Updates from the palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
As the UN, the EU and the international community by and large have failed the Palestinian people for decades, we address civil society organizations to take whatever steps, however small, to show their support for Palestine and rejection of Israeli genocidal war crimes. The experience of South Africa shows that the collective action of ordinary people who did not buy South African products, did not watch South African sports and did not have any relationship with South African academic and cultural institutions, was able to pressurize governments to isolate apartheid South Africa.
Since the beginning of its current invasion of Gaza, and under the pretence of freeing a captured soldier, Israel has violated basic principles of international law and committed war crimes, as documented by Amnesty International, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, and other human rights bodies. These crimes and the resulting tragic death toll among Palestinian civilians are not surprising, given Israel’s long record of dehumanizing Palestinians and its collective punishment against them.
We believe that participation of international academics and intellectuals in conferences, festivals, or similar events in Israel not explicitly dedicated to ending Israel‘s illegal occupation and other forms of oppression only enhances Israel‘s image as a center of learning and the arts, and contributes to the propagation of the untruth that scholarship and politics or art and politics should be kept separate and that business as usual need not be disturbed by the intrusion of "politics." We are certain that as a conscientious scholar you do not subscribe to such form
We believe that this brave and honest stand taken by the NATFHE will further support the Palestinians in their rightful struggle towards achieving a just and lasting peace in the holy land. A peace that can only be realized through ending the occupation and that can offer stability, justice, and hope for the Palestinians in their independent state, in accordance with international law and legitimacy.
We see in such a stand a clear message to all academics all over the world to take their role in opposing oppression and denouncing all acts committed against international law.
he barrier was the first stop on a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories for Waters, who had been criticized by some fans for planning to play a concert in the Jewish state.
"It's a horrific edifice, this thing," Waters told reporters as he stood beside a section of the barrier in Bethlehem.
"I've seen pictures of it, I've heard a lot about it but without being here you can't imagine how extraordinarily oppressive it is and how sad it is to see these people coming through these little holes," he added.
In 2004, your divestment overture gave us hope that, despite Israel’s ever expanding, land-grabbing colonies, its indiscriminate killings, its wanton home demolitions and uprooting of one million trees and its monstrous colonial Wall, we were not alone; that there are people of conscience who put principles ahead of interest and ethics before profit. Aside from hope, your initiative sent a firm message to our oppressors that they cannot continue to trample on our human and political rights with impunity, that they shall be held accountable for their crimes.
But the significance of the academic boycott against Israel adopted by the largest British academic union cannot be viewed in legalistic terms. Its moral weight should not be underestimated. The NATFHE vote proved once again that boycotting Israeli academic institutions due to their complicity in maintaining Israel’s special form of apartheid against the Palestinians remains prominent on the agenda of western progressives and human rights activists.