Academic boycott of Israel

 

Sir, – The guidelines for the academic boycott of Israel, contrary to what Paul Williams said in his letter (January 19th), and as proposed by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian Council for Higher Education (CHE), make clear that “mere affiliation of Israeli scholars to an Israeli academic institution is not grounds for applying the boycott”. Indeed, Academics for Palestine often works with Israeli academics.

The academic boycott is rather targeted at Israeli academic institutions who for decades have been complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights, through their silence, actual involvement in justifying, whitewashing or diverting attention from Israel’s violations of international law and human rights, and through their direct collaboration with state agencies in planning and implementing projects that contravene international law and Palestinian rights.

Like PACBI, Academics for Palestine subscribes to the internationally-accepted definition of academic freedom as adopted by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UNESCR), and we strongly believe that the UCC conference upholds academic freedom and open debate, which is why we are asking UCC to host this important conference. – Yours, etc,

Dr RONIT LENTIN,

Chairwoman,

Academics for Palestine,

Cornmarket,

Dublin 8.