directly responsible for the rebuilding and expansion of the original campus on Mount Scopus built on land illegally confiscated from Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

At a time when the international movement to boycott Israeli academic and cultural institutions is gaining ground in response to Israel’s flagrant and persistent infringement of Palestinian human and political rights, we urge scholars and professionals to reflect upon the implications of taking part in a conference at a complicit institution, and to refrain from such participation. The conference is an attempt to improve the image and reputation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the West and to cover up for the fact that the university is closely associated with Israeli annexation and ‘Separation/Apartheid Wall’ policies—policies that were strongly condemned on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.[6]

Since the hegemonic world powers are actively complicit in enabling and perpetuating Israel’s colonial and oppressive policies, we believe that the only avenue open to achieving justice and upholding international law is sustained work on the part of Palestinian and international civil society to put pressure on Israel and its complicit institutions to end this oppression.

Inspired by the successful cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, in 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of institutions involved in Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. The Palestinian call appealed to the international academic community, among other things, to “refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” [7].

Following this, in 2005, an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society called for an all-encompassing BDS campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality [8]. The BDS movement adopts a nonviolent, morally consistent strategy to hold Israel accountable to the same human rights and international law standards as other nations. It is asking the international academic community to heed the boycott call, as it did in the struggle against South African apartheid, until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem ; removes all its colonies in those lands ; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights ; and dismantles its system of apartheid” [9].

Paralleling the Apartheid era boycott of complicit South African universities, we believe that participation in academic conferences or similar events in Israel – regardless of intentions- can only contribute to the prolongation of this injustice by normalizing and thereby legitimizing it. It inadvertently contributes to Israel’s efforts to appear as a normal participant in the world of scholarship while at the same time it practices the most pernicious form of colonial control and legalized racial discrimination against Palestinians.

Until Israel fully complies with international laws and conventions, we sincerely hope that international academics will not participate in endorsing their violations and the basic human rights of Palestinians – even if inadvertently. We call on our colleagues to treat Israel exactly the same way that most of the world treated racist South Africa – or indeed any other state that legislates and practices apartheid : as a pariah state. Only then can Palestinians hope for a just peace based on international law, respect for human rights, and, more crucially, on the fundamental principle of equality for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or other identity considerations.

We, therefore, urge you to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem oral history conference and to call on your colleagues to refuse to participate in it ; to refuse to cross the Palestinian picket line.

[Note : All footnotes are at the end of the document following a note on academic freedom.]

Sincerely,

1. Professor Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Bures-sur-Yvette, France

2. Professor Saleh Abdel Jawad (Hamayel), Birzeit University, Palestine

3. Dr. Stéphanie Latte Abdallah, ; Researcher, French Institute for the Near East ( IFPO) Jerusalem, Palestine

4. Dr. Adnan Abdelrazek - The Arab Studies Society – Jerusalem, Palestine

5. Professor Nahla Abdo Carleton University, Ottawa Canada

6. Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi, Independent researcher, writer, poet, Palestine

7. Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative - College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University, USA

8. Hala Caroline Abou-Zaki, Phd Student, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France

9. Line Abou Zaki, Clinical psychologist, Lebanon

10. Professor Nadia Abu el Haj, Barnard/Columbia University, USA

11. Professor Saed Abu-Hijleh, An-Najah National University Nablus, Palestine

12. Professor Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA

13. Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Researcher, UK

14. Professor Nadia Abu- Zahra, University of Ottawa, Canada

15. Professor Cristina Accornero, Università di Torino, Italy

16. Professor Ghada Ageel, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

17. Professor Mumtaz Ahmad, Vice President (Academic Affairs), International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

18. Mazen Mustafa AlAbadlah, Al-Aqsa University, Palestine

19. Akkas Al-Ali, PhD candidate, University of Exeter, UK

20. Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Germany

21. Professor Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon

22. Majeda Al-Saqqa, Culture and Free Thought Association, Khan Younis, Gaza, Palestine

23. Professor (emeritus) Mateo Alaluf, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

24. Professor Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, City of New York, USA

25. Dr. Diana Allan, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

26. Professor Lori Allen, University of Cambridge, England

27. Professor Nina Allen, Suffolk University, Boston, USA

28. Dr. Valentina Anastasi, Independent researcher, Catania, Italy

29. Professor Marcos Ancelovici, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), Canada

30. Professor Rachad Antonius, University of Quebec Montreal (UQAM), Canada

31. Dr. Miriyam Aouragh, CAMRI, University of Westminster, UK

32. Professor (emeritus) Nasser Aruri, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA

33. Professor (retired) William Ayers, University of Illinois-Chicago ; Cyprus Oral History Project, USA

34. Professor Alice Bach (retired), Archbishop Hallinan Professor of Religious Studies,
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH, USA

35. Professor Angelo Baracca, University of Florence, Italy

36. Gustavo Barbosa, PhD candidate, London School of Economics, UK

37. Professor Amjad Barham, Hebron University, President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, Palestine

38. Ryvka Barnard, Doctoral student, New York University, USA

39. Professor Javier Barreda, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain

40. Professor Isaías Barreñada, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain

41. Professor Enrico Bartolomei, University of Macerata, Italy

42. Professor Munir Bashour, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

43. Professor Oren Ben-Dor, Southampton University, England

44. Julie Benedetto, student, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lyon, France

45. Specialist Israel Morales Benito, University of Alicante, Spain

46. Bonita Bennett, Director, District Six Museum, Capetown, South Africa

47. David Beorlegui, PhD candidate, Basque Country University, Spain

48. Professor Dan Berger, University of Washington Bothell, USA

49. Dr. Rima Berns-McGown, Independent Researcher/Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

50. Professor Doris Bittar, California State University San Marcos, USA

51. Professor Dusan I. Bjelic, Department of Criminology, University of Southern Maine, USA

52. Professor Maylei Blackwell, Departments of Chicana/o Studies, and Gender Studies, UCLA, USA

53. Dr. Susan Blackwell, Independant language consultant, Birmingham UK

54. Professor Hagit Borer, Queen Mary, University of London, England

55. Professor (emerita) Joanna Bornat , Open University, UK

56. Dr. Samia Botmeh, Birzeit University, Palestine

57. Professor Glenn Bowman, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

58. Dr. Robert Boyce, London School of Economics and Political Science, London University, UK

59. Professor Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, University of London, England

60. Dr. Khaldun Bshara, scholar, Riwaq Centre, Ramallah, Palestine

61. Professor (emeritus) Jacques Bude, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

62. Professor Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley, USA

63. Professor Angeles Castaño Madroñal, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

64. Ines Castellano Picón, Phd Student, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

65. Professor Jesús M. Castillo, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

66. Professor John Chalcraft, London School of Economics, UK

67. Professor Iain Chambers, Università degli Studi di Napoli, "L’Orientale," Italy

68. Professor Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton, England

69. Professor Elise Chenier, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

70. Dr Indira Chowdhury, IOHA Council member ; Centre for Public History - Bangalore, India

71. Nikoletta Christodoulou, Frederick University, Nicosia ; Cyprus Oral History Project, Cyprus

72. Professor (retired) Raymonde Cloutier, University of Quebec (UQAM), Montreal, Canada

73. Professor Elliott Colla, Georgetown University, USA

74. Dr. Jane Collings, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

75. Dr Peter Collins, St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Ireland

76. Prof. Dr. David Mario Comedi, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina

77. Professor Miriam Cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University, USA

78. Susan Currie, PhD student, Central Queensland University, Australia

79. Mike Cushman, Independent researcher, London, England

80. Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York, USA

81. Professor Nabil Dajani, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

82. Professor Edwin Daniel (emeritus) University of Alberta Canada

83. Professor (emeritus) Eric David, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

84. Professor Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, USA

85. Mary Ellen Davis, Instructor, School of Cinema, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

86. Dr. Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University, USA

87. Dr. Uri Davis, AL-QUDS University, Jerusalem, Palestine

88. Professor (emerita) Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Université Paris, France

89. Professor Lara Deeb, Scripps College, USA

90. Professor Herman De Ley, Ghent University, Belgium

91. Prof Philippe Denis, Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

92. Rafel Gustavo de Oliveira, MSc student, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil

93. Professor Angeles Diez Rodriguez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

94. Professor Anne-Marie Dillens, University Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium

95. Professor John Docker, University of Sydney, Australia

96. Professor Chris Dole, Amherst College, USA

97. Professor Angelo d’Orsi, University of Turin, Italy

98. Professor Ann Douglas, Columbia University, New York, USA

99. Professor Laurence Dreyfus, University of Oxford, UK

100. Professor (emeritus) John Dugard, University of Leiden ; Honorary Professor
of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa

101. Professor Louise Edwards-Simpson, Project Director, Voices of Homelessness, St. Catherine University St Paul, Minnesota, USA

102. Professor Haidar Eid, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, Palestine

103. Professor Paul Eid, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada (UQAM)

104. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, PhD-candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.

105. Oroub El-Abed, Senior Teaching Fellow SOAS, London University, UK

106. Professor Nada Elia, Antioch University-Seattle, Washington, USA

107. Professor Mary Fakher-Eldin, University College, Dublin, Ireland

108. Professor Hoda Elsadda, Cairo University, Egypt

109. Professor Samera Esmeir, University of California, Berkeley, USA

110. Professor Ghazi-Walid Falah, University of Akron, Ohio, USA

111. Professor Laila Farah, DePaul University, USA

112. Professor Randa Farah, University of Western Ontario, Canada

113. Professor (emeritus), Emmanuel Farjoun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

114. Dr. Adel Farrag, (retired) Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland

115. Professor Mona Fawaz, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

116. Professor (emeritus) Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University,
Fresno, USA

117. Professor Ilana Feldman, George Washington University, USA

118. Dr. Sean Field, Historical Studies Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa

119. Arie Finkelstein, student, Université Paris Est, France

120. Professor Ellen Fleischmann, University of Dayton, Ohio, USA

121. Senior Scholar Bill Fletcher, Jr., Institute for Policy Studies ; former President, TransAfrica Forum, Washington, DC, USA

122. Professor Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic University, San Luis
Obispo, USA

123. Professor (emeritus) Giorgio Forti, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

124. Dr. Naomi Foyle, Coordinator of British Writers In Support of Palestine, UK

125. Professor Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawaiʻi, USA

126. Daniela Fuentealba Rubio, Investigator/archivist, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile

127. Professor Candace Fujikane, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA

128. Professor Nell Gabiam Iowa State University, USA

129. Professor (retired) Rosemary Galli, Observatorio das Nacionalidades, Brazil

130. Professor Jose Maria Gago Gonzalez, Member, Seminario de Fuentes Orales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

131. Professeur des Ecoles (en retraite) Marie Gérôme, Ecole de Viuz, Faverges, France

132. Professor Julie Gervais, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

133. Khalil Mohammad Gharra – student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine

134. Ana Ghoreishian, PhD student, University of Arizona, USA

135. Professor Rita Giacaman, Birzeit University, Palestine

136. Dr. Terri Ginsberg, ICMES, New York, USA

137. Professor (emerita) Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University, Long Beach, USA

138. Professor Paula Godinho, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

139. Professor Heather Goodall, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

140. Professor (emeritus) Yerach Gover, City University of New York, USA

141. Professor Michel Gros, CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, Rennes, France

142. Professor Regina Beatriz Guimarães Neto. Universidade Federal de Pernambuco ; 2006-2008 President Brazilian Oral History Association, 2008-2010/Brazil

143. Professor Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University, USA

144. Professor Ghassan Joseph Hage, University of Melbourne, Australia

145. Professor (emerita) Elaine Hagopian, Simmons College, Boston, USA

146. Dr. Andrea Hajek, University of Glasgow, UK

147. Professor (emerita) Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

148. Emad Hamdeh, PhD student, Exeter University, UK

149. Lecturer Rola Hamed, University College, Cork, Ireland

150. Professor Carrie Hamilton, University of Roehampton, UK

151. Dr. Rema Hammami, Birzeit University, Palestine

152. Professor Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

153. Karen S. Harper, community oral historian, Historical Society of Long Beach, California, USA

154. Professor Michael Harris, Université Paris-Diderot, France

155. Dr. Jason Hart, Senior lecturer, University of Bath UK

156. Professor Rumy Hassan, University of Sussex, UK

157. Professor Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State University, Lansing, USA

158. Professor Frances Hasso, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

159. Milton Hatoum, writer, translator and professor, Brazil

160. Professor Laia Haurie, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

161. Karim Hauser Askalani, Journalist, Casa Árabe Consortium, Madrid, Spain

162. Dr Mahmoud Hawari, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK

163. Professor Desiree E. Hellegers, Washington State University Vancouver, Washington, USA

164. Professor Sami Hermez, University of Pittsburgh, USA

165. Professor Elena Hernández Sandoica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

166. Shir Hever, Independent Economist/Researcher, Palestine-Israel

167. Professor (emeritus) Nicholas Hopkins, American University-Cairo, Egypt

168. Professor Nubar Hovsepian, Chapman University, Orange, California, USA

169. Professor (emeritus ) Heinz Hurwitz, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

170. Professor Takeji Ino, Wayo Women’s University, Japan

171. Perla Issa, PhD candidate, Exeter University, UK

172. Kumiko Isumisawa, Chief Librarian, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan

173. Professor Ferran Izquierdo Brichs, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

174. Dr Hana Jaber, Histoire du Monde arabe contemporain, Collège de France, Paris, France

175. Professor Richard Jackson, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, NZ

176. Hazem Jamjoum, PhD student, New York University, USA/Palestine

177. Dr. Colleen Jankovic, US Film Scholar, Al-qaws organization, AlQuds/Jerusalem, Palestine

178. Tineke E. Jansen, Independent researcher, former IOHA Council member, England

179. Professor Maher Jarrar, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

180. Dr.Lena Jayyusi, Researcher, author, Palestine

181. Chrischene Julius, Collections, Research and Documentation Dept District Six Museum, South Africa

182. Professor Ray Jureidini, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

183. Professor Sharif Kanaana (retired), Birzeit University, Palestine

184. Professor Rhoda Kanaaneh, Columbia University, New York, USA

185. Samar Kanafani, PhD Candidate, University of Manchester, UK

186. Professor, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA

187. Dr. Fatma Kassem, Independent researcher, Israel

188. Professor Robin D. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

189. Emma Jean Kelly, PhD Candidate, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand

190. Dr. Bryan Kelly, Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland

191. Professor Emeritus Douglas Kerr, Case Western Reserve University, USA

192. Professor Amy Kesselman (emerita), State University of New York at New Paltz, USA

193. Dr. Abdulhadi Khalaf (retired) Center of Middle East Studies, Lund University, Sweden

194. Professor Muhammad Ali Khalidi, York University, Canada

195. Professor Tarif Khalidi, Center for Arab & ME Studies, American University, Beirut Lebanon

196. Professor Asem Khalil, Birzeit University, Palestine

197. Dr. Laleh Khalili, Reader in Politics, SOAS, University of London, England

198. Dr. Agnes Khoo, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK

199. Dr. Miyuki Kinjo, Post-doctoral researcher (Palestine/Israel), Ritsumeikan University, Japan

200. Professor Gary Kinsman, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada

201. Professor David Klein, California State University, Northridge, USA

202. Dr. Felipe Gustavo Koch Buttelli, Lecturer in the Religions Science Faculty, Regional University of Blumenau (FURB), Brazil

203. Dr. Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach, USA

204. Professor Rubén Kotler, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina

205. Professor Eileen Kuttab, Birzeit University, Palestine

206. Professor Hidemitsu Kuroki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan

207. Dr. C S Lakshmi, SPARROW Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women, Mumbai India

208. Dr David Landy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

209. Professor Nadia Latif, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA

210. Professor Bonita Lawrence (Mi’kmaw), Indigenous Studies, York University, Canada

211. Zoe Lawlor, University of Limerick Language Centre, Ireland

212. Dr. Clint LeBruyns, Theology and Development Program, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

213. Professor Ronit Lentin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

214. Dr. Les Levidow, Open University, UK

215. Professor Miren Llona, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea ; former Council member, IOHA, Spain

216. Professor David Colles Lloyd, University of California, Riverside

217. Dr. Elisabeth Longuenesse, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France

218. Professor Maria Losé Lera, Seville University, Spain

219. Arab Lotfi, film maker, university lecturer, journalist, writer, Lebanon

220. Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Kings College, University of London, England

221. Dr. Alex Lubin, Director, Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut ; University of New Mexico (on leave) – USA/Lebanon

222. Dr. Kenneth Macnab (retired), University of Sydney, Australia

223. John Marquez, PhD Student, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

224. Hala Marshood, Student, Humanities Faculty, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine

225. Dr. Michael Marten, Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies and Religion, University of Stirling, Scotland

226. Professor Rocio Medina Martin, Universidad Pablo de Olavide Sevilla, España

227. Professor Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, England

228. Dr. Norma Masriyyeh, Bethlehem University, Palestine

229. Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University, New York, USA

230. Marie-eve Mathieu, teacher, Édouard-Montpetit College, Canada

231. Professor Dina Mattar, SOAS, University of London, England

232. Dr. Rachel Mattson, public historian, archivist, educator, New York, USA

233. Professor (lecturer) Mary McDonald-Rissanen University of Tampere, Finland

234. Des McGuinness, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Ireland

235. Dr. Bill McSweeney, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

236. Dr. Daniel Meier, University of Oxford, UK

237. Dr. Willem Meijs, independent language consultant, Birmingham, UK

238. Professor Anne Meneley, Trent University, Canada

239. Meena R. Menon, author and oral historian, Delhi, India

240. Professor Laurie K. Mercier, Washington State University Vancouver, USA

241. Professor William Messing, University of Minnesota, USA

242. Jennifer Mogannam, Ph. D. candidate, University of California, San Diego

243. Professor Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University, New York, USA

244. Professor Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto, Canada

245. Professor Antonio Montenegro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil

246. Professor Annalies Moors, Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

247. Professor Amir Mufti, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

248. Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino, USA

249. Professor Suroopa Mukherjee, University of Delhi, India-

250. Dr. Corinna Mullin, University of Tunis, Tunisia

251. Professor (emerita) Martha Mundy, London School of Economics, UK

252. Dr. M.J. Muskens, University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands

253. Professor Cynthia Myntti, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

254. Dr. Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford, UK

255. Professor Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, City of New York, USA

256. Professor Eiji Nagasawa, Vice Director, Institute for Advanced Study on Asia, The University of Tokyo, Japan

257. Dr. Khalil Nakhleh, researcher and writer, Palestine

258. Dr. Dorothy Naor, Independent researcher, Israel

259. Professor Salem H. Nasser, São Paulo School of Law of Fundação Getúlio Vargas), Brazil

260. Dr. Marcy Newman, Independent Scholar, India

261. Dr. Sonia Nimr, Birzeit University, Palestine

262. Professor Isis Nusair, Denison University, Ohio, USA

263. Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, University College Cork, Ireland

264. Dr. Féilim Ó’Hadhmaill, University College Cork, Ireland

265. Professor Mari Oka, Kyoto University, Japan

266. Professor Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University, New York, USA

267. Hussein Omar, PhD student, University of Oxford, UK

268. Imranali Panjwani, PhD student, Kings College, University of London, UK

269. Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University, England

270. Professor Paul Parker, Baltzer Distinguished Professor of Religion, Elmhurst College, USA

271. Dr Nigel Parsons, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University, NZ

272. Dr. Professor Jaime Pastor, Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Spain

273. Professor Willie Van Peer, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

274. Dr. Ana Pego, Business and Economic Studies Department, Open University, Lisbon, Portugal

275. Professor Sylvain Perdigon, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

276. Professor Julie Peteet, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA

277. Dr. Elizabeth Picard, Directeur de Recherche (emerita), National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France

278. Professor Gabriel Piterberg, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

279. David Polden, independent researcher, Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, London, UK

280. Dr. Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick, UK

281. Dr. Nicolas Puig, Researcher, L’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France

282. Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University, New Delhi, India

283. Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Palestine

284. Dua’a Qurie, Executive Director, The Palestinian NGO Network, Ramallah, Palestine

285. Jorge Ramos Tolosa, researcher and professor, Universitat de València, Spain

286. Professor Marwan Rashed, Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne, Paris

287. Professor Stuart Rees, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

288. Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, Exeter University, UK

289. Professor (emerita) Rosalie Riegle, Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, USA

290. Professor Martina Rieker, American University of Cairo, Egypt

291. Dr. Rebecca Roberts, Independent scholar, UK

292. Professor Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA

293. Professor Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex, UK

294. Professor Vincent Romani, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada

295. Professor (emerita) Hilary Rose, University of Bradford & Gresham College, London, UK

296. Professor (emeritus) Steven Rose, Open University & Gresham College, London, UK

297. Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics, University of London, UK

298. Dr. Alice Rothchild, MD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, USA

299. Dr. Bashir Saade, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

300. Professor Hanan Sabea, American University-Cairo, Egypt

301. Professor Fatima Sadiqi, Senior Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies ; Co-founder, International Institute for Languages and Cultures (INLAC), Fez, Morocco

302. Ann Sado, Independent lecturer, former Board member, Japan Oral History Association, Tokyo

303. Professor (emeritus) Sadao Sakai, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan

304. Professor Masaki Sakiyama, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

305. ****

306. Professor Ruba Salih, SOAS, University of London, UK

307. Professor Nisreen Salti, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

308. Dr. Adel Samara, author, editor Kanaan Review, Occupied Palestine

309. Mandy Sanger, Education Manager, District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa

310. Dr. Leena Saraste, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

311. Professor Cecilia Sardenberg, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil

312. Professor Surajit Sarkar - Ambedkar University, Delhi. India

313. Dr. Rosemary Sayigh, Center for Arab and ME Studies,American University of Beirut, Lebanon

314. Professor (emeritus) Robert M. Schaible, University of Southern Maine, USA

315. Professor (emeritus) Pierre Schapira, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

316. Dr. Leonardo Schiocchet, Guest Researcher, Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Post-doctoral grantee CAPES, Brazil

317. Professor Sarah Schulman, ACT UP Oral History Project, New York, USA

318. Professor Richard Seaford, University of Exeter, UK

319. Professor (Emerita) Evalyn F. Segal, PhD, San Diego State University, USA

320. Professor May Seikaly, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

321. Professor Sherene Seikaly, American University in Cairo, Egypt

322. Professor Jihane Sfeir, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

323. Dr. Anthony F. Shaker, Visiting Scholar McGill University, Montreal, Canada

324. Professor Anton Shammas, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

325. Dorothy Sheridan, Honorary Professor of History (retired), University of Sussex , UK.

326. Dr. Magid Shihade, Birzeit University, Palestine

327. Professor (emeritus) Kazuko Shiojiri, University of Tsukuba ; Tokyo International University ; Director, Institute of International Exchange (IIET), Japan

328. Professor Andor Skotnes, Chair, Dept. of History and Society, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, USA

329. Professor Souad Slim, University of Balamand, Lebanon

330. Richard Saumarez Smith, Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

331. Dr. Graham Smith, Oral History Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London

332. Dr. Kobi Snitz, Weizmann Institute, Israel

333. Professor Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law, Washington, USA

334. Dr. Jane Starfield, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

335. Professor Ted Steinberg, Case Western Reserve University, USA

336. Suzy Subways, SLAM ! Herstory Project, New York, NY

337. Professor Akiko Sugase, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan

338. Dr. Ziad Suidan, Independent scholar, USA

339. Dr Mayssun Sukarieh , Fellow, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University. USA.

340. Sady Sullivan, Independent Oral Historian Brooklyn, New York, USA

341. Dr. Hitoshi Suzuki, Area Study Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan

342. Professor Paul Tabar, Director, Institute for Migration Studies, Lebanese
American Univ., Lebanon

343. Professor Neferti Tadiar, Barnard College, New York, USA

344. Rabah Tahraoui ,Professeur ,Université de Rouen, France

345. Professor Carlo Taibo, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain

346. Professor Ghada Talhami, Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA

347. Professor Vera Tamari, Birzeit University, Palestine

348. Professor Lisa Taraki, Birzeit University, Palestine

349. Sibel Taylor, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England

350. Professor Sunera Thobani, University of British Columbia, Canada

351. Professor Simona Tobia, University of Reading, UK

352. Professor (retired) Chizuko Tominaga, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University, Japan

353. Professor Barry Trachtenberg, University of Albany, New York, USA

354. Professor Judith Tucker, Georgetown University, USA

355. Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao The School of Māori and Pacific Development, The University of Waikato, New Zealand

356. Professor Masaki Uno, Hiroshima City University, Japan

357. Professor Sharon Utakis, Bronx Community College, City University of New York, USA

358. Professor C. Utathya, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

359. Professor Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

360. Dr. Toine Van Teeffelen, Arab Educational Institute, Bethlehem, Palestine

361. Professor Agustin Velloso, Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) Madrid, Spain

362. Professor Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas, USA

363. Naomi Wallace, Independent scholar, award-winning playwright, UK/USA

364. Professor Devra Weber, University of California, Riverside, USA

365. Dr. Livia Celine Wick, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

366. Professor Mark R. Westmoreland, American University Cairo, Egypt

367. Professor Johnny Eric Williams, Trinity College, USA

368. Professor Ulrike Woehr, Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan

369. Dr. Patrick Wolfe, Trobe University, Australia

370. Adel Yahya, Director, Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE), Ramallah, Palestine

371. Yoshihiro Yakushige, PhD student, Kyoto University, Japan

372. Dr. Hala Yameni, Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine

373. Professor Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

374. Professor Masae Yuasa, Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan

375. Professor (emeritus)Takehi Yukawa, Keio University, Japan

376. Omar Zahzah, PhD student, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

377. Professor (emeritus) Elia Zureik, Queen’s University, Canada

(**** the name has been removed following the request of the signer)

Endorsed by the following Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns : Academics for Palestine (Ireland) ; AURDIP (France) ; BAB (Germany) ; BOYCOTT ! (Israel) ; BRICUP (UK) ; InCACBI (India) ; PACBI (Palestine) ; PBAI (Spain) ; USACBI (USA) - and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel) ; Groundwell : Oral Historians for Social Change, core working group ; Independent Jewish Voices Canada ; University of Toronto SJP (Canada) ; SJP of UCLA – and by Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, anti-apartheid activist and writer.

Note : this list of signers and endorsers was updated on 11/15/2013

To add your name to this list of signatories please email : hebrewuconferenceboycott chez gmail.com

THE NECESSARY AND IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM

The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights defines academic freedom to include :

the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction. The enjoyment of academic freedom carries with it obligations, such as the duty to respect the academic freedom of others, to ensure the fair discussion of contrary views, and to treat all without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds. [10], emphasis added]

Keeping this definition in mind, we are keenly aware of the importance of the academic freedom of the individual, but also believe that such freedoms should not extend automatically to institutions. Judith Butler reminds us that : “our struggles for academic freedom must work in concert with the opposition to state violence, ideological surveillance, and the systematic devastation of everyday life.” [11]

It is incumbent on academics to develop such a nuanced understanding of academic freedom if we are to call for social justice and work alongside the oppressed in advancing their freedom, equality and self-determination.

The Israeli academy is not the bastion of dissent and liberalism it is purported to be by those who defend Israel and attempt to delegitimize the call for academic boycott. The vast majority of the Israeli academic community is oblivious to the oppression of the Palestinian people–both inside Israel and in the occupied territory–and has never opposed the practices and policies of their state. In fact, they duly serve in the reserve forces of the occupation army and, accordingly are likely to be either perpetrators of or silent witnesses to the daily brutality of the occupation. They also do not hesitate to partner in their academic research with the security-military establishment that is the chief architect and executor of the occupation. A petition drafted by four Israeli academics merely calling on the Israeli government “to allow [Palestinian] students and lecturers free access to all the campuses in the [occupied] Territories, and to allow lecturers and students who hold foreign passports to teach and study without being threatened with withdrawal of residence visas,” was endorsed by only 407 out of 9,000 Israeli academics – less than 5% of those who were invited to sign it. [12]

Notes :

[1] The decision was published in the official Israeli Gazette (the Hebrew edition), number 1425. It was therefore “legalized” by Israel. This land, for the most part, was (still is) privately owned by Palestinians living in that area. A large part of the confiscated land was then given to the HebrewUniversity to expand its campus (mainly its dormitories). The Palestinian landowners refused to leave their lands and homes arguing that the confiscation order of 1968 was illegal. When the case was taken to the Jerusalem District Court in 1972 (file no. 1531/72), the court ruled in favor of the University and the state, deciding that the Palestinian families must evacuate their homes and be offered alternative housing. See also http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/12/un-report-accuses-israel-of-pushing-palestinians-from-jerusalem-west-bank/

[2] Keller, U. (2009) the Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of

PalestinianTerritories. The Economy of the Occupation : A Socioeconomic Bulletin : Alternative Information Centre.

http://www.alternativenews.org/images/stories/downloads/Economy_of_the_occupation_23-24.pdf

[3] http://www.jpost.com/Local-Israel/In-Jerusalem/Hebrew-University-in-Arabic

[4] http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3827102,00.html

[5] http://www.jewishlinkbc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=944:lapid-threatens-to-bring-down-the-govt-on-haredi-army-issue&catid=150:news&Itemid=562

[6] http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?pr=71&code=mwp&p1=3&p2=4&p3=6&ca

[7] http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=869

[8] http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

[9] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2102

[10] UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “The Right to Education (Art.13),” December 8, 1999

http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28Symbol%29/ae1a0b126d068e868025683c003c8b3b?Opendocument

[11] Judith Butler. “Israel/Palestine and the Paradoxes of Academic Freedom.” in : Radical Philosophy, Vol. 135. pp. 8-17, January/February 2006. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/judith-butler/articles/israel-palestine-paradoxes-of-academic-freedom/ (Accessed on December 10, 2011)

[12] http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=792

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