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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Two Academic Boycott Initiatives: Brazil and India


Editorial Note

Two new boycott initiatives are gaining momentum. One, The Palestinian BDS campaign in Brazil (Campanha de boicote acadêmico a Israel - BDS-Brasil) has scored success as 249 academics have signed an academic boycott call against Israel. The BDS campaign was initiated by a number of Palestinians with ties to Brazil, such as Abo Ali, 
a Palestinian from Lebanon who lived in Brazil and is back in Ramallah, he is a former Facebook software engineer; Jihad Abu Ali, and Faruk Zahra. The BDS page was opened on the 12th of January, in three days the number of signatures increased from 50 to 200

Arguably, the initiative drew its strength by starting with instructions of PACBI on How to Organize the Academic Boycott of Israel; moving on to an article in Counterpunch "On the Fallacy of ‘Engaging’ with the Israeli Academy" by Haim Bresheeth, from 2013; then a report on BDS by Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil that was published in 2014; followed by reports of International Middle East Media CenterMiddle East Monitor and its summary of reactions to BDS in Israel and its description of Israel's BDS despair

Still, a few readers left angry comments and one warned that the Brazilian universities are low in ranking so the push for BDS will make them even worse.

The second initiative is in its initial stages and it is not clear whether it would take off, of an 
upcoming conference at the Hebrew University.

The Economic Times of India reported that more than 50 American and Indian academics "including Partha Chatterjee, Aijaz Ahmad and Elisabeth Armstrong, have launched a campaign for boycotting Jerusalem-based Hebrew University’s upcoming seminar on Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian National Army and related events in Indian history during World War II." 

The report states that this move was initiated after the Indian Foreign Minister returned from a meeting with the Arab League and a visit to Israel and Palestine.  According to one of the signatories calling to boycott, "These are institutions of occupation. Hebrew University violates international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949."

Palestinians are spending a lot of time, energy and money on boycotting Israel initiatives.  Having been launched on Western campuses, the BDS movement has now spread to South Africa, South America and India.  Israel needs to do more to cope with the problem. 

India Times - The Times of India 
The Economic Times

Academicians call for boycott of Hebrew University seminar on Bose and India during WWII

ET Bureau  
26 Jan, 2016, 09.05PM IST

NEW DELHI: More than 50 American and Indian academicians, including Partha Chatterjee, Aijaz Ahmad and Elisabeth Armstrong, have launched a campaign for boycotting Jerusalem-based Hebrew University's upcoming seminar on Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian National Army and related events in Indian history during World War II. 

On Monday, a day after Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj returned from a meeting with Arab League countries and a week after her visits to Israel and Palestine, the group released a statement appealing fellow academicians not to attend the event. 

They accused the university of being "complicit with occupation, warfare, and apartheid" and denying freedom of speech to its few Palestinian students. Speaking with ET, Vijay Prashad, one of the signatories, expressed apprehension that "India's new tilt to Israel" might mean that the issue of Palestinian occupation may be sidelined. 

During her visits to Palestine and Israel, Swaraj sought to affirm India's friendship with both countries. However, she also said India attached the "highest importance" for the full development of bilateral ties with Israel. 

"We are concerned that India's new tilt to Israel would mean ignoring the occupation of the Palestinians. Institutions such as the Hebrew University, which benefit from the occupation, should not be given a free pass. The Indian government and Indian civil society should not allow them to masquerade as normal institutions. These are institutions of occupation. Hebrew University violates international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949," Prashad said. 

According to the group's statement, "the academic boycott is a powerful tool for scholars to express our principled opposition to occupation, apartheid, and colonization. While all Israeli universities are deeply complicit with the state's colonial and racist policies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy." 

It then details a list of charges against the Jerusalem-based university: its Mount Scopus campus is built on Palestinian land illegally confiscated by Israel in 1968; it maintains close ties with the Israeli military industry, which is accused of war crimes against Palestinian civilians; it discriminates against Palestinians, including those who are citizens of Israel; and denies freedom of speech and protest to its few Palestinian students. 

The university didn't respond until press time on Tuesday to an email sent by ET seeking comment. 

The creation of Israel, Palestine and India was deeply influenced by the events of the Second World War. Also, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's actions during the period have been lately discussed in greater detail, following the release of previously classified documents. The proposed conference's agenda and the opposition to it are now likely to set off a fresh controversy. 

The Hebrew University's official advertisement for the international conference, titled 'The Indian Predicament: South Asia in WWII', says the core idea is to "historicise WWII and its memory in the Indian subcontinent". It rues that "WWII has been a marginal subject in Indian historiography, occluded by the grand themes of the transfer of power and the partition of India. Our workshop seeks to build upon existing literature and further develop a research agenda that would bring the war center stage." Topics on which the papers are invited, until February 1, include: Fall of Singapore, Indian soldiers in different war theatres, Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA, INA Trials, Bengal Famine and others. 

Notably, the statement from the group of academicians and writers concedes that the subject matter of the international workshop is certainly one on which "an interesting discussion (can) be had about "comprehension, memory, and judgment" of WWII and the role of nationalist struggle that would productively bring historians of South Asia to discuss these questions in Jerusalem. But we cannot do so until the occupation of Palestine and blockade of Gaza ends, racial inequality inflicted on Palestinians in Israel is terminated, and the apartheid wall is dismantled."



Campanha de boicote acadêmico a Israel - BDS-Brasil
January 12 

Carta de adesão ao movimento de boicote acadêmico a Israel

Lançado em 2005, o movimento Boicote – Desinvestimento – Sanções (BDS) tem o objetivo de pressionar Israel a cumprir com o Direito Internacional e a Declaração Universal dos Direitos do Homem. A campanha exige o fim da ocupação e colonização de todos os territórios árabes e o desmantelamento do Muro; o reconhecimento dos direitos fundamentais dos cidadãos Árabes-Palestinos de Israel à plena igualdade; e o respeito, proteção e promoção dos direitos dos refugiados Palestinos ao regresso às suas casas e propriedades como estipulado na resolução 194 da ONU.

Dentre as atividades organizadas pelo BDS estão as de boicote acadêmico e cultural. De acordo com seus organizadores, “artistas e instituições culturais de todo o mundo podem enviar a Israel uma mensagem clara de que a sua ocupação e discriminação contra os Palestinos é inaceitável. Em particular, o boicote acadêmico pode ter impacto significativo nas instituições responsáveis por promover as teorias e os conhecimentos necessários para o prosseguimento, por Israel, das suas políticas de ocupação e discriminação”.

Importantes entidades acadêmicas aderiram à campanha de boicote ao redor do mundo, tal como a American Anthropological Association (AAA), a Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) e a American Studies Association. Professores e pesquisadores de vários países também se pronunciaram favoravelmente ao BDS, como os mais de 300 acadêmicos ingleses que assinaram uma nota a respeito. Associações estudantis e sindicatos de professores têm aprovado resoluções aderindo à campanha.

Os professores e pesquisadores abaixo-assinados, reafirmando seu compromisso com a justiça social e contra toda forma de racismo, inclusive o antissemitismo, declaram aderir à campanha de boicote acadêmico a Israel nos termos propostos pelo movimento BDS.

* * *

Launched in 2005, the objective of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is to pressure Israel to honor International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaign demands the end of the occupation and colonization of all Arab territories and the dismantling of the Wall; the recognition of the fundamental rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and the respect, protection and promotion of the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in Resolution 194 of the United Nations.

Among the activities organized by BDS are the academic and cultural boycotts. According to their organizers, “artists and cultural institutions from around the world can send a clear message to Israel that its occupation and discrimination against Palestinians is unacceptable. In particular, the academic boycott could have a significant impact on the institutions responsible for promoting the theories and knowledge necessary for the continuation of Israel’s politics of occupation and discrimination”.

Important academic organizations around the world have adhered to the boycott campaign such as the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) and the American Studies Association. Professors and researchers from various countries have supported BDS such as the more than 500 British academics who signed a manifesto of support with respect to the campaign. Student associations and teachers’ unions have approved resolutions supporting the campaign.

The professors and researchers who sign below, reaffirming their commitment to social justice and against all forms of racism, including antisemitism, declare their support for the academic boycott campaign of Israel in the terms proposed by the BDS movement.

Novas adesões podem ser enviadas para o e-mail / New Brazilian supporters should send an email to boicoteacdemico@gmail.com

Assinam (em ordem alfabética) / Signed (in alphabetical order)::

1. Adma Muhana (professora USP)
2. Adrián Pablo Fanjul (professor USP)
3. Alba Tereza B. de Castro (Professora UERJ) 
4. Alexandre Araujo Costa (professor UECE)
5. Alexandre Camera Varella (professor Unila)
6. Alice Franca Leite (professora UFRJ)
7. Alvaro Bianchi (professor Unicamp)
8. Ana Amelia da Silva (professora PUC-SP)
9. Ana Maria Gomes Raietparvar (professora UFF)
10. Ana Paula Ornellas Mauriel (professora UFF) 
11. Anderson Deo (professor da UNESP)
12. Andréia Galvão (professora Unicamp)
13. Angela Maria Carneiro Araújo (professora Unicamp)
14. Antonio Carlos Mazzeo (professor USP)
15. Antonio Pedro Tota (professor PUCSP)
16. Aragon Érico Dasso Júnior (professor da UFRGS)
17. Arlete Moyses Rodrigues (professora Unicamp)
18. Armando Boito Junior (professor Unicamp)
19. Atenágoras Oliveira Duarte (professor UFPE)
20. B. Boris Vargaftig (professor aposentado ICB-USP)
21. Bárbara Caramuru (pesquisadora UFPR)
22. Beatriz Bissio (professora UFRJ)
23. Bruno Huberman (pesquisadora Unesp, Unicamp e PUCSP)
24. Bruno Konder Comparato (professor da Unifesp)
25. Caio Navarro de Toledo (professor Unicamp)
26. Camila Mantovani Dias (pesquisadora UFSCar)
27. Carlos Barros Montez (professor UFSC)
28. Carlos Zacarias de Sena Júnior (professor UFBA)
29. Carlos Zeron (professor USP)
30. Carlos Ziller Camenietzki (professor UFRJ)
31. Caroline Cotta de Mello Freitas (professora FESP)
32. Celia Maria Marinho de Azevedo (professora aposentada Unicamp)
33. Cesar Cusatis (professor UFPR)
34. Cláudia Durans (professora UFMA)
35. Claudicelio Rodrigues da Silva (professor UFC)
36. Cláudio Beserra de Vasconcelos (professor Seeduc/RJ)
37. Claudio H. M. Batalha (professor Unicamp)
38. Cláudio Rezende Ribeiro (professor UFRJ)
39. Clayton Mendonça Cunha Filho (professor UFC)
40. Cleier Marconsin (professora Uerj)
41. Cleusa Santos (professora UFRJ)
42. Crislayne Alfagali (professora Unicamp)
43. Cristian Koliver (professor UFSC)
44. Cristina Miranda (professora UFRJ)
45. Daniel Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Lemos (professor UFJF)
46. Daniela Mussi (pesquisadora Unicamp)
47. Danilo Enrico Martuscelli (professor UFFS)
48. Davide Carbonai (professor UFRGS)
49. Demian Melo (professor UFF)
50. Dermeval Saviani (professor Unicamp)
51. Dileno Dustan Lucas de Souza (professor UFJF)
52. Eduardo Mei (professor Unesp)
53. Elaini C. G. Silva (professora PUCSP)
54. Elidio Alexandre Borges Marques, professor da UFRJ 
55. Elie Ghanem (professor USP)
56. Emir Sader (professor UERJ)
57. Enrique Ortega (professor Unicamp)
58. Epitácio Macário (professor UECE)
59. Eurelino Coelho (professor UEFS)
60. Fabio J. M. de Lima (professor UFJF)
61. Fabio Ricardo Reis De Macedo (Professor UFRRJ)
62. Fabrício Menardi (cientista político-SP)
63. Faruk Mustafa Zahra (analista de sistemas)
64. Felipe Demier (professor UERJ)
65. Filipe Boechat (professor UFG)
66. Filipe Raslan (professor CEFET-MG)
67. Flávio de Castro (cientista social-SP)
68. Flávio Miranda (Professor UFRRJ)
69. Francirosy Campos Barbosa (professora USP)
70. Francisco Foot Hardman (professor Unicamp) 
71. Francisco Mata-Machado Tavares (professor UFG)
72. Gabriel E. Vitullo (professor UFRN)
73. Geraldo Antonio Bergamo (professor aposentado Unesp)
74. Gilberto Calil (professor Unioeste)
75. Giorgio Romano Schutte (professor UFABC)
76. Giovanni Frizzo (professor UFPel)
77. Gisele Fonseca Chagas (professora UFF)
78. Giselle Ávila Leal de Meirelles Professora UFPR)
79. Gleice Antonia de Oliveira (historiadora – AM) 
80. Gustavo Acioli Lopes (professor UFRPE)
81. Gustavo Arja Castañon (professor UFJF)
82. Héctor Luis Saint-Pierre (professor Unesp)
83. Heloisa Buarque de Almeida - FFLCH -
84. Henrique Amorim (professor UNIFESP)
85. Henrique Carneiro (professor USP)
86. Homero Santiago (professor USP)
87. Ieda Maria Alves (professor FFLCH)
88. Igor Fuser (professor da UFABC)
89. Ingrid Sarti (professora Ufrj)
90. Irineu Brum (professor UFRGS)
91. Itala Maria Loffredo D'Ottaviano (professora Unicamp)
92. Itamar Ferreira (professor Unicamp)
93. Ivo Tonet (professor Ufal)
94. Jaime César Coelho (professor UFSC)
95. Jean Paulo Pereira de Menezes (pesquisador Unesp)
96. Jethero Cardoso de Miranda (professor Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo)
97. Joana A. Coutinho (professora UFMA)
98. João Adolfo Hansen (professor USP)
99. João Carlos Bezerra de Melo (economista Centro Internacional Celso Furtado de Políticas para o Desenvolvimento)
100. João Feres Jr. (professor Iesp-UERJ)
101. João Fernando Finazzi (pesquisador Unesp, Unicamp, PUCSP)
102. João Quartim de Moraes (professor Unicamp)
103. Jorge Grespan (professor USP)
104. Jorge Luiz Nery de Santana (professor da UEFS)
105. José Antonio Vasconcelos (professor USP)
106. José Arbex Jr. (professor PUCSP) 
107. José Victor Regadas Luiz (professor Fundação Oswaldo Cruz)
108. José Vitório Zago-(professor aposentado Unicamp)
109. Josué Pereira da Silva (professor Unicamp).
110. Júlia Monnerat Barbosa (professora Unifap)
111. Jussaramar da Silva (pesquisadora PUCSP)
112. Katia Marro (professora da UFF-RO)
113. Laércio Cabral Lopes (professor UFRJ)
114. Lana Bleicher (professora UFBA).
115. Laura Souza Fonseca (professora UFRGS)
116. Leandro de Oliveira Galastri (professor Unesp)
117. Leda Verdiani Tfouni (professora USP)
118. Leon Kossovitch (professor USP)
119. Leonardo Schiocchet (pesquisador Austrian Academy of Sciences Institute for Social Anthropology) 
120. Lilia Guimarães Pougy (professora UFRJ)
121. Liza Dumovich (pesquisadora UFF) 
122. Lorene Figueiredo (professora UFF)
123. Luana de Souza Siqueira (professora UFRJ)
124. Luciana Andrade (professora UFRJ).
125. Luciana Tatagiba (professora Unicamp)
126. Luciano Cavini Martorano (professor UNIFAL-MG)
127. Luciano Rodrigues de Souza Coutinho (Professor UFRJ)
128. Lúcio Flávio Rodrigues de Almeida (professor PUC-SP)
129. Luena Nunes Pereira (Professora UFRRJ)
130. Luís Felipe Miguel (professor UnB)
131. Luiz Bernardo Pericás (professor USP)
132. Luiz Cesar Marques Filho (professor Unicamp)
133. Luiz Eduardo Motta (professor UFRJ)
134. Luiz Henrique Schuch (professor UFPEL)
135. Luiz Martins Filho (professor UFABC)
136. Maelison Silva Neves (professor UFMT)
137. Malu Duriguetto (professora UFJF)
138. Manoela da Silva Pedroza, professora da UFRJ
139. Mansur Lutfi (professor aposentado Unicamp)
140. Maracajaro Mansor (professor UFF)
141. Marcela Soares (professora UFF)
142. Marcelo Badaró Mattos (professor UFF)
143. Marcelo Buzetto (professor Centro Universitário Fundação Santo André)
144. Marcelo Melo (professor UFRJ)
145. Marcia Rangel Candido (pesquisadora Iesp-UERJ)
146. Marcos Del Roio (professor UNESP)
147. Marcos Pinheiro Barreto (professor UFF)
148. Maria Cristina Martins (professora UFRGS)
149. Maria de Fátima Ferreira Queiróz (professora Unifesp)
150. Maria do Céu de Lima (professora UFC)
151. Maria Helenice Araújo Costa (professora Uece)
152. Maria Orlanda Pinassi (professora Unesp)
153. Maria Regina de Avila Moreira (professora UFSC)
154. Maria Ribeiro do Valle (professora Unesp)
155. Maria Rosa Navarro (professora aposentada Unicamp)
156. Mariana dos Santos Parra (Universidade de Deusto, Bilbao)
157. Mário Jorge da Motta Bastos (professor UFF)
158. Maristela Dal Moro (professora UFRJ)
159. Markos Klemz Guerrero (professor da UFRRJ)
160. Marlene de Souza Soccas Sazan (historiadora)
161. Matheus Cardoso da Silva (pesquisador USP)
162. Mauro Iasi (professor UFRJ)
163. Michelangelo Marques Torres (professor do Centro Paula Souza)
164. Milton Pinheiro (professor da Uneb)
165. Mirla Cisne (professora UERN) 
166. Morena Gomes Marques Soares (professora UNIRIO)
167. Muna Omran (professora UFF)
168. Nadia Farage (professora Unicamp)
169. Neusa Maria Dal Ri (professora Unesp)
170. Newton Narciso Gomes Júnior (professor UnB)
171. Nicholas Davies (professor UFF)
172. Osvaldo Coggiola (professor USP)
173. Osvaldo Maciel (professor UFAL)
174. Pablo Ortellado (professor USP)
175. Paula Marcelino (professora USP)
176. Paulo Gabriel Hilu da Rocha Pinto (professor UFF)
177. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (professor USP)
178. Paulo Vitor Carrão (professor aposentado UFJF)
179. Pedro Fassoni Arruda (professor da PUCSP)
180. Pedro Marinho (pesquisador MAST)
181. Pedro Serrano - PUC(SP)
182. Petrilson Pinheiro (professor Unicamp)
183. Pietro Alarcón (professor PUCSP)
184. Rafael Barros Vieira (pesquisador PUC-Rio)
185. Rafael Rezende (pesquisador Iesp-UERJ)
186. Raphael Góes Furtado (Professor UFES)
187. Raphael Tsavkko Garcia (pesquisador Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao)
188. Raquel Dias Araujo (professora UECE)
189. Raquel dos Santos (Assistente Social- AL) 
190. Raquel Varela (professora UFF, investigadora UNL)
191. Regina Dalcastagnè (professora UnB)
192. Regina Simoes Barbosa (Professora UFRJ )
193. Reginaldo Mattar Nasser (professor PUCSP)
194. Renata Lucia Baptista Flores (professora UFRJ)
195. Renata Moreira Fontoura (pesquisadora UFF)
196. Renata Vereza (professora UFF)
197. Renato da Silva Queiroz (professor USP)
198. Renato Domingues Fialho Martins (professor CEFET-RJ)
199. Renato Lemos (professor UFRJ)
200. Renato Valois Cordeiro (professor UFRRJ)
201. Ricardo Antunes (professor Unicamp)
202. Ricardo da Gama Rosa Costa (historiador)
203. Rima Awada Zahra (psicóloga)
204. Rita Chaves (professora USP)
205. Rivânia Moura (Professora UERN)
206. Roberto della Santa (professor UEL)
207. Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira (professor UFRJ)
208. Roberto Leme Batista (Unespar-PR)
209. Roberto Rittner Neto (professor Unicamp)
210. Robson Sávio Reis Souza (professor PUC-MG).
211. Rodrigo Augusto Duarte Amaral (pesquisador Unesp-Unicamp-PUCSP).
212. Rodrigo Nery (professor da Faculdade Joaquim Nabuco)
213. Rodrigo Ricupero (professor USP)
214. Romero Venâncio (UFS)
215. Romildo Bomfim (professor UFRJ)
216. Ronaldo do Livramento Coutinho (professor aposentado UERJ)
217. Ronaldo Rosas Reis (professor UFF)
218. Rosana Pithan (pesquisadora do instituto de Economia Agrícola)
219. Rui Mesquita (professor UFPE)
220. Ruy Braga (professor USP)
221. Sara Granemann (professora UFRJ)
222. Saulo Pinto Silva (professor UFMA)
223. Sávio Cavalcante (professor Unicamp)
224. Sean Purdy (professor USP)
225. Sibele Fausto (bibliotecária USP)
226. Sílvio Gallo (professor Unicamp)
227. Simone Silva (pesquisadora UFRJ)
228. Simone Wolff (professora UEL)
229. Sofia Manzano (professora UESB)
230. Stella Senra (professora aposentada PUCSP)
231. Susan A. de Oliveira (professora UFSC)
232. Tânia Mara Franco (professora CEFET- RJ)
233. Tercio Redondo (professor USP)
234. Tiago Bernardon de Oliveira (professor UFPB)
235. Tiago Duarte Dias (pesquisador UFF)
236. Tito Flávio Bellini Nogueira de Oliveira (professor UFTM )
237. Valéria Gil Condé (professora USP)
238. Valter Pomar (professor UFABC)
239. Vanderlei Elias Nery (professor UNICSUL)
240. Vanessa Tavares de Jesus Dias (professora UNIFAL-MG)
241. Vera Lucia Navarro (professora USP)
242. Vinícius Correia Santos (professor Uesb)
243. Virginia Fontes (professora UFF)
244. Viviane Becker Narvaes (professora Unirio)
245. Wagner Miquéias F. Damasceno (professor UFSC)
246. Wagner Romão (professor Unicamp)
247. Wilma Martins de Mendonça (professora UFPB)
248. Wilson Cano (professor Unicamp)
249. Zaira Vieira (professora Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros)




Uma campanha bem-sucedida contra a impunidade de Israel

Os diplomatas norte-americanos fingem descobrir agora a política do fato consumado posta em prática por Tel-Aviv e os impactos destrutivos da colonização. Para interromper a impunidade de Israel e impor o direito internacional, uma miríade de atores econômicos, culturais e políticos cada vez mais ativos

por Julien Salingue



Em 4 de março de 2013, o primeiro-ministro israelense discursou, como faz todo ano, na conferência do American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), o principal lobby pró-Israel nos Estados Unidos. Os temas abordados por Benjamin Netanyahu não surpreenderam a plateia: defesa da segurança de Israel, Síria, questão nuclear iraniana, exigências aos negociadores palestinos etc. Mas, ao lado desses temas “clássicos”, um novo tópico surgiu: a campanha internacional “Boicote, Desinvestimento e Sanções” (BDS) contra a política de Israel. A sigla foi citada dezoito vezes, e o assunto ocupou um quarto do tempo de fala do primeiro-ministro.

A campanha BDS, iniciada em julho de 2005 por 172 organizações da sociedade civil palestina,1 exige “medidas de sanção não violentas [...] mantidas até que Israel honre sua obrigação de reconhecer o direito inalienável dos palestinos à autodeterminação e respeite plenamente os preceitos do direito internacional”.2 As medidas são de três tipos: boicote à economia e instituições israelenses, retirada de investimentos estrangeiros de Israel e sanções contra o Estado de Israel e seus dirigentes.

Na conferência do Aipac, Netanyahu acusou os promotores da BDS de “provocar o recuo da paz”, “endurecer as posições palestinas” e “tornar improváveis os acordos mútuos”. A crítica aos fundamentos e objetivos da BDS veio acompanhada da negação de sua eficácia: se acreditássemos no que diz o primeiro-ministro, a campanha não afetaria a próspera economia de Israel.

O aparente paradoxo entre o lugar central da BDS no discurso e a afirmação de sua ineficácia cristalizou-se em uma estranha asserção: “O fato de que irá falhar não significa que o movimento BDS não deva ser vigorosamente combatido”. Na verdade, Netanyahu expressou de forma bastante transparente a principal contradição das autoridades israelenses: reconhecer que a campanha afeta Israel é incentivar seus autores; ignorá-la é deixar o terreno livre para ela.

Apoiadores e opositores da BDS concordam em um ponto essencial: o movimento teve, nos últimos tempos, um desenvolvimento sem precedentes, que nem mesmo seus iniciadores ousavam esperar. Um indicador claro dessa resposta inédita foi a evocação do próprio secretário de Estado norte-americano, John Kerry, do risco de isolamento de Israel caso fracassem as negociações em curso. Enquanto se realizava a Conferência de Segurança de Munique, no dia 1o de fevereiro de 2014, ele declarou: “No que se refere a Israel, vemos a construção de uma campanha crescente de deslegitimação. As pessoas estão sensíveis a isso. Fala-se em boicote e todo tipo de coisa”. A declaração provocou uma enxurrada de críticas em Israel, alguns até acusando Kerry – erroneamente – de justificar o boicote e apoiar-se na BDS para fazer pressão sobre o governo de Israel e impor um acordo desfavorável.

Essa excitação deriva das recentes vitórias da campanha. No fim de janeiro de 2014, o fundo soberano da Noruega, o maior do mundo, com um saldo de 629 bilhões de euros,3acrescentou à sua “lista negra” duas empresas israelenses, a Africa Israel Investments e a Danya Cebus, em razão de seu envolvimento na construção de assentamentos em Jerusalém. Algumas semanas antes, um dos principais fundos de pensão holandeses, o PGGM (com um saldo de 150 bilhões de euros), retirou seus investimentos de cinco bancos israelenses, em um montante estimado em muitas dezenas de milhões de euros, pelo mesmo motivo. Ainda em janeiro, o governo alemão anunciou que passaria a condicionar suas subvenções às empresas de alta tecnologia israelenses ao fato de elas não estarem situadas em assentamentos em Jerusalém ou na Cisjordânia.


“O caso SodaStream”

Esses exemplos ilustram, no setor econômico (neste caso, o desinvestimento), a progressão da campanha BDS. Recentemente, o movimento obteve vitórias mais do que simbólicas em outras áreas, em particular no campo acadêmico e institucional. No início de fevereiro, a American Studies Association, associação acadêmica norte-americana com 5 mil membros, adotou, com 66% dos votos, uma resolução recomendando o rompimento das relações com instituições universitárias israelenses. Essa trovoada no meio universitário anglófono acompanhou a saída, em maio de 2013, do célebre astrofísico Stephen Hawking de uma conferência organizada em Israel. Em abril de 2013, a Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI, com 14 mil membros) aprovou uma moção de apoio à BDS, denunciando Israel como um “Estado de apartheid”.

Para Omar Barghouti, um dos principais organizadores palestinos do movimento, esses sucessos são tão importantes, se não mais, que aqueles obtidos no campo econômico: “O impacto desse boicote institucional por organizações universitárias importantes, como a American Studies Association, vai muito além da universidade, instalando a campanha BDS como um assunto legítimo de debate na mídia”.4

Mas foi muito provavelmente “o caso SodaStream” que nos últimos tempos revelou a extensão do desenvolvimento da BDS. A companhia israelense fabrica aparelhos de gaseificação de bebidas, especialmente no assentamento de Maale Adumim, perto de Jerusalém. A campanha denuncia a empresa há muito tempo. Em janeiro de 2011, a organização israelense Who Profits, especializada no estudo de companhias que se beneficiam da política de assentamentos, publicou um relatório particularmente contundente sobre a exploração de recursos e mão de obra palestinos. Os diversos grupos envolvidos na campanha miraram então nos aparelhos da SodaStream e em seus revendedores.

Para reabilitar sua imagem manchada, a SodaStream recorreu aos serviços da atriz Scarlett Johansson, uma das vedetes do diretor Woody Allen, que participou de uma campanha publicitária da marca. O comercial, feito para ser transmitido no dia 2 de fevereiro durante o Super Bowl (final do campeonato de futebol americano nos Estados Unidos), foi rapidamente descoberto e apropriado pelos promotores da BDS. Eles desviaram e parodiaram o clipe, a fim de denunciar a política de assentamentos e o aval que lhe dava a atriz. A campanha interpelou diretamente a ONG Oxfam, ativa nos territórios palestinos e que, desde 2007, tinha a atriz como embaixadora. No dia 30 de janeiro, a entidade anunciou a ruptura: “Embora a Oxfam respeite a independência de seus embaixadores, o papel de Scarlett Johansson como promotora da empresa SodaStream é incompatível com o de embaixadora mundial da Oxfam. [...] A Oxfam opõe-se a qualquer relação comercial com assentamentos israelenses, ilegais segundo o direito internacional”.5

O caso SodaStream logo cresceu na França. Alertados pela BDS, desenhistas descobriram que a empresa era um dos parceiros oficiais do Festival Internacional de História em Quadrinhos de Angoulême, realizado entre 30 de janeiro e 2 de fevereiro, em pleno escândalo Johansson. Em uma carta aberta, no dia 31 de janeiro, mais de uma centena de desenhistas, inclusive alguns já premiados em Angoulême, expressou sua indignação. Declarando-se “surpresos, decepcionados e irritados ao descobrir que a SodaStream é patrocinadora oficial do Festival Internacional de História em Quadrinhos de Angoulême”, eles pediram que os organizadores “cortassem todos os laços entre o festival e essa vergonhosa empresa”. O desenhista Jacques Tardi e a cantora Dominique Grange declararam “ter sido enganados pelos dirigentes [do festival], que não consideraram necessário nos informar que a edição deste ano seria parcialmente financiada por uma empresa instalada nos territórios palestinos ocupados, apoiando assim os assentamentos do Estado de Israel, o bloqueio de Gaza e as violações recorrentes dos direitos do povo palestino”.

O caso SodaStream é revelador dos limites objetivos, para não dizer das contradições, da estratégia israelense de luta contra a BDS. Independentemente do que diga Netanyahu no Aipac, as autoridades israelenses consideram a campanha uma “ameaça estratégica”. Em junho de 2013, o primeiro-ministro israelense organizou uma reunião restrita para tratar da BDS. Ele confiou então a responsabilidade de lutar contra o que chama de “campanha de deslegitimação de Israel” a seu ministro de Assuntos Estratégicos, Yuval Shteinitz, encarregado da coordenação dos órgãos de segurança, inteligência e diplomacia no contexto da luta contra as “ameaças estratégicas”, como a questão nuclear iraniana.

A nova atribuição do ministério, famoso por suas operações de desestabilização e “reinformação” (ou “desinformação”, dependendo do ponto de vista), revela a que ponto Israel leva a sério a BDS. Mas é uma estratégia eficaz?


Tornar a ocupação respeitável

O caso SodaStream é exemplar a esse respeito e revela as aporias do método israelense. Combater a BDS fingindo ignorá-la é uma estratégia de dois gumes, que tende a se voltar contra seus criadores. Trata-se, na verdade, de lutar contra a “deslegitimação”, fazendo de Israel um Estado “como os outros”, em outras palavras, tornando normal uma situação que os promotores da BDS e as resoluções da ONU classificam como anormal.6 Da campanha publicitária da SodaStream ao patrocínio de iniciativas culturais, passando pelos convites a intelectuais ou artistas de fama internacional, a estratégia israelense pode ser considerada uma operação de lavagem da ocupação e da política de assentamentos. Mas o resultado é, muitas vezes, uma indignação crescente em setores até então pouco, ou nada, mobilizados.

As declarações de Tzipi Livni, ministra da Justiça, ilustram esses impasses: “Nós vivemos em uma bolha. O país inteiro está desconectado da realidade internacional. [...] O boicote avança e progride de maneira uniforme e exponencial. Aqueles que não querem ver vão acabar sentindo”.7 A fragilidade da estratégia adotada deve-se ao fato de que ela se situa quase exclusivamente no campo ideológico, do discurso, criando um impasse sobre o caráter cada vez mais visível da obstinação israelense em recusar qualquer concessão aos palestinos.

As raízes profundas do desenvolvimento da BDS não são o ativismo e o discurso dos militantes, ainda que eles tenham evidentemente um papel motor. Esse ativismo não violento alimenta-se da realidade da política israelense: dos bombardeios assassinos em Gaza, na virada de 2008 para 2009, aos perpétuos relançamentos das construções nos assentamentos, passando pelo bloqueio de Gaza e o ataque sangrento contra a Flotilha da Liberdade em maio de 2010.

Os desenvolvimentos recentes e sua difusão pela mídia marcam um salto qualitativo na campanha BDS e revelam a existência de um movimento difuso. Instalado na base, ele atinge gradualmente as escalas intermediárias, ou mesmo superiores, de certas instituições e não pode ser derrotado por uma simples estratégia de “desdemonização” de Israel. “Pisotear os direitos dos palestinos em nome de nosso direito exclusivo à terra pode levar a um ostracismo internacional de Israel; e, se isso acontecer, não será por causa do antissemitismo”,8 explicou recentemente o historiador israelense Zeev Sternhell.  


Julien Salingue

Julien Salingue é doutor em Ciência Política.

Ilustração: Rodrigo Leão


1  Para mais detalhes sobre as origens da campanha BDS, ler Willy Jackson, “Israël est-il menacé par une campagne de désinvestissement?” [Israel está ameaçado por uma campanha de desinvestimento?], Le Monde Diplomatique, jan. 2009.

2 Ver na íntegra em: www.bdsfrance.org.

3  O fundo estatal administrado pelo Banco da Noruega é alimentado pelas receitas do petróleo e investimentos estrangeiros. Ver: www.regjeringen.no.

4  Jan Walvaren, “BDS is on the rise” [BDS em ascensão], 24 fev. 2014. Disponível em: www.palestinemonitor.org.

5  “Israël/SodaStream: Scarlett Johansson n’est plus ambassadrice pour Oxfam” [Israel/SodaStream: Scarlett Johansson não é mais embaixadora da Oxfam], AFP, 30 jan. 2014.

6  A estratégia foi precedida, na França, por um método mais agressivo: o desejo de criminalizar a campanha BDS. Ver Dominique Vidal, “Boycott: la contre-offensive d’Israël et de ses amis” [Boicote: a contraofensiva de Israel e seus amigos], Le Monde Diplomatique, fev. 2010.

7  “Livni: we’re living in bubble, disconnected from world” [Livni: estamos vivendo em uma bolha, desconectados do mundo], 30 dez. 2013. Disponível em: www.ynetnews.com.

8  Catherine Gouëset, “Pourquoi le boycott commence à faire peur à Israël” [Por que o boicote começa a assustar Israel], 6 fev. 2014. Disponível em: www.lexpress.fr


04 de Agosto de 2014


SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

On the Fallacy of ‘Engaging’ with the Israeli Academy


A standard argument against BDS – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Israeli occupation – and especially the academic boycott- has been the “‘need to engage” with Israelis. In fact, during the 46 years of the occupation, numerous efforts to ‘engage’ have been made repeatedly, all of which are warmly embraced by Israel and its academic institutions.

The most recent example is an “International Oral History” conference being organized by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, featuring renowned Italian oral historian Alessandro Portelli. The conference topics included trauma studies, holocaust studies and conflict studies and assiduously avoiding any reference to the Nakba.

Such typical elision has become an iconic political battle-zone between the supporters of Palestinian rights and pro-Israelis, who promote ‘dialogue’ and ‘engagement’; Nor is it surprising that the Hebrew University avoids the topic, given its own complicity in the ongoingPalestinian trauma. The recently passed Nakba Law in Israel bans even the commemoration of the Nakba, so this avoidance is part of a larger project of Israeli denial.

Private efforts to dissuade the two scheduled speakers failed, and it became clear that they firmly subscribed to the value of ‘engagement,” even with an institution like Hebrew University whose complicity in the violation of Palestinian rights and international law we fully documented. Following this exchange, the original webpage for the conference was replaced, and an elliptical reference seemed to open the door for some discussion of the unmentioned Nakba.

The issues involved in this planned conference go beyond the ill-informed and misguided participation of the featured speakers; A public call to boycott the conference signed by 72 international academics was issued in August. Now, in just over a month, there are more than 250 signatories, of whom one third are oral historians from 19 countries, including South Africa, Brazil, Spain and India.

Because the further discussion of boycott was shut off on the US listserv where the conference was initially announced, a message posted by the conference organizer was the last substantive comment on the issue.  In it, she claims boycotting the Hebrew University “only serves as a disservice to many individuals, organizations and communities who dedicate their professional and personal life to finding a just resolution to the conflict.” [i] Thus, the argument for “engagement” was permissible, but the US academic community was denied access to the compelling evidence for boycott. In effect, they were given a response to a question not yet publicly debated.

The dispute playing out among academics, and the timidity of those in the US compared to other internationals, is not new. Furthermore, it represents a conflict that goes much deeper, touching on the very question of “engagement”.

The Folly of Engagment

Academics have been going to conferences in Israel, especially in Jerusalem, for five long decades of occupation, engaging with their Israeli counterparts. It’s bad enough that these engagements have resulted in nothing positive, but to make matters worse, they have become part and parcel of Israeli political strategy: more engagement, discussions, meetings, negotiations between the sides ad infinitum. The current phase of such fruitless exercises recently initiated by US Secretary of State John Kerry will  likely join the others in the dustbin of history

Worse yet, under the guise of continuing discussions and negotiations – a delaying tactic developed by PM Shamir in the 1980s – Israel has managed to add 700,000 illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories of Palestine and Syria. This is almost the number of Palestinian refugees who were forcibly driven out of Palestine in 1948 by the Israeli forces and never allowed back, despite numerous UN resolutions.

In over six decades of its existence, Israel has defied the UN on the most crucial resolutions passed on the rights of the Palestinians; it illegally settled the territories it occupied; it defied the Geneva Convention on numerous counts, including its failure to look after the population under occupation. Among other things, it has refused to grant Palestinian universities a license to operate, and closed the exiting institutions for long periods.  During this time, not once did Israeli faculty unions or the university senates call for reopening of Palestinian universities, or for the restitution of academic freedom in Palestine. Israeli universities have themselves been directly complicit in Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights and international laws, and all have collaborated in some way with the military occupation, including assisting the military-security-industrial complex.[ii]  In the case of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, its Mt. Scopus campus was expanded onto illegally occupied and confiscated land.

Yet, in contrast to South African apartheid, most academics throughout the world remained silent for years, mounting little opposition to Israel’s crimes. Only in 2005, following the PACBI call for an academic boycott, did the BDS and academic boycott campaign start in earnest in the UK.  Since then, BRICUP (British Committee for Universities in Palestine) has been involved in numerous successful actions, including the recent withdrawal of leading physicist Stephen Hawking from the Presidential conference of 2013 – an action that galvanized scientists and academics elsewhere[iii].

Four years after the founding of BRICUP, and in response to Operation Cast Lead, campaigns in both the US (USACBI) and France (AURDIP) were initiated. [iv] While short of the success of Hawking’s repudiation, both campaigns have been very active. In the US, perhaps the most significant success on the academic front was the passage of an academic boycott resolution at the Asian American Studies Conference in May 2013. AURDIP, while being severely hampered by the repressive policies initiated by Sarkozy, fully applied under Holland, remains an important clearinghouse on the academic boycott, regularly using public events showcasing cooperation between French and Israeli academic institutions as a platform to promote BDS.

Today, there are active boycott campaigns in Spain (PBAI), Berlin (BAB) and India (IncACBI), all of which were initiated in 2010[v], and in Ireland – AFP (Academics for Palestine) was created in 2012[vi]. Perhaps the most important development was the development of a BDS movement inside Israel – Boycott from Within. Recently, these boycott campaigns have garnered increasing support, often from some of the most notable scholars in their countries, like Josep Fontana, the prestigious Spanish (Catalan) historian. The boycott groups in Spain, India and the US are currently organizing against partnerships being forged with Israel’s Technion.  Even in Germany, where any criticism of Israel is highly suspect, the BAB is challenging a funded cooperation agreement between the Free University and the Hebrew University.

Quite obviously, the message is spreading, gradually penetrating academic institutions everywhere. In response, Israel and the Zionist movement have devoted tremendous efforts to counter the boycott campaign, funded by government Ministries. The long-term policy that was devised initially prioritized the UK. A number of Israeli task forces drawn from Israeli universities, arrived in Britain to ‘explain’ the need for ‘engagement’ and ‘dialogue’. The same professors who for years disengaged from any support of the human and civic rights of Palestinians, including their right to education, were now globe-trotting in support of the ‘real victim’ – Israel – promoting ‘engagement’ with the occupation forces under the banner of dialogue. The latest, but surely not last iteration, is the government campaign to use Israel’s students against the boycott. Recent revelations exposed the creation of covert units at Israeli universitiesdesigned to work with the Israeli National Student Union, using social media.

Whatever else one might think about Israeli universities, they could never be accused of being liberal or supportive of human rights. A few months before the Gaza incursion in December 2008, a petition for academic freedom in the Occupied Territories was circulated to over 10,000 Israeli academics. This mild petition, merely requesting the government to allow Palestinians the same freedom enjoyed by Israeli academics, was signed by only 407 Israeli academics – 4% of the total.  The Academic Staff unions in Israel never even discussed or acted on the matter. Although Tel Aviv University is by far the most ‘liberal’ of all, with 155 faculty signing the said petition, in 2012, Shlomo Sand felt compelled to castigate his colleagues in the history department for concealing the problematic history of their own university, built on the former Palestinian village of Sheikh Muwanis[vii].

Israeli academics continually ignore calls of Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel’s agressive occupation, arguing instead for  ‘dialogue’ with Israeli colleagues. In fact, the Hebrew University conference is promoted as a “participatory site in which ‘difficult dialogues’ on memory and perspectives will be discussed.”  As usual, instead of promoting dialogue with Palestinian academics, the best that the conference organizers can muster is a reference to “the issues that this country and region face.” One wonders – is the occupation such an issue?

What could possibly be wrong with dialogue, you might ask? Instead, perhaps the appropriate question might be: “is it moral to collaborate with a militarized, racist, colonial state, in order to cleanse its crimes?” Doesn’t this mean that crimes continue and newer ones are perpetrated? Indeed, evidence clearly demonstrates that continuing ‘engagements’ have not led to resolution, but instead served to numb the sensibilities of international academia to the realities of occupied Palestine. In the case of South Africa, it was clear to all academics that there was no way to ‘engage’ with apartheid by speaking to its representatives; the only way to deal with apartheid was to oppose it – to boycott, divest and apply sanctions; to deny South African institutions any support and dialogue; and to follow the advice of the ANC.

Though not yet on the same scale as the South African campaign, the BDS campaign has been successful. Many academics worldwide are now sensitized to becoming complicit in Israel’s illegal occupation, its settler-colonial policies and its apartheid practices and have stopped participating with Israeli institutions. The campaign to boycott the Hebrew University “international” oral history conference is part of the growing world wide effort to honor the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel.

Because so many oral historians view their work as a means of giving voice to the oppressed and silenced, boycotting this conference should be a no-brainer. Indeed, for the internationally-minded oral historians, it is just that, even as so many US practitioners have basically buried their heads in the sand, following their government’s lead.

We wonder what the two advocates of engagement solicited for keynotes will do, and especially how the Hebrew University will respond. Will it, for instance, throw generous travel stipends to participants, rendering them party to the Israeli propaganda machine? We hope, instead, that oral historians around the world will heed the call not to cross the Palestinian picket line, thereby honoring the basic ethical/moral foundation of the historian’s work. [viii]

Haim Bresheeth and Sherna Berger Gluck are part of an international group that initiated this  boycott campaign and which includes Sami Hermez, Nur Masalha, Ilan Pappe, Rosemary Sayigh and Lisa Taraki, among others. Bresheeth is Professor of Film Studies at SOAS London and active in BRICUP; Gluck is Director Emerita of the Oral History Program at California University, Long Beach and one of the founders of the US Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaign of Israel



[i]Dr. Sharon Kangisser Cohen posted on HOralHIST listserv August 5, 2013: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=H-Oralhist&month=1308&week=c&msg=29F8Sr%2BcGUQuYBM5ggshvw.

[ii] Keller, U. (2009) the Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories. The Economy of the Occupation: A Socioeconomic Bulletin: Alternative InformationCentre.http://www.alternativenews.org/images/stories/downloads/Economy ofthe_occupation_23-24.pdf

[iv]  AURDIP – Association Universitaire pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine

[v] PABI – La Plataforma para el Boicot Académico a Israel; BAB – Berlin AB; InCACBI – Indian Campaign ACBI

[vi] Started with the successful passage on November 9th, 2012, of an Academic Boycott motion at the academic union TUI (Teachers Union of Ireland),  in early 2013, see “TUI Dublin Colleges Branch AGM passes motions in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions; recognises Israel’s apartheid nature”

[vii] Sand, S in concluding chapter of  The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland, Verso, London, (2012) pp. 259-281

[viii]  The letter in English, French, Portugese and Spanish can be accessed at: http://www.aurdip.org/Call-to-Boycott-the-Oral-History.html and usacbi.org

This is not a general petition but is intended as an open letter to international academics and oral historians. If you fit this bill, please send your relevant information to:hebrewUconferenceboycott@gmail.com

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