International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

We stand in support of the indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza, who are fighting for their survival against one of the most brutal uses of state power in both this century and the last.

We condemn Israel’s recent (December 2008/ January 2009) breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip, which include the bombing of densely-populated neighborhoods, illegal deployment of the chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities, and places of worship. We condemn Israel’s restriction of access to media and aid workers.

We reject as false Israel’s characterization of its military attacks on Gaza as retaliation. Israel’s latest assault on Gaza is part of its longtime racist jurisprudence against its indigenous Palestinian population, during which the Israeli state has systematically dispossessed, starved, tortured, and economically exploited the Palestinian people.

We reject as untrue the Israeli government’s claims that the Palestinians use civilians as human shields, and that Hamas is an irredeemable terrorist organization. Without endorsing its platforms or philosophy, we recognize Hamas as a democratically elected ruling party. We do not endorse the regime of any existing Arab state, and call for the upholding of internationally mandated human rights and democratic elections in all Arab states.

We call upon our fellow writers and academics in the United States to question discourses that justify and rationalize injustice, and to address Israeli assaults on civilians in Gaza as one of the most important moral issues of our time.

We call upon institutions of higher education in the U.S. to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions, dissolve study abroad programs in Israel, and divest institutional funds from Israeli companies, using the 1980s boycott against apartheid South Africa as a model.

We call on all people of conscience to join us in boycotting Israeli products and institutions until a just, democratic state for all residents of Palestine/Israel comes into existence.

Mohammed Abed
Elmaz Abinader
Diana Abu-Jaber
Ali Abunimah
Opal Palmer Adisa
Deborah Al-Najjar
Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany
Amina Baraka
Amiri Baraka
George Bisharat
Sherwin Bitsui
Breyten Breytenbach
Van Brock
Hayan Charara
Allison Hedge Coke
Lara Deeb
Vicente Diaz
Marilyn Hacker
Mechthild Hart
Sam Hamill
Randa Jarrar
Fady Joudah
Mohja Kahf
Rima Najjar Kapitan
Persis Karim
J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Haunani Kay-Trask
David Lloyd
Sunaina Maira
Nur Masalha
Khaled Mattawa
Daniel AbdalHayy Moore
Aileen Moreton-Robinson
Nadine Naber
Marcy Newman
Viet Nguyen
Simon J. Ortiz
Vijay Prashad
Steven Salaita
Therese Saliba
Sarita See
Deema Shehabi
Matthew Shenoda
Naomi Shihab Nye
Magid Shihade
Vandana Shiva
Noenoe Silva
Andrea Smith
Ahdaf Soueif
Ghada Talhami
Frank X. Walker
Robert Warrior

Steven Salaita’s two latest books are Israel’s Dead Soul and Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader’s Guide. Read other articles by Steven.

11 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. janet said on January 27th, 2009 at 8:57am #

    Sounds like they are proposing one state? The two state solution isn’t possible anymore, talk of it is just an Israeli stalling tactic.

  2. bozh said on January 27th, 2009 at 10:47am #

    where are ‘jewish’ scholars and writers who criticize israel? are all or most of them for a twostate nonsolution? on above list there may be some ‘jews’? but none i have ever heard of. still, even one ‘jew’ on the list is better than none. thnx

  3. John Hatch said on January 27th, 2009 at 3:17pm #

    Every person of goodwill on this Earth needs to boycott Israel in every manner possible. Enough!

  4. Bob said on January 27th, 2009 at 3:33pm #

    My gosh Professor Salaita, how ignorant can one fella be?

    “We reject as untrue the Israeli government’s claims that the Palestinians use civilians as human shields, and that Hamas is an irredeemable terrorist organization.”

    I don’t know you tell me! It seems you have a good start, toward being the most ignorant man on earth.

    Just kidding!

    Why don’t you just admit that you hate the Jews! And the final solution should be carried out.

    When you admit your problem, you’ll be taking the first step on your journey to recovery. It’s sort of modeled on the AA 12 step plan.

    Time to grow up, start acting and thinking like a man, and most of all learn what a moral issue is.

    Good evening. Bob

  5. Hasbara Barbera said on January 27th, 2009 at 5:49pm #

    Wow straight to the anti-Semite, you’re just like Hitler, final solution insult. I thought that was supposed to be a last resort when it was clear the argument could not be won conventionally.

    I would love to find out how you define ‘moral issues’: –

    Is it moral to disposses someone of their land?
    Is ethnic cleansing moral?
    What about genocide?
    How about war crimes?
    What about ‘putting Gaza on a diet’?
    Is it moral to bomb a UN hospital where innocent civilians are taking refuge from the latest and greatest military hardware?
    How moral can it be to set an aid agency compound alight with illegal white phosphorous shells, destroying the limited amount of food available?
    How moral is it to bomb a mosque? Would you feel the same if mosque was replaced with synagogue? (please don’t give me the lame weapons storage excuse, you might as well just use the Hamas gunmen excuse)
    Is it moral to use a weapon that is only legal on an open battlefield within a built up civilian area?
    Is it moral to threaten Palestinians with a Shoah?
    How does Sabra Shatila sit in your moral framework?
    What about Qana?
    Or Deir Yassin?
    Do you class killing 400 children in 22 days a moral act?

    Do you have any further ‘moral issues’ you’d like to bring up? Is it going to be about homemade rockets made of drainpipes and fertiliser?

    If Israel wanted to stop the rockets coming out of Gaza, then they could simply install anti-rocket batteries all along the border. This would be much more effective at stopping the rockets. Somehow I think it is about breaking the will of the Palestinians rather than anything else.

    You are obviously aware that Israel funded Hamas as a counterbalance to the PLO? Did they do this because they believed that a fundamentalist Islamic group on their doorstep would be good for Israel or as part of a divide and conquer strategy?

    Sorry if all this is getting a bit deep for you, it’s always going to be difficult to argue against people who take the time to inform themselves rather than just sign up to an ‘army of bloggers’ -> http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056648.html

    Hate the Jews? Nope, love the people, hate the state.

  6. kahar said on January 27th, 2009 at 6:57pm #

    It seems the Israeli Nazis are again using the tactic of employing their dumb little monkeys, so desperate to be hated, on all the websites who expose them. Poor little Bobby.

  7. kalidas said on January 27th, 2009 at 7:40pm #

    The so-called “final solution” (hoax), like the holocau$t (hoax) itself, is obviously a same ole same ole ploy which most are surely tired of.
    The boy who cried Nazi spiel is not only tiresome but irritating as Hell.

    Now the “Delilah option’….hmmmm. I’d bet 95% of all people on earth believe Israel should be neutered and muzzled.
    That’s good enough for me.

    As far as anti-Semite goes, well, don’t make me laugh.
    These cretinous fakers are the #1 anti-Semites of all time.
    Not one of them, from Dershowitz, Speilberg and Woody Allen to Ben-Gurion, Meir, Netanyahu and Rahm Emanuel have one single solitary ancestor who ever stepped foot in the “Holy Land,” let alone their innane “right of return.”
    The only right of return they have is back to Poland, Russia and central Asia where they came from and good riddance.

  8. Cyber Naught said on January 27th, 2009 at 11:39pm #

    Answering racism with racism is a grave mistake which lends credence to the lies of people like “Bob”. Oppose Zionism and oppose Israeli Apartheid but do not oppose people based on their ethnic or religious background or you are no different than those you would oppose.

  9. bozh said on January 28th, 2009 at 10:52am #

    kalidas,
    yes, you’re right. there is no shred of evidence that the euro-asians with a cult are descendants of hebrews.
    in fact in europe one cldn’t tell a ‘jew’ from a russian or pole. most of them have angular faces (aisatic in origin), blue or brown eyes; white skin.
    shemites, including canaanites (the hamites) are darker and have darker eyes; their faces are oval and full.
    so, i trust genetics. thnx

  10. mary said on January 29th, 2009 at 9:13am #

    Imagine if the roles were reversed and the Palestinians had done this to Jewish antiquities/museums. There would have been such a stink. This article came out at me because on Radio 4 Today there was a discussion this morning between the Keeper of Antiquities at the British Museum and the presenter about the destruction of Babylon by the occupying forces. One example was given – a trench 175 metres long was dug and the Professor said that the spoil could be called the ‘coalition stratum’. Very droll. More like ‘the detritus of barbarians’ in the cradle of our civilisation combined with the looting of antiquities, allowed to take place by the ‘Coalition’. A different bunch of barbarians have been operating in Gaza –
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    First evidence of damage to Gaza’s cultural sites emerges
    JERUSALEM. After a 3,500-year history of invasions, the latest war on the beleaguered coastal strip of Gaza has once again put historic sites at risk.

    The fragile ceasefire in force at the time of writing has allowed some information to emerge about the fate of Gaza’s cultural heritage. Gaza’s only museum, a private antiquities museum run by Gazan contractor and collector Jawdat Khoudary, was badly damaged during Israel’s 22 days of air and land strikes. The glass doors and windows have been shattered and the roof and walls have been damaged. Roman and Byzantine pottery, Islamic bronze objects and many amphorae have been destroyed, initially during shooting 20m to 200m away, and later because of nearby shelling, with one direct hit to the museum’s conference hall, Mr Khoudary said. Amphorae, clay and ceramic vessels with two looped handles, were created in Gaza and the region during the fourth to seventh centuries for holding wine, olive oil and food and trading perishable commodities.

    Meanwhile, anxieties are growing about the fate of the city’s antiquities. “I am very concerned: the entire Gaza Strip is an archaeological site,” Palestinian archaeologist Professor Moain Sadeq said.

    Professor Sadeq founded the Palestinian Antiquities Department of Gaza in 1994, and is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Toronto while in contact daily with Gaza. “Historical sites and buildings in Gaza are adjacent to urban areas, so any location that was hit as a target also put the nearby historical sites and buildings in danger,” he said. Major sites where damage is expected because of heavy fighting in adjacent areas include: Tell es-Sakan, an early Bronze Age settlement that is the largest and oldest walled Canaanite city in the local region, and the oldest Egyptian fortified site outside of Egypt; Tel el-Ajull, an important middle and late Bronze period city that was an important trade hub between ancient Egypt and the Levant; and the remains of Anthedon, a Hellenist port. The Byzantine church of Jabalya was also near heavy fighting, and was the site of partial damage by Israeli tanks during an incursion in 2005. Al-Zeitoun residential quarter in Gaza’s Old City, a medieval historic district, has also been largely destroyed, Professor Sadeq added.

    Archaeologists are expecting assessment of all of Gaza’s historical sites to be slow. As humanitarian assistance is the urgent priority, serious archaeological surveys of historic sites will be delayed. “I hope that Israel and the Palestinians will work to restore the sites. I am worried about Gaza sites that were excavated and are above the ground because I am sure during the military activity that some sites have been damaged,” Dr Yigal Yisrael, of the Israel Antiquities Authority Ashkelon region and Western Negev said.

    The first mention of an invasion in Gaza dates back approximately 3,500 years to the annals of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III. At least a dozen empires have controlled Gaza in its 6,000-year known history, including the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans and British, and the modern states of Egypt and Israel. Artefacts from ancient Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities are routinely discovered.

    Even so, Gaza has not been widely excavated. In recent history, the Palestinian authorities have faced shortages of funding, staff, equipment and conservation facilities. Local artefacts could previously only be viewed in foreign museums, such as in Istanbul, London and Jerusalem, until Mr Khoudary opened his museum in August with his private collection of artefacts salvaged from land and sea, during two decades in the construction business. The museum was originally planned as a national museum, with backing from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, until Hamas took authority in Gaza in 2007.

    Since 1994, seven major sites in Gaza have been excavated by the Palestinian Antiquities Authority, but in late 2000 activity stalled with the rise of the intifada. According to American archaeologist Professor Lynn Swartz Dodd of the University of Southern California, the latest war in Gaza has also stalled plans for joint Israeli-Palestinian excavation projects in the West Bank, including a heritage preservation field school.

    Professor Dodd and Professor Ran Boytner of the University of California, Los Angeles, oversaw a five-year secret committee of Israeli and Palestinian archaeologists that culminated last year in the publication of a 39-point archaeological joint heritage plan, dubbed “the archaeological peace plan”. This group also published the first public archaeological database of archaeological work in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967.

    “A significant educational and training endeavour and the intended investment in a heritage resource that would have been made through that partnership have become invisible causalities of [the] conflict,” Professor Dodd told The Art Newspaper.

    Professor Sadeq says that the need now is to invite colleagues from abroad to come and help in Gaza. New sites may also emerge from such an effort, as scores of buildings were erected without salvage excavations first, before he founded the Gaza Antiquities Department in 1994, he adds.

    “We need expertise, technical support and various types of help with conservation,” Professor Sadeq said. Swiss experts from Geneva’s Museum of Art and History, which hosted the first satellite show of Gaza antiquities in 2007 from Mr Khoudary’s collection, have already voiced plans to assist with assessment and conservation. “I hope other international organisations will also help. If there is peace, antiquities should be a priority, after humanitarian aid,” Mr Khoudary said.

    http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=16827
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Do any Israeli archaeologists and curators care?

  11. kalidas said on January 29th, 2009 at 11:42am #

    Even as they destroy antiquities of other cultures, they create their own fake archeology. How many times have they manufactured fraudulent artifacts to go along with their fake history. WWI six million lie, WWII same six million lie, Masada lie, Solomon’s temple lie, the Exodus lie, etc., etc., etc.
    These psychos are truly a “people of the lie.”

    http://cpprot.te.verweg.com/2005-March/000326.html