Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
As Palestinians commemorate the 39th anniversary of Israel's June 1967 occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, Palestinian civil society  expresses its deep appreciation of CUPE's courageous and principled solidarity stand. While CUPE leads the way, it is not alone.
Mainstream Israeli and international media are reporting that Israel is launching a major public relations campaign highlighting its key place in the international arts scene. Your visit, and regardless of your intentions, will be viewed by Palestinians as contributing to the deceptive image of Israel as a "normal" state, thereby legitimizing its racism and colonial oppression.
This is a significant accomplishment considering the campaign of intimidation and bullying waged against proponents of the NATFHE academic boycott initiative by Israeli networks and powerful Zionist lobbies in the United Kingdom and the United States. At this stage of the international boycott movement, Palestinian boycott advocates, including PACBI, aim first and foremost to keep alive an open and principled debate on the need for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it fully complies with international law and universal human rights.
If the urge to boycott is irresistible, why not boycott academics in Sudan, where a government-supported militia rapes and murders blacks? Why not boycott academics in Saudi Arabia, where no Jew or Christian is allowed to become a citizen? Why not boycott academics in Iran, where courts throw Jews into jail on trumped-up espionage charges? For that matter, why not boycott academics in all countries that have adopted Islamic law (sharia), which discriminates against women and makes it a capital offence for Muslims to renounce Islam?
Israeli academic institutions are implicated in the various forms of oppression exercised against the Palestinians. Israeli research institutes, think tanks, and academic departments have historically granted legitimacy to the work of academics who advocate ethnic cleansing, apartheid, denial of refugee rights, and other discriminatory policies against the Palestinians, whether in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), inside Israel, or in exile.