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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Behind the European Assoc. of Social Anthropologists Boycott of Ariel U is Matan Kaminer

22.11.18 
Editorial Note

IAM reported in October that the president of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) commended the European Association of Social Anthropology (EASA) for voting in support of opposing cooperation with the Israeli educational institutions situated in the "Occupied" Palestinian Territories, such as Ariel University. The "Israeli Occupation” prompted the decision for the boycott.  Matan Kaminer, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, and member of the IAA and Academia for Equality, was behind the motion submitted to the EASA members forum in solidarity for the Palestinians.

In August, Kaminer and colleagues at the EASA proposed to the association as following:
That on 12 February 2018 the Israeli Knesset passed a law extending the jurisdiction of the Israeli Council for Higher Education to academic institutions exclusively serving Israeli citizens but situated within the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank; That the establishment of academic institutions intended exclusively to serve the population of an occupying power in an occupied territory while denying service to the occupied population, is not only illegal under international law but violates the basic ethical norms of the academy in general and of anthropology in particular; Page 4.;  That on 17 February the President and Vice-President of the Israeli Sociological Association (ISA) declared their association’s opposition to this step and refusal to cooperate with the aforesaid institutions; that on 2 March, the Executive Committee of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) also declared its opposition to the law, and that on 26 June the membership of the IAA voted by a large majority to affirm its opposition to the law and its refusal to cooperate with the aforesaid institutions; That under the current political and legal climate in Israel, including the so-called “Boycott Law,” our colleagues in both the ISA and the IAA have run a significant risk by taking this principled stance.

Therefore, EASA resolved: 
To express its own opposition to the establishment and regularization of academic institutions intended exclusively to serve the population of an occupying power in occupied territories, and specifically of institutions exclusively serving Israeli citizens situated within the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and to pledge its own non-cooperation with these institutions;. To express its solidarity with Palestinian academics and students suffering the brunt of these discriminatory and illegal policies as well as with the Israeli colleagues of the ISA and IAA who have taken a brave stance in opposing the same policies.” Before calling the Members’ Forum to vote, the Chair announces that, if the motion is approved, she will take the vote to the wider membership in an electronic poll. A number of people ask as to the rationale and justification for the decision, to which the Chair responds that it is her constitutional prerogative to do so when an important issue like this one may benefit from a wider consultation.
In the end, 164 voted in favor and 0 voted against.

It should be noted that Kaminer, like many of the political activists-turned-academics which IAM covers in length, is a long time political activist who started off as an army refuser.  Kaminer, in his own words, "was slated for induction into the Israeli army in December 2002. After a year of volunteer work in a Jewish-Arab youth movement, I had made up my mind to refuse to enlist. Together with other young people in my situation, I signed the High School Seniors' Letter to PM Sharon, and to make myself absolutely clear I sent a personal letter to the military authorities notifying them that I was going to refuse. They let me know they weren't about to let me go: the army only exempts pacifists (at least that's what  it claims) and I didn't meet their definition of a pacifist. So beginning in December I was sentenced by 'disciplinary proceedings'... to 28 days in military prison, three consecutive times. After my third time in jail, I asked to join my friend Haggai Matar, who was being court-martialed, and within a few weeks three of our friends, Noam, Shimri and Adam joined us. Now we are on trial and stand to get up to three years in prison for refusing the order to enlist." Because Israelis are "occupying a foreign land and oppressing another people in the name of preventing terror. People like you and me know that's just an excuse for furthering economic and political interests of the ruling elite. But it's not the elite that pays the price. The people who pay the price are in Jenin and Fallujah, in Ramallah and Baghdad, in Tikrit and in Hebron. They are the Iraqi and Palestinian children, hogtied face-down on the floor or shot at on the way to school. But they are also the Israeli and American soldiers, treated as cannon fodder by generals in air-conditioned offices, whose only way to deal with their situation is dehumanization."

In fact, his role model was Tel Aviv University's Prof. Gadi Algazi, who in July 1979, was among 27 high school students who sent a letter to the defense minister announcing their refusal to serve in the "occupied territories." The authors of the letter defined themselves as "refuseniks of occupation", the first collective refusal letter. Some members of the group were sentenced to short prison terms following their refusal; The group's members were not sent to the territories and others released from the army. The most prominent was Algazi, who refused seven times to serve in the West Bank, after completing his basic training. After short period of imprisonment, he was tried in December 1980 before a military court. In a judgement that arose public debate, the court accepted in part some of his claims and advised to consider them in the future, yet sentenced him to one year imprisonment. In March 1981, Algazi's prison term was shortened in the wake of a public campaign for his release and after another confrontation, the IDF decided to exempt Algazi from regular service.  

Tel Aviv University was mistaken to appoint Algazi to teach students, because, as a political activist, Algazi was expected to turn his classroom and his students into an extension of his political ideology.   The Aviv University has not learned from its mistake and appointed a new generation of radical faculty, as IAM often documented.   Should Kaminer decide to return to Israel, he may try and follow in Algazi’s footsteps. 







European Association of Social Anthropologists (“the Association”)
Company Number: 05181210; Charity Number: 1108186
Annual general meeting of the members of the Association.
Thursday, 16th August 2018 at 17:00 at University of Stockholm.
Attendees: 181 members including 6 Trustees (members of the Executive Committee of the
Association)
Chair: Valeria Siniscalchi
Secretary: Alberto Corsín Jiménez
1. Apologies for absence: Apologies from Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Sarah Green
2. Minutes of previous AGM held on Thursday, 16th November 2017
The minutes were approved as a true record of the meeting held in Bern.
3. Annual Reports and Accounts
· President (Valeria Siniscalchi)
(a) Note on the important work carried out on questions of precarity by the Executive
Committee.
(b) A brief account of our improved relationships with fellow learned associations:
WCAA, SIEF.
(c) An appreciation of the important work of EASA’s networks.
· Secretary (Alberto Corsín Jiménez)
a) Report on newsletters, administration, and open access work carried out by the
Secretary over the last two years.
· Treasurer (Rachael Gooberman-Hill)
a) A one page summary of the Accounts of EASA for the year ending 31st December
2017 was provided on paper to members attending the meeting.
b) The Treasurer provided a verbal presentation of the set-up of EASA, the Accounts for
2017 and the membership fees for 2019.
c) EASA is a registered charity and limited company registered in the UK. Accounts are
prepared by Friend-James. Administration is by NomadIT. The Treasurer thanked
the NomadIT team for their work.
d) Income comes from sources including membership fees, publications, investments and
events. Expenditure relates to administration, publications, governance, and events.
e) Accounts for 2017 were presented on screen and the Treasurer summarised income
and expenditure. EASA’s reserves has increased in 2017 by just over £9,500. Reserves
are held to protect EASA and they are based on the cost of a conference plus
administration.
f) The Treasurer explained that the full accounts are available for view on the EASA
website. Accounts will lodged at Companies House and the Charity Commission, and
they are publicly available for view.
Page 2
g) Membership fees for 2019: Executive Committee has decided to freeze membership
fees for next year. Invitation to the membership to check that they are declaring their
correct income bracket on renewal.
e) The Treasurer thanked the members for the opportunity to serve them over the past 5
years and announced that the new Treasurer from December 2018 would be David
Mills.
d) Reappointment of accountants and independent examiners. With the Chair’s
permission this item was addressed at this point in the agenda: the Treasurer asked
members to vote on the following resolution:
“To reappoint Friend-James Ltd, Park Gate 161-163 Preston Road, Brighton, East
Sussex, BN1 6AF, UK, as the Association’s accountants and to authorise the Trustees
to approve the remuneration.”
The motion to reappoint Friend-James Ltd as accountants and
independent examiners was approved with 181 votes in favour, 0 votes
against and 0 abstentions.
· Journal (Patrick Laviolette)
a) Report on journal’s special issues over the past two years.
b) New online only forum for special issues (given the large number of special issues that
are submitted to the journal).
c) Social Anthropology has agreed to become a journal for #HAUrefugee special issue
proposals.
· Book series (Aleksandar Boskovic)
a) In the last two years EASA has published five volumes; two more in the pipeline.
b) Invitation to the membership to consider the series an outlet for publishing
anthropological work.
· Networks (Marcus Banks)
a) Thank you to the Network convenors
b) Report on Network convenors’ meeting during the biennial conference
c) Network funding allocation for 2019 is going to be €26,000
d) Full details of all network activities in June 2018 Newsletter
· Precarity (Sabine Strasser)
a) Question of precarity first was raised at the AGM Milan 2016. Precarity Liaison
Officer created at Executive Committee meeting in Stockholm in 2017.
b) Organisation of “Politics and Precarity” Seminar at the AGM in Bern in November
2017
c) Special issue on precarity to be published in Social Anthropology
d) Theme of the Early Career Plenary at Stockholm conference on precarity
e) Design and circulation of EASA/PrecAnthro survey on precarity, employment
conditions and work security. More than 1000 respondents, 809 members of EASA,
57 nationalities; female 63%, male 32%, other self-description 0.62%, undisclosed
4%.
f) Martin Fotta reports on a preliminary analysis of the survey’s results.
· Lobbying (Georgeta Stoica)
Page 3
a) Report on how to take the results of the survey: draft a policy statement on precarity
to be circulated among university departments, institutes and up to the EU level
b) Exchanges with lobbying associations (EASHH, ISE)
c) Invitation to anthropologists to register as experts at the EU level
d) Data Management: proposal to draft a statement on anthropology’s position regarding
data management plans
4. Any other business/ requests by members
Comments from the floor:
a) One member of the association invites the survey designers to compare the results of
the survey with other data sets from other contexts in other to put them into
perspective. Martin Fotta responds that the data provides an original data set and a
primer for learned societies. Another member of the association notes that precarity is
rising across many sectors and there is very little data on the topic, so this data set
offers a most valuable resource to take to policy makers and institutions. Another
member worries that there might be a very serious generational gap in how
anthropologists relate to the findings of the precarity survey. Moreover, the figures
seem to testify that these figures might well be the “new normal”, in which case we
need new forms of solidarity and organisation to respond to them. A junior but not-
precarious member observes that the gap is likely not generational but structural;
however, it should be alright to ask questions about data.
b) Another member asks about the consequences for EASA if there is no agreement
between the EU and the UK regarding Brexit. The Treasurer responds that the
Executive has carried out an assessment and asked for advice, as described to members
at the AGM in Milan in 2015. The Executive Committee take the view that we do not
think that there is an impact on our financial arrangements as far as we know: we can
still carry out our banking, we can still operate across Europe. However, there is
indeed a bigger question around Brexit regarding the free movement of people.
c) Question regarding whether there is an element of ethnographic research in the
analysis derived from the survey. There seems to be an element of irony in resorting
to numbers to make an argument about precarity after spending days talking about
the value of ethnography during the conference. Georgeta Stoica responds that
ethnography and statistics are not exclusionary, plus data-sets are valuable policy tools
at the European level. Martin Fotta invites the membership to carry out the necessary
ethnographic research to help enrich the data sets.
d) Motions from the floor:
i) Julie Billaud, Brian Callan, Mariya Ivancheva, Ana Ivasiuc, Matan Kaminer, Patrick
Neveling request that the Members’ Forum debate and adopt the following motion:
“1. That on 12 February 2018 the Israeli Knesset passed a law extending the
jurisdiction of the Israeli Council for Higher Education to academic institutions
exclusively serving Israeli citizens but situated within the occupied Palestinian territory
of the West Bank;
2. That the establishment of academic institutions intended exclusively to serve the
population of an occupying power in an occupied territory while denying service to
the occupied population, is not only illegal under international law but violates the
basic ethical norms of the academy in general and of anthropology in particular;
Page 4
3. That on 17 February the President and Vice-President of the Israeli Sociological
Association (ISA) declared their association’s opposition to this step and refusal to
cooperate with the aforesaid institutions; that on 2 March, the Executive Committee
of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) also declared its opposition to the law,
and that on 26 June the membership of the IAA voted by a large majority to affirm its
opposition to the law and its refusal to cooperate with the aforesaid institutions;
4. That under the current political and legal climate in Israel, including the so-called
“Boycott Law,” our colleagues in both the ISA and the IAA have run a significant risk
by taking this principled stance.
EASA therefore resolves:
1. To express its own opposition to the establishment and regularization of academic
institutions intended exclusively to serve the population of an occupying power in
occupied territories, and specifically of institutions exclusively serving Israeli citizens
situated within the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and to pledge its
own non-cooperation with these institutions;
2. To express its solidarity with Palestinian academics and students suffering the brunt
of these discriminatory and illegal policies as well as with the Israeli colleagues of the
ISA and IAA who have taken a brave stance in opposing the same policies.”
Before calling the Members’ Forum to vote, the Chair announces that, if the motion
is approved, she will take the vote to the wider membership in an electronic poll. A
number of people ask as to the rationale and justification for the decision, to which the
Chair responds that it is her constitutional prerogative to do so when an important
issue like this one may benefit from a wider consultation.
Members are then asked to raise their hands to vote and the result is as follows:
164 votes in favour
0 votes against
17 abstentions
The motion is passed.
ii) Olivia Barnett-Nagshineh, Judith Beyer, Antonio De Lauri, Felix Girke, Agathe
Mora, Jon Schubert, Cris Shore, Jason Sumich call upon the Members’ Forum to
adopt the following motion:
“1. In its Rules, the EASA Constitution states, according to article 20.1, that, “The
Trustees may from time to time make such rules or by-laws as they may deem
necessary or expedient or convenient for the proper conduct and management of the
Association and in particular but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing
they may by such rules or by-laws regulate: … the conduct of Members in relation to
one another and to the Association's employees” (3);
2. The growing concerns about systemic and persistent instances of professional
misconduct (including but not limited to abuse of power, psychological and sexual
harassment and the exploitation of precarious labour, lack of accountability and code
Page 5
of ethics/standards of professional conduct) in our discipline and institutions have
created a momentum for the EASA to create measures and take concrete steps to
address such systemic problems.
EASA therefore resolves to create a working group tasked with developing a code of
conduct and working on the ways in which EASA can offer support in cases of
allegations of professional misconduct.”
The Executive Committee agrees on the importance of the issue. For this reason,
before calling attendants at the Members’ Forum to vote, the Chair announces that,
if the motion is approved, she will take the vote to the wider membership in an
electronic poll when the working group will have developed a code of conduct and a
way to use it to help the membership.
Members are then asked to raise their hands to vote and the result is as follows:
154 votes for the motion
0 against the motion
5 abstentions
The motion is passed.
5. Prizes and Awards
· The President announced that EASA’s Lifetime Achievement Award was
awarded to Adam Kuper.
· EASA’s Early Career Award: In 2018 for the first time EASA offered two
early career awards of €500 and books kindly donated by Berghahn: (i) to Vita
Peacock for the article “Academic Precarity as hierarchical dependence in the
Max Planck Society”; (ii) to Francisco Martínez for the monograph Remains of
the Soviet Past in Estonia: an Anthropology of Forgetting, Repair, and Urban Traces
6. Announcements
· Appointment of Monica Heintz as EASA’s new Secretary
· Appointment of David Mills as EASA’s new Treasurer
· Appointment of Nikolai Ssorin Chaikov as new Journal Editor
· Announcement of election of Trustees in the fall of 2018
· Nevena Skrbic Alempijevic, SIEF’s President announces the organisation
of the next biannual conference of SIEF in Santiago de Compostela, April
2019
. Announcement of the next IUAES next intercongress in Poznan, August
2019
· Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography’s launch of kritisk
etnografi – Swedish Journal of Anthropology
· EASA 2020 to be held in Lisbon

==========================================================================



Open Letter From an Israeli Refusnik
to an American Refusnik
August 12, 2003
Dear Stephen [Funk],

Is this what they call "globalization"? We live half a world from each other, we have led quite different lives, and yet we are both in the same situation: conscientious objectors to imperial war and occupation, we are both standing military trial this summer. Reading your statement I couldn't help but smile at the basic sameness of military logic around the world, including its inability to understand how anybody could be enough against a war to resist going to kill and die in it.

Stephen Funk

But I've been presuming you're familiar with my situation. In case you aren't, let me fill you in briefly. I was slated for induction into the Israeli army in December 2002. After a year of volunteer work in a Jewish-Arab youth movement, I had made up my mind to refuse to enlist. Together with other young people in my situation, I signed the High School Seniors' Letter to PM Sharon, and to make myself absolutely clear I sent a personal letter to the military authorities notifying them that I was going to refuse.

They let me know they weren't about to let me go: the army only exempts pacifists (at least that's what it claims) and I didn't meet their definition of a pacifist. So beginning in December I was sentenced by 'disciplinary proceedings' (do they have this ridiculous institution in the Marines too?) to 28 days in military prison, three consecutive times. After my third time in jail, I asked to join my friend Haggai Matar, who was being court-martialed, and within a few weeks three of our friends, Noam, Shimri and Adam joined us. Now we are on trial and stand to get up to three years in prison for refusing the order to enlist.

Sounds familiar, huh? But it's not just what they're doing to us that's similar, it's what they're doing to others: occupying a foreign land and oppressing another people in the name of preventing terror. People like you and me know that's just an excuse for furthering economic and political interests of the ruling elite. But it's not the elite that pays the price.

The people who pay the price are in Jenin and Fallujah, in Ramallah and Baghdad, in Tikrit and in Hebron. They are the Iraqi and Palestinian children, hogtied face-down on the floor or shot at on the way to school. But they are also the Israeli and American soldiers, treated as cannon fodder by generals in air-conditioned offices, whose only way to deal with their situation is dehumanization, first of the strange-looking foreigners who want them dead, next of themselves. You can ask your Vietnam veterans or our own.

Stephen, people our age should be out learning, working and transforming the world. People our age should be going to parties and protests, meeting people, falling in love and arguing about what our world should look like. People our age should not be moving targets, denied their human and civil rights; they should not be military grunts, exposed to harm in mind and body, lugging around M-16's and guilty consciences; they should not be thrown behind bars for not wanting to kill and die.

Your trial is set to begin soon. Mine has already begun so maybe I can give you a few pointers. Look the judges in the eyes. Use every opportunity you have to explain why you stand there. They are human just like you, but they try to deny it to themselves. Don't let them. War is s*** and they know it. They should let you go and they know it.

It's likely that we'll both get thrown in prison when this all ends. There will be dark moments in prison, moments when it seems that the outside world has forgotten all about us, that what we did and refused to do was in vain. Well, I know what I'll do in those moments: I'll think of you, Stephen, and I'll know that nothing we do for humanity's sake is ever in vain.

With greatest solidarity, Matan Kaminer

[Stephen Funk is out of the brig! He was sentenced to 6 months, did his time and has been released.]



============================================================================






STUFF > INTERVIEWAugust 15, 2018
#EASA2018: MOTION AGAINST APARTHEID ACADEMIA IN THE WEST BANK


Matan Kaminer is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan and a member of the Israeli Anthropological Association and of Academia for Equality, an Israeli group for the democratisation of academic life. His research is about labour migration from Thailand to Israel for agricultural work, at the intersection of settler coloniality and neoliberalism. He explains why the motion that has been submitted to the EASA member forum is an important step of solidarity for Palestinian and Israeli academics

Allegra: Where are these institutions located in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?

Matan: Since a few years, Israel has set up institutions in occupied Palestinian territories in the West bank. The biggest one is Ariel University. These institutions are reserved to Israelis and do not accept Palestinian students. They have been established in violation of international law as well as academic ethics. Ariel is located in the biggest settlement in the West Bank near the town of Salfit, between Ramallah and Nablus. Ariel is a very important part of what anthropologist Jeff Halper calls “the Israeli matrix of control”, established on Palestinian land and blocking Palestinian territorial contiguity.

Allegra: Can you tell us a bit more about the new law that has been voted by the Knesset last February?

Matan: In February this year the Israeli parliament or Knesset legislated to annex these institutions into the Israeli Council for Higher Education. Previously they were under the jurisdiction of the Israeli military government of the West Bank. This is part of a process many people are calling a creeping annexation in which Israeli law is gradually imposed on the occupied territories in a discriminatory way which undermines Palestinian sovereignty and the future possibility of an independent Palestinian state.

Allegra: How did the Israeli Sociological Association and the Israeli Anthropological Association react to this new legislation?

Matan: In March the co-president of the Israeli sociological association, Yagil Levy and Gili Drori, proclaimed their opposition to this illegal move and committed to non-cooperation of their society with these institutions. Soon after, the President of the Israeli Anthropological Association, Nir Avieli, also proclaimed our association’s opposition to the government move. In June, the IAA voted by a large majority of its membership to reiterate our opposition to this annexation and to commit to non cooperation with these institutions in the West Bank.

Allegra: Why is it important to support the motion by voting at the EASA members’ Forum tomorrow?

Matan: When we were trying to get the IAA resolution passed, potential supporters voiced two concerns: one, that this was not going to get heard, that colleagues around the world would not be interested in our declarative move and two: that we would be subject to attacks from the government. I should mention that a few years ago a Boycott Law was enacted, which makes it possible for anyone who considers himself or herself affected by a boycott of the settlements to sue for millions of dollars without needing to prove any damage. We do not call our step of non-cooperation a boycott, but people are still worried about this. It would be very heartening for our colleagues in Israel to receive the support of European anthropologists. I cannot speak for colleagues in Palestine, but perhaps for them as well, to hear from European colleagues that they support our step in principle and are willing to offer solidarity and aid in case we get attacked for it.


Read the Statement of the Israeli Anthropological Association here: https://easaonline.org/downloads/motions/Aveliletter0918.pdf

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