Norway : Call for an academic and cultural boycott of the state of Israel

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AKULBI | 14 Octobre 2010 |

The state of Israel occupies Palestinian territory, and denies the Palestinian inhabitants basic human rights. The attacks on Gaza in 2009, and the brutal and illegal siege has shocked a whole world. Being in control of all of historic Palestine, Israel subjects the Palestinian population to daily harassment, forces them to abandon more and more areas and treats them as second-class citizens. The situation has rightly been compared to the apartheid era in South Africa.

Israel refuses to comply with United Nation decisions and with international law, but is still not met with international sanctions. It is therefore imperative that ordinary people take up the challenge and put pressure on Israel. Israeli universities, research communities and cultural institutions play a key role in the continued occupation. Extensive cultural and research cooperation between Israel and the West has contributed to legitimize the Israeli policy of oppression.

We do not want to end the dialogue, but we want to resume responsibility and explain to our colleagues why we hold the position that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is unacceptable. The future for both Palestinians and Israelis depends on ending the occupation and on securing basic human rights for everybody living in the area. We do not believe this will happen without external pressure. There are also scientists, students, artists and cultural workers within Israel, who are publicly opposing the occupation. These groups are in need of international support.

Palestinian academics and intellectuals have repeatedly called upon their colleagues abroad to boycott academic and cultural institutions in Israel in order to end occupation and oppression.

We who sign this call – cultural workers and employees at universities, colleges, research institutions and cultural institutions in Norway – are heeding their call. We ask all cultural workers and artists, employees and students at Norwegian universities and colleges, as well as employees at research institutions and cultural institutions, to join us in this, by refraining from :

* Research and cultural cooperation with the state of Israel’s universities, research institutions, art and cultural institutions, and representatives of these institutions.

* Exchange of guest researchers, lecturers, exhibitors and artists with these institutions.

* Awarding scholarships and research funds to such institutions and their representatives.

* Participation at scientific conferences and cultural events in Israel with representatives of such institutions.

At the same time we call for cooperation with and support for organizations and individuals in Israel, including research workers, students, artists and cultural workers who are working to end the occupation and the denial of human rights for Palestinians.

We finally call on the boards of Norwegian academic and cultural institutions, and on the associations and unions of artists and of employees at universities, colleges and research institutions, as well as on student organizations in Norway, to support this boycott.

See the list of 100 persons from the Norwegian cultural and academic field that support the boycott at launching.