by Ran Greenstein [Monthly Review Zine] - In the last few weeks, following the recent military attack on Gaza, we have seen an increase in calls for boycott of Israeli institutions in general, and academic institutions in particular.
After their university's president signed onto a denunciation of the Academic Boycott resolution passed by academics in the UK, students of Toronto's Ryerson Universitycampaigned for a university-hosted debate on the issue.
While having accepted the invitation to attend the festival, Banks realized that his presence would be an endorsement of Israel's racist policies that he had been an outspoken critic of in the past. An open letter to Banks from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) stated: “In March 2002 you were in Gaza City with the International Parliament of Writers, of which you were then president. You are reported to have told the Palestinians, 'You are not alone'.
In an open letter penned by Omar Barghouti and Dr. Haidar Eid, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) strongly criticized South African author Nadine Gordimer for ignoring calls to boycott the Israeli-hosted International Writers' Festival.