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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Academic BDS in Ireland: The Historic Origin of the anti-Israeli Animus

Editorial Note

BDS activities are hardly news on Western campus these days.  But the case of Ireland stands out in this context.  As Amos Oz, who received an Irish Honorary Degree recently, pointed out, that “Dublin is not an easy place for Israelis. The criticism toward Israel and its policies in the territories is even harsher than anywhere else in Europe.“


For those seeking understanding of the aggressive stand of the academy, the history of Ireland is a good guide. 


During WWII, the ostensibly neutral Ireland was a hotbed of fascist and pro-Nazi activity.  Irish activists provided a safe haven to Nazi agents and there was even a plan to use the island as staging ground for a major attack against Great Britain.   The Irish were also hostile to the new state of Israel because of the so-called “Vatican factor.”  In 1949 Pope Pious XII expressed his concern that Israel ignored the Partition understanding of turning Jerusalem into an international city. Irish politicians cited this as the reason for their belated recognition of Israel.


The conflict in Northern Ireland added to anti-Israeli animosity.  The Irish republicans on both side of the border came to empathized with the Palestinians as victim of “British colonialism.” Symbolism aside, the Irish Republican Army, supported by arms donated by Muammar Gaddafi developed close ties with the PLO. 


Adding a prestigious presence, Mary Robinson, the former Irish president and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has frequently and harshly attacked Israel’s human rights record


After joining the European Union Ireland became a leader in anti-Israeli activities.  The country is base of one of the best organized branches of the international pro-Palestinian campaigns. In 2013 the Irish Teacher Union (that included many in tertiary education) voted to impose a total boycott on Israel.   The website of Academic for Palestine, one of the fruits of the 2013 vote, is subtitled Academics against Apartheid.  

Ireland, of course, has its own anti-Israel Israeli academic and her name is Ronit Lentin whose latest article begins with the following: "On 9 August I spoke at the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign National demonstration for Palestine. As an Israeli Jew, born in Palestine prior to the birth of the State of Israel, I am aching for Gaza and for the ease with which many Israelis and their supporters throughout the world excuse the killing of so many Gazans."

There is little chance that Ireland, a member of the EU would go beyond the official policies of the organization that, at this moment, do not include plans for a comprehensive boycott against Israel.  The academic community, however, will continue to delegitimize Israel as an apartheid state.


Despite criticism against Israel, Amos Oz awarded honorary degree in Ireland

Alongside calls for Academic boycott of Israel, former Irish president Mary Robinson awards honorary degree to Israeli author.

Itamar Eichner

Published:  06.30.14 YNET NEWS

Author Amos Oz has been given throughout the years about a dozen honorary degrees from many academic establishments in many countries. But this weekend was unique – Oz became the first Israeli ever to be given such a degree in Ireland from its most prestigious and ancient university, Trinity College, located in the capital Dublin.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson, who also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and is known for her harsh critic towards Israel, awarded the prize to Oz to the sound of a wild round of applause.

The Israeli embassy in Ireland was very satisfied with the great honor given to an Israeli citizen. Ambassador Boaz Modai, said that alongside the frequent calls made by a loud Irish minority to conduct an academic boycott on Israel, it is exciting to witness such a victory where a Zionist intellectual receives recognition and honor in Ireland.

Oz said Saturday night over the phone that "Dublin is not an easy place for Israelis. The criticism towards Israel and its policy in the territories is even harsher than anywhere else in Europe. But the cultural Dublin, the one that loves poetry and literature received us with open arms. My wife Nili and I spent only a few days here, but they will always be remembered with great affection.

The acclaimed author who is known for his leftist political views and his unorthodox statements was recently criticized for calling Israeli radical settlers responsible for vandalism attacks ("price tag"), 'Hebrew neo-Nazis'.



Irish Academics’ pledge to boycott Israel passes 170 signatories

Students, teachers and schools have been targets of Israel’s brutal attacks in Gaza, making it an attack on education as well as a war crime, a group of Irish academics said today — as Israel resumed its attacks on the Palestinian territory.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 141 schools were significantly damaged or destroyed by airstrikes and shelling, including 90 UN schools and four kindergartens. Seven of the UN schools that were bombed by Israel were designated as emergency shelters and hosted thousands of displaced persons.

In addition, Israel bombed the Islamic University in Gaza (IUG), causing extensive damage to Gaza’s largest institution of higher education. A lecturer from IUG was also killed in a military strike, and Israel also attacked a branch of Al Quds Open University, killing 22 people.

Academics for Palestine (AfP) chairperson Jim Roche, who gave a guest lecture in architecture at IUG last year, said this has been “an attack on education itself”.  

Roche added: “This is not new, as Israel similarly targeted education during the onslaught in 2008-2009 and it has continuously made Palestinians’ pursuit of education difficult through general harassment, the siege of Gaza and regular military incursions.”

At least 18 Palestinian students who have successfully completed their qualifying high school exams (tawjihi) in preparation for college were killed, before they had a chance to see their results. In UN schools, a school principal, five teachers, and a school attendant are among the UN staff killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza.

“It is all the more shameful that Irish universities have participated in joint research programmes, funded by the EU, in collaboration with Israeli educational institutes and companies with strong links to the Israeli military,” Roche said.

More than 170 Irish academics have now signed a pledge, launched by AfP earlier this year, to boycott such collaboration with Israeli institutions until Palestinian rights are respected.

The signatories come from a wide range of disciplines and include many well-known names, including the Trinity-College-based Haifa-born scholar Ronit Lentin, as well as Seamus Deane, Ailbhe Smyth, Luke Gibbons, Margaret Kelleher, Joe Cleary, Kieran Allen, Kathleen Lynch, Tadhg Foley, Terrence McDonough, John Kelly and Helena Sheehan.  AfP is supporting Saturday’s national demonstration for Palestine in Dublin.

As AfP revealed earlier this year, Irish academic researchers have collaborated in EU-funded projects with Israeli counterparts who make drones, develop high-tech weapons and engage in “counter-terror” activities with the Mossad. In all,  Irish universities have collaborated with Israel in 257 projects to date, seven of them listed as “security” and  13 as “aerospace”. These EU research programmes have bee3n administered by Irish Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Researchers at the University of Limerick collaborated with an Israeli security company, Athena GS3-Security Implementations Ltd, on an EU-funded programme worth almost €4 million from April 2009 to March 2011. UL also partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), key players in the development of security and surveillance for Israel’s separation wall.

Academics at Trinity College Dublin have worked with Israeli drone manufacturers Elbit Security Systems and, separately, with Israel’s International Security and Counter-Terrorism Academy. Researchers at UCC coordinated a “counter-terrorism” project alongside Israel’s major weapons developer, Technion.

In addition, Dublin’s Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute recently launched a partnership with the Israeli-based Weizmann Institute of Science, which in addition to its medical research is an important site for Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme.

NUI Maynooth lecturer Conor McCarthy said the daily discrimination inflicted on Palestinian academics, along with savage attacks like those seen in recent weeks, were enough to justify such a boycott, but added: “Irish academia’s collaboration with institutions closely linked to Israel’s military-industrial complex is truly shocking.   

“It is not just Israeli universities that avail of this funding, but Israeli security and military companies – and they are often the lead partner in a research consortium. Some Irish universities may be effectively contributing to the denial of Palestinian human rights and academic freedom by collaborating with these Israeli security companies in EU-funded FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes paid for by European  taxpayers,” McCarthy said.




pdflogRead the pamphlet, Academia Against Apartheid – The case for an academic boycott of Israel, here

Responding to the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, a group of concerned academics in Ireland has begun a campaign to urge Irish-based academics to support the boycott, which is intended to last until Israeli academia ends its complicity in – and in many cases its active support for – the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, its role in the unequal treatment of Israeli citizens whose ethnicity is Palestinian, and its support for illegal settlements that usurp lands in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem.

This information booklet explains the origin of the academic boycott campaign and explores its rationale by addressing frequently asked questions about the campaign. It explains what the boycott entails and the kinds of actions it excludes. For example, the boycott is directed at institutions but not at individual academics. The booklet also includes a section on the framework of European Union funding which aids Israel’s military-industrial complex, and information on a number of weapons-related projects that Irish universities are implicated in through their collaboration with Israeli companies. Although a full list of such egregious collaborations is not available, we hope that by launching this campaign, the lid will be lifted on the extent of Irish academic support for Israel’s occupation and its system of apartheid. Lastly, we provide a list of suggested actions that academics can take to advance the boycott.

pdflogRead the pamphlet, Academia Against Apartheid – The case for an academic boycott of Israel, here

February 2014


1   Introduction: Why boycott Israeli academia
3   What is the boycott?
5   What is the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel?
5   Irish trade unions and boycott
5   What the boycott involves
6   Why boycott?
7   Apartheid rule in Israel and the Occupied Territories
8   Systematic discrimination within Israel
9   Israeli academic institutions: their complicity with the Occupation
9   Israel’s attacks on Palestinian academic freedom
11   Arguments against Boycott
13   Boycott = A new McCarthyism?
13   What about Academic Freedom?
13   Why pick on Israel?
13   Isn’t the boycott just anti-Semitism in action?
15   Israel is different to South Africa...
15   Are Israeli academics not the Palestinians’ best Israeli friends?
16   Should we not be talking instead of boycotting?
16   Will the boycott not hurt Palestinians?
17   Moving on: What can you do?
18   Irish Universities and Israel
18   What you can do to support the boycott
18   Join Academics for Palestine
20   Appendix I: Palestinian Call for Boycott
21   Appendix II: TUI Motion
23   References
24   Table of Contents

This pamphlet explains what the
boycott of Israeli universities is and what
it is not. In it, we clarify why those
supporting justice in Israel/Palestine are
increasingly using the boycott tactic in
their work. We look briefly at Israel’s
treatment of Palestinians and the role of
Israeli academia in this, focusing on Israeli
attacks on Palestinian academic freedom.
After this, we examine the arguments
against boycott and conclude by outlining
how, in practical terms, the boycott can be
implemented by academics in Ireland.
We believe that the academic boycott of
Israeli universities is an effective, moral
and proportionate way to advance peace
and justice in Israel/Palestine. Just as the
anti-apartheid movement focused on the
sporting boycott as a key element of the
overall boycott campaign, a campaign
which was central in promoting the
peaceful transformation of South Africa
into a democratic country, so too does the
campaign, including Academics for
Palestine (AFP), see the academic and
cultural boycott as a key way of pushing
Israel to transform itself into a state that
will grant Palestinians their civil, human
and national rights.
We are aware that the thought of
academic boycott touches raw nerves –
teachers and researchers are rightly
sensitive about any restrictions on the free
flow of ideas. To support an academic
boycott of Israeli universities further raises
hackles because of the issue of anti-
Semitism. We understand that people are
genuinely concerned that the boycott of
Israeli universities could be seen as
another manifestation of that poisonous
The aim of the pamphlet is to open up a
discussion. It was prompted by the 2013
Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) motion
in favour of academic boycott and so we
open by looking at this.
This motion was followed soon after by
the refusal of renowned scientist Stephen
Hawking to attend an academic conference
in Israel after discussions with Palestinian
colleagues. Academic boycott motions
have also been passed by the Association
for Asian American Studies, the Native
American and Indigenous Studies
Association, and in December 2013 the
oldest US academic association, the
American Studies Association.
We hope that Irish academics can
conduct this discussion in a manner
respectful of each other, but also mindful
of the hardships that Palestinians –
academics, students and the general
population – have to undergo every day.
Introduction: Why boycott Israeli academia
“If in extreme situations of violations of human rights and moral
principles... academia refuses to criticise and take a side, it collaborates
with the oppressing system.”
- Tanya Reinhardt, Israeli linguist
Academics for Palestine
February 2014
In this section we discuss the
background to the academic boycott – the
Palestinian call to boycott and what it
involves for individual academics. We
then review the 2013 TUI motion in favour
of boycott, itself a product of longstanding
Irish trade union solidarity with Palestine.
What is the Palestinian call for an
academic boycott of Israel?
The call for an academic and cultural
boycott of Israel was issued in 2004 by the
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic
and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).1
The following year, this call was
incorporated into the Palestinian Call for
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, which
is now supported by over 200 Palestinian
trade unions, political organisations, civil
society and church groups. These include
the representative bodies for Palestinian
academics and teachers - The Palestinian
Federation of Unions of University
Professors and Employees, and the
General Union of Palestinian Teachers.2
The key part of the Palestinian call for
boycott (full text in Appendix I), states:
[We] call upon our colleagues in the
international community to
comprehensively and consistently
boycott all Israeli academic and
cultural institutions as a contribution to
the struggle to end Israel's occupation,
colonization and system of apartheid,
by applying the following:
• Refrain from participation in any
form of academic and cultural
cooperation, collaboration or joint
projects with Israeli institutions;
• Advocate a comprehensive
boycott of Israeli institutions at the
national and international levels,
including suspension of all forms of
funding and subsidies to these
• Promote divestment and
disinvestment from Israel by
international academic institutions;
• Work toward the condemnation
of Israeli policies by pressing for
resolutions to be adopted by academic,
professional and cultural associations
and organizations;
• Support Palestinian academic
and cultural institutions directly
without requiring them to partner with
Israeli counterparts as an explicit or
implicit condition for such support.
Irish trade unions and boycott
At its Annual Congress on 4 April 2013,
the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI)
unanimously passed a motion asking “all
members to cease all cultural and
academic collaboration with Israel,
including the exchange of scientists,
students and academic personalities, as
well as all cooperation in research
programmes”. It also mandated the union
executive committee to conduct an
awareness campaign as to what boycott
involves (see Appendix II for the full text
of the motion).3
This was a highly significant motion.
By passing it, the TUI, many of whose
members work in third level institutions,
became the first academic trade union in
Europe to endorse the Palestinian call for
an academic boycott. In taking this stand,
the TUI is not only following a tradition of
What is the academic boycott?
Irish trade union solidarity with those
combating apartheid in South Africa, it is
also following the lead set by the Irish
Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) on
Palestine. Having adopted two motions in
2007 in support of boycott and divestment,
in 2008 ICTU released a report written by
a senior delegation to Palestine
recommending support for the boycott
The findings of the ICTU report were
conclusive on the nature of Israel's
policies, stating:
The delegation concurs with the
assessments of both ex-US President
Jimmy Carter, and UN Special
Rapporteur John Dugard – a professor
of International Law -that the
privileging of Israeli settlements, and
of settler movement in the West Bank
and East Jerusalem, taken in
conjunction with the repressive
measures used against the indigenous
Palestinian population, amounts to a
form of Apartheid. As such, this policy
must be seriously challenged by world
opinion and should be opposed in the
same way as Apartheid in South Africa
was opposed.4
What the boycott involves
It is important to note that the
Palestinian call for a boycott is a call
to boycott institutions, not
Palestinians do not advocate a boycott
of individuals; the boycott applies to
academics and scientists only when they
are representing their universities.
Boycott actions would entail such
activities as:
• not attending conferences co-
sponsored by Israeli authorities or
academic institutions
• not speaking at Israeli universities
• not collaborating with Israeli
research institutions on EU funded projects
• refusing to serve as referees for
publications based at Israeli universities
In the final section of this pamphlet we
discuss in more detail what actions are
needed to ensure that the boycott is fair
and effective. However, firstly we lay out
the reasons why people increasingly
support this call to boycott Israel.
6A student beside Israel’s illegal wall, near Birzeit University
Israeli policies that have provoked the
call for a boycott have been extensively
documented by international institutions
including the UN, Amnesty International
and the International Red Cross. In this
section we discuss how Israel mistreats
Palestinians, and how Israeli academia is
complicit in these everyday oppressive
practices. Together, these practices form a
system of control and exclusion based on
race and religion. The section then looks
at the specific ways in which Palestinian
universities, lecturers and students have
suffered under this system of rule.
Apartheid rule in Israel and the
Occupied Palestinian Territories
‘Inhumane acts... committed in the
context of an institutionalised regime
of systematic oppression and
domination by one racial group over
any other racial group or groups and
committed with the intention of
maintaining the regime’ (International
Criminal Court definition of
Apartheid. 1998)5
Reading any listing of Israeli actions
against Palestinians makes for a prfoundly
depressing experience.
Over 6,800 Palestinians, the majority of
them civilians and including over 1,500
children, have been killed by Israeli forces
in military attacks, assassinations, and
shelling of densely populated residential
areas since the year 2000. Israeli forces
have destroyed or damaged tens of
thousands of Palestinian homes, vast areas
of cultivated land including olive groves,
and much crucial civilian infrastructure,
including electricity power plants, roads,
bridges and water, sewage and telephone
networks, schools and universities.
The ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza has
made living conditions there almost
unbearable. In August 2012 the UN issued
a report entitled ‘Gaza in 2020: A liveable
place?’ The report forecasts that by 2020
Gaza will be virtually uninhabitable unless
immediate action is taken to end the Israeli
confinement and isolation of the territory.6
Ever-increasing restrictions imposed on
the movements of Palestinians and of
goods in the West Bank have made any
semblance of normal life impossible. Israel
is constructing a 720km separation wall -
that encloses and imprisons all major
Palestinian population centres - declared
illegal by the world’s highest court, the
International Court of Justice, in 2004. The
construction of illegal Israeli settlements
in the West Bank continues, served by a
network of roads for the use of Israeli
settlers exclusively. B’Tselem, the Israeli
human rights group, describes the system
as bearing “clear similarities to the racist
apartheid regime that existed in South
Equally in 2012, the UN Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(CERD) criticised Israeli policies in terms
of “apartheid”, as part of their published
CERD described “segregation between
7Why a boycott?Palestinian schoolgirls in a destroyed classroom, Nov 2012

Jewish and non-Jewish communities”, a
lack of “equal access to land and
property”, and “the ongoing policy of
home demolitions and forced displacement
of the indigenous Bedouin communities”
in the Naqab/Negev desert within the
Israeli state itself. More recently,
developments such as the laws barring
Palestinians in Israel from living with their
spouses from the Occupied Territories,
were part of CERD’s wide-ranging criticisms.
When reporting on the Occupied
Territories, CERD expressed extreme
concern about the legal system of
segregation and described a system
tantamount to apartheid:
The Committee is extremely
concerned at the consequences of
policies and practices which amount to
de facto segregation, such as the
implementation by the State party in
the Occupied Palestinian Territory of
two entirely separate legal systems and
sets of institutions for Jewish
communities grouped in illegal
settlements on the one hand and
Palestinian populations living in
Palestinian towns and villages on the
other hand. The Committee is
particularly appalled at the hermetic
character of the separation of two
groups, who live on the same territory
but do not enjoy either equal use of
roads and infrastructure or equal access
to basic services and water resources.
Such separation is concretized by the
implementation of a complex
combination of movement restrictions
consisting of the Wall, roadblocks, the
obligation to use separate roads and a
permit regime that only impacts the
Palestinian population.9
Many veterans of the South African
struggle against apartheid have also drawn
parallels between Israel and their country
under apartheid. As Archbishop Desmond
Tutu said in 2012:
Black South Africans and others
around the world have seen the 2010
Human Rights Watch report which
"describes the two-tier system of laws,
rules, and services that Israel operates
for the two populations in areas in the
West Bank under its exclusive control,
which provide preferential services,
development, and benefits for Jewish
settlers while imposing harsh
conditions on Palestinians." This, in
my book, is apartheid.10
Systematic discrimination within
While people may be aware of what is
happening in the Occupied Territories,
Palestinian citizens of Israel (a fifth of the
population) also face systematic
Although Palestinian citizens of Israel
have the right to vote and run for office,
they face de jure and de facto
discrimination in many areas of life. Their
schools and municipalities are
A punative Israeli army night raid in the Palestinina village
of Nabi Saleh. Such raids are common and are the cause of
psychological trauma in young children and teenagers

underfunded, many of their communities
do not receive electricity or other basic
services, they are barred from many jobs,
they are not allowed to live in many
municipalities, and universities
discriminate against them.
These laws and practices include:
• The Law of Return which grants
automatic citizenship rights to Jews
from anywhere in the world upon
request, while denying that same right
to Palestinians.
• The Nationality and Entry into
Israel Law prevents Palestinians from
the Occupied Territories who are
married to Palestinian citizens of Israel
from gaining residency or citizenship
status. The law forces thousands of
Palestinian citizens of Israel to either
leave Israel or live separately from
their spouses and children.
• The Basic Law of Human
Dignity and Liberty which defines
Israel as a Jewish state rather than a
state for all its citizens.
• 93% of the land in Israel is
owned either by the state or by quasi-
governmental agencies, such as the
Jewish National Fund that discriminate
against non-Jews. Palestinian citizens
of Israel face significant legal obstacles
in gaining access to this land.
• In October 2010, a new law allowed smaller
Israeli towns to reject residents who
do not suit "the community's
fundamental outlook", based on
sex, religion, and socioeconomic status. This has
allowed ‘Jewish towns’ to keep non-Jews out.
• More than seventy Palestinian
communities in Israel are
unrecognized by the government,
receive no water or electricity, and are
not even listed on official maps. Many
other towns with a majority Palestinian
population lack basic services and
receive significantly less funding than
majority-Jewish towns.
• The Israeli government operates
two separate school systems, one for
Jewish children and one for Palestinian
Arab children. Discrimination against
Palestinian Arab children colors every
aspect of the two systems. According
to Human Right Watch, these schools
are “often overcrowded and
understaffed, poorly built, badly
maintained, or simply unavailable”,
with “fewer facilities and educational
opportunities” than those available to
Jewish-Israeli children.
Altogether, Palestinian citizens of the
state face over fifty laws that target and
discriminate against them.11
Israeli academic institutions: Their
complicity with the Occupation
Palestinians have repeatedly
pointed out that Israeli academia is
complicit in their oppression. The
Israeli army and security industries
employ thousands of scientists in
all parts of their operations, with
the Israeli army being the largest
investor in R&D in Israel’s
academia. A large proportion of
Israeli academics in the STEM
subjects (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) are
In the rough and tumble reality of the Middle East, Tel Aviv University is at the front line of the critical work to maintain Israel's military and technological edge” (Tel Aviv University Review, Winter 2008-9)
employed by the Ministry of Defence in
security related projects.
It is not only the sciences - Israeli
architects design the architecture of
occupation, its doctors are engaged in
‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, its
social scientists research means of
controlling the population in the Occupied
Territories. In a technologically advanced
society, academia plays an important part
in regimes of control – nowhere is this
truer than in Israel/Palestine.
A 2009 report by the Alternative
Information Centre, based in Israel,
outlines in detail how Israeli universities
uphold the occupation and discriminate
against Palestinians. Below are selected
examples of this complicity.12
• Israeli universities are physically
part of the occupation. The Hebrew
University has student accommodation
and part of its campus in the Occupied
Territories. The recently opened Ariel
University is located fully in an illegal
Israeli settlement
• Playing their part in a militarized
society, Israeli universities provide
preferential treatment to soldiers,
granting scholarships and academic
benefits based on military service.
During the 2008-9 assault on Gaza,
universities gave grants and academic
credits to students for each day of
military service. For obvious reasons,
the vast majority of Palestinian citizens
of Israel do not join the army and are
thus excluded from this preferential
• The Israeli army is a huge
presence on campuses. It runs
hundreds of its training sessions in
Israel’s universities who vie with each
other to attract such courses. The
Hebrew University in Jerusalem offers
a special fast-track degree programme
to members of the General Security
Service, or the Shin Bet, which has
used its intelligence gathering abilities
to maintain the occupation, and which
stands accused of torture. The
University of Haifa offers custom
designed Masters programmes for
Israeli soldiers, with the University’s
rector stating that the University of
Haifa was proud to be an “academic
10Young Palestinians at a-Zeitim checkpoint in East Jerusalem, between the neighborhoods of Abu Dis and At-Tur (Alison Deger)
home for the security forces.”13
• Israel’s Ministry of Education in
2012 urged students to participate in
online hasbara (propaganda)
campaigns to ‘influence global public
opinion’.14 The universities of Haifa,
Tel Aviv and Ariel offer hasbara
(propaganda) programmes in
conjunction with government
ministries to train students to advocate
and propagandise for the state.
• Psychometric tests (personality
and aptitude tests) are used by Israeli
universities to stop Palestinian students
from entering university, since these
students do worse in these tests.
Indeed, the Israeli state abolished
psychometric tests in 2003, but
immediately re-introduced them. The
reason for this, as an official explained,
was that in the absence of such tests,
too many Palestinian schoolchildren
were getting into university.15
Since the Alternative Information
Centre report was published in 2009,
dissent within Israeli universities has been
increasingly stifled. A report published in
November 2012 by the Arab Culture
Association highlights that “the 2011-2012
academic year saw more aggressive
oppression of freedom of expression and
of the organization of cultural and political
activities by Arab students”.16
Israel’s attacks on Palestinian
academic freedom
The academic boycott of Israeli
universities is often presented by its
opponents as an infringement of academic
freedom, but one must ask what freedom
do Palestinian universities have?
Under Article IV of the Geneva
Conventions an occupying power is
responsible for the security and normal life
of the residents of the territory of which
they have taken control. Rather than taking
this responsibility, Israel has sought to
disrupt the functioning of Palestinian
universities. Below are just some of the
ways in which this happens.
• Israel collects taxes in the
Occupied Territories but provides no
funds for Palestinian universities.
Because of the devastated Palestinian
economy many students cannot pay
their fees. Palestinian universities rely
on aid from NGOs and donations of
material from overseas the flow of
which is so often disrupted by Israel.
Consequently, university infrastructure
has become seriously degraded and
students are often without the most
basic material support for learning.
• Israeli authorities arbitrarily
withhold or fail to renew work permits
for foreign faculty members, and also
for Palestinians with foreign
citizenship. International students and
foreign staff members are subject to
aggressive and humiliating
interrogation by Israeli soldiers,
sometimes resulting in deportation.
Staff of professorial rank and senior
administrative responsibilities have
been deported or denied entry when
returning from foreign visits.
• Since 2000, Israel has prevented
11Schoolgirls at an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Hebron
all students from Gaza from reaching
their places of study in the West Bank.
• The wider movement restrictions
have created what are in effect internal
borders in the Occupied Territories, as
a result of which, new students are
unable to enrol at any but their most
local university. In October 2006 the
Presidents of all eleven Palestinian
universities issued an unprecedented
joint letter on movement restrictions.
These movement controls, they said,
were threatening to empty the
Occupied Territories of their educated
There have been numerous direct Israeli
military attacks on Palestinian educational
institutes, on students and on educators.
Israeli security forces have frequently fired
tear gas at Palestinian schools, resulting in
students suffering from tear-gas inhalation.
In several instances, direct attacks on
schools or military use of schools have
been reported.18
Taking just one operation as example:
the Israeli military assault on Gaza of
December 2008 /January 2009 (‘Operation
Cast Lead’). During this assault, ten
schools and eight kindergartens were
destroyed and at least 262 other schools
and kindergartens were damaged or
severely damaged. Six university
buildings were completely destroyed and
16 were damaged. An Israeli air strike also
destroyed the American International
School in Gaza. According to a UNESCO
report 250 students and 15 teachers were
killed in the assault, and 656 students and
19 teachers were injured.19
Under these conditions academic
freedom for Palestinians is emptied of all
real meaning. The destruction of
infrastructure, civil society, and cultural
and intellectual life cannot be separated
from the issue of academic freedom. The
ability of teachers, researchers and
students to deliver and access teaching and
research cannot be separated from the
issue of academic freedom. The right to be
free from arbitrary detentions and delays,
and from the violence of an occupying
army cannot be separated from the issue of
academic freedom. This is to say that
academic freedom is fundamentally linked
with other kinds of protections and rights
and is ineffective without them.
As the UN Special Rapporteur on the
Right to Education said in 2005, “military
occupations are an appreciable curb on the
human right to education, the most
egregious example being the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict”.20
Civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli white phosphorus strike on a UN school in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead
Many arguments have been raised
against the academic boycott. In this
section we will go through the main ones
and disentangle fact from myth.
Boycott = A new McCarthyism?
Claim: The academic boycott would
mean applying a test of political
correctness to Israeli academics. Foreign
academics would then only collaborate
with those who ‘passed’.
Reality: The boycott is aimed at
institutions, not individuals. It applies
to individual academics only in so far as
they are acting on behalf of or as officials
or representatives of Israeli academic
institutions, or of Israeli higher education
at the national level. There are no
exclusion clauses, hence no tests of
individual ‘correctness’.
What about Academic Freedom?
Claim: The highest value of academics
is free communication of information and
ideas – in fact, academic freedom. To set
up roadblocks to association, collaboration
and discussion violates utterly this principle.
Reality: The ideal of the universality of
scientific and scholarly discourse is both
important and attractive to academics.
However, no principle can be an inviolable
imperative, since there is always the
possibility of conflict with other
The widely-held default position in the
practice of academic work is the avoidance
of any discrimination on grounds of
citizenship, religion, politics, race, colour,
language, age or sex. Only exceptional
circumstances, such as the violation of
other at least equally important principles,
could justify its breach.
But exceptional circumstances do occur.
The long-running academic boycott of
South Africa was widely seen as justified
both outside and within that country. As
recently as 1998, all Serbian universities
were suspended from CRE, the
Association of European Universities. The
exceptional circumstances reagrding Israel
have already been outlined in this
pamphlet; they consist of systematic
violations of international law, human
rights and academic freedom in the
Occupied Territories.
A supposedly “neutral” position (non-
boycott) that uses the rationale that we are
protecting the academic freedom of Israeli
institutions ignores not only the academic
freedoms of Palestinians but also their
human rights. As we have discussed
above, academic freedom does not really
exist in Israel/Palestine. Rather what exists
is academic privilege for one group, at the
expense of another. It is somewhat of a
misnomer to claim that one is defending
academic freedom by opposing the
boycott, when half of the population under
Israeli control is not only deprived of their
academic freedom but also their basic
human rights.
Why pick on Israel?
Claim: Many countries in the world
have repressive regimes where torture is
routine. Many countries violently
discriminate against women and have an
appalling record on human rights. Why
13Arguments against an academic boycott

aren’t boycotters targeting all these
countries? Why single out Israel?
Reality: There are many oppressive
regimes in the world; we might hope that
all of them would be universally
condemned. But, inevitably, everyone
singles out those issues that particularly
concern them. Indeed to have any effect, it
is necessary to be selective. Does anyone
say to those who campaign against
governments complicit in the murder of
trade unionists in Latin America, or
regimes involved in torture in Asia, “why
single out these countries”? And of course
many who feel strongly about Israeli
policies have also participated in
mobilisations against other repressive governments.
There are situations in which boycott is
inappropriate. There are situations, such as
Tibet, where the oppressed population has
not called for boycott. Does that mean that
it should not be used in those cases, such
as Israel, where it can be effective and
where the oppressed population has called
for boycott? To bring up cases other than
Israel implies that Israel should be immune
from censure until all other wrongs
everywhere else have been righted (i.e., forever).
There are, in addition, some good
reasons for treating Israel as a special case
with regards to Europe and the US. Israel
is special as it continues to be a settler-
state in the 21st century – a state which,
contrary to countless UN resolutions, still
illegally occupies lands which others had
cultivated for centuries. Israel is again
special in being the only nuclear power in
the Middle East, yet somehow immune to
the sort of pressure exerted on Iran.
Israel’s creation and the subjugation of
the Palestinian people is a direct result of
the policies of European powers, and Israel
is maintained by regular financing from
the US and the EU. The discrimination
against Palestinians by the Israeli state thus
has a direct link to western governments.
This places a more urgent obligation on
western civil society groups to speak out.
For while Israel portrays itself as akin to a
western liberal democracy and sees itself
as part of the West, the reality for
Palestinians is far from democracy.
Nevertheless, the EU finds Israel to be
‘special’ – special enough to ignore the
human rights clauses in its own treaties to
give Israel special trading privileges and
ensure that Israel benefits hugely from EU
funding for its academic/military research.
The EU has embraced Israeli arms
companies, such as the Israel Aerospace
Industries, for joint collaboration on green
technology and other civilian high-tech
projects. These companies’ core business,
however, is the production of arms, with
only a peripheral section of their enterprise
dedicated to other technology destined for
civilian use. The lack of transparency
about the intended use of the jointly
produced EU-Israeli technology suggests
that much of the collaboration in research
ends up benefitting the Israeli arms industry.21
The EU has been successful in signing
preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with
many Middle Eastern and North African
countries (MENA region) who are
incentivized to sign up to human rights
obligations in particular when the potential
volume of trade with the EU is significant.
Research has shown that when PTAs
have been made conditional on
compliance with human rights objectives,
they have been effective in decreasing
some state repression in those countries on
which the conditionality is imposed. This
boycott would encourage the EU to
comply with its own conditionality clauses
on human rights and respect – in particular
– the EU code of conduct on arms exports.
The double standards that operate in
international affairs are those which favour
Israel, rather than the reverse. The boycott
then is a tactical pressure, appropriate to
the circumstances of Israel, to secure
change in its policies.
Isn’t the boycott just anti-Semitism in action?
Claim: Isn’t the reason for picking on
Israel in this selective way just another
manifestation of anti-Semitism?
Reality: The boycott is not a boycott of
Jews – indeed many prominent supporters
of the boycott are Jewish, with many Jews
around the world distancing themselves
from the acts of the Israeli state as a way
of reclaiming the Jewish tradition of
justice and universality. The claim of anti-
Semitism confuses Israel – a state; and
Jews – a religious or ethnic group. Not all
Jews are Israelis. Equally not all Israelis
are Jewish –a fifth of the population of
Israel is not. Nor is the boycott aimed at
individual Israelis (Jewish or otherwise)
working either inside or outside Israel.
Anti-Semitism is a form of virulent
racism. It is a long-standing and world-
wide phenomenon, a deeply-held negative
fantasy about the character of Jews as
Jews. It is an antagonism towards Jews,
irrespective of what Jews do. Anti -
Semitism needs no particular facts to
sustain itself, even though Israeli
mistreatment of Palestinians has
unfortunately served as its agent. People
working towards progressive change need
to challenge all forms of racism.
Undoubtedly this includes anti-Semitism;
it also includes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Israel is different to South Africa...
Claim: Academic boycotts may
occasionally be justified, as in the case of
apartheid, but Israel’s case is quite
different from that of South Africa.
Reality: The similarities between
apartheid South Africa and present day
Israel and the Occupied Territories are
uncanny. The development of settlements
(contrary to repeated UN resolutions) and
the web of military roads divide the
Occupied Territories into the equivalent of
South Africa’s bantustans. There is covert,
but sometimes open, racism – open for
example when Cabinet Ministers and MPs
advocate the forcible expulsion of Arabs from Israel.
Identity cards in Israel/Palestine
incorporate a racial identity marker.
Together with domicile control (especially
in East Jerusalem) they constitute an
equivalent of South Africa’s Pass Law
system. A similar effect to the South
African Group Areas Act is achieved in
Israel by land seizures and the selective
refusal of construction permits to
Palestinians. The education systems for
Israelis and Palestinians are separate and
unequal. Racial discrimination permeates
all aspects of life, including those as
surreal as the sight of “Jewish-only”
parking lots in Jerusalem.
There are of course differences. For
example Israel does not have the enforced
social apartheid of South Africa – it
operates instead by the systematic
15 “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” - Nelson Mandela

exclusion of Palestinians from land, access
and resources. Another difference is that
the population Israel subjects to direct
discrimination is of comparable size to its
own, rather than a great majority, which
was the case in South Africa. (However,
the more than five million Palestinian
refugees must also be counted as part of an eventual solution).
Regardless, the similarities between
Israel and apartheid South Africa are
profound. Israel too has been a force for
instability and war in the wider region; its
internal policies have generated increasing
and wide-spread international criticism;
there has been a call from representative
organisations of the oppressed for
international boycott, divestment and
sanctions. Indeed, the differences are less
important than the very fact of apartheid –
as defined by the International Criminal
Court – being practised at all. The award-
winning documentary ‘Roadmap to
Apartheid’ explores these similarities in great detail.
Many prominent South Africans have
emphasised these parallels and expressed
their support for an academic boycott of
Israel. They include Nelson Mandela,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Ronnie
Kasrils (a Jewish ANC freedom fighter
and former Minister in the South African Government).
Are Israeli academics not the
Palestinians’ best Israeli friends?
Claim: Many of those Israelis most
critical of their country’s policies towards
the Occupied Territories are academics.
What sense does it make to target them by a boycott?
Reality: There are indeed courageous
Israeli academics who raise their voices
against repressive Israeli government
policies. Not all, but many, of these
academics also support the academic
boycott. But those academics who raise
their voices – irrespective of their view on
boycott - are painfully few. That no
university has officially adopted a critical
position is not surprising. But neither has
there been a single motion passed by an
Israeli university senate in defence of
Palestinian academic freedom. Nor has
there been one by any academic
professional association or trade union.
This is despite the deliberate degradation
of the Palestinian universities and
educational system, as described above.
There is no absence of critical debate on
these issues in, for example, the Israeli
press. In many countries universities and
their teachers are centres of dissenting
thought. In Israel, possibly because of their
very close links to the military, academic
institutions have been quiescent. It is
unfortunate that far from being friends to
the Palestinians, Israeli academics have
been key participants in their oppression.
Should we not be talking instead of boycotting?
Claim: Even if Israeli university staff
and institutions have not opposed the
occupation of Palestine and the repressive
policies in force there, surely it is better to
keep talking to them, to build bridges,
rather than have them retreat into their shells.
Reality: This is a curious claim. In
reality, those proposing the boycott are
active in dialogue wherever and whenever
possible. It is Israeli universities and
opponents of the boycott who attempt to
silence critics rather than debate with them.
Many of the same people who are
saying ‘build bridges’ (in order to head off
a boycott) are intent on demolishing them
should any serious discussion of boycotts
or Israeli policies occur. The most
common way they do this is through the
accusation of anti-Semitism and the
practice of ‘lawfare’ – threatening or
actually implementing legal actions
against bodies that discuss or implement
boycott. British trade unions such as
Universities and Colleges Union (UCU)
have learned to weather such threats.22
In fact, none of the boycotters wants to
stop talking to Israeli academics. We are
always happy to talk, to debate, to discuss
with Israeli colleagues and do so at all
opportunities. What we do not want is
business as usual – that is to give Israeli
academics, and through them the Israeli
public, the impression that whatever they
do to Palestinians has no consequences for them.
Will the boycott not hurt Palestinians?
Claim: Ordinary Palestinians will also
suffer because of the boycott. Rather than
boycotting Israeli Universities, why don’t
we demand that they open up access to
Palestinians more, and also help
Palestinian universities?
Reality: Our boycott campaign is not
just about Palestinian universities, but is
provoked by the multiple assaults on
human rights and international law
perpetrated by the Israeli government. In
any case it is not ‘help Palestinian
universities or boycott Israeli ones’. There
is no contradiction; people can work to
both help Palestinian universities and to
boycott Israeli ones. Having said that,
assistance to Palestinian Universities,
whether by way of visiting foreign staff or
financial donations, is so often hampered
by the actions of the Israeli state (see
above). Moreover, Palestinians do not
want to be objects of charity; they want
their human and political rights so as they
can develop and run their own society.
Claims that boycott hurts Palestinians
are akin to earlier claims made by
supporters of South African apartheid that
boycott hurts black South Africans. In
response, both Palestinians and black
South Africans issued unambiguous and
repeated calls for boycott of a deeply
racialised system which offers them no future.
Our academic colleagues in these
Palestinian universities are calling for us
in unequivocal tones to boycott Israel.
There is clear reason for this: they know
that Palestinian universities need an end to
the Occupation, and that boycott is a non-
violent way of helping bring this about. It
would be hypocritical and patronising to
speak of ‘helping the Palestinians’, while
ignoring what they say.
Following the TUI vote in favour of
boycott, the major academic unions in
Palestine wrote to thank the TUI for the
vote. Referencing the earlier pledge by
Irish artists to boycott Israel,23 they had this to say:
The TUI has proven beyond doubt, just
as many leading Irish artists have in
2010, that effective solidarity with the
oppressed, including by isolating the
oppressor, is the most morally and
politically sound contribution to the
struggle to end oppression and to
promote human rights as well as a just
future for all.24
In this section we discuss the
relationship between Irish Universities and
Israel and conclude by outlining the
practical ways in which Irish academics
can take a stand for Palestinian rights, and
implement the boycott.
The EU, Irish universities and Israel
Israeli universities, in conjunction with
the Israeli arms industry, benefit hugely
from EU research funding. To date Israel
has coordinated 1071 EU research projects
(i.e. been responsible for their
development and implementation) and has
been a project partner on an additional
3,090. The funding of these projects
represents billions of euro.
The EU has funded Israeli projects with
direct military applications (e.g. drone
development), with indirect applications
(e.g. biotechnologies that have uses in
torture), and projects in settlements (e.g.
Ahava who make Dead Sea cosmetics).
The EU has thus been supporting the
occupation and collaborating in Israel's
military development very directly
through R&D funding over the years.
Israeli military companies such as Elbit
Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries
have received public funding from the EU,
collaborating with European universities
through their participation in EU
Framework funded projects, of which
Horizon 2020 is the latest iteration. Both
Elbit and Israeli Aerospace Industries have
supplied drones used by Israel to kill
civilians, and both have unlawfully
developed and provided security and
surveillance equipment for Israel’s illegal Separation Wall.
A number of leading Irish universities
are collaborating with Israeli research
institutes and companies on military,
security and surveillance research projects
funded by the EU, for example: Trinity
College Dublin with both Israeli drone
manufacturers Elbit Security Systems
(TASS) and Israel’s International Security
and Counter-terrorism Academy
(TACTICS); UCC with Israel’s prime
weapon’s development institute, Technion
(COMMONSENSE); University of Ulster
with Bar Ilan University on a security
project (SAFE-COMMS); and NUI
Galway with Tel Aviv University on
aerospace project (INTAS).25 To date, Irish
universities have collaborated with Israel
in 257 projects to date, seven of them
listed as ‘security’, thirteen as ‘aerospace’
These programs are administered by Irish
EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
This type of institutional collaboration
implicates Irish academia in support of
Israeli military projects and the
occupation. In 2011, Palestinian academic
organisations reiterated their call for
European universities not to collaborate
with such projects and to “Immediately
end all research collaboration with Israeli
military companies and all Israeli research
institutions that are involved in violating
international law and human rights.”26 We
believe Irish academic institutions should heed this call.
What you can do to support the boycott
Apart from seeking to influence the
academic institutions we are part of to
respect the boycott, there are actions that
all of us can take in our own academic life.
18Moving on: What can you do?

The following list of actions contains
suggestions about what we can do. The list
is not intended to be exhaustive; it is
impossible to cover all cases that may
arise, and for difficult cases academics can
always consult their Palestinian colleagues
through the Palestinian Campaign for the
Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
(PACBI). However the following actions
suggested by PACBI, cover many of the
situations in academic life.27
• Refrain from organizing any joint
activity, whether directly or indirectly,
with any Israeli institution that is
subject to boycott, regardless of the
pretext and of the sponsors of this activity
• Refrain from visiting Israeli
universities or participating in
conferences held in these universities
• Refuse to collaborate with Israeli
research institutions on EU funded projects
• Refrain from publishing in or
refereeing articles for academic
journals based at Israeli universities
• Refrain from availing of visiting
lecturers or student exchange
programmes sponsored by Israeli
academic institutions or by the Israeli state.
• Object to the convening in Israel
of conferences and meetings of
international bodies and associations;
and to conferences which include the
participation of Israeli institutions.
It is important to let Israeli institutions
understand why you are taking the action
that you are; the reason for not associating
with them is not lack of time or interest,
but because as an academic, you are taking
the moral stand of respecting the
Palestinian call for boycott. Stephen
Hawking’s decision in mid-2013 not to
attend a conference in Israel sent a
powerful message to Israelis and
Palestinians alike. The reason it made such
an impact was because he sent a letter to
the conference organisers openly stating
that he would not attend because he was
heeding the advice of his Palestinian
colleagues to respect the boycott. By
informing the Israeli institution clearly and
politely that you are one of a growing
number of academics who support the
boycott, you are informing them that
‘business as usual’ is no longer possible.
Palestinian students in Birzeit University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
In addition, boycott actions will be more
successful if there is strong consensus
around them. Therefore it is important to
organize awareness-raising talks within
your academic institutions for staff and for students.
Join Academics for Palestine
Academics for Palestine has been set up
to help create awareness about the issue
and to build the academic boycott
campaign in Ireland. We aim to organise
and publicise meetings, discussions and
events on campuses across the island of
Ireland, to keep members informed about
ongoing developments in Palestine/Israel,
and to encourage unions and academic
bodies in Ireland to take a leading role in
the academic boycott of Israel, just as they
took such a role in relation to the boycott
of apartheid South Africa.
If you are interested in organising an
event, or in becoming a member of
Academics for Palestine or would simply
like to discuss the issues more with us, you
can contact us at:
You can also visit our website at:
Palestinian students celebrate graduation in An-Najah University, Nablus

21Appendix I: The Palestinian Call for BoycottIn full, the PACBI call for boycott reads:
Whereas Israel's colonial oppression of the Palestinian people, which
is based on Zionist ideology, comprises the following:
• Denial of its responsibility for the Nakba -- in particular the
waves of ethnic cleansing and dispossession that created the Palestinian
refugee problem -- and therefore refusal to accept the inalienable rights
of the refugees and displaced stipulated in and protected by international law;
• Military occupation and colonization of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)
and Gaza since 1967, in violation of international law and UN resolutions;
• The entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation against the
Palestinian citizens of Israel, which resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa;
Since Israeli academic institutions (mostly state controlled) and the vast majority of
Israeli intellectuals and academics have either contributed directly to maintaining,
defending or otherwise justifying the above forms of oppression, or have been complicit
in them through their silence,
Given that all forms of international intervention have until now failed to force Israel to
comply with international law or to end its repression of the Palestinians, which has
manifested itself in many forms, including siege, indiscriminate killing, wanton
destruction and the racist colonial wall,
In view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community of scholars
and intellectuals have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice,
as exemplified in their struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse
forms of boycott,
Recognizing that the growing international boycott movement against Israel has
expressed the need for a Palestinian frame of reference outlining guiding principles,
In the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and
We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the international
community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural

institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonization and
system of apartheid, by applying the following:
• Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation,
collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
• Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and
international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to
these institutions;
• Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic
• Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be
adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
• Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring
them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such
Endorsed by:
Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees; Palestinian
General Federation of Trade Unions; Palestinian NGO Network, West Bank; Teachers'
Federation; Palestinian Writers' Federation; Palestinian League of Artists; Palestinian
Journalists' Federation; General Union of Palestinian Women; Palestinian Lawyers'
Association; and tens of other Palestinian federations, associations, and civil society
organizations. (6th July 2004)

23Appendix II: TUI Motion
The Teachers Union of Ireland motion in full reads:
Motion 241. Executive Committee/Dublin Colleges (x4)
TUI demand that ICTU step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS)
gainst the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal
occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by International law and all UN
Resolutions against it.
Congress instructs the Executive Committee to:
(a) Conduct an awareness campaign amongst TUI members on the need for BDS
(b) Request all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel,
including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as
all cooperation in research programmes.
1. PACBI. 2004. Call for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel - http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=869
BDS Movement. 2005.
2. Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS - http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
3. Asa Winstanley. 2013. Irish academics’ union votes to "cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel". Electronic
4. ICTU. 2008. Israel and Palestine ICTU Delegation Visit November 2007. P.43
5. International Criminal Court. 1998. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 1998.
7. B’Tselem. 2004. Forbidden Roads: The Discriminatory West Bank Road Regime p.3
8. UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 2012. Concluding Observations: Israel.
9. UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 2012. Concluding Observations: Israel. P.6
10. Desmond Tutu. 2012. Justice requires action to stop subjugation of Palestinians. Tampa Bay Times
11. Adalah. 2013. Discriminatory Laws in Israel Database (Accessed Januray 2014).
12. Alternative Information Centre. 2009. Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in
13. The Arab Culture Association. 2012. Annual Summary Report 2011/2012. Monitoring discrimination, racism and political
oppression exercised against Palestinian Arab university students in Israeli universities and colleges during the2011/2012
14. Alternative Information Center. 2012. Education ministry to high school students: help with hasbara.
15. Relly Sa'ar. 2003. Universities return to aptitude exams to keep Arabs out. Ha’aretz. - http://www.haaretz.com/print-
16. The Arab Culture Association. 2012. Annual Summary Report 2011/2012. Monitoring discrimination, racism and political
oppression exercised against Palestinian Arab university students in Israeli universities and colleges during the 2011/2012
17. Times Higher Education Supplement. 2006. Israel's border policy brain drain
18. United Nations. 2013. Report of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed
Conflict: Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel
19. UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. 2010. Education under Attack 2010 - Israel/the Palestinian
20. Al-Haq. 2005. Palestinian education under Israeli occupation.
http://asp.alhaq.org/zalhaq/site/eDocs/txtDocs/Presentations/Palestinian Education under Israeli Occupation - final.pdf
21. David Cronin. 2010. Europe’s Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation, Pluto Press.
22. For a full report of a failed ‘lawfare’ legal challenege against UCU, see PACBI. 2013. Israel’s Lawfare against BDS in
23. Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 2010. Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel
24. Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 2013. Palestinian Academics, Teachers and Writers Salute the Teachers Union of
25. CORDIS Website. EU research projects
26. BDS Movement. 2011. Don’t Collaborate with Apartheid: A call from Palestinian civil society on European universities,
- academics, students and people of conscience http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/dont-collaborate-with-apartheid-8202
27. PACBI. 2010. PACBI Guidelines for the International Academic Boycott of Israel
Responding to the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, a group
of concerned academics in Ireland has begun a campaign to urge Irish-based academics
to support the boycott, which is intended to last until Israeli academia ends its complicity
in - and in many cases its active support for - the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,
its role in the unequal treatment of Israeli citizens whose ethnicity is Palestinian, and its
support for illegal settlements that usurp lands in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem.
This information booklet explains the origin of the academic boycott campaign and
explores its rationale by addressing frequently asked questions about the campaign. It
explains what the boycott entails and the kinds of actions it excludes. For example, the
boycott is directed at institutions but not at individual academics. The booklet also
includes a section on the framework of European Union funding which aids Israel's
military-industrial complex, and information on a number of weapons-related projects
that Irish universities are implicated in through their collaboration with Israeli companies.
Although a full list of such egregious collaborations is not available, we hope that by
launching this campaign, the lid will be lifted on the extent of Irish academic support for
Israel's occupation and its system of apartheid. Lastly, we provide a list of suggested
actions that academics can take to advance the boycott.
Published in February 2014 byAcademics for PalestineWith additional funding fromTrade Union Friends of PalestineandTeachers’ Union of Ireland - Dublin Colleges Branch

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