PACBI Salutes All People of Conscience who Have Recently Adopted BDS: Accelerate the Boycott! End Israeli Colonialism and Genocidal Aggression!
Occupied Palestine, 21 August 2014 -- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the growing number of academic associations, professional organizations, scholars, artists, political leaders and movements that have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement since Israel’s genocidal onslaught against the 1.8 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip began on July 8, 2014.
Occupied Palestine, 21 August 2014 -- The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the growing number of academic associations, professional organizations, scholars, artists, political leaders and movements that have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement since Israel’s genocidal onslaught against the 1.8 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip began on July 8, 2014. The outpouring of principled solidarity has been tremendous. The last few weeks have shown that people of conscience around the world will not stand by idly or remain silent as the Israeli regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid commits massacres and other grave violations of international law.
As the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza enters its sixth week, at least 2,008 Palestinians have been killed, over 9,000 people have been injured, predominantly civilians.  Hospitals, ambulances, rescue workers, mosques, churches and shelters for people with special needs disabilities have not been spared Israel’s US-supplied “smart” missiles and artillery shells.
Words cannot describe this murderous campaign; Israel has annihilated entire families in their homes, as its warplanes have targeted and bombed house after house.  Over 16,000 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged in these criminal attacks.  Families have been sought out and murdered in the UN schools where they have taken shelter, often after Israel has been repeatedly given the exact coordinates of the schools – revealing a deliberate intent to kill and terrorize civilians.  Close to half a million Palestinians have been displaced,  as the Israeli regime expands its so-called buffer zone to encompass 45% of Gaza’s already small territory, literally “pushing Palestinians into the sea.”  Israel has been waging this brutal campaign with the support of many western states, and the full backing of the United States, which sent Israel ammunitions and reinforced its military arsenal,  arming what has been described by Save the Children as a “war on children.” 
As we take stock of these Israeli crimes, we extend our deepest respect to all of the conscientious individuals, organizations and movements who have courageously spoken out against the Israeli massacres in Gaza and in defense of freedom, justice and the sanctity of human life, often at a high personal price. Silence is complicity! “Genocide begins with the silence of the world.” 
PACBI warmly salutes all the organizations and individuals throughout the world that have recently adopted BDS, including the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
On the academic front a number of leading academic associations and renowned scholars from across the world have come out in support of the academic boycott: over 500 African scholars and individuals have signed the African Solidarity with Palestine’s endorsement of the academic boycott ; 1,200 Spanish university professors and researchers have demanded an immediate severance of ties with all Israeli academic institutions;  over 400 Middle Eastern Studies scholars and librarians, including some leading names in the field, have declared their support for the academic boycott ; the African Literature Association  and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association have also endorsed the academic boycott of Israel. 
In addition to the academic front, prominent South American politicians, including Bolivian president Evo Morales, and former Cuban president Fidel Castro, along with leading Latin American intellectuals, have signed a statement endorsing BDS, under the banner of the Network in Defense of Humanity. 
On the cultural scene, 100 high profile Spanish artists, including Oscar winners Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Pedro Almodovar , as well as US writer Naomi Wolf have condemned Israel’s genocide in Gaza.  The Irish singer Sinead O’Conner and the US rapper Taleb Kweli both canceled scheduled performances in apartheid Israel. 
Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide have also denounced Israel’s massacres. 
Reflecting global rage over Israel’s massacres in Gaza, Nobel laureates, prominent artists and celebrities have issued a call for an arms embargo on Israel that has received over 45,000 signatories.  The Cultural Studies Association Executive Committee, and anti-racist women of color feminist scholars have all lent their voices to the growing global demand for economic and military sanctions against Israel.  These latest developments are not only taking BDS into the mainstream, but they are making international sanctions against Israel’s racist regime a realizable objective.
This massive outburst of international solidarity is inspiring. It is an overwhelming vindication of people’s power. As the Israeli onslaught on Gaza continues, we must capitalize on this momentum and take the movement forward. Now is the time to intensify our efforts to boycott Israel, including all its academic and cultural institutions, divest from it, and impose sanctions on it.
The latest Israeli massacres in Gaza has reconfirmed that Israeli academic institutions are deeply involved in planning, implementing and justifying Israel’s racist colonial policies against the Palestinian people. As Israeli elected officials have been promoting a dehumanizing racist frenzy in the lead up to the onslaught on Gaza and urging the state to “concentrate and exterminate” Palestinians , Israel’s academia has come out in full support of the massacres.  On Israeli campuses, a chilling climate of intimidation and suppression of academic freedom has reached new lows. Cheering the massacres, Israeli universities have joined the Israeli intelligence apparatuses in repressing dissent, as Palestinian students in particular have become the targets of a “witch hunt.” 
Israeli academic institutions, which have always been a pillar of Israel’s regime of oppression against the Palestinian people, have been further exposed to the world as veritable partners in Israeli’s current crimes in Gaza. It is Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), after all, which developed the “Dahiya Doctrine” , or doctrine of disproportionate force, which was adopted by the Israeli army and calls for “the destruction of the national [civilian] infrastructure, and intense suffering among the [civilian] population,”  in order to crush an undefeatable resistance movement. This doctrine, which underwrites and informs Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza, directly implicates Tel Aviv University.
Fanning what a leading Israeli intellectual has depicted as a burgeoning “fascist” environment, prominent Israeli Middle Eastern scholar Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University, has recently called for “raping” Palestinian mothers and sisters of militants to deter Palestinian resistance, citing Palestinian “culture” to explain the effectiveness of this “deterrence” strategy.  Kedar’s comments, which have not warranted any reprimand or disciplinary measures from his university, reflect a deeply disturbing misogynist and racist colonial culture that regards women’s bodies as a terrain in which to violate and subjugate Palestinians through the use of sexual violence. His remarks reveal the organic partnership between Israeli academia and the state in developing and promoting Zionism’s racist, sexist, settler colonial ideology.
Now more than ever it is clear that Israeli universities are part and parcel of Israel’s settler colonial system of oppression. The Palestinian struggle against occupation, apartheid, and colonialism is mainly nourished from within, from the Palestinian collective will to resist against all odds, but we cannot do it alone. People around the world continue to inspire us, to show us we are not alone, and that we are not screaming in the dark. The academic boycott of Israel is now more urgent than ever.