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.
We address you as a group of employees, faculty members, PhD students and researchers of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), in The Hague. The ISS is an educational, research and policy institution, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. We belong to very diverse disciplinary backgrounds, but we all equally share social justice as a major inspiration of our work.
More than 1,000 professionals have signed a manifesto, released by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) academic campaign for Palestine, demanding to end all institutional relations with the Israeli academic world, until it stops supporting occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
The war Israel is currently waging against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza is a continuation of its occupation and blockade of Gaza over many years; its violation of international laws; its apartheid policies and day-to-day violence against people in Gaza. It has become a truism that Gaza has for long been “an open air prison” for its men, women and children, making it impossible for them to live normal lives, leave alone move forward on the road to self determination.
The following letter calling on scholars and librarians within Middle East studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions was submitted in the name of the below signatories to Jadaliyya on 6 August 2014.
Les universités israéliennes qui ont depuis des décennies joué un rôle clé dans la planification, l’implémentation, la justification et le blanchiment des politiques racistes et colonialistes du régime israélien d’occupation, de colonialisme de peuplement et d’apartheid, ont une fois de plus montré leur complicité dans l’agression génocide d’Israël contre 1, 8 million de Palestiniens dans la bande de Gaza occupée et assiégée.
As Palestinian, indigenous, women of color, anti-racist, and Jewish feminists involved in a range of social justice struggles, we strongly condemn the current massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza and affirm our support for and commitment to the growing international movement for a free Palestine and for racial justice, equality, and freedom for all.
As we write this statement, 25 days after the brutal incursion on Gaza, over a thousand and four hundred of innocent civilian women, men and children have been butchered by Israel’s war machine and much more are threatened to be killed. The call for raping Palestinian women by the so-called “Bar-Illan University Arabic Literature Professor” teaches us, once again, that Israeli “scholars” and “academic institutions” are an organic and integral part of the Zionist colonial project
The ongoing slaughter in Gaza has brought a great many artists, musicians and celebrities out in support of Palestine. This is nothing new. In fact, every major Israeli offensive seems to grow the number of artists willing to speak up and stand against the crimes of the apartheid state.