BRISMES Inaugurates ‘Campaigns’ to Promote BDS and Recruits Neve Gordon


Editorial Note

As well-known, Palestinian groups rely on Israeli radical academic activists to present them as peace-loving partners.

The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) has got a new vice-president, Neve Gordon, a former professor at Ben Gurion University who calls for the boycott of Israel. 

As IAM reported in October 2020, Gordon co-authored a book on Human Shields, which hides that Hamas uses hospitals to store weapons or uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, which was well documented, but Gordon preferred to turn a blind eye and blamed Israel instead.   Gordon wrote, “In an effort to legitimize its bombing of Palestinian medical facilities following the 2014 war on Gaza, Israel invoked both exceptions in a legal report. It accused ‘Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ of exploiting ‘hospitals and ambulances to conduct military operations, despite the special protection afforded these units and transports under customary international law… Israeli strikes destroyed or damaged seventeen hospitals, fifty-six primary healthcare facilities, and forty-five ambulances. To defend these attacks, Israel accused Hamas of using hospitals to store weapons and hide armed militants.”  

In other words, Gordon has chosen to protect Hamas from human-shielding accusations.  

As IAM reported in July, the previous 2020 BRISMES annual general meeting resolved to establish the “BRISMES Campaigns Limited” to advocate the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ was inaugurated during the latest Annual conference on July 05-09, 2021. 

The launching of the Campaigns panel was recorded and uploaded to YouTube and is available to anyone.

The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ is titled “Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education,” but nothing else is promoted except for the boycotting of Israel.

The group published their Mission Statement, that the ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ stands for “equality in Middle East Studies,” seeking a “more liberated Middle East Studies, a popular pedagogy that links research and theory to democratic practice, wider public and private understandings, and egalitarian politics across borders.” 

The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ opposes the current ways Middle East Studies “implicated in injustice and domination – racism, colonialism, Orientalism, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, authoritarianism, (neo)liberalism, and elitism.” 

It promotes a “transnational solidarity and global justice” by supporting the Palestinian call for BDS “against the unjust regime of occupation and apartheid imposed by Israel.”

The panelists included: Introduction from chair Hicham Safieddine, King’s College London; Omar Barghouti, Co-founder of PACBI & the BDS movement; Sara Salem, LSE; Fady Joudah, Poet; Marcy Newman, Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; John Chalcraft, LSE; Jamie Allinson, University of Edinburgh. To recall, Barghouti was a postgraduate student at Tel Aviv University’s Philosophy (ethics) Department, exploiting it for nine years. In his talk, he trashed Tel Aviv University, including his host, the Philosophy Department.

BRISMES is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The Charitable objects of BRISMES are “To encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region from the end of classical antiquity to the present day in particular but not exclusively through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.”

According to its Statement of Purpose, “Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We work to promote interest in Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle East Studies is a diverse field, which encompasses all the humanities and social sciences.” 

However, it was hijacked by pro-Palestinian activists, causing it to breach its own mandate.  According to its website, BRISMES aims to “encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region… through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.”  

Clearly, BRISMES is breaching the Charity’s purpose by promoting a boycott of one country in the Middle East, that is Israel. IAM advises the Charity Commission of England and Wales to investigate BRISMES for this breach of conduct.


BRISMES CAMPAIGNS – Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education

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British Society for Middle Eastern Studies
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This panel is the public launch of BRISMES Campaigns Limited, the independent subsidiary of BRISMES, formed to honour the boycott resolution passed by BRISMES members at the AGM of 2019. An exciting line up of panellists will engage on vital issues of politics and power in contemporary education and Middle East Studies, and the purpose and campaigning agenda of BRISMES Campaigns will be explained, along with ways to get involved. All welcome. Find out more here: Chapters 00:00 Introduction from chair Hicham Safieddine, Kings College London 08:16 Omar Barghouti, Co-founder of PACBI & the BDS movement 23:52 Sara Salem, LSE 40:12 Fady Joudah, Poet 51:19 Marcy Newman, Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel 1:09:45 John Chalcraft, LSE 1:26:20 Jamie Allinson, University of Edinburgh 1:30:34 Discussion Q&A

Mission Statement
BRISMES Campaigns stands for equality in Middle East Studies.

Our Mission
We seek a more liberated Middle East Studies, a popular pedagogy that links research and theory to democratic practice, wider public and private understandings, and egalitarian politics across borders. We oppose the many ways in which Middle East Studies, on and off campus, is implicated in injustice and domination – racism, colonialism, Orientalism, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, authoritarianism, (neo)liberalism, and elitism. We believe in transnational solidarity and global justice, and support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the unjust regime of occupation and apartheid imposed by Israel. We will campaign on and off campus on this and other issues through organizational and cultural struggle in civil and political society.


BRISMES Campaigns promotes the grassroots, anti-racist, democratic, transnational and non-violent Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in solidarity with the liberation struggle in Palestine. We promote the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions, which are complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. We also campaign for divestment from companies (whether financial, industrial, service-oriented) which aid and abet settler colonialism. We also campaign for sanctions to be imposed on Israel until it ceases to violate international law. More generally, BRISMES Campaigns undertakes solidarity actions to defend Palestinian voices, histories, activists, educators, and educational activities which have come under increasing attack by pro-Israeli groups and individuals in recent years.

About us
BRISMES Campaigns is an independent subsidiary of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). Our mandate is to engage politically and socially in promoting egalitarian education in Middle East Studies, including the endorsement and implementation of the call to boycott Israeli academic institutions voted by BRISMES AGM on 24 June, 2019.


  ANNE ALEXANDER is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, an activist in the UCU union, co-editor of Middle East Solidarity magazine and a member of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). Her doctoral research focussed on the anti-colonial movements in Egypt and Iraq between 1945-1963 and she contributes regularly to a range of publications on the politics and practice of social movement organising in the Middle East.

JAMIE ALLINSON is senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh and author of The Age of Counter-revolution.

Miriyam Aouragh is a Reader at the University of Westminster (London). Her doctoral research focused on the birth and implications of the internet in Palestine. She led a Leverhulme project about the revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world and their techno-social relations as they are marked by revolution and counter-revolution. Her current research (CAMRI) studies how the contradictions of capitalism shape the modes and meanings of resistance in the era of digital transformations, her work is published amongst others in her book Palestine Online (IB Tauris 2011).

JOHN CHALCRAFT is Professor of Middle East History and Politics at the LSE. His research focuses on history ‘from below’ in Gramscian perspective. His most recent book is Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (CUP, 2016). He currently serves as Treasurer for the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and as Secretary of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).

HICHAM SAFIEDDINE is Lecturer in the History of the Modern Middle East  at King’s College London with a focus on political economy and intellectual history. He is co-founder of e-zines Al-Akhbar English and The Legal Agenda English Online Edition.
BRISMES Campaigns launch
Post author By brismescadmin   Post date July 9, 2021Our launch event at BRISMES Conference on 7 July 2021 heard from campaigners, scholars and renowned Palestinian poet Fady Joudah about why translating academic privilege into concrete forms of solidarity and action has never been more urgent. Watch the recording of the livestreamed event above.

  Chair: Hicham Safieddine
Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Sara Salem, LSE
John Chalcraft, LSE
Marcy Newman, Founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Fady Joudah, Poet and Translator

Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education
Post authorBy brismescadmin
Post dateMay 30, 2021
No Comments on Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education
Wednesday 7 July 2021, 3.15-5.15pm
BRISMES Conference online
Chair: Hicham Safieddine
Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Sara Salem, LSE
John Chalcraft, LSE
Marcy Newman, Founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Fady Joudah, Poet and Translator  


BRISMES Aims is to “encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region from the end of classical antiquity to the present day in particular but not exclusively through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.”  
According to its Statement of Purpose, “Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We work to promote interest in Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle East Studies is a diverse field, which encompasses all the humanities and social sciences and reaches from the present back to classical antiquity. The long history of our field of study has made us particularly aware of the connections between knowledge and power. We see connections between research, education, teaching and fundamental questions of social change. We do not believe that research and education should be divorced from the wider social and political context nor that it should exist to serve elites. We believe that a commitment to promote research and education in Middle East Studies involves a duty to consider the conditions under which knowledge is produced and disseminated, and if necessary, to speak out against power structures and interests that prevent the flourishing of research and education in our field.”

We currently have more than 450 members drawn from all over the world and are governed by a Council of trustees elected from the membership. Since 1974, we have published the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies – now issuing 5 editions a year through Taylor & Francis – which is free to members. We offer funding and prizes to support and recognize the best research, to which all BRISMES members are eligible to apply. We also organise public annual lectures and the BRISMES Annual Conference, which draws participants from all over the world and attracts the latest research on all aspects of Middle East Studies in Britain and beyond. Members enjoy a reduced attendance rate here, too.

BRISMES Campaigns panel transcript by YouTube
Transcript 00:00 uh hello everybody and welcome to this 00:03 panel 00:04 titled middle east studies and practice 00:06 and anti-colonial education 00:08 my name is hishtam safiyadin i will be 00:11 co-chairing 00:11 this panel with my dear colleague jamie 00:14 allenson 00:15 and i first want to give a special 00:18 thanks to the conference coordinator 00:19 bronwen mehta for the incredible job 00:21 of coordinating online events at the 00:23 conference and i want to express 00:25 my gratitude to annalisa praven as well 00:28 um 00:28 for kindly volunteering to support the 00:31 session 00:32 in addition to zoom if you’re with us on 00:34 zoom this event is going to be live 00:36 streamed on youtube so it’s also 00:37 available 00:38 to watch by non-conference member 00:41 participants 00:42 the link has been put by runway in the 00:44 chat so if you are on facebook right now 00:46 watching us 00:47 if you have friends please do cut and 00:49 paste and share on your social media 00:51 platform um we have five distinguished 00:55 speakers and we have 00:56 my fellow co-directors which we’ll we’ll 00:58 talk about at the end of the session 01:01 but after a brief introduction to what 01:03 brismes campaigns is 01:04 i’m going to introduce each one of the 01:06 speakers before they speak 01:08 and then jamie at the end will talk 01:10 about how you can stay all connected 01:12 and get involved in brismes campaigns 01:14 and after that we’re going to open the 01:16 floor 01:16 for questions and discussions 01:20 so we are gathered today to celebrate 01:23 and discuss 01:24 the celebrate the launch of brismes 01:26 campaigns and to discuss the very 01:28 important relationship between palestine 01:31 pedagogy and liberation and i think it’s 01:34 quite apt that we do so as part of this 01:36 year’s conference which is titled 01:37 knowledge power and middle east studies 01:40 so let me begin with a quote about 01:42 knowledge and power that speaks to our 01:43 topic 01:44 and this is a signature report that my 01:46 colleague and co-director miriam arwag 01:48 uses at the bottom of her email and i 01:50 always rate it every time she sends me 01:52 the email 01:53 this is what edward said says in his 01:55 race lectures in 1993 01:58 nothing in my view is more reprehensible 02:01 than those habits of mind in the 02:03 intellectual 02:04 that induce avoidance that characters 02:07 that characteristic turning away 02:09 from a difficult and principled position 02:12 which you know 02:13 to be the right one but which you decide 02:16 not to take 02:17 why you do not want to appear too 02:19 political 02:21 you are afraid of seeming controversial 02:24 you want to keep a reputation 02:26 for being balanced 02:29 objective moderate your hope 02:33 sorry um 02:36 can you can you hear me yeah 02:40 hello can you hear me yes we can yeah 02:44 okay good okay sorry 02:45 your hope is to be asked back to consult 02:49 to be on a board or prestigious 02:51 committee and so 02:52 to remain within the responsible 02:54 mainstream 02:55 someday you hope to get an honorary 02:57 degree a big prize 02:59 perhaps even an ambassadorship for an 03:02 intellectual 03:03 these habits of mind are corrupting par 03:05 excellence 03:06 if anything can denature neutralize 03:10 and finally kill a passionate 03:11 intellectual life 03:13 it is the internalization of such habits 03:16 end quote so in the spirit of the public 03:19 intellectual so eloquently articulated 03:22 and embodied by edward saeed 03:23 and others who devoted their lives and 03:26 in some cases lost their lives in the 03:28 pursuit of speaking truth to power 03:31 and in steadfast an unapologetic 03:33 defiance of the mounting assault 03:35 on public and higher education including 03:38 the most recent and reprehensible 03:40 campaign of intimidation and coercion 03:42 by the uk government under the very 03:44 false pretext of fighting anti-semitism 03:47 in order to silence and demonize the 03:49 teaching of palestine 03:51 if it did not conform to zionist tastes 03:54 and standards 03:55 we gather today we gather to celebrate 03:58 the launch of brismes campaigns 04:00 brismes campaigns is an organization 04:02 founded by academics working in middle 04:04 east studies 04:05 and associated disciplines because we 04:08 recognize that the academy is part of an 04:10 unjust world 04:11 and that the unjust world is part of the 04:13 academy 04:14 we aim to campaign and agitate as well 04:17 as educate 04:17 for a just world inside and outside the 04:20 academy 04:21 we seek a more liberated form of middle 04:23 east studies a popular pedagogy 04:26 that links research and theory to 04:28 concrete pursuit 04:29 of social justice through wider public 04:32 engagement 04:33 action-oriented activism and egalitarian 04:36 politics 04:38 both on the domestic and international 04:40 stage 04:41 we therefore oppose the ways in which 04:43 middle east studies 04:44 on and off campus is implicated in the 04:47 exploitation and domination 04:49 in exploitation and domination racism 04:52 colonialism 04:53 orientalism patriarchy homophobia 04:57 ableism authoritarianism neoliberalism 04:59 and elitism 05:01 we believe in transnational solidarity 05:03 and global justice 05:05 we believe in the importance of 05:07 organizational and cultural struggle 05:09 across borders 05:10 and of making links with excluded groups 05:14 we pursue our goals in coordination with 05:16 our parent charity and its membership 05:18 but i have to emphasize we are an 05:20 entirely distinct 05:21 entity we will also do so 05:24 with other like-minded educational and 05:27 community organizations 05:28 we are going to mount our campaigns on 05:31 specific issues 05:32 as well as join forces with appropriate 05:34 other campaign when appropriate with 05:36 other 05:37 campaigns because we oppose injustice 05:40 and domination and support emancipation 05:42 and liberation 05:43 we fully endorse and it is our duty to 05:46 actually 05:47 honor the bds resolution passed by 05:50 brismes 05:51 in june of 2019 by endorsing this 05:54 palestinian call for boycott divestment 05:56 and sanctions 05:57 we are doing so against the unjust 05:59 regime of israeli occupation 06:01 and apartheid as workers in education 06:04 our focus on the boycott of israeli 06:06 universities and research centers 06:09 as a result of their decades-long 06:11 institutional complicity in the racist 06:13 oppression of palestinians 06:15 including fellow educators and students 06:17 is going to be key 06:19 brismes campaigns advocates for a 06:21 boycott of institutions 06:22 not individuals something that we have 06:24 to repeatedly raise 06:26 unfortunately either sometimes it’s 06:28 misunderstood or actually 06:30 ignored we look for ways to advocate 06:33 effectively for bds in the united 06:34 kingdom and beyond 06:36 aiming to raise awareness as to the 06:38 conditions of palestinian educators 06:40 researchers and students facing 06:42 apartheid 06:43 racial discrimination occupation siege 06:47 colonization and exile 06:50 we do so fully aware that today in the 06:52 uk 06:54 educators are under attack facing 06:56 intimidation 06:57 silencing smears misinformation and 07:00 defamation 07:02 textbooks are being censored academics 07:04 are being disciplined 07:06 students are being put off researching 07:09 citizens 07:09 are being denied speaking out and a very 07:12 concrete example is the adoption as we 07:14 know of the ihra 07:16 and the false accusations of 07:17 anti-semitism which are leading to a 07:20 shrinking space 07:21 and curtailing academic freedoms and 07:22 palestinian voices 07:24 within the academy we are going to stand 07:27 in solidarity with our colleagues facing 07:29 that stress 07:30 a smear of one is a smear of all 07:33 we must be united in defending our 07:36 fundamental rights 07:38 to academic freedom and support for 07:40 justice and equality 07:42 that being said we’re not a single issue 07:44 organization 07:45 we are concerned with diverse social 07:47 issues of subordination objective 07:49 variation 07:50 exclusion in our field whether in 07:52 relation to race 07:53 gender sexuality state power culture 07:55 disability 07:57 and or social class and our campaigning 08:00 activity will 08:01 hopefully reflect this and at the end of 08:03 the days these campaigns are going to be 08:05 as good as the people 08:07 who will actually take part in them 08:09 including us and of course all those of 08:11 you who will join us 08:13 so let me with this turn to our speakers 08:15 without further ado 08:16 um our first speaker is um 08:20 omar is the co-founder of the 08:21 palestinian campaign for the academic 08:23 and cultural boycott of israel pakhmi 08:26 and the bds movement for palestinian 08:28 rights and he is 08:29 the co-recipient of the gandhi peace 08:32 award in 2017. 08:34 the title of this presentation is just 08:37 academics 08:38 ethical duty in the struggle to 08:40 dismantle israeli apartheid 08:42 and settler colonialism omar it’s a real 08:44 pleasure to have you the floor is yours 08:47 thank you very much hicham and everyone 08:49 for having me 08:51 some 340 academic departments and 08:54 programs 08:55 and over 23 000 academics globally 08:58 have expressed solidarity with the 09:00 palestinian liberation struggle in the 09:02 last couple of months 09:03 alone with many of them endorsing bds 09:06 or similar accountability measures the 09:09 significant 09:10 shift in discourse on palestine in most 09:13 of these solidarity statements 09:15 reflected in analyzing israel as a 09:17 regime of settler colonialism and 09:19 apartheid 09:20 is due to that tireless work of 09:22 palestinian scholars 09:23 and academic boycott activists the 09:25 patient work 09:27 of international activists scholars over 09:29 the years 09:30 and without doubt the racial and social 09:32 justice uprising 09:33 led by the black lives matter movement 09:37 this reflects an acknowledgement by many 09:39 scholars that they should 09:41 never settle for being just academics 09:45 they aspire instead to be just 09:49 academics academics who uphold in an 09:52 ethically consistent manner 09:53 the principle and value of justice that 09:56 is 09:57 cognizant of that academic associations 10:00 and student governments 10:01 at tens of u.s canadian uk and other 10:04 universities 10:05 have voted in the last few years for 10:07 various bds measures 10:09 including divestment from companies 10:11 involved in israel’s occupation 10:14 inspired by the south african 10:16 anti-apartheid struggle and the u.s 10:18 civil rights movement 10:19 the non-violent anti-racist 10:22 intersectional bds movement 10:24 was launched in 2005 by the broadest 10:27 coalition 10:28 in palestinian society it calls for 10:31 ending israel’s 1967 occupation 10:34 upholding the right of palestinian 10:36 refugees to return to their lands 10:38 and ending israel’s institutionalized 10:41 and legalized system of racial 10:43 domination 10:44 which meets the u.n definition of 10:46 apartheid as recently acknowledged 10:48 by human rights watch and israel’s 10:50 leading human rights organization 10:52 bet-7 israel has been waging an 10:56 all-out war of repression against bds 10:59 for years 11:00 partly because of its leading role in 11:03 popularizing the apartheid analysis of 11:05 israel 11:06 but perhaps the most important factor is 11:09 the fact that bds has 11:10 drastically redefined solidarity with 11:14 the palestinian struggle for freedom 11:15 justice and equality as an ethical 11:18 obligation 11:19 to end complicity above everything else 11:23 in the face of flagrant oppression 11:25 anywhere 11:26 apathy and inaction are immoral 11:30 when one has the ability to act without 11:32 suffering 11:33 significantly they’re far more immoral 11:36 still 11:37 when one has not only the ability 11:40 but also the duty to act because of the 11:43 complicity of one’s 11:45 state or institution in the system of 11:48 oppression and i’ll get back to this 11:49 later 11:51 few forms of pressure have triggered as 11:53 much alarm in israel’s establishment 11:56 as the growing bds movement on western 11:58 college campuses 12:00 and the rapidly growing support for a 12:02 comprehensive academic and cultural 12:04 boycott of israel 12:05 and of its complicit institutions in 12:08 parallel 12:09 many individual academics around the 12:11 world have 12:12 joined the widespread silent that is 12:15 unannounced yet quite effective 12:17 boycott of israel israel realizes that 12:21 an effective academic boycott 12:23 would irreversibly hurt its brand 12:27 and feed the growing coals for economic 12:30 boycotts and eventually sanctions 12:32 israel’s academic institutions after all 12:35 have been a 12:35 pillar of its regime of oppression 12:38 playing a major role 12:40 in planning implementing justifying 12:44 and whitewashing israel’s crimes against 12:46 the palestinian people 12:49 the complicity of israeli universities 12:51 takes many forms 12:52 including the development of weapon 12:55 systems 12:56 and military doctrines used in the 12:58 commission 12:59 of israeli war crimes and crimes against 13:01 humanity 13:03 they systematically provide those 13:04 universities provide the military 13:06 intelligence establishment 13:08 with indispensable research on 13:10 archaeology demography geography 13:12 hydrology 13:13 psychology philosophy among other 13:15 disciplines 13:16 and they tolerate and often reward 13:19 racist 13:20 speech theories and bogus scientific 13:23 research this complicity also includes 13:27 institutionalizing discrimination 13:29 against palestinian arab citizens 13:31 among them scholars and students 13:33 suppressing israeli academic research 13:36 especially on the nakba and construction 13:39 of 13:39 campus facilities and dormitories in the 13:41 occupied palestinian territory as hebrew 13:43 university has done 13:44 in occupied east jerusalem for instance 13:47 ariel university located in the illegal 13:50 settlement 13:50 by the same name was built entirely on 13:53 stolen palestinian land 13:55 it’s another glaring example of academic 13:57 complicity 13:59 an independent campaign no aerial ties 14:02 initiated by authoritative palestinian 14:04 bodies 14:05 and supported by prominent academics 14:07 worldwide has called for 14:09 non-recognition of ariel university and 14:11 for ending 14:12 all institutional ties with it 14:15 examples of academic complicity in 14:17 israel’s crimes 14:18 against the palestinian people abound 14:21 here i list only a few 14:23 technion prides itself of developing 14:26 many of the weapon systems particularly 14:29 drone technologies employed by the 14:31 israeli forces in their bloodbaths 14:33 in gaza and lebanon 14:36 tel aviv university has designed tens of 14:38 weapons used by the israeli occupation 14:40 forces 14:41 the institute for national security 14:43 studies also takes credit for the 14:45 development of the so-called 14:47 dahiya doctrine or doctrine of 14:49 disproportionate force 14:51 that is adopted by the israeli army and 14:53 which calls for 14:54 quote the destruction of the national 14:58 civilian infrastructure and intense 15:01 suffering among the civilian population 15:03 end of quote 15:04 as a means of defeating and otherwise 15:07 impossible to defeat 15:08 non-statal resistance the bds movement 15:12 upholds the universal right to academic 15:15 freedom 15:16 and therefore calls for boycotting 15:18 institutions not individuals 15:20 as brismes does the palestinian 15:23 campaign for the academic and cultural 15:24 boycott of israel pappy 15:26 subscribes to the u.n definition of 15:28 academic freedom 15:29 which prohibits the infringement on the 15:32 academic freedom of others 15:33 as well as discrimination and repression 15:37 anchored in precepts of international 15:39 law and universal human rights backbee 15:41 rejects 15:42 on principle any mccarthyite type 15:45 political tests or boycotts targeting 15:48 individuals 15:49 based on their opinion or identity such 15:52 as citizenship 15:54 race gender religion religion and so on 15:57 if however an individual is representing 16:00 the state of israel 16:02 or a complicit israeli institution such 16:04 as a dean director 16:05 president or is commissioned to 16:08 participate in israel’s efforts to 16:10 rebrand itself then her or his 16:12 activities 16:13 are subject to the institutional boycott 16:17 and that the bds movement is calling for 16:20 the boycott conflicts with academic 16:22 freedom argument 16:23 also confuses academic privileges 16:26 with academic freedom and fails 16:29 accordingly 16:30 to grasp that an institutional academic 16:33 boycott 16:34 would harm perks and privileges not 16:37 rights some critics may argue 16:41 that bds contravenes academic freedom 16:43 still 16:44 because it cannot but hurt individual 16:47 israeli academics 16:49 if it were to be effective at all by 16:52 ignoring the real 16:54 systematic israeli suppression of 16:56 academic freedom of the colonized 16:58 indigenous palestinians and focusing 17:01 solely on the hypothetical 17:03 infringement on academic freedom of the 17:06 colonizers 17:07 that the boycott allegedly would entail 17:09 this argument is patently racist 17:12 and colonial the academic boycott of 17:15 israel that palestinian civil society 17:17 has called for 17:18 is closely connected to israel’s 17:21 relentless 17:22 and deliberate attack on palestinian 17:24 education 17:25 which some have termed scholasticide 17:28 and which goes back to the 1948 nakba 17:32 an israeli researcher’s dissertation for 17:34 instance 17:35 reveals that during and immediately 17:37 after the nakba 17:39 tens of thousands of books stolen from 17:43 palestinian homes 17:44 schools and libraries in jerusalem jaffa 17:48 haifa safad and elsewhere were plundered 17:51 and destroyed 17:52 by zionists and later israeli militias 17:54 some of them are kept 17:55 in israeli libraries in the first few 17:59 weeks of the first intifada 1987-1993 18:03 israel shut down all palestinian 18:05 universities 18:06 some like birzed for several consecutive 18:08 years and then 18:10 it closed all 1194 palestinian schools 18:14 in the occupied west bank 18:16 including jerusalem and gaza next 18:19 came the kindergartens eventually 18:22 every educational institution in the 18:25 occupied palestinian territory was 18:26 forcibly closed 18:28 this promoted palestinians to build an 18:31 illegal 18:32 network of underground schools 18:34 palestinian scholars and students are 18:36 methodically denied their basic rights 18:38 including academic freedom 18:40 and are often subjected to imprisonment 18:42 denial of freedom of 18:44 movement even violent attacks on 18:46 themselves and their institutions 18:48 including the bombing of palestinian 18:49 universities in gaza in 2014 18:52 and again in the recent assault in may 18:54 of this year 18:56 palestinian citizens of israel have also 18:58 suffered for decades from the structural 19:00 racism 19:01 that pervades the israeli educational 19:03 system as far back as 2001 19:06 human rights watch reported quote 19:08 discrimination at 19:10 every level of the israeli education 19:12 system winnows out 19:14 a progressively larger proportion of 19:16 palestinian arab children 19:18 as they progress through the school 19:20 system 19:22 or channels those who persevere away 19:25 from the opportunities of higher 19:27 education 19:28 the report continues the hurdles 19:30 palestinian arab students face 19:32 from kindergarten to university function 19:35 like a series of seeds with sequentially 19:39 finer holes end of quote 19:43 in the past many academics supported a 19:45 much more sweeping academic boycott 19:48 against apartheid south africa’s 19:49 universities and individual academics 19:52 yet today some of those same academics 19:54 are reluctant 19:55 to support a strictly institutional 19:58 boycott of israeli academic institutions 20:00 that are complicit this is the 20:02 definition 20:03 of hypocrisy still bds including the 20:07 academic boycott is growing 20:08 at an inspiring rate and israel’s 20:11 standing 20:12 is nose diving worldwide in a recent 20:15 yougov poll for instance israel’s 20:18 favorability dropped 20:19 sharply since february of 2021 till now 20:23 among european publics including in 20:24 germany and france 20:26 in the uk israel’s favorability dropped 20:29 27 20:30 points during this period making it the 20:33 least favorable 20:34 of all the countries surveyed in the u.s 20:37 representative alexandria ocasio-cortez 20:40 tweeted quote apartheid states aren’t 20:43 democracies 20:44 while representative cory bush went 20:46 further uplifting the key palestinian 20:49 demand for defunding israeli apartheid 20:51 she said 20:52 the fight for black lives and the fight 20:54 for palestinian liberation are 20:55 interconnected 20:57 we oppose our money going to fund 20:59 militarized policing 21:00 occupation and systems of violent 21:02 oppression and trauma 21:04 we are anti-apartheid period end of 21:06 quote 21:08 major tv network personalities 21:11 major artists icons like john legend and 21:14 snoop dogg 21:15 star athletes in the uk leading football 21:17 clubs 21:18 hollywood celebrities susan sarandon 21:20 viola davis john cusack 21:22 wentworth miller mark ruffalo natalie 21:24 portman among many many many others 21:26 have all expressed solidarity like never 21:28 before 21:29 some of them tweeting the famous 21:31 disappearing map of palestine 21:33 undergraduate settler colonialism 21:35 dock workers unions in oakland 21:37 california durban south africa and in 21:38 italy 21:39 have refused or started to organize 21:41 towards refusing 21:42 the handling of israeli ships according 21:46 to a newly released report by the 21:48 euromet human rights monitor 21:50 91 of the children 21:53 in gaza suffer some form of 21:56 conflict-related trauma 21:58 after the latest israeli massacre which 22:00 killed more than 67 children 22:03 injured hundreds and made thousands of 22:05 children homeless 22:07 your universities have our children’s 22:10 blood 22:10 and traumas on their hands they 22:13 invest hundreds of millions of pounds in 22:16 companies 22:17 that maintain israel’s occupation and 22:19 apartheid according to psc research 22:22 they conduct joint research including 22:24 military security research 22:26 with deeply complicit israeli 22:27 universities 22:29 mobilizing pressure to boycott israel’s 22:31 deeply complicit academic institutions 22:33 and to end all forms of uk university’s 22:37 criminal complicity 22:38 in israeli apartheid and subtler 22:40 colonialism is 22:42 the most urgent and ethical obligation 22:44 of uk 22:45 academics to end today 22:49 more than ever palestinians are telling 22:51 the world 22:52 that true solidarity with our struggle 22:54 for freedom justice and equality 22:56 spells bds we’re shattering our wall of 23:00 fear 23:00 every day and we need an eruption of 23:04 courageous meaningful solidarity that 23:06 can 23:07 end all complicity in israel’s regime of 23:10 oppression 23:11 we need you to be not just academics 23:15 but truly just academics 23:18 thank you thank you thanks a lot homer 23:22 um i’m i’m searching for the icon of the 23:25 clap but you know what i’m going to 23:26 stick to the old fashioned way of doing 23:28 things 23:28 i realize that speakers may not see my 23:31 chat comments especially that they’re 23:32 wonderful comments 23:33 taking place people are putting things 23:35 in the chat so if you get this it means 23:37 two minutes i don’t know if you can see 23:38 it 23:38 if you get this it means your time is 23:40 out um but don’t misinterpret this in 23:43 any other way 23:44 uh thanks a lot and i think i have a few 23:47 things to ask about but we’ll keep this 23:48 for the q a 23:50 uh moving on to our next speaker 23:54 our next speaker is sarah salem sarah is 23:57 an assistant professor at lse 23:59 her research interests include political 24:01 sociology postcolonial studies 24:03 marxist theory and global histories of 24:06 empire and anti-colonialism 24:08 and her recently published book which i 24:10 highly recommend with cambridge 24:12 university press is entitled 24:14 anti-colonial after lives in egypt the 24:16 politics of hegemony 24:18 the title of her presentation is 24:20 teaching with anti-colonial archives 24:22 sarah we are delighted and honored to 24:24 have you with us and the floor is yours 24:28 thank you so much hicham thank you for 24:30 this invitation 24:32 and thank you homer for that really 24:34 moving um 24:35 talk this is a very tough act to follow 24:38 but i’ll do my best so 24:40 i was invited to talk a bit about the 24:42 question of teaching colonialism 24:45 and anti-colonialism and in particular 24:48 to think about the classroom as a space 24:50 in which the politicization of 24:51 colonialism is becoming 24:53 increasingly intense so this is a moment 24:56 here 24:56 in the uk but i think also in many other 24:59 parts 25:00 of the world that is both terrifying in 25:03 kind of seeing this coalition that’s 25:05 coming together pushing against critical 25:07 education 25:08 but also quite hopeful in seeing 25:10 increasing resistance to this as well 25:12 and 25:12 i’m going to speak to both of these um 25:15 to this kind of split 25:16 reality uh through a course that i teach 25:18 on anti-colonial archives and 25:21 just to say this idea of anti-colonial 25:23 archives came 25:25 also in the wake of the egyptian 25:28 revolution and other revolutions across 25:30 the region 25:31 that have very much kind of thought 25:33 creatively 25:34 about how to remember and do 25:37 and retrieve revolutionary and 25:40 anti-colonial moments in the wake of 25:42 extreme kind of state 25:43 erasure and of course this is something 25:45 that we 25:47 can also learn a lot from when we think 25:49 about the anti-colonial movements of the 25:50 past as well as anti-colonial 25:53 movements such as the palestinian one in 25:55 the present so 25:57 what i want to talk about briefly here 25:59 is in particular this question of 26:01 teaching 26:02 british empire and by extension 26:05 and relatedly the question of 26:07 anti-colonial resistance in the 26:08 contemporary uk and what this means for 26:11 people all of us who think about and 26:14 work on 26:14 the middle east and north africa of 26:16 course global 26:17 north universities are very much sites 26:20 of extraction 26:21 and coloniality but i think what we’re 26:23 seeing now as well is 26:25 very much a coordinated pushback from 26:28 the attacks on quote-unquote critical 26:30 race theory to the withdrawing of 26:31 funding because of a refusal 26:34 to not do research on the legacies of 26:36 british empire 26:37 past and present as well as many of the 26:39 cases that my esteemed panelists are 26:41 going to talk to 26:43 talk about so thinking for example about 26:46 these discussions around critical race 26:48 theory which has now 26:49 actually been banned in some u.s states 26:51 which was discussed here in parliament 26:53 the effect has been less to critique or 26:56 disprove these ideas but rather to 26:58 create a panic around them which draws 27:00 in people across 27:02 the political spectrum and from multiple 27:04 spaces and of course all of this is 27:06 taking place in a context in which 27:08 anti-racism and anti-colonialism in 27:10 particular 27:11 but also feminism and feminist 27:13 resistance have become 27:14 key sites of a battle around maintaining 27:17 white supremacy 27:18 and racial capitalism globally 27:22 so i focus specifically on the politics 27:24 of teaching and pedagogy 27:26 um through these recent controversies 27:28 about the british empire because i think 27:30 this has made it even more urgent that 27:31 we creatively address 27:34 this question of teaching in the 27:35 classroom when it comes to 27:38 these consistent attempts to erase or 27:40 forget 27:42 the british empire and its lasting 27:44 effects 27:45 the classroom is just one site of 27:47 struggle among many and 27:49 i think in this panel we’re going to 27:50 talk about several of these sites 27:53 and so in the rest of this talk i’ll 27:55 focus on some of the dimensions of 27:57 teaching with 27:58 and through and alongside anti-colonial 28:00 archives 28:01 that might push back or create 28:04 classrooms that 28:06 push against this invitation to engage 28:08 in either nostalgia 28:10 amnesia or both siding when it comes to 28:13 the legacies of empire 28:14 as bell hoax reminds us in teaching to 28:16 transgress pedagogy and teaching more 28:19 broadly can work to make visible 28:20 histories that have been marginalized 28:22 through the cultivation of classrooms as 28:24 spaces of 28:25 care and radical imagination and to me 28:28 the space of pedagogy 28:30 which has always been political and i 28:32 think now is becoming more 28:34 visibly politicized is an important 28:36 arena in which we can challenge 28:38 these erasures rewritings but also the 28:41 very overt forms of disciplining that 28:44 have 28:44 that have been happening to both staff 28:46 students faculty and 28:48 and everyone else involved in 28:49 universities across the country 28:53 so in relation to the teaching on to 28:56 teaching on middle east 28:57 and north africa and the contemporary uk 28:59 i think there are multiple 29:01 reasons or multiple elements that have 29:04 come together to create this condition 29:06 that i 29:06 label terrifying the most kind of 29:09 visible one now is this conservative 29:11 government that is very much 29:13 actively supports this rising tide 29:15 against critical scholarship especially 29:17 scholarship critical of colonialism past 29:20 and present 29:21 but we also see the rise of right-wing 29:23 views across the world 29:25 the limits around knowledge production 29:27 and the discussion of palestine in 29:28 particular as 29:29 as has been mentioned the ihra 29:31 definition 29:32 we also have the long-standing prevent 29:34 agenda and 29:36 anti-radicalization programs which have 29:38 put in place many institutional 29:40 kind of check holds that are often not 29:43 very 29:44 visible but that do a lot of work to 29:46 also silence 29:48 debates around questions of colonialism 29:51 and anti-colonialism 29:52 we also have the conservative program 29:54 but also at times the labor program of 29:56 defunding 29:57 public education institutions and rising 30:00 precarity 30:02 and finally we have a lot of projects 30:04 now of diversity and inclusion 30:07 that often successfully co-opt what are 30:09 very radical student demands or student 30:12 movements that very much 30:13 act in solidarity with anti-colonial 30:16 questions or anti-colonial movements 30:19 themselves and 30:19 so i think within this broad kind of 30:22 political landscape 30:23 there’s a lot at stake when it comes to 30:26 the region but also when it comes to 30:28 basic anybody who is 30:30 working or teaching or doing activism 30:32 around these questions 30:34 in the contemporary uk 30:37 i think the scandals that have emerged 30:40 uh the quote-unquote scandals 30:41 that have emerged around teaching um 30:44 empire 30:45 show once again how crucial um this 30:48 question of 30:49 imperial nostalgia is to britain’s kind 30:52 of self-understanding and how it 30:53 understands its position in the world 30:56 but at the same time it’s clear that as 30:58 more people push to teach discuss 31:00 and challenge traditional narratives of 31:02 empire or even just to discuss 31:04 empire at all the pushback becomes 31:06 increasingly insistent and 31:08 i think it’s crucial to note as well 31:09 that this challenge is a transnational 31:11 one this 31:12 this pressure is transnational it’s not 31:14 something we’re only seeing in one place 31:16 but actually 31:18 there is this traveling of certain ideas 31:20 and certain 31:21 kind of markers or words that hold a lot 31:24 of meaning and i think here again 31:25 critical race theory 31:27 is a good example of something that has 31:30 you know suddenly was cropping up 31:32 in multiple places and the aim is very 31:35 much not to have a very precise 31:36 definition of what it is but rather to 31:39 kind of gather 31:40 an effective um kind of halo around it 31:43 so 31:44 i want to turn now to some of the ways 31:47 in which teaching 31:48 and with anti-colonial archives has 31:51 helped 31:52 um to think about the classroom as a 31:54 space in which we can 31:55 maybe de-center some of these um 31:58 challenges or maybe 32:00 create spaces or classrooms in which 32:03 the teaching or the understanding of 32:06 both british empire and anti-colonial 32:08 resistance 32:08 um are centered rather than 32:12 something that is not part of what we’re 32:14 teaching so 32:15 just to note of course uh alongside 32:18 these questions of pedagogy it’s very 32:20 important to join a union 32:22 and to also join brisbane’s campaigns 32:24 because although pedagogy is really 32:25 important 32:26 as hicham and norma have mentioned there 32:28 are really 32:29 worrying structural features as well to 32:32 education that i think it’s important to 32:34 as address through these more kind of 32:36 organized spaces 32:39 so the first thing i want to talk about 32:41 is 32:42 the way in which pedagogy can challenge 32:44 this 32:45 debate here in england around this need 32:48 for objectivity for balance for equal 32:50 attention to varied perspectives 32:52 especially around the legacies of 32:54 british empire and again this is very 32:56 much connected to 32:58 some of the ramifications of the prevent 33:00 agenda that require 33:02 this quote-unquote balance to be in 33:04 place and of course 33:06 classrooms have never been apolitical so 33:08 one thing that i found 33:10 really invigorating and thinking about 33:12 teaching 33:13 is how to work with radical archives but 33:15 also to think with post-colonial and 33:17 black feminist pedagogy 33:19 in creating space for feelings emotions 33:22 senses materiality and other forms of 33:25 knowing that are often 33:26 discounted or seen as less valuable in 33:30 relation to 33:31 the textual or the canon itself 33:34 so partly this meant thinking with and 33:36 through approaches to history that focus 33:38 on memory 33:39 rather than maybe more classical 33:41 historical texts 33:43 partly it meant thinking about ourselves 33:45 as part of anti-colonial archives our 33:47 bodies feelings life histories even our 33:50 names 33:51 but most above all it meant thinking 33:53 about 33:54 ourselves as con as all connected 33:56 through to anti-colonial histories of 33:58 course in very different ways 34:00 and i think the effect of this was very 34:02 much to not counter objectivity or prove 34:05 objectivity but rather to decenter it 34:08 and to think about how both ourselves in 34:10 the classroom but also the spaces all 34:12 around us so in the case 34:14 of lse the buildings the legacy of lse 34:17 itself 34:18 spaces nearby like the british museum or 34:21 even just streets all around us were all 34:23 implicated actually in histories of 34:25 empire in important ways 34:27 and not relegated where empire is not 34:30 relegated to the past or to elsewhere 34:32 which is usually imagined 34:34 to be the us i think this sharp 34:36 delineation between past and present 34:38 which has also become a very 34:40 big feature of the debate around 34:42 colonialism in the uk 34:44 is also something that thinking with 34:47 radical 34:48 or none kind of official archives is a 34:51 really interesting way of challenging 34:53 and in particular um we thought a lot 34:57 with 34:57 things like music food for example 35:01 we had an amazing session where we’re 35:04 thinking about cookbooks 35:05 as um theoretical material rather than 35:08 empirical material and all of these ways 35:10 in which other forms of knowing 35:12 became centered were also an important 35:14 way of collapsing time and kind of 35:16 collapsing these temporal distinctions 35:19 that tend to 35:20 exist in this debate around empire and i 35:23 think by collapsing this 35:24 distinction between past present and 35:27 future 35:28 there was a lot and way we there was a 35:30 lot in which we were able to 35:32 um move beyond this debate about how the 35:35 past influences the present and i think 35:38 this is a whole other topic but on this 35:40 question of decolonizing the classroom i 35:43 think there’s much to say 35:44 as well about the textual and the 35:45 dominance of the textual 35:48 and what what an anti-colonial education 35:51 that doesn’t 35:52 value the textual over other senses 35:54 might do 35:56 i want to now turn to the question of 35:58 solidarity and connections because i 36:00 think 36:01 as omar mentioned this is really a 36:03 crucial um 36:04 challenge that we’re facing today thank 36:06 you hisham um 36:08 first because i think what we what we’re 36:09 seeing in the present and this was why i 36:11 spoke about being hopeful 36:13 is that there are there’s an incredible 36:16 wave of movements that have been 36:17 fighting against all of the different 36:19 challenges that i outlined earlier and 36:21 this goes 36:22 back quite far but we can think about 36:25 the long-standing palestinian solidarity 36:27 movements 36:28 but also the fight against tuition fees 36:30 movements against the white curriculum 36:32 black lives matter 36:34 and many more that have all energized 36:36 one another in important ways and i 36:38 think 36:39 again this was interesting in the 36:41 classroom in the sense that 36:42 anti-colonial archives themselves are 36:44 not 36:44 um siloed into these regional 36:48 or national or also disciplinary borders 36:50 and very much 36:51 think about connections as an important 36:54 um 36:55 source of learning or source of 36:56 knowledge and i think there’s 36:58 a lot to think about as well in it in 37:00 how we can connect these different 37:02 um struggles together i think first of 37:04 all because that connection is crucial 37:07 and that anti-colonial energy is 37:10 underpins so many of these movements but 37:12 second because the coalition that 37:14 is made up of the government and co 37:18 is also targeting um many of these 37:22 kind of questions and many of these 37:23 movements at the same time and so i 37:25 think it’s 37:26 very urgent that we also make those 37:29 connections and think about those 37:30 struggles as 37:31 very intimately entangled even while of 37:34 course they have their own 37:35 specificities so finally i’m going to 37:39 end by touching 37:40 on the diversity and inclusion inclusion 37:43 agendas that we see 37:44 across academic institutions in england 37:47 because i think in many ways 37:49 these have been responsible for a lot of 37:51 the co-optation that’s happened 37:53 especially around kind of radical 37:55 student demands and radical 37:57 change and thinking about anti-colonial 38:00 education 38:01 i think there’s so much left to do here 38:03 especially around how 38:04 universities act as border police so the 38:07 policing that happens 38:08 around questions of visas and so on 38:10 inside universities 38:12 inequalities around global knowledge 38:14 production even just 38:16 kind of the basic point that we still 38:19 teach everything and read everything in 38:21 english 38:22 but also questions of funding questions 38:24 of scholarships and 38:26 very importantly what homer mentioned as 38:29 well this question of how so many of 38:30 these institutions are complicit 38:33 in um what is happening to palestinians 38:36 so i think 38:38 in these i think in in some 38:41 unfortunate way these diversity and 38:43 inclusion agendas have also become 38:44 something we need to think about pushing 38:48 against because i think in many ways 38:50 they do a lot of work in 38:53 de-radicalizing what have been very 38:56 radical calls against institutions here 38:58 in england 38:59 so i won’t have time to discuss this but 39:02 i do also want to mention that beyond 39:03 england it’s also crucial that we think 39:05 about 39:06 the increasing curtailments around 39:08 accessing archives and fieldwork in the 39:11 middle east and north africa itself 39:13 um and of course here 39:16 there’s also a great need and and um 39:19 there’s so much amazing work on the 39:21 expansive and creative approach to what 39:23 archives can look like when 39:24 states have you know so clearly and 39:27 strongly shut down access to 39:29 knowledge and history in in many parts 39:31 of the world 39:32 so i’ll stop here because i think i’m 39:34 out of time but thank you again 39:36 um for all this work and yeah i’m 39:39 looking forward to the rest of the 39:40 tunnel wonderful thank you so much i 39:43 don’t think i can do this i was just 39:44 joking it’s too 39:45 harsh just to do so i’m just gonna do 39:47 this if your time is up 39:49 uh thanks again sarah for this very 39:51 eloquent and rich presentation 39:53 and your reference to the focus on 39:54 memory the question of past versus 39:56 present 39:57 border police saying you also brought up 39:59 very pertinent issues of 40:01 how things are being changed in the 40:02 academy 40:04 the word is decolonization but you’ve 40:06 actually used de-radicalization so 40:07 that’s 40:08 interesting to juxtapose these two 40:09 things maybe in the q a 40:11 speaking of transnational we are 40:13 extremely excited to have someone who is 40:15 actually in 40:16 india who will be telling us more about 40:18 how they teach palestine there so i hope 40:20 that’s a fresh change from all of us we 40:22 teach in the uk before we move to mercy 40:25 though 40:25 um and as there is a poetry reading 40:28 unfortunately uh freddie judah our 40:31 esteemed palestinian poet 40:33 uh because we examine life he saves 40:35 lives so 40:36 he’s also a medical doctor and he’s on 40:39 call and he hasn’t been able to 40:41 uh unfortunately join us because he’s at 40:43 the hospital and 40:44 so he’s actually recorded uh his 40:47 recitation 40:48 and i’m going to share it with my screen 40:50 bear with me it’s a seven to eight 40:52 minute recording 40:53 i should also point out there’s a lot of 40:55 links being put in the chat 40:57 and has very generously and kindly also 40:59 uh 41:00 updated us on what what you can do in 41:03 terms of 41:03 joining a brismes and she and jamie 41:05 will talk more about this 41:06 afterwards so um i’m now sharing 41:10 my screen bear with me 41:18 um 41:20 can you see it now 41:23 and also let me know if you can hear it 41:27 can you hear it yes we can 41:38 i can’t hear it 41:42 i can’t hear it either some of you can’t 41:44 hear it 41:45 uh maybe someone can uh advise me i mean 41:49 i have 41:49 you have to unshare it unshare it and 41:52 then when you do 41:53 share they’ll be on the bottom ask to 41:56 share with 41:57 audio and you have to click that 42:02 okay so i press share oh share sound i 42:06 see 42:07 wonderful 42:14 it’s asking me for my 42:20 are you i can you see my screen right 42:22 now 42:25 no we can’t okay good good because i’m 42:28 typing my uh 42:29 my password just a second 42:38 it’s still asking me for my id to be 42:41 able to share the audio 42:54 sorry folks okay can you see now the 42:58 the screen at least dude good afternoon 43:01 everyone um 43:02 we can hear you sorry i can be in here 43:04 with you 43:05 um live 43:08 [Music] 43:10 i will read two poems of mine 43:13 and one in translation 43:17 um the first poem of mine 43:21 is called 43:24 remove um 43:27 which uh links um despite its 43:31 uh directness uh the civilizational 43:34 trope 43:35 of uh property and language 43:39 um especially if you remember that 43:42 the equivalent for stanza in arabic 43:46 you know room in italian uh is 43:50 date is house um 43:54 there is also the poem that i centered 43:57 around 43:57 uh around which i centered the uh my 44:00 recent essay 44:02 in the los angeles review of books uh my 44:04 palestinian poem that the new yorker 44:06 would not publish 44:09 remove you 44:12 who remove me from my house are blind to 44:16 your past 44:18 which never leaves you yet you’re no 44:21 mold 44:21 to smell and sense what’s being done to 44:24 me 44:25 now by you 44:28 now dilatory 44:31 attritional so that the past is climate 44:35 change 44:36 and not a massacre so that the present 44:39 never ends but i’m closer to you 44:44 than you are to yourself and this 44:47 my enemy friend is the definition 44:50 of distance oh don’t be 44:54 indignant watch the video 44:57 i’ll send you the link in which you 44:59 cleanse me 45:00 item after limb thrown into the street 45:03 to march 45:04 where my catastrophe in the present is 45:07 still not the size of your past 45:11 is this the wall you throw your dice 45:13 against 45:15 i’m speaking etymologically i’m okay 45:18 with the scales tipping your way i’m not 45:22 into that 45:23 i have a heart that rots resists and 45:26 hopes 45:27 i have genes like yours that don’t 45:30 subscribe 45:31 to the damaged pyramid 45:34 you who remove me from my house have 45:37 also evicted my parents 45:39 and their parents from theirs 45:43 how is the view from my window 45:47 how does my salt taste 45:51 shall i condemn myself a little for you 45:54 to forgive yourself in my body 45:58 oh how you love my body my body 46:02 my house 46:08 second poem is um gemini 46:11 it’s from my recent book tethered to 46:13 stars and 46:15 obviously named the poem is named after 46:19 the zodiac 46:20 also the idea of the two in one both the 46:22 mystical and the mythical 46:26 and the historical in the sense of uh 46:30 a distant echo of a couple of things 46:32 that might have happened under the 46:34 gemini sign 46:38 after yoga i took my car to the shop 46:43 coils spark plugs computer chips 46:47 and a two mile walk home are fossilized 46:50 public transportation 46:52 elementary school recess hour kids 46:56 whirling joy the all familiar 46:58 neighborhood 47:01 and then another newly demolished house 47:04 how long since i’ve been out walking 47:08 the message appeared on my phone 47:11 an american literary magazine calling 47:14 for a special 47:15 issue on jerusalem deadline approaching 47:19 art and the ashes of light 47:24 the construction site the live oak that 47:26 appeared my age when i became a father 47:29 was now being dismembered the machinery 47:33 and its men almost always men 47:36 poor or cheap labor colored with 47:40 american dreams 47:42 the permit to snuff the tree was legally 47:45 obtained the new house is likely 47:49 destined for a nice 47:50 couple with children their children 47:54 won’t know there was a tree 47:58 i paused to watch the live oak 48:00 brutalized limb by limb 48:02 until its trunk stood hanged and the 48:05 wind 48:06 couldn’t bear the place who loves the 48:09 smell of fresh sap 48:11 in the morning the waft of sos the trees 48:14 been sending 48:16 to other trees how many 48:19 how many feathers will relocate since 48:22 nearby can absorb the birds 48:26 farewell for days on end 48:30 they were digging a hole around the 48:32 tree’s base 48:34 to uproot and chop it then repurpose 48:37 its life 48:41 the last poem is by 48:44 sheikha hilary 48:48 a professor of literature and television 48:51 university in haifa 48:53 [Music] 48:54 she’s a short story writer in arabic and 48:58 also a poet and she comes from a uh 49:02 unrecognized bedouin 49:06 village around haifa 49:10 nakba 49:13 my mother is three years younger than 49:16 mecca 49:18 but she doesn’t believe in great powers 49:21 twice a day she brings god down from his 49:24 throne 49:25 then reconciles with him through the 49:27 mediation of the best 49:28 recorded quranic recitations 49:33 and she can’t bear meek women 49:36 she never once mentioned nakba 49:40 had nakba been her neighbor my mom would 49:42 have shamelessly chided her 49:44 i’m sick of the clothes on my back 49:47 and had nakba been her older sister 49:51 she would have courted her with a dish 49:52 of her basic 49:54 but if her sister whined too much my mom 49:58 would tell her enough your boring holes 50:02 in my brain 50:03 maybe we shouldn’t visit for a while 50:07 and had nakba been an old friend my mom 50:10 would tolerate her idiocy 50:12 until she died then imprisoned her in a 50:14 young picture 50:16 up on the wall of the departed a kind of 50:19 cleansing ritual before she’d sit to 50:22 watch 50:23 dubbed turkish soap operas 50:27 and had nakba been an elderly jewish 50:30 woman that my mom 50:31 had to care for on sabbath my mom would 50:35 teasingly tell her in cute hebrew 50:38 you hussy you still got a feel for it 50:41 don’t you and had nekba 50:44 been younger than my mom she’d spit on 50:47 her face 50:48 and say reign in your kids get him 50:51 inside 50:52 you drift drifter 51:01 thank you 51:05 all right the fatty is not here with us 51:08 to thank him but i will relay 51:10 our thanks and uh with this somber 51:13 but very touching an eloquent recital 51:16 we turn to our uh fourth and esteemed 51:20 speaker 51:21 from india marcy newman and 51:24 [Music] 51:26 sorry i should have also introduced fedi 51:29 for i think most of you know him but 51:30 he’s a houston-based poet he is the 51:32 author of five poetry collections 51:34 the translator of several volumes of 51:36 poetry from arabic 51:37 a practicing physician of internal 51:39 medicine and literary editor 51:41 he’s also has received several literary 51:43 awards 51:44 as for marcy marcy is a former english 51:47 professor an independent scholar 51:49 she is the author of the politics of 51:51 teaching palestine to americans 51:53 and a founding member of the u.s 51:55 campaign for the academic and cultural 51:57 boycott of israel 51:59 and her the title of her presentation 52:01 today is 52:02 what do indians learn about palestine 52:05 mercy we’re excited to have you 52:07 and the floor is yours 52:11 thank you hicham i’m just gonna share my 52:16 screen 52:18 okay can you see the screen yeah 52:21 okay great so uh 52:24 thank you hicham and and thank you 52:26 brismes for 52:28 inviting me to uh speak today and um 52:32 i’m gonna tell you a little bit about 52:35 what i’ve been noticing in 52:36 in india since i’ve been here the last 52:38 few years 52:40 so uh when i moved to india nine years 52:43 ago 52:44 i had assumptions about what indians 52:46 would think about 52:47 palestinian people and their struggle 52:49 and this was shaded by friends and 52:51 writers on the left 52:53 but i soon realized this 52:54 misunderstanding came from my insulated 52:56 bubble 52:58 there were several factors at play not 53:00 all of which i understand or have the 53:02 answers to yet 53:03 this talk is an attempt to piece 53:05 together observations i’ve made 53:07 about what ordinary indians outside that 53:09 bubble learn about palestine 53:15 so after settling in bangalore it struck 53:17 me how often i’d see the word zion 53:20 in the hindu newspaper i’m greeted 53:23 regularly with stories like things to do 53:25 in israel for tourists or kicking it 53:27 with krav maga 53:28 for women who are interested in 53:29 self-defense 53:31 and also articles that are celebrating 53:33 israeli 53:34 culture when i went to dharmashala 53:38 on vacation i found two israeli colonies 53:42 replete with hebrew signage 53:44 and the town is a haven for israelis who 53:46 recently finished their military duties 53:50 in the south indian village of oroville 53:53 there’s 53:53 a community of israeli nationals living 53:57 there and the most famous of whom has 54:00 adventure 54:01 a greenwashing adventure called saldana 54:03 forest 54:06 and during my travels around the country 54:10 from hampi to patankot i’ve encountered 54:13 something called 54:14 israeli cuisine on restaurant menus 54:16 which 54:17 is of course you know palestinian food 54:19 although there’s some weird thing called 54:21 israeli salad which i still can’t figure 54:23 out what it is 54:25 when i was when i was about to begin 54:28 teaching at rishi valley school 54:29 rv a private boarding school in rural 54:33 south india 54:34 i started to understand what 54:36 palestinians did and didn’t 54:38 know about palestine first a little 54:40 context about rv 54:42 it was founded in 1926 by jedu 54:45 krishnamurti 54:46 and under the first headmaster suba rao 54:49 students were only allowed to bring 54:51 indian made items to school 54:53 as it was the height of the movement to 54:54 boycott british goods 54:56 rao also discouraged students from from 54:58 working with the british 55:00 and rv was a place for hindus muslims 55:03 and christians as well as 55:04 indians across the cast spectrum lived 55:06 in an integrated community 55:08 pedagogy was driven by learning through 55:11 inquiry and observation 55:13 and under roused tutelage freedom in 55:15 thinking and reading was the norm 55:17 until the british raided the school 55:19 found marxist literature in his room and 55:21 he was fired 55:23 it was this sensibility that drove that 55:25 drew me to rv 55:26 especially krishnamurthy’s teachings 55:28 which were grounded in rigorous inquiry 55:30 including of authority 55:35 by the time i began my post most of that 55:38 ethos was gone 55:39 rv and other krishnamurthy schools six 55:42 in india one in the us 55:43 one in the uk follow a program that 55:46 starts most mornings with singing 55:48 brahmanical or high cast 55:50 songs while some teachers pushed to 55:53 include adabassi or tribal songs 55:56 they were rarely included holidays we 55:59 celebrated were hindu 56:00 except for christmas and national 56:02 holidays it’s an idyllic place in many 56:05 ways during the day classes are held 56:07 both in traditional classrooms as well 56:09 as outside under banyan trees 56:12 and every evening we’d gather to 56:14 silently observe the sunset 56:16 and sunday nights the seniors assemble 56:18 for folk dancing 56:20 or folky when i first went to folky 56:23 i was astonished to find 14 of the songs 56:27 the 43 songs that they danced to were in 56:30 hebrew 56:33 these are two of the songs um 56:36 and oddly no one 56:40 had any thoughts about where they came 56:42 from or why they were there 56:45 and there was little information about 56:48 that 56:48 so i started investigating first with 56:50 havana gila which was one of the songs 56:53 on this uh on this slide it was composed 56:57 by abraham’s v 56:58 idolson a zionist living in jerusalem 57:01 and he wrote it to commemorate the 57:03 balfour declaration 57:05 it’s a simple song it repeats the words 57:08 let us rejoice during the chorus but 57:10 it’s what the original song celebrated 57:12 the 57:13 british zionist takeover takeover of 57:15 palestine that makes it a lot less 57:17 innocuous 57:19 some of the dances that accompany the 57:21 song like this 57:23 were ashkenazi but when zionists began 57:26 colonizing palestine they wanted to 57:28 distance themselves from european 57:29 cultural roots 57:31 nicholas rose history of dance in 57:33 palestine traces zionist cultural theft 57:35 of palestinian dubka 57:37 quote the actual zionist salvage 57:40 and appropriation of indigenous peasant 57:42 dance can be seen 57:43 as both methodological and politically 57:46 orchestrated 57:47 during the 30s and 40s zionist dancers 57:51 researched the local peasant debka the 57:53 steps were then re-choreographed into 57:55 stage presentations of folk dance by 57:57 zionist youth 57:58 unquote some choreographers like rivka 58:02 stermin 58:03 created and created antagonistic pieces 58:05 glorifying stealing palestinian land 58:08 her choreography of nigun atik is the 58:11 second 58:13 scene on this slide one of the dances 58:16 students flocked to the most 58:18 was called mayam it was a song first 58:21 choreographed in 1937 by elsa dublin to 58:24 commemorate 58:24 quote finding water after a seven year 58:27 search 58:28 and this was near ramla which i find 58:30 very odd 58:31 zionists shared this dance around the 58:33 world and through it the mythology of 58:35 israelis making the deserts bloom 58:38 and that became ingrained in those 58:39 footsteps 58:41 so in this context i want to talk about 58:44 what do children know about palestine 58:47 and this is what i brought to my 58:49 students 58:50 so i started by asking them to write 58:52 about it to see what they would know 58:54 and most of the students had a sense of 58:56 current events 58:57 but only one knew about british 58:59 involvement in the zionist project 59:01 some responses were things like i heard 59:04 people used to throw stones at 59:05 shopkeepers 59:07 there’s a wall built in palestine that 59:08 separates the occupied and unoccupied 59:11 semi apartheid in place against them in 59:14 occupied territory and palestine is 59:18 ruled over by jews who aren’t the 59:19 indigenous settlers of the place 59:23 so i assigned um uh 59:26 susan abu hawa’s mornings in janine and 59:28 supplemented it with films like 59:30 frontiers of dreams and fears 59:32 and aren’t as children and the first 59:34 year culminated with a visit from 59:36 janine’s freedom theater 59:37 and a palestinian feast that they helped 59:41 to cook 59:42 and debka lessons when a dear friend 59:44 visited campus 59:48 these situa these students and the next 59:50 two batches repeated this unit with me 59:52 and then i also began reading their 59:55 history syllabus and textbook to see how 59:57 it represented west asia 59:59 rv uses the indian certificate of 60:02 secondary education board 60:04 and its isc exam which began in 1952 to 60:08 replace the uk 60:09 cambridge exam isd syllabus for 11th and 60:12 12th grade history 60:14 combines indian and world history the 60:17 global half 60:18 of which is limited to the 20th century 60:21 and includes world war ii 60:23 decolonization of asia and africa the 60:25 cold war 60:27 protest movements and the middle east 60:31 these topics were covered uh 60:34 for the 12 standard board exams and at 60:36 rv 60:37 they use norman lowe’s modern world 60:39 history a british textbook 60:41 to supplement the class lectures 60:44 because there’s an exam at the end of 60:46 12th grade 60:47 that determines where students go go to 60:49 college they must memorize 60:51 key events in their syllabus 60:55 on that syllabus um 60:58 isc’s language frames a conflict between 61:01 israeli 61:02 and palestine suggesting it’s about a 61:04 group of people who 61:05 belong to that place and the place 61:08 itself 61:09 palestinians don’t factor into the early 61:11 history at all 61:12 indeed the word palestinian never comes 61:14 up except within the acronym plo 61:18 instead the word arabs stands in for 61:19 palestinian and of course the phrase war 61:22 of liberation 61:23 in relation to the creation of israel 61:25 indicates the isc’s point of view 61:28 it’s ironic then to view the isc’s 61:32 learning objectives in that light which 61:35 privileged reading 61:36 about the latest evidence in the field 61:38 discouraging prejudice and using correct 61:40 terminology 61:42 if those objections were sincere 61:45 the syllabus could have used any number 61:48 of books 61:49 over the last 20 years that incorporated 61:52 new language 61:52 and an unbiased perspective these books 61:56 have been widely available 61:57 if educators wanted to model the type of 61:59 learning they were 62:00 expecting of their students 62:04 those supports isd’s perspective 62:08 for starters aside from photographs of 62:10 world leaders the only image of a 62:12 palestinian 62:13 is of a quote-unquote child soldier and 62:16 jews are figured 62:17 as victims of european anti-semitism 62:22 the format of the book is a broken down 62:26 into questions and statements with 62:28 bullet points and reply 62:30 to open the section on palestine and 62:31 israel he points the question 62:34 he posits this question why did the 62:36 creation of the state of israel lead to 62:38 war 62:39 of course the premise is problematic 62:42 because zionist 62:43 ethnic cleansing operation predates that 62:45 so-called war 62:46 even before the un’s 1947 partition plan 62:50 plannedale was in place and zionist 62:51 operations 62:53 continued through 1951 and the 62:55 destruction of the crete and 62:57 of course is ongoing perhaps what’s more 62:59 troubling is his answer 63:01 quote the origin of the problem went 63:04 back almost 2000 years to the year 63:06 ad71 when most of the jews were driven 63:09 out of palestine 63:10 which was then their homeland by the 63:12 romans unquote 63:14 as we know from scholars like noor 63:16 masalha palestinian roots in the levant 63:19 predate the old testament quote with the 63:21 beginning 63:22 of the middle stone age in about 12 000 63:25 bc 63:26 humans in palestine began to raise 63:28 animals and farm the land 63:30 the neolithic period consolidated 63:32 agricultural practices in palestine 63:34 circa since circa 11 000 to 8800 bc 63:40 similarly sand reveals how 63:43 zionists misused biblical historical 63:45 claims to palestine quote 63:47 jews were not forcibly exiled from judea 63:50 after the destruction of the temple 63:52 faithful jews who adhered to the torah 63:54 of moses had multiplied and spread 63:56 across the hellenistic and mesopotamian 63:58 world 63:58 even before the destruction of the 64:00 temple which is how they disseminated 64:02 their religion with relative success 64:05 the connection of the masses of jewish 64:07 converts to the land of the bible could 64:08 not be based on yearnings of a homeland 64:11 as it did not represent a land of origin 64:14 for them 64:14 or their ancestors unquote 64:18 in other words the evidence-based 64:19 history the kind that isc 64:22 lays out in its learning outcomes is 64:25 ignored 64:26 instead they employ a mythological 64:28 approach to 64:29 palestinian history in one place they 64:32 have one sentence about 64:34 an arab village that’s unnamed probably 64:36 deryastine 64:37 that they depopulate uh and he 64:40 he links it to a casualty of war 64:44 and uh and and ultimately 64:47 by the end of the book you see that it’s 64:49 essentially 64:50 in line with most zionist propaganda but 64:53 these 64:54 topics come into conflict with isd’s 64:56 learning outcomes there’s no new 64:58 evidence such as the 64:59 planned expulsion of palestinian people 65:02 it’s riddled with ethnocentric 65:04 prejudice against arabs and muslims 65:07 correct terminology like a nakba 65:09 to describe the 1947 events 1947 and 65:13 onwards is absent 65:14 and students are not provided with any 65:16 fundamental source material like the 65:18 balfour declaration or u.n resolutions 65:22 so after leaving rv i um 65:25 i decided to survey students uh to see 65:29 what they learned from my class and and 65:31 how it influenced them 65:33 uh and their understanding about what 65:37 uh about palestine and about the region 65:39 so 65:41 uh these are some of their responses the 65:43 first image the first bar 65:45 chart is about um what they how they 65:47 learned about it before 65:49 at my class and the next one is how it’s 65:52 changed their perception 65:53 since then and then these are some of 65:56 their 65:56 responses to uh how it’s affected them 66:01 uh so these so these experiences i’ve 66:04 been thinking about and wondering 66:06 how when and why changes were made to 66:09 the isc syllabus 66:11 because i imagine it hasn’t always been 66:12 like this and i was thinking about prime 66:15 minister narendra modi’s 66:16 altered cbse curriculum which has been 66:20 in the media around the world i imagine 66:23 which has been attributed to his right 66:24 wing agenda but i’m also trying to 66:27 trace the relationship between india’s 66:29 foreign policy 66:31 and its educational uh 66:34 trajectory so here um you can see 66:37 this symbol is for the congress party 66:39 this is when india had independence so 66:42 this first chunk of time if you look at 66:45 these 66:46 um uh moments in history these are all 66:49 moments where 66:50 for the most part uh india is having 66:53 surreptitious uh relations with 66:56 um with israel including intelligence 66:59 starting in 1962 67:01 israel israel is providing weapons for 67:04 for 67:04 india so we can see that it’s you know 67:07 and this is the congress party this is 67:08 the non-alignment 67:09 movement is is in this moment and then 67:14 whoops and then we can see when there 67:16 were started to be a diversity 67:18 of parties but things didn’t really 67:20 change much the plo got to open an 67:22 office in new delhi 67:24 in 1988 but still most of this was about 67:27 intelligence sharing arms gathering 67:30 and more recently it’s been about 67:32 agricultural 67:34 israelis coming to india to do 67:36 agricultural 67:37 uh work and also 67:40 to sign memorandums of uh understanding 67:44 with 67:44 indian universities so my hope is to 67:47 sort of take this research 67:49 and kind of look at how the education 67:53 changes have come out during these 67:55 moments and to see whether or not it 67:57 links up 67:57 with political party changes i don’t 68:00 actually think that’s going to 68:01 make much of a difference because when 68:03 you see all of the 68:05 um political parties and and what 68:07 they’re doing every single one of them 68:09 has been ensconced in 68:11 uh and in bed with israel so i don’t 68:13 know that it’ll 68:14 line up neatly but this is the ultimate 68:17 objective of my work 68:18 so thank you for your time 68:36 muted oh i just said the best sentence 68:40 i’ve ever could have said in my life 68:42 that’s just not true i was just thanking 68:45 mercy 68:45 uh for this window into what’s taking 68:47 place in india i think you reminded us a 68:50 that the um today’s world is is becoming 68:53 more multi-polar and the weight of 68:54 empire is not just in the west and it’s 68:56 very important to think of what israel 68:57 is doing in other parts of the world 68:59 be that britain still has a hand in this 69:01 because the knowledge is being produced 69:03 in britain 69:04 and see the role of politics and 69:05 right-wing uh ultra-nationalist 69:08 movements and their alliances with 69:10 uh with israeli uh government which is 69:13 of course 69:13 uh against the pretension to liberalism 69:16 that often the israeli governments tell 69:19 us in the west 69:20 and actually your your talk segues 69:23 beautifully 69:24 into john’s because john will be 69:25 speaking about also textbooks and how 69:28 uh palestine the struggle over the 69:30 ideological struggle which we’re all 69:31 talking about 69:33 and now it’s expressed in textbooks so 69:35 john i will use my chair powers to urge 69:37 you to be as as 69:38 quick as you can because of time and 69:41 because i hopefully 69:42 i can you want to take it against me 69:45 and please let me just also properly 69:48 introduce 69:48 john john is professor of middle east 69:52 history and politics at the lsc 69:54 his research focuses on history from 69:56 below in gramscian perspective 69:58 his most recent book is popular politics 70:01 in the making of the modern middle east 70:03 he currently serves as treasurer for the 70:05 british committee for the universities 70:06 of palestine 70:07 and as secretary for the for brismes 70:10 john 70:11 the floor is yours thank you so much 70:14 hicham 70:15 uh it’s a really great pleasure to be 70:17 here i’ll i’ll keep it right down to 70:19 maybe six minutes or seven minutes or 70:21 something 70:22 i’m just gonna have more i hope i i know 70:25 it’s fine 70:26 what i’m gonna begin with is uh page 80 70:30 from uh a book which is this book 70:33 which is an edxl gcse history book 70:36 conflict in the middle east 70:38 uh authored by hillary brash published 70:40 by pearson uh published in 2016 70:43 and i’m gonna show you page 70:46 80 if i can manage to share my screen 70:52 and let me just go like that can you see 70:55 sort of page 80 on the left and page 80 70:57 on the right 71:02 can you see both sides of the screen 71:10 if you could speak if you could unmute 71:11 maybe i can see two columns a single 71:13 page with two columns of writing life in 71:15 the 71:15 part territories on the right-hand side 71:17 is that what you’re showing us ketu 71:19 boxes i’m trying to show uh i’m trying 71:22 to show it twice actually 71:23 you can’t you can’t see uh you can’t see 71:26 the 71:26 page 80 duplicated twice 71:30 i can’t i don’t see a duplication to be 71:32 honest i don’t know if anyone else does 71:33 does anyone else see is supposed to have 71:36 life in the occupied terrace maybe you 71:38 can show it to them in sequence john do 71:40 you want to show them in sequence if you 71:41 can’t 71:42 at the same time okay 71:45 okay maybe if i click on share or 71:48 something 71:49 in the meantime james godfrey has kindly 71:52 shared the 71:53 article that was published by fadi judah 71:55 that he referred to 71:57 in his recital in the chat so you can 72:00 also scroll and see that 72:02 and after this we’ll have a brief 72:05 [Music] 72:07 summary of how you can be involved and 72:08 then we’ll open up the 72:10 uh for questions john you ready 72:13 yes don i think i think if you zoom out 72:15 you’re on 140 72:16 of the page so it might be that if you 72:18 zoom out to 60 or 70 72:20 or so we might be able to see the two 72:23 adjacent yeah 72:26 shall i maybe i’ll try and i’ll try and 72:29 do that hang on 72:30 so my apologies for this uh 72:34 your six minutes are up john yeah okay i 72:37 gotta show them 72:38 i jinxed you my fault i’m gonna show 72:41 them 72:42 sequentially just to reveal my 72:45 did you try to zoom in doesn’t work 72:49 okay i’m just sharing this now i 72:52 okay so we’re seeing page 80 of that 72:54 book that i mentioned 72:56 and uh and and if you look under life in 72:59 the occupied territories so this is page 73:01 80 it’s it’s 73:02 it’s about palestinians in the 1970s so 73:05 we have 73:06 uh for ordinary palestinians life in the 73:08 occupied territories was harsh 73:10 living conditions were crowded basic and 73:12 unhygienic to make money many 73:14 palestinians had to work in israel uh 73:18 then it it goes further there’s they 73:20 they have the daily humiliation of being 73:22 under israeli palestinian occupation 73:24 plo uh suspects experienced intimidation 73:28 many endured sudden house searches and 73:31 and 73:32 uh and um by the by the 1980s the 73:35 palestinians 73:36 could take no more and a single incident 73:37 triggered a massive uprising 73:40 so that’s um that’s page 80 73:43 of of this book and if i can just 73:47 show you uh page 80 of the book 73:51 uh it’s the same book but somehow it’s 73:54 different 73:55 it says for many ordinary palestinians 73:58 life is now difficult it’s no longer 74:00 harsh 74:01 and then you’ve got despite major 74:02 improvements in the standard of living 74:04 health and education 74:05 under israeli rule living conditions are 74:08 crowded and basic but the word 74:09 unhygienic has disappeared 74:13 well and then you have a new sentence 74:14 some palestinians benefited from higher 74:17 wages from working in israel 74:18 the older one said palestinians had to 74:21 work in israel 74:22 and then it says about the israeli taxes 74:24 some of those were used 74:26 for public services and then it goes on 74:29 to say 74:29 it was a daily humiliation but then what 74:31 they’ve added is for some 74:33 it used to just be for everybody and 74:36 then 74:36 they remember in the old one they 74:38 endured 74:39 land confiscation and house searches in 74:42 the new one 74:43 uh sudden house searches and land 74:45 confiscation they just happened nobody 74:48 endured them and then at the bottom 74:51 uh instead of palestinians could take no 74:53 more and there was an uprising 74:55 it says as frustration grew among many 74:57 palestinians 74:59 so a kind of a generalized frustration 75:02 if 75:02 if um so this is the but this is a 75:05 slightly peculiar because 75:07 it’s the same page from the same book 75:11 with the same publication details the 75:13 same 75:14 author the same date the same isbn 75:17 number 75:18 and the same edition so we start to 75:21 wonder 75:22 now if you look this we’re back to the 75:24 original version here you see a 75:26 definition of jewish settlers 75:28 uh no though this sorry this is the 75:29 revised version jews returning to 75:32 villages 75:32 they were expelled from in 1948 75:36 that’s the revised version uh 75:39 of this book whereas in the original 75:43 version 75:44 which i’ll now uh share with you 75:47 we have um 75:51 the uh the the original definition 75:54 of jewish settlers here which is jews 75:56 who lived in settlements 75:58 built in the west bank in gaza so change 76:01 to jews returning to villages they were 76:03 expelled from 76:04 and just finally uh over at the bottom 76:07 we have 76:08 a source children crossing overflowing 76:11 raw 76:11 sewage in gaza’s jebelia refugee camp 76:15 in 1988 that’s in the original version 76:19 and then in this other mysterious 76:22 revised version if we scroll down and 76:25 look at the picture 76:26 it just says children in gaza’s 76:28 generally a refugee camp so again the 76:30 reference to palestinians suffering 76:32 i.e wading through sewage disappears so 76:35 this is 76:36 one column on page 80 76:40 of of of a textbook but the mysterious 76:43 thing is 76:44 it’s the same textbook and it’s the same 76:46 page 76:47 and there’s no indication anywhere in 76:50 the book 76:50 that any revision has happened and 76:54 uh you know professor james dickens of 76:57 leeds and myself and a number of other 76:59 people 77:00 from uh brick up british committee of 77:02 universities of palestine we started 77:04 looking into this and we discovered 77:07 uh two books that were rather different 77:10 an original version 77:12 of this gcse textbook and then a revised 77:15 version 77:16 um but none of which was acknowledged it 77:18 was done 77:19 uh covertly we found we counted 77:23 the changes using track changes i just 77:25 showed you one 77:26 column of page 80. but there are two at 77:29 least 294 77:31 uh material changes uh in those 77:35 um you know 80 or 90 pages of text 77:39 uh which make uh quite a significant 77:42 difference 77:43 to the content of the textbook so james 77:46 and i 77:47 dickens and i and brick up we sort of 77:49 looked into this 77:50 and and what we discovered was that 77:52 pearson the publisher 77:54 had engaged in quite a close 77:57 collaboration with uk lawyers for israel 78:01 and the board of deputies for british 78:03 jews and they had over a period of 78:05 months systematically 78:07 worked through the original version of 78:09 the book 78:10 to produce a new version which was as i 78:13 mentioned 78:14 unacknowledged and then those 294 78:16 changes 78:17 were made and what we found and what we 78:19 detailed in a report 78:21 was um basic distortions 78:24 on sort of fundamental issues you saw 78:27 one a definition of jewish settlers 78:29 instead of it being you know those who 78:30 go to live in the west bank and the gaza 78:32 strip 78:32 it had changed to those who were 78:35 returning from villages they were 78:37 expelled from 78:38 in 1948 um and others 78:41 and then the sentence goes on basic 78:44 distortions you know around these kind 78:45 of issues around international law 78:47 so for instance the the original version 78:50 of the book 78:51 says that international law uh 78:54 um prohibits the indefinite occupation 78:59 and annexation of land acquired by force 79:03 so the original version of the textbook 79:04 just repeats the international consensus 79:06 since 1949 79:08 but the revised version of the textbook 79:11 um uh it just adds the word some argue 79:14 at the beginning of that sentence so 79:17 some argue that indefinite occupation 79:19 and annexation is is prohibited under 79:22 international law 79:22 so turning what is you know a 79:24 cornerstone of international law since 79:26 1949 79:27 into a sort of questionable opinion of 79:30 just 79:31 you know a few uh people so really basic 79:34 distortions 79:35 also quite evident double standards 79:39 on very sensitive issues around 79:42 violence and suffering you caught a 79:45 little glimpse of how palestinians 79:47 suffering whether wading through sewage 79:49 or inducing enduring uh house searches 79:53 and confiscations how those 79:55 instances of palestinian suffering get 79:57 subtly edited out 80:00 but there are so many throughout the 80:02 book and but but also a dialing up 80:05 of the suffering endured by israeli jews 80:09 uh and then double standards on issues 80:11 of violence so palestinian violence is 80:14 intensified augmented you know 80:16 paramilitaries become terrorists 80:18 etc and uh and there’s quite you know 80:20 quite numerous instances of that you 80:22 know we counted like 30 or 40 such 80:24 instances you know incremental changes 80:26 that add up to a big 80:27 big change but also explanations for 80:30 palestinian 80:32 violence were dialed away or simply 80:35 removed 80:36 on the other side when it came to 80:38 israeli violence 80:40 uh references were dialed down so 80:42 references to civilian casualties 80:44 literally removed from the text 80:46 and explanations for israeli violence 80:49 were 80:49 uh amplified and increased so double 80:52 standards 80:53 on sensitive issues of violence and 80:56 suffering 80:56 and and third a kind of evident 81:00 cherry-picking around facts and 81:02 interpretations 81:03 so facts which supported 81:06 an exonerated israel were added 81:10 and facts which uh rather painted 81:14 israel in not such a favorable light 81:16 according to the 81:17 people who reviewed the book were 81:19 removed and it’s likewise with 81:21 interpretations 81:22 just one example um avi shlaim’s 81:25 well-known interpretation of netanyahu’s 81:29 role in the oslo process 81:31 it’s you know netanyahu deliberately 81:33 undermined the oslo process that’s 81:35 avi schlem’s interpretation of what 81:38 happened in the 90s 81:39 well for some reason that’s that’s been 81:42 edited away 81:43 from the revised version so a cherry 81:46 picking 81:46 around interpretations that for one 81:48 reason or another 81:50 don’t somehow exonerate israel so there 81:52 are distortions 81:53 there are double standards there is 81:56 cherry-picking effects and 81:57 interpretations 81:58 there’s an extensive and invasive uh 82:01 revision of a book you know 294 changes 82:04 in in 80 odd pages 82:06 and there’s a very one-sided review 82:08 process that’s gone on 82:10 whereby pearson the publisher has sat 82:13 with the lawyer advocates whose 82:17 uh stated mission is to support 82:20 israel and they’ve made a very 82:22 far-reaching revision to a text 82:24 on that basis and and no uh 82:28 you know palestinian groups were invited 82:31 to the table so this is just one tiny 82:34 example uh um 82:37 of a kind of a silencing that goes on i 82:40 mean it’s very interesting 82:42 it links right into the themes that 82:44 we’ve just heard 82:46 from from marcy about textbooks in india 82:50 but this word scholasticide that amar 82:53 morghuti used earlier in the talk 82:56 and this very interesting thing that 82:58 came up 82:59 i mean between the poetry and sarah 83:01 salem’s talk you know 83:03 sarah spoke about collapsing the 83:04 distinction between past present and 83:06 future 83:07 and there’s obviously uh a certain way 83:11 in which the read this reading of the 83:13 past is operative 83:14 in a certain kind of present according 83:16 to a certain kind of agenda 83:18 and we can see how that’s being done but 83:20 we can also see 83:22 uh you know paraphrasing the words of 83:24 fuddy’s 83:25 the poetry we just heard one past is 83:27 bigger than somebody else’s present 83:30 in this rewriting process and that’s a 83:33 past that is designed 83:34 uh uh to exonerate uh israel 83:38 uh interestingly also what sarah said 83:40 about diversity and inclusion 83:42 this revision has been justified on 83:45 public record by the vice 83:47 president for schools of of pearson uh 83:50 um by saying that it was a it was an 83:53 inclusive act 83:54 of engaging with all the communities 83:57 that were affected 83:58 by the history and so the rubric of 84:01 diversity and inclusion was used to 84:03 justify 84:04 uh in public that’s on record uh the 84:07 revis the um 84:09 the the the censorship and and 84:11 distortion 84:12 of a gcac textbook which of course is in 84:15 use 84:16 in schools up and down the country uh 84:19 in britain and and the same operation 84:21 was carried out with an international 84:23 gcse textbook which is in use 84:26 around the world so it’s just to say uh 84:30 an illustration 84:31 uh of why we might need something like 84:33 brisbane’s campaigns this is a tiny 84:35 illustration but 84:36 what you see is uh a war of position it 84:39 goes on in civil society 84:41 of course a civil society freighted with 84:43 politics 84:44 but a a kind of a war of position 84:47 a struggle over the organization of 84:50 culture 84:51 and consent that’s being meticulously 84:53 carried out 84:54 by certain organizations many of them 84:57 pro-israeli 84:58 but there’s also a war of position from 85:01 below 85:01 that’s carried out by others such as uh 85:04 brick up such as the bds movement and 85:07 and also 85:08 uh you know perhaps by groups like 85:11 brismes campaigns which can join 85:13 with many other organizations and it can 85:16 push back 85:17 and it can uh struggle to uh 85:20 for a war of position in the name 85:24 of the palestinian liberation struggle 85:27 and in the name of of of anti-racism 85:31 and liberation more broadly thank you 85:37 thank you john wonderful it’s another 85:39 good reminder 85:40 of the double speak that exists in in 85:43 the uk 85:44 and all this uh fear-mongering about 85:46 palestinians 85:47 the usual trope of their teach their 85:49 children hate 85:50 when this indoctrination is taking place 85:53 at these love at the level of actually 85:54 transforming textbooks to dehumanize 85:57 uh palestinians and erase them in such a 85:59 blatant fashion 86:01 so i think you have there is now 86:03 coverage of this in the media and 86:05 my worry and i will talk about this 86:07 maybe in the q a 86:08 that now the attempt is to balance the 86:10 narrative between what you and 86:12 and james are doing and what they are 86:13 doing the usual idea of let’s just bring 86:15 them together 86:16 and so maybe we can talk about that so 86:18 we can open for questions very soon uh 86:21 jamie i’ll hand it over to jamie to uh 86:24 speaking of you know brismes campaigns 86:26 and you know some form of activism 86:28 beyond also the classroom uh jamie will 86:31 tell us a bit more about 86:33 the campaigns itself and how you can be 86:36 involved 86:37 okay thank you uh hicham and thanks to 86:39 all of the wonderful 86:41 uh speakers for their contributions and 86:43 such is really great 86:45 for this to come off this um launch 86:47 event 86:48 uh of course the purpose of brismes 86:51 campaigns is to campaign 86:53 and we really want not just the people 86:55 who have 86:56 kind of served this event but everyone 86:58 to get involved 86:59 and to create an effective um 87:03 campaigning organization and network and 87:06 i want to say a few words about 87:08 how you can how you can do that how you 87:09 can get involved 87:11 the first thing if i can 87:15 manage to share my screen 87:18 you have to bear with me 87:21 [Music] 87:25 how do i do that actually 87:28 at the bottom there’s a green button 87:30 says share screen if you see 87:32 the bottom of the zoom so click on it 87:34 and then you click on whichever screen 87:36 or windows open 87:37 on your screen that you want to share 87:38 with us 87:40 okay let’s try desktop one 87:45 is that working not yet are you trying 87:49 to share the website uh 87:50 yeah i’m trying to share the brismes 87:52 campaign’s website 87:54 okay let’s try i don’t know if ann is 87:56 always at hand as well 87:58 to put the link in the chat as well 88:01 okay forget this the screen share i’ll 88:03 um 88:04 i’ll just drop the link in the chat and 88:07 people can 88:08 can get it themselves um so we have it’s 88:11 brismes campaigns 88:12 dot 88:17 88:21 so you can check out there and that has 88:22 all the information and you can find out 88:24 more about who’s involved 88:26 and the kind of plans um that we have 88:29 um the idea is to i mean 88:32 it’s been mentioned that the first focus 88:34 is about the boycott resolution but not 88:36 limited to that 88:37 um and that we’ll be pursuing activities 88:41 in kind of three main tracks 88:43 which would be great if people wanted to 88:44 get involved in one or two or all 88:47 of them but if you have a specific uh 88:50 you know something you feel you can 88:51 contribute 88:52 uh we’ll be doing research not so much 88:55 necessarily in the sense of our academic 88:57 research but research on things related 88:58 to 88:59 for example um connections of uh 89:03 settler universities with british ones 89:05 and so forth um 89:06 communications and actually campaigning 89:09 and mobilization 89:11 so there will be a number of a couple of 89:13 ways of kind of staying in touch 89:16 one is the slightly less uh 89:20 um what would you say uh high 89:24 commitment one of the um 89:27 mailing list which i’m just trying to 89:30 get from 89:31 further up and could you drop the 89:35 mailing list 89:36 link in the chat for me please yeah 89:38 we’ll do we’ll do that 89:39 yeah great and then there’s another form 89:43 which is more um 89:48 specific so there’s more more 89:51 information and 89:52 on there you could put in for example if 89:54 you want to be involved in 89:55 this particular type of campaign or 89:57 particular talent or 89:58 networks that you’re involved in we 90:00 would really very much like to encourage 90:02 people 90:03 students or people with good connections 90:05 in the student movement 90:07 and to get involved and to sign up here 90:10 and to stay in touch and kind of 90:13 um bring brismes campaigns together 90:15 with the sort of energy of 90:17 of of students so i think that’s all 90:21 we need to say about how you can get 90:24 involved 90:24 and just please do get involved um 90:28 the purpose of the thing is to campaign 90:30 so okay 90:32 thank you great thank you jamie so um 90:36 it will pick up with the beginning of 90:38 the term but we’re radical in our views 90:40 but gradual 90:40 list at this point in the soft launch 90:42 until we build up 90:44 so please do get involved early on and 90:46 share your thoughts your ideas of which 90:48 campaigns we need to focus on 90:50 how can we coordinate with everybody 90:51 who’s doing now bds 90:53 um and i should also mention maybe on 90:56 the side that king’s college just 90:58 recently the union 90:59 passed a motion expressing support for 91:01 bds 91:02 which is not very common for kings to do 91:04 so we’re very happy about that 91:06 and i think the biggest challenge for 91:08 most of us is how do we translate this 91:11 verbal endorsement 91:12 to action in a very hostile environment 91:16 how do we protect ourselves and at the 91:18 same time take calculated risks 91:20 to push the envelope beyond just verbal 91:23 endorsement 91:23 which is unfortunately in my personal 91:26 view has been a hallmark sometimes 91:28 of the european left so how do we make 91:30 it much more 91:31 uh you know anti-colonial in a concrete 91:34 sense i’ll open the floor for 91:35 questions comments they’re very 91:38 interesting stuff also being put in chat 91:40 if you have would like to ask a question 91:42 or make a brief uh 91:44 intervention please raise your hand 91:47 either electronically or 91:49 if i can see you i’ll also appoint you 91:52 who would like to to ask a question or 91:55 or 91:56 make an intervention and i also know ann 91:59 might want to say a few things about 92:01 organizational involvement but let’s 92:04 let’s first see if anyone wants to 92:11 uh katie 92:14 hi thank you for this really rich um 92:17 conversation and series of presentations 92:19 and also for the work that you’re doing 92:21 i just wanted to pick up on the the last 92:23 point of encouragement 92:25 for students to get involved in brismes 92:26 campaigns um 92:28 just to ask if you can outline for those 92:30 students who are here and also for those 92:32 of us who work 92:33 with students um with their involvement 92:37 then 92:37 how does brisbane’s campaigns 92:39 reciprocate that 92:41 kind of mutual sharing energy and 92:43 expertise wisdom and networks 92:45 um just so that all of these kinds of 92:47 movements are feeding one another 92:49 the really amazing organizing happening 92:51 with the students 92:52 um at the university of exeter where i’m 92:54 based 92:55 and i know that they would benefit 92:57 greatly from having 92:59 support and circulation of the work that 93:01 they’re doing through brismes campaigns 93:03 as well so if 93:04 anyone feels that they could speak to 93:05 that on for the benefit of everyone here 93:08 that would be really wonderful 93:09 thank you i’m gonna um 93:12 invoke my chairmanship to maybe ask anne 93:15 would you like to say something and 93:17 on this who’s our co-director anne 93:19 alexander she’s here with us 93:21 and of course if john or miriam or or 93:23 jamie want to also add something please 93:25 go ahead 93:26 yes i’m happy to say something about 93:28 that and thanks katie 93:30 and thanks for being here and um and 93:32 thanks for raising the question 93:34 um i mean firstly uh when we’re 93:37 asking people to come and work with us 93:39 as as volunteers we 93:40 want to do this in in as participatory 93:43 and egalitarian 93:44 way as possible um so people who come 93:48 and and give us their time and their 93:50 expertise their skills we see this as a 93:52 mutual 93:53 uh arrangement where we will learn from 93:54 each other um 93:56 and you know we hope that we can provide 93:59 some we can provide 94:00 support for students who’d like to get 94:01 involved in some of our in some of our 94:03 campaigns but we also want to learn 94:05 um and network with student groups that 94:07 are already active in this 94:09 in this field and also we we see us 94:12 obviously we are aware as an 94:13 organization that there are many other 94:15 organizations that work in this 94:17 particular area um you know we will be 94:20 coordinating with 94:22 other academic and non-academic 94:24 organizations that are 94:26 attempting to uh also push forward the 94:29 cause of solidarity with palestinians 94:32 and also the other aspects of our 94:34 um of our campaigning work so again some 94:37 of what we may be doing is actually kind 94:38 of convening and networking as well as 94:40 um and trying to bring together an align 94:43 effort so that we all 94:44 work together and have more effort 94:46 rather than being disparate 94:48 so i hope that maybe answers your 94:49 question 94:52 great thank you uh miriam is it about 94:54 this or something else 94:55 in case you want to jump the line 95:00 you would you rather wait sorry i don’t 95:03 need to change 95:05 okay in case it’s on this point that’s 95:06 fine because miriam is also a 95:07 co-director that’s why 95:10 you’re next 95:14 thank you very much and thank uh 95:17 everyone 95:18 who participate in this great roundtable 95:23 uh i have a question for 95:26 marcy if you don’t mind i would like to 95:30 ask you about two points 95:31 about uh is there any formal 95:35 relationship between the state of israel 95:37 and 95:38 such discourse or 95:41 this supporting for israel that you 95:44 share it with us today 95:45 it’s or it’s just initiative 95:48 from orderly people or 95:53 any actors or anything the other things 95:56 about 95:58 is such discourse 96:01 or the existence of this supporting 96:05 have any political influence 96:08 on india foreign policy toward israel or 96:12 toward 96:13 the arab israeli conflict in general 96:15 thank you very much 96:17 marcie would you like to answer that 96:19 sure yeah thank you for your question 96:22 um so if if i understand your question 96:24 right you’re you’re wanting to know 96:26 about 96:27 the how the discourse drives with the 96:29 foreign policy is that correct 96:32 yeah okay so um 96:35 so what i find really interesting is 96:37 that historically 96:38 um it doesn’t like even when nehru was 96:41 in power 96:42 and even when the non-aligned movement 96:44 when he was very 96:45 active in that organizing leaders around 96:48 the world 96:49 uh he was having secret meetings with 96:52 israel and getting weapons from them so 96:54 i mean it 96:55 that and that really got the ball 96:57 rolling so i feel like there’s kind of a 96:59 fort ton 97:00 that’s going on at the policy level and 97:02 that’s been the case now it’s out in the 97:04 open 97:05 because modi is kind of like trump you 97:07 know it’s he’s 97:08 it doesn’t matter it can all be out 97:10 there and we can all see what’s really 97:12 going on but 97:13 all of this stuff here especially with 97:15 respect to the boycott movement 97:17 you know for example there are literary 97:18 festivals that we have 97:20 throughout the year normally and all of 97:22 the israeli writers who come here are 97:24 coming 97:24 from um the embassy they’re organizing 97:28 it they’re bringing those people here 97:29 and all of the so-called agricultural 97:32 specialists who are coming here to help 97:34 indian farmers 97:36 they’re all being sent by the embassy 97:39 and it and that’s especially insane 97:41 because they’re 97:42 um supposedly teaching indians how to 97:45 farm with um 97:47 with drip irrigation which actually 97:49 indians invented 97:50 several tens of thousands of years ago 97:53 and and so it’s really 97:54 quite absurd but uh and then and then 97:56 the other issue is 97:58 is all of the universities have these 98:00 memorandum and they have these exchange 98:02 programs with israeli universities and 98:04 that’s 98:05 for me in some ways a lot the most 98:07 insidious problem because 98:08 they’re going over there and they’re 98:10 coming back and they’re spreading even 98:12 more propaganda 98:13 these um students who have been there 98:15 and 98:16 and their writing and their speaking and 98:19 uh 98:20 so and so my question is which i don’t 98:22 fully understand and what i want to 98:24 understand is 98:25 how what these people are learning as 98:27 youngsters 98:28 is influencing and directing and driving 98:30 foreign policy 98:35 great thank you uh sorcerer 98:40 hi uh thank you for a fantastic event i 98:42 just wanted to say 98:44 about um getting involved with the 98:46 students myself a couple of others 98:48 in this meeting are organizing with the 98:50 palestine solidarity campaign youth and 98:52 student committee 98:54 uh palestine solidarity summer school 98:56 which is going to take place in 98:57 september 98:59 um and the aim is to harness the 99:00 incredible momentum which we saw with 99:02 young people in the recent 99:03 demonstrations in solidarity with 99:04 palestine 99:05 so that when they go back to campus 99:07 they’re ready very organized and they 99:09 can coordinate their campaigning so it 99:11 would be really 99:12 great i think to have a couple 99:13 representatives from prisma’s campaigns 99:15 to come along 99:16 and speak about how we can link up staff 99:18 and students in 99:20 campaigning 99:25 absolutely i think uh again it’s 99:27 wonderful seeing students taking the 99:29 lead recently 99:30 and um many of us faculty are kind of 99:33 somewhat on the defensive in my opinion 99:35 with all the ihra but the key is to be 99:36 again on the offensive 99:38 with any of the other um panelists like 99:40 to comment i have a few 99:42 questions myself unless i’m someone else 99:44 so sorry miriam 99:45 you not only jumped the line i i forgot 99:48 about your hand 99:49 go ahead please miriam 99:52 uh no don’t worry about it uh are we 99:54 until 99:56 5 or 5 15. 5 15 we’ve got time so go 99:59 ahead 100:00 no no i just wanted to say thank you so 100:02 much for for organizing this and 100:03 bringing us together 100:05 uh we had a meeting yesterday also with 100:07 some colleagues about 100:09 era and ihra definition and how to 100:11 organize and there’s some overlap 100:13 and also the discussion on how to 100:17 ally or work together with students came 100:20 up as a fundamental key because 100:22 of course in our neoliberal universities 100:24 everything is sort of 100:25 framed around student well-being student 100:28 discentered student this student that 100:30 so actually imagine how what it would be 100:32 like if you turn that around and 100:34 actually 100:35 strike these collaborations of course 100:37 that’s why 100:39 that’s why all these adoptions of ihra 100:42 have been done in secret 100:43 precisely in order for us not to preempt 100:46 and 100:47 align with students and other colleagues 100:49 and another thing 100:51 that um that came up only under sort of 100:53 the service 100:54 and that i am remembering now 100:57 seeing also here in the um 101:00 group sunnah in denmark and social i 101:03 think we also 101:04 need to think internationally i think i 101:06 mean i’m not that we have to mirror 101:08 uh what um the strategies are of 101:11 hashpara 101:12 but if you look at the israeli 101:14 pro-israeli strategies it is 101:15 quite international as well and i think 101:17 we also need to do that so this is 101:19 something that brismes campaigns 101:21 can also help accommodate and organize 101:24 uh later in the year for instance so if 101:26 you have ideas about that 101:28 do get in touch with us i think an 101:30 international event meeting now that we 101:32 have 101:32 learned how to do online events this is 101:34 even more possible at the end of the 101:37 year but something that 101:38 can cross i think uh british 101:41 and uh whatever post-brexit term that is 101:45 for 101:45 europe on the other side denmark the 101:48 netherlands 101:48 are some countries where you see these 101:50 strong contradictions of on the one hand 101:52 very pro-israeli sentiments and politics 101:54 and on the other hand 101:56 quite strong solidarity achievements in 101:59 terms of boycott and divestment so that 102:01 would be my 102:02 uh suggestion because i think fine that 102:04 will in the end 102:05 increase confidence and i think we need 102:07 also confidence 102:08 i have to say that i’m quite 102:10 underwhelmed and 102:12 slightly disappointed by the support 102:15 i’ve received myself in my own 102:17 university even by 102:19 senior colleagues who have nothing to 102:21 lose in when it came to organizing 102:23 against ihra and i think it has to do 102:25 with 102:26 a decline in confidence and an increase 102:29 in the stigmatization around palestine 102:32 and even terms like 102:33 zionism or zionist uh titus like from 102:36 the river to the sea 102:38 all these have become codes for 102:39 anti-semitism and i think we can reverse 102:41 that 102:42 and increase the confidence so we can 102:44 actually have more success but i think 102:45 something international that we can 102:47 organize together with you 102:49 at the end of the year would be really 102:50 powerful 102:52 wonderful great thank you i think nicola 102:55 and james have their hand up i don’t 102:57 know who 102:57 but nikola can you please uh please go 103:00 ahead if you don’t mind james and then 103:02 uh james is next 103:06 okay thanks sorry i arrived late so 103:10 i missed all the um interventions but 103:13 congratulations to john 103:16 and hicham and anne and miriam 103:20 and i hope i haven’t missed anybody out 103:23 there 103:24 amy edmondson and uh sorry 103:28 jamie and ella for all the work you’ve 103:31 done 103:32 to get brisbane’s campaign started um 103:35 so i guess for me i i mean i might be 103:38 saying something obvious here 103:40 but i mean the i think the 103:44 one of the main ways in which brismes 103:45 campaigns 103:47 can do something that’s not replicate 103:49 because as an said there’s a lot of 103:51 organizations that are doing 103:53 are interested in the same sort of 103:54 things maybe that um 103:56 us here are interested in but perhaps 103:59 where brismes campaigns can be really 104:01 important 104:03 is in channeling that and raising 104:06 awareness in the middle east studies 104:07 community 104:09 um and obviously originally you know 104:12 when 104:12 brismes tried to pass the bds 104:15 resolution well we 104:16 the agm did pass 104:19 a bds resolution but unfortunately 104:22 brismes for charity 104:24 cannot implement that but the main idea 104:26 of that was to 104:27 raise awareness within specifically 104:29 within 104:30 um the membership of brismes 104:34 order or the sorts of people who would 104:35 be eligible for 104:37 for membership within brismes so 104:40 i personally i think that’s quite an 104:43 important strategic priority for 104:45 brismes campaigns 104:46 um but of course that doesn’t stop 104:50 brismes campaigns than supporting 104:52 other initiatives um but just that 104:56 i guess just a note of caution that you 104:58 know 104:59 it’s important to sort of focus on 105:03 i think most of efforts where you can 105:05 make a really 105:07 important value added um so that you 105:10 don’t become 105:11 um you know overstand 105:15 and and exhausted 105:18 because that’s always a danger isn’t it 105:23 yeah thanks thank you 105:27 uh james yeah thank you very much 105:30 um one point i was going to make is that 105:34 i think we need to be very public about 105:37 refuting 105:38 false anti-semitism allegations in 105:40 particular one of the 105:42 techniques that the israel lobby uses to 105:44 silence people 105:45 is i think the silence of previous 105:48 people 105:49 uh who’ve been accused of anti-semitism 105:51 even when those 105:52 allegations are shown to be false and i 105:54 think as soon as 105:56 allegations are shown to be false we 105:58 need to get 105:59 the full account of what happened into 106:02 the public domain 106:03 now we know that across a number of 106:06 universities 106:08 uh academics are being accused of 106:10 anti-semitism 106:12 in what in my opinion is a very 106:14 coordinated campaign 106:16 and it’s intended obviously to 106:19 intimidate people 106:21 if possible it’s intended to claim some 106:23 victims 106:24 but even without claiming victims even 106:26 if everybody 106:28 is uh you know shown to be 106:31 innocent the claims are shown to be 106:32 false the campaign is intended to 106:36 intimidate first of all those who are 106:38 accused and secondly 106:39 to intimidate others who haven’t yet 106:42 spoken up but might speak up 106:44 from speaking up and i think the only 106:47 coherent strategy to deal with this 106:50 is as i say to get things maxim in the 106:52 public domain 106:54 and i think you know it might be worth 106:56 brismes campaigns 106:58 uh deciding to highlight 107:02 uh existing cases of false anti-semitism 107:05 allegations which are shown to be being 107:07 shown to be false 107:08 um and i think there are other platforms 107:10 to highlight those as well but 107:12 i do think to give people the collective 107:14 courage to say 107:15 actually we will expose false 107:19 allegations 107:20 and we will use them to uh 107:23 show the behavior and the 107:27 uh strategy to to expose the behavior 107:30 and strategy 107:31 of organizations which use them in the 107:33 first place so i think to turn the false 107:36 of those allegations back on 107:38 the people who originally made them 107:41 thank you um and all of this i think 107:44 we’re taking in 107:45 and making notes and hopefully coming 107:47 back with with um 107:48 with concrete ways of incorporating them 107:51 into what brismes campaigns does 107:52 and again as jamie said this and as also 107:55 nicola just said distinguishing between 107:57 what brismes does i mean 107:58 brismes writes letters about academic 108:00 freedom the campaign should be more 108:02 about 108:02 concrete campaigns pushing the envelope 108:05 in a concrete way 108:06 and corona of course has prevented us 108:08 from doing a lot of 108:09 things we usually do whether it’s 108:11 sit-ins demonstrations 108:13 peaceful protests more 108:16 active ways of of acting as at you know 108:18 not just a typical armchair academic way 108:21 so that’s what the campaigns should also 108:22 be doing 108:23 uh with this in conjunction with the 108:25 students and the time that’s left unless 108:27 someone has 108:28 a question um i’m going to ask the 108:31 panelists the 108:32 uh to briefly maybe you know say a 108:34 couple of words 108:35 i have something in mind i’ll throw it 108:37 out there you can either address it or 108:38 address whatever you want 108:40 uh with omar and i thought your your 108:42 distinction between academic privilege 108:43 and freedom is essential we we 108:45 hear this all the time when we’re trying 108:47 to pass motions so that’s a very 108:48 important point 108:50 let’s take advantage of your presence 108:51 how do you see 108:53 you know brismes campaigns or other 108:55 other particularly i would say brismes 108:56 campaigns 108:58 how can it coordinate and in what way 108:59 can it play a role in conjunction with 109:01 the pacby 109:02 and you’re you know given your long-time 109:04 experience um what can it fill which gap 109:07 can brismes campaigns fill so it 109:09 doesn’t again reproduce 109:11 work being done uh for sarah i’m curious 109:14 to hear more about how what can we do 109:17 do we simply not engage with the diver 109:20 inclusion and diversity and 109:21 decolonization or other ways we can do 109:23 it 109:24 and uh to um marcy 109:28 um i think you know how can how can 109:31 these what’s happening in india 109:32 become how can we expand the way in 109:35 which we understand 109:36 what’s happening beyond the uk do you 109:38 have any also you know is there like bds 109:40 in india or 109:41 what can what how can it be strengthened 109:44 and to john 109:45 again quickly is this a one-time thing 109:48 and or do you think this is going to be 109:49 a trend and 109:50 how can we ensure that we fight back 109:53 again given the limited resources we 109:55 have so it’s a lot sorry we have five 109:56 minutes maybe 109:58 if you can say something in a minute i’d 110:00 appreciate it 110:02 omar um okay the only thing 110:06 reasonable that i can say in a minute is 110:07 that i suggest 110:09 coordinating with the european legal 110:11 support 110:12 center let me put the 110:15 address in the chat before 110:19 launching any campaign not after 110:22 repression starts uh 110:24 the uk is becoming extremely repressive 110:27 as everyone has 110:28 said and watching from afar it’s one of 110:30 the worst countries on earth 110:32 to do palestine solidarity it’s not the 110:33 worst i mean france is 110:35 up there germany is way up there but the 110:38 uk is competing very hard with germany 110:40 in terms of mccarthyism and i completely 110:43 agree with james that 110:45 a lot of pushback needs to happen 110:47 including lawsuits 110:49 lawsuits against universities against 110:51 institutions that smear people 110:53 and deny them certain rights uh 110:55 contracts based on 110:57 false accusations of anti-semitism i 110:59 know there is no equivalent of 111:01 aclu in the uk american civil liberties 111:04 union 111:04 there’s nothing that big in the uk that 111:06 can defend civil civil liberties 111:08 but whatever exists i think it’s called 111:11 liberties or something 111:12 it should be used to the maximum and 111:15 threats of lawsuits should be used as 111:17 well 111:18 but regardless i i suggest coordinating 111:20 with the european legal support center 111:22 that’s very important 111:23 on the strategic question how to 111:24 coordinate and not to reinvent the wheel 111:27 that will take another meeting i suggest 111:29 between 111:30 uh brismes campaigns board and packing 111:33 steering committee possibly 111:36 thanks great sarah yes thanks hisham for 111:40 that 111:40 question um i mean i think that it’s 111:43 we should see these initiatives for 111:45 diversity and inclusion as a terrain of 111:48 struggle i think often 111:51 there is a lot of struggle over what 111:52 these means these things mean inside 111:54 departments and universities and i think 111:56 here the staff student solidarity is 111:58 probably really key 112:00 because i think there’s a tendency with 112:02 these initiatives to become really 112:04 professionalized and also then 112:06 taken further away actually from what 112:08 students are asking for what 112:10 especially students around anti-racism 112:13 and so on so i think 112:15 it’s really about maintaining that as 112:16 the core of 112:19 these things inside universities because 112:20 i think that also works against the 112:23 compartmentalization of issues where 112:25 different forms of uh inclusion and 112:28 diversity are separated out into 112:30 different people or roles and i think 112:32 it’s really crucial to see 112:33 those connections and i think the final 112:36 point is also just recognizing the 112:38 limits 112:38 of institutional diversity and inclusion 112:42 programs and seeing them as maybe one 112:44 tool 112:45 and site but not as the only or even 112:48 maybe the main one 112:49 and um i think i think anne has answered 112:53 this but i just also wanted to point to 112:55 the question in the chat 112:56 that was towards brisbane’s campaigns 112:59 and 113:00 what level it plans to work at but i 113:02 think anne has already addressed 113:04 some of that thank you thank you and 113:06 also we have a contribution from suny 113:08 about 113:09 what’s happening in denmark in the chat 113:11 if you want to 113:12 read that please do um 113:17 sorry marcy marcy has also put something 113:19 in the in the chat would you like to add 113:21 something else as well marcy 113:23 yeah i mean i just wanted to say that um 113:26 we do have a boycott movement 113:28 um sort of in india we have but it’s a 113:31 very small group 113:32 it’s mostly you know in delhi it’s 113:36 mostly 113:36 in uh you know very small small leftist 113:39 circles and i feel like we need to 113:41 really broaden this out which is why for 113:43 me education is a big deal because i 113:45 think 113:45 the more we can educate especially 113:48 younger people 113:49 and get them involved and get them 113:50 caring then i 113:52 i think we can make a difference but if 113:54 we’re just talking in our little bubbles 113:56 we’re not going to have as big of an 113:57 impact great thank you and john 114:00 wrap up sorry just just a question 114:04 yeah a quick correction i india the 114:07 largest farmers union with 16 million 114:10 members has endorsed bds 114:11 the largest women’s coalition with 10 114:13 million members has endorsed bds 114:16 we are definitely we’re working with 114:18 grassroots huge massive unions uh on 114:22 campaigns especially with farmers i can 114:23 speak a lot more about that 114:25 interconnect intersecting the struggles 114:27 of palestinian liberation and the 114:29 farmers struggle 114:30 for against new liberalism including 114:32 israeli 114:33 corporate interference but we can talk a 114:35 lot about that 114:36 great thanks so much for uh for telling 114:39 us about that 114:41 john well okay so i 114:45 think that omar’s point about lawsuits 114:49 is a vet is is very important and and 114:52 because remember 114:53 as academics and others we 114:57 there are protections against defamation 114:59 in the law 115:01 uh and so and a lot of what gets said 115:04 is potentially defamatory that’s level 115:07 number one 115:08 level number two there are often codes 115:11 against 115:11 harassment and our colleagues are being 115:15 harassed and there’s there’s a legal 115:17 angle there 115:18 level number three there’s protections 115:21 around academic freedom 115:22 and our freedoms are being stifled well 115:25 there’s a legal angle there 115:27 and level number four is when you 115:30 try to produce education you’re under a 115:33 legal obligation to do it in a balanced 115:35 way and that hasn’t happened in this 115:36 history textbook 115:38 and and so perhaps there’s a legal issue 115:40 there but the point is 115:41 if you want us to do lawsuits 115:45 which i think we should do we need the 115:47 money 115:48 so please donate and thank you always 115:50 been wonderful to see 115:51 it’s been inspiring for me i’ve had this 115:54 feeling of a slight frisson of 115:56 truth being spoken to power and and 115:58 that’s something exciting so 116:00 thanks all for coming and and hisham for 116:03 fabulous cherry 116:05 all right well i think with those words 116:07 i want to thank everybody as well 116:08 and as ann pointed out we’re still a 116:10 small group but 116:12 thinking big but it’s it’s the 116:14 contribution that everybody brings in 116:16 towards next academic year that will 116:18 hopefully 116:19 uh take this one step further thank you 116:22 everybody and have a wonderful evening 116:24 or morning wherever you are thank you 116:27 everybody 116:30

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