October 25, 2021
From Socialist Project
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International Academics Accuse Glasgow University of Undermining Scholarship

Five hundred and fifty academics and prominent intellectuals from round the world have called out the University of Glasgow for making a public apology for an article published in its eSharp journal four years ago. The author was not informed that this apology was being made. The article is critical of lobbying and information techniques used by Israel and its supporters.

Four years after the article was published, and after a complaint by a pro-Israel activist and other attacks, a preface was added this summer to the article, accusing it of promoting ‘an antisemitic theory’; and the university issued a statement on their action saying they are against ‘hate speech’. The University went on to justify their statement by reference to the much-criticised IHRA definition of antisemitism (which links criticism of Israel to antisemitism).

The signatories insist that criticism of Israel and its supporters cannot be conflated with antisemitism. The serious consequence of that for academic research, they say, would be that


“other groups, states and corporations can all be the subject of critical academic analysis, but commentary on pro-Israel advocacy must be limited.”

The academics also object to the overturning of the peer review process which had approved the article in 2017. They are especially concerned about the impact on future scholarship, since this university journal is aimed at early career researchers. It is potentially extremely damaging to have research labelled in this way; the university’s action, if not retracted, will act as a deterrent to researchers entering this field.

The criticism by academics is shared by prominent public figures who have added their names to the petition including Ronnie Kasrils the veteran anti-apartheid statesman from South Africa, the film maker Ken Loach, musician Brian Eno, the author Ahdaf Soeuif, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and international legal experts including John Dugard and Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC.

Issues of academic freedom and free speech on campus have recently attracted national coverage with several high-profile cases. But it is unusual for a case to attract so much international attention from academics across such a wide range of disciplines. The signatories range from Malcolm Levitt in physical chemistry and the mathematician David Epstein, both fellows of the Royal Society, to the acclaimed historian Sheila Rowbotham.

They include two former presidents of the British Sociological Association, John Brewer and also John Eldridge, whose work has been listed as one of the top 100 achievements of Glasgow University. The current president of the International Sociological Association , Sari Hanafi has also signed, along with Gerardo Otero, president of the Latin American Studies Association. There are 20 signatories from major Universities in Israel as well as Palestinian scholars including Salman Abu Sitta, President of the Palestine Land Society. Professor Hagit Borer has signed on behalf of Israel Academics UK along with Jacqueline Rose of Independent Jewish Voices.

The signatories state that they stand absolutely against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination. But they believe that the making of false claims is entirely counterproductive since it spreads confusion and weakens the struggle against actual racism.

They are calling on the University to withdraw both its apology and its comments linking the article to hate speech, and to assert its commitment to the right to critical commentary in scholarship.

Signatory George P Smith, Nobel laureate in Chemistry, has commented as follows:


“I ask my fellow academics: Is campaigning to discredit scholarship we strongly disagree with as ‘hate speech’ an honorable or effective way to rebut it?”

And Noam Chomsky says:


“The capitulation by the University of Glasgow is a serious blow to academic freedom that should not be allowed to stand.”

You can see the petition and signatories here.

Pro-Israeli attempt at cultural censorship fails: Public outrage forces Manchester University and the Whitworth Gallery to think again

In a quick U-turn the Whitworth Gallery, part of the University of Manchester, has reinstated a statement about Palestine, part of the research group Forensic Architecture’s Cloud Studies exhibition there, which it had taken down after complaints. The complaints came from a group of official and unofficial Jewish organisation in the NorthWest, and also the pressure group UK Lawyers for Israel.

The exhibition, part of the Manchester International Festival, has been open since the start of July. It dramatically details the environmental effects of various sorts of toxic clouds of many different types, in countries including the UK and the US, Indonesia, Turkey – and Israel. Forensic Architecture is based at Goldsmiths University of London and is headed by Professor Eyal Weitzman, a British-Israeli.

Responding to the Israeli military action in Gaza and the West Bank earlier in the summer, Forensic Architecture posted up a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people in its exhibition space. It was this statement that the Jewish and pro-Israeli groups protested about, claiming that it caused distress to local Jews and violated the University’s public sector equality duty to have due regard to fostering good relations between different communities! When the University agreed to this demand Forensic Architecture closed their exhibition.

This extraordinary interference with the integrity of an exhibition without consultation with its originators produced a storm of opposition. This included a letter from BRICUP to the Vice Chancellor of the University, the Director of the Gallery, and others. It is believed that thirteen thousand protest messages were received. Within days the University had reversed itself, and it was announced that the exhibition would reopen with the statement in place.

This is a much-needed example of a successful fight back against the incessant pressure to censor any criticism of Israel or its actions. Another aspect of this pressure is the campaign to force English universities to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Resistance to that campaign is growing too.

2021, the year of Israeli apartheid

Ahmed Abbes and Jonathan Rosenhead argue that the Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine marks a turning point in the struggle for Palestinian rights.

Read their article in Mondoweiss

Richard T.W. Arthur withdraws from giving keynote address at Technion

Richard Arthur, Professor Emeritus at McMaster University, has withdrawn from a speaking engagement at the Technion, where he had been invited as a keynote speaker. As he explains on his website (see the entry for June 14th), “I had to inform my host, Professor Ohad Nachtomy (whom I count as a good friend) that I had decided to withdraw, finding myself in a very difficult situation after the recent distressing events in Gaza that we had previously discussed, especially in light of what I had since learned about the Technion and its complicity in developing much of the military technology used in those attacks.”

We applaud Prof. Arthur for taking a moral stand in support of Palestine.

Sign the Academic Commitment for Palestine

“As scholars associated with UK universities, and responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, we declare that we will not:

  • accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions;
  • act as referees in any of their processes;
  • participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise cooperate with them.

We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities.

This commitment is our response to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, and the intolerable human rights violations inflicted on all sections of the Palestinian people. We will maintain this position until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights.”

Sign the Commitment here

(And please sign again even if you signed it a year or so ago)

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine

Over 700 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries have signed the following declaration calling for the dismantling of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants all its inhabitants equal rights and duties. …

Read the full declaration here

Scroll down for the link to add your name.

Media exclude millions of Palestinians when counting Israel’s vaccination rate

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

The Independent: Rights groups accuse Oxford University website of using ‘politicised’ 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 report’s authors call for the books’ 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 University’s 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 Professor’s Miller’s 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 Miller’s 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 – 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 Miller’s 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 ‘no platform’ 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 theUniversity’s 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 Wiliamson’s 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

With speakers Tom Hickey (BRICUP), Ghada Karmi (Author, activist
and academic), Mark Abel (University of Brighton UCU) and Richard
Kuper (Jewish Voice for Labour).

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 judge’s 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 daughter’s 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’ “moral
duty” to boycott conference in Jerusalem

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

PNN

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 “Stop the Boycott”
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

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

Birax proposal cover

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

Wikipedia

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

The resolution, authored by Vassar’s Jewish Voice for Peace and
Students for Justice in Palestine, “encourages the reconsideration
of Vassar College’s economic contributions to human rights violations
worldwide.” It also included an amendment to the VSA’s

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
Students’ 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 ‘reign of terror’: 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
Columbia– but only raised objection to ‘Palestine’ 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 problem– 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 Milbank’s 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 minorities’ ‘hostility toward Jews’

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 force’s oppression
of a displaced group, and have formed alliances with black, Latino,
Asian, Native American, feminist and gay rights organizations on campus.
The coalitions — which explicitly link the Palestinian cause to issues
like police brutality, immigration and gay rights — 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 Israel

Oppose 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 Fortier’s 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 embassy’s 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 École 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.




Source: Bricup.org.uk