Israel-Bashing at the CUNY Graduate Center Webinar on the Negev Bedouin

14.10.21

Editorial Note

The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) is hosting a webinar titled “The Negev Bedouin: Emptied Lands and Displaced People” on Oct 27, 2021, as part of the virtual series “Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons.” The event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Genocide, Holocaust and Crimes Against HumanityThe description of the webinar states that “Israel’s treatment of the Negev Bedouin has been a story of displacement and dispossession.” The webinar “will explore the unique nature of Bedouin resistance, the history of coerced urbanization, and the situation in the unrecognized Bedouin villages.”  

The panelists include Drs. Eli Karetny, Thabet Abu Rass, Yeela Raanan, and Netta Amar-Schiff. 

Dr. Yeela Raanan is a longtime activist, as reported by Electronic Intifada. She has worked as the coordinator for the Negev Coexistence Forum, a Jewish-Arab organization based in the Negev. She later started working with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev. She teaches in the Department of Public Administration at Sapir College. 

Dr. Thabet Abu Rass is a Co-Executive Director of the NGO Abraham Initiatives, promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israel.  

Attorney Netta Amar-Schiff has been involved with Rabbis for Human Rights, a radical left-wing group in Israel.   

The phenomenon of unrecognized villages in the Negev has been on the public agenda for years. The governments appointed several committees to solve the issue. Some Bedouin families even claimed land through court but failed. To recall, in 2012, the Beersheba District Court rejected lawsuits by the al-Uqbi Bedouin family who argued that they privately owned some 1,000 dunams of land in the Negev, including al-Araqib since Ottoman times. The proceedings went on for several years, discussing in detail the history of the Negev Bedouin and land laws dating back to the mid-19th century.  In court, the Bedouin family claimed that the land belonged to their families since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 through purchase and inheritance. In 1951, they claim, they were evacuated by the IDF, which confiscated it. Since then, the state has not permitted them to return. For the plaintiffs, Ben Gurion University’s Geography Prof. Oren Yiftachel gave expert testimony. Testifying for the state was Prof. Ruth Kark of the Hebrew University, an expert on the historical geography of Palestine and Israel. Central were the questions whether Bedouin could prove land rights despite lacking formal title deeds of the land and whether private ownership of land classified under the Ottoman rule as Mawat (uncultivated wasteland) was possible.  In 1969, the Israel Land Law was passed, which repealed some legal categories of land laws remaining from Ottoman rule. Claimants were expected to produce proof of ownership, but the al-Uqbis, like most Bedouins, had not registered the land on their names. After years of litigation, the court rejected the al-Uqbi claims.  

The lengthy litigation did not settle the issue, to the contrary. Anti-Israel activists working in NGOS have seized upon the Bedouin issue to besmirch the name of Israel. They submitted reports to the United Nations and EU that “systematically take a simplistic approach, are based on unreliable sources, and use inflammatory rhetoric with unsupported claims, accusing Israel of implementing a policy of ‘racial discrimination,’ ‘disinheritance,’ and ‘human rights violations’ against the ‘indigenous’ citizens of the Negev,” as found in a 2013 report by NGO Monitor, a group dedicated to NGO Responsibility. 

NGO Monitor also found that these NGOs were funded mainly by the New Israel Fund (NIF), the European Union, and European governments “providing substantial amounts to this partisan political agenda.” Moreover, “Many NGOs conflate Bedouin issues with the broader Arab-Israeli conflict, without distinguishing between Bedouin and Palestinian issues.”  

Likewise, Dr. Havatzelet Yahel of Ben Gurion University has written about the evolution of the Bedouin international advocacy through various NGOs within the UN human rights bodies. Yahel has demonstrated how, in the last two decades, the discourse on Bedouin issues was co-opted by national and foreign NGOs which possess anti-Israel views, becoming an asset in the efforts to delegitimize Israel. Yahel argues that the Bedouin harsh living conditions and the land conflict with the state of Israel help to portray Israel as an apartheid state. 

Yahel is right. A recent example is the UN Human Rights Council that published item 7 on the agenda, titled “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”   Several Palestinian NGOs have submitted a joint written statement on the “Palestinian Dispossession and Displacement.”  The statement claims that since Israel’s inception, it has developed sets of laws, policies, and practices “designated to displace, dominate, and dispossess Palestinians… Israel is loudly insisting on the denial of the Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination and right of return, to maintain its overall settler-colonial and apartheid system over the Palestinian people.”   The statement mentions the Negev, “In the Naqab [Negev], Israel demolished al-Araqib village for the 190th time [in July 2021], under the pretext that it trespasses on State-owned land. Despite the different geographical location and their subjugation to different legal regimes, Palestinians in al-Araqib and Humsa Al-Fawqa endure the same policy of Palestinian dispossession and forced displacement.” 

The Graduate Center at CUNY has become a tool at the hands of these political activists. Worth noting that the Center has already been involved in controversial political activism earlier this year. When Hamas shelled Israel with some 4000 or even 4340 rockets, the CUNY Graduate Center published a letter on May 20, 2021, stating that “We see that Israel commits state violence, and we must not remain silent about it… Palestinians, their history, and the ongoing Israeli state violence against them since the Nakba in 1948 have been marginalized in our fields.” The letter finds it unacceptable that only 12 Israelis have died from the Hamas rockets, while 217 Palestinians were killed in Gaza. “The violence perpetrated by Hamas is a predictable reaction to decades of oppression and subordination of Palestinians.” The letter demanded “Palestinians’ rights equal to those of all Israelis.” The letter ends by calling governments, the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Criminal Court to protect the Palestinians. 

The CUNY Graduate Center is Israel-bashing, and their webinar on the Bedouins is a reflection of this approach. 


References:


https://www.gc.cuny.edu/All-GC-Events/Calendar/Detail?id=60565

Graduate Center – CUNY

THE NEGEV BEDOUIN: EMPTIED LANDS AND DISPLACED PEOPLE

The Negev Bedouin: Emptied Lands and Displaced People

Details

WHERE:

Online event

CONTACT INFO:

https://gc-cuny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4vTnXF7eTIm6301t7I8hig
917 403 6640

SERIES:

Dispossessing Native America: Indigeneity, Land, and Reconciliation

SERIES EVENTS:

SEP 28, 2021 | 6:30 PM
Dystopian Present, Life in Common Past-Futures: Contesting Fantasies of Collapse

ADMISSION:

Free

SPONSOR:

Center for the Study of the Genocide, Holocaust and Crimes Against Humanity

RESERVATIONS:

917 403 6640 orReserve Now

Description

Israel’s treatment of the Negev Bedouin has been a story of displacement and dispossession. A wide-ranging conversation between Drs. Eli Karetny, Thabet Abu Rass, Yeela Raana, and Netta Amar-Schiff will explore the unique nature of Bedouin resistance, the history of coerced urbanization, and the situation in the unrecognized Bedouin villages.

Part of the Virtual Series: Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons

This is an online event. Please register here to participate via Zoom.

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

May 20, 2021
On the Tenth Day of the Gaza War

As scholars of Jewish Studies, the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights, we study and teach about a wide range of processes and cases of mass atrocities and state violence, and we unequivocally support the right of Israelis and of Palestinians to exist in peace. 

We also have a responsibility to center the voices and perspectives of victims and survivors of state violence.  We see that Israel commits state violence, and we must not remain silent about it. Indeed, we teach students about the dangers of remaining silent and about the importance of speaking up and taking action. This is particularly significant in this case, as Palestinians, their history, and the ongoing Israeli state violence against them since the Nakba in 1948 have been marginalized in our fields. 

We write as 3350 Hamas rockets into Israel have (to date) killed 12 people, including 2 children and the overwhelming Israeli retaliation on Gaza has (to date) killed 217 people, including 63 children, injured 1500, displaced 52,000 people, destroyed international media headquarters in Gaza as well as another 132 buildings, and smashed infrastructure crucial to daily life. Israel has launched at least 1450 airstrikes on Gaza; in just one night 62 Israeli fighter jets dropped 110 bombs on the Strip.  

We deplore the violence on both sides. The violence perpetrated by Hamas is a predictable reaction to decades of oppression and subordination of Palestinians, but this does not justify attacks on civilian populations.

The violence must cease, and better conditions must ensue to secure Palestinians’ rights equal to those of all Israelis.

We therefore call on governments, the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Criminal Court to:

(1) Work to protect Palestinians in Israel, under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and in Gaza now and in the future. 

(2) End support for Israeli military aggression. 

(3) Hold accountable all those responsible for documented war crimes and human rights violations. 

(4) Protect the freedom of the press by mounting an independent investigation into the Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City building housing the AP, broadcaster Al-Jazeera, and other media.

Debórah Dwork, Center Director

Center Advisory Board:

Elissa Bemporad, Ungar Chair in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust, Professor, Department of History, Queens College, and Graduate Center-CUNY

Francesca Bregoli, Joseph and Oro Halegua Chair in Greek and Sephardic Jewish Studies, Associate Professor, Department of History, Queens College, and Graduate Center-CUNY

Dagmar Herzog, Distinguished Professor of History, Graduate Center-CUNY

Benjamin Carter Hett, Professor, Department of History, Hunter College and Graduate Center-CUNY

Eli Karetny, Deputy Director, Ralph Bunche Institute 

Steven Remy, Professor, Department of History, Brooklyn College and History Program, Graduate Center-CUNY

Victoria Sanford, Professor of Anthropology, Lehman College; Founding Director, Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies; Doctoral Faculty, Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center-CUNY

John Torpey, Presidential Professor of Sociology and History, Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center-CUNY

Eric Weitz, Distinguished Professor of History, City College and Graduate Center-CUNY
=============================================================================

Elissa Bemporad, Alon Confino, and Derek Penslar, Forward
“A New Declaration Aims to Fight Antisemitism Without Curtailing Free Speech”

https://forward.com/opinion/466509/a-new-declaration-aims-to-fight-antisemitism-without-curtailing-free/

Antisemitism is on the rise, with powerful instigators behind it, but the struggle against it is at risk of being derailed by acrimonious divisions among Jews and others over its very meaning. The drive for adoption of a single, fixed definition of antisemitism has devolved into a polemical political debate on Israel and Palestine with crucial free-speech implications.

Today we introduce the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, which was crafted by a group of scholars from the United States, Israel, Europe and the U.K, after more than a year of intense discussion and study. The declaration has been endorsed by 200 eminent scholars with a wide spectrum of political views. All of us agree on the need for a guide to effectively combat antisemitism that protects space for an open debate around all possibilities around the future for Israelis and Palestinians.===================================================

https://undocs.org/pdf?symbol=en/A/HRC/48/NGO/150

GE.21-13564(E)
Human Rights Council
Forty-eighth session
13 September–1 October 2021
Agenda item 7
Human rights situation in Palestine and other
occupied Arab territories
Joint written statement* submitted by Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights & Democratic Participation Center “SHAMS”, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), non-governmental organizations in special consultative status
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[22 August 2021]
* Issued as received, in the language(s) of submission only.
United Nations
A/HRC/48/NGO/150
General Assembly
Distr.: General
24 September 2021
English only
A/HRC/48/NGO/150
2
Palestinian Dispossession and Displacement: The Pressing Cases of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan
Since its inception, Israel has developed a set of laws, policies, and practices designated to displace, dominate, and dispossess Palestinians, including through, inter alia, military offensives,1 home demolitions, forced evictions, destruction of livelihoods, creation of a coercive environment, and facilitation of establishing colonial settlements and outposts,2 reinforced by the existence of a discriminatory planning and zoning regime. In so doing, Israel is loudly insisting on the denial of the Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination and right of return, to maintain its overall settler-colonial and apartheid system over the Palestinian people.
While Israel’s array of discriminatory laws, including the Absentee’s Property Law of 1950, the Legal and Administrative Matters Law of 1970, and the laws in force coupled with a set of Israeli military orders in the occupied West Bank,3 differ in titles, their objective is one – the advancement of the Israeli settlement enterprise in the face of Palestinian contiguity.
For example, in the occupied Jordan Valley, the Occupying Power has repeatedly demolished Palestinian properties of Khirbet Humsa al-Fawqa, whose residents are unable to obtain building permits under the pretext that it is located in a declared ‘firing zone’ area.4 In the Naqab, Israel demolished al-Araqib village for the 190th time,5 under the pretext that it trespasses on State-owned land.6 Despite the different geographical location and their subjugation to different legal regimes, Palestinians in al-Araqib and Humsa Al-Fawqa endure the same policy of Palestinian dispossession and forced displacement.
Dispossession and Displacement Through Forced Evictions
In East Jerusalem, eight families residing in Karm Al-Ja’ouni area of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and seven families in Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in Silwan are facing imminent threat of displacement. Notably, most of these families are refugees previously displaced during the Nakba of 1948. Prompted by settler organisations, Nahalat Shimon International and Ateret Cohanim, the dispossession in Karm Al-Ja’ouni and Batn Al-Hawa respectively was facilitated by Israel’s Legal and Administrative Matters Law, which exclusively allows Jews to pursue claims of ownership to properties allegedly owned by Jews before 1948, while denying Palestinians the same for properties they lost in 1948 Nakba and 1967 Naksa.7
1 For example, 8,200 Palestinians in Gaza remain internally displaced due to the latest May 2021 Israeli military offensive, OCHA, “Response to the escalation in the oPt | Situation Report No. 6 (25 June-1 July 2021)”, 2 July 2021, at: https://www.ochaopt.org/content/response-escalation-opt-situation-report-no-6-25-june-1-july-2021.
2 See Al-Haq’s joint written submission submitted to the 48th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, titled “The Price of Resisting Settlement Expansion: the Case of Jabal Sbeih,” 22 August 2021.
3 Examples include: the 1858 Ottoman Land Code; Jordanian Law on Planning of Cities, Villages and Buildings 1966; Military Order Concerning Government Property (No. 59), 1967; Military Order Concerning Abandoned Properties (No. 58), 1967.
4 Al-Haq, “Over 550 Organisations call on UN Human Rights Council: “Condemnation is Not Enough – Root Causes Must be Addressed, Israel’s Impunity Must be Brought to an End, Justice Must be Achieved””, 18 March 2021, at: https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/18044.html.
5 Anadolu Agency, “Israel demolishes al-Araqib village for 190th time”, 7 July 2021, at: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-demolishes-al-araqib-village-for-190th-time/2296816.
6 Al-Haq, “Joint Parallel Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Israel’s Seventeenth to Nineteenth Periodic Reports”, 10 November 2019, para. 102.
7 Al-Haq, “14 Palestinian and Regional Organisations Send Joint Urgent Appeal to UN Special Procedures on Forced Evictions in East Jerusalem”, 16 March 2021, at: https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/17999.html.
A/HRC/48/NGO/150
3
Ruling in favour of evicting the 15 families,8 the Israeli courts confirm that Jews enjoy “right of return”, but disregards the same right for Palestinians, and exemplify, yet again, the complicity of the judicial echelon in Israel’s systematic denial of Palestinians’ rights of return and property restitution.
As of time of writing, the appealed eviction orders against seven Sheikh jarrah families are pending.9 The Israeli Supreme Court proposed a “compromise” to four families that would allow them to continue living in their houses upon their recognition of settlers’ ownership of the properties in question. Rejecting this “compromise,” which violates the rights of protected persons against appropriation or destruction of private property, and forcible transfer, Palestinian residents continue to endure the lengthy and expensive legal battles.10
Similarly, in 2002, Ateret Cohanim targeted 81 Palestinian families in Batn al-Hawa with eviction lawsuits,11 among which seven families were issued eviction orders.12 The inherently unjust judicial system further infringes on Palestinians’ due process rights. For example, Nitham Abu Rammouz, one of the seven family members, was not informed about the eviction order issued against him and his 12-member family until almost five years after its issuance; he was never summoned to attend court sessions nor did he receive a judicial notice of the eviction order, which was issued in absentia, and by default was not appealed.13
Alarmingly, at least 993 Palestinians, including 432 children, residing in East Jerusalem are at risk of displacement due to ‘eviction cases’ filed against them.14 Over the past four years, around 15 households of 62 Palestinians were evicted from their homes in the Old City, Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.15
Dispossession and Displacement through Home Demolitions
Shortly after occupying East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel had cancelled Jordanian building plans in al-Bustan, designating it as “green area”, where construction is prohibited, to build a touristic park.16 To meet the needs of their natural population increase, Palestinians have been building without permits, which are impossible to obtain, due to Israel’s aggressive planning and zoning policies. Against this backdrop, in 2005, the Jerusalem Municipality delivered a collective demolition order for 88 Palestinian houses of more than 1,500 Palestinians.17
The residents have been successfully filing for extensions to delay the execution of demolition orders. Nevertheless, on 17 March 2021, the court refused to extend 16 demolition cases based on the discriminatory ‘Kaminitz’ law or Amendment 116,18 which reinforces planning and construction laws through increased penalisation of building breaches that intrude on public land in Israel, particularly in the Arab communities,19 while completely
8 OCHA, “Palestinian family evicted from its home in East Jerusalem”, 10 December 2020, at: https://www.ochaopt.org/content/palestinian-family-evicted-its-home-east-jerusalem.
9 The Israeli Supreme Court decided to freeze the eviction order against three Sheikh Jarrah families until the exhaustion of proceeding (Al-Dajani et al. vs Nahalat Shomron International, Supreme Court 2841/21, 15 August 2021).
10 FMEP, “Court Proposes Settler-friendly “Compromise” to Avoid Substantive Ruling on Sheikh Jarrah Dispossession Cases”, 6 August 2021, at: https://fmep.org/blog/resourcetag/sheikh-jarrah/.
11 Al-Haq, “House Demolitions and Forced Evictions in Silwan”, 2020, p.48, at: https://www.alhaq.org/cached _uploads/download/2021/08/17/silwan-webversion-1-page-view-1629184473.pdf.
12 See supra note 8.
13 Al-Haq Affidavit 15A/2021 of 5 January 2021.
14 Data obtained from OCHA and Al-Haq’s documentation.
15 See supra note 8.
16 Al-Haq, “House Demolition and Forced Evictions in Silwan”, 2020, p.33.
17 Al-Haq, “88 Palestinian Houses to be demolished for Israeli Park”, 11 February 2012, at: https://www.alhaq.org/monitoring-documentation/6931.html.
18 NRC, “Case Summary Al Bustan – Silwan, East Jerusalem”, August 2021.
19 Ir-Amim, “Amendment 116 to the Planning and Building Law and the Palestinian Neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem”, July 2019, pp. 6-7.
A/HRC/48/NGO/150
4
disregarding the Palestinian housing needs. Among the 16 cases, the butcher shop of Mr. Harbi al-Rajabi was demolished on 29 June 2021, thereby destroying his livelihood.20
On 7 June 2021, Fakhri Abu Diab, a resident of Al-Bustan neighbourhood, received a demolition order, stating: “these orders are issued according to the Kaminitz Law, which means we cannot object to it or request to freeze its enforcement, we are only given the option to self-demolish the structure within 21 days from receipt of order, or for municipality personnel to demolish it and thus incur demolition expenses, which could amount to at least NIS60,000 [approximately USD18,500].”21
Conclusion and Recommendations
Israeli instituted discriminatory laws and policies against Palestinians deprive them of their rights to freedom of movement and residence, adequate housing, and their land and natural resources.22 Forced evictions and home demolitions may amount to the war crimes of forcible transfer, destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity, and the crimes against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer, persecution, and apartheid.23
Accordingly, we call on Member States of the Human Rights Council to:
i. Recognise that Israel’s discriminatory laws of dispossession and displacement are part of an apartheid system applied to the entirety of the Palestinian people;
ii. Call on Israel to cease the application of its domestic laws to annexed East Jerusalem, and consequently, immediately cease legal proceedings and revoke eviction and demolition orders issued against Palestinians facing imminent threat of forcible transfer in Sheikh Jarrah, Batn Al-Hawa, and Al-Bustan neighbourhoods, and ensure the return of those evicted and/or the compensation of those whose properties were demolished where restitution is not possible; and
iii. Pursue international justice and accountability for Israel’s systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including the crime of apartheid, by activating universal jurisdiction mechanisms and supporting a full, thorough, and comprehensive investigation by the International Criminal Court into the Situation in Palestine.
Palestinian NGOs Network Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association DCI – Defense for Children International – Palestine Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center Aldameer Association for Human Rights Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies – Hurryyat Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office) Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem Community Action Center/Al-Quds University, NGO(s) without consultative status, also share the views expressed in this statement.
20 NRC, “Israeli authorities demolish shop in Silwan, 15 families at imminent risk”, 29 June 2021, at: https://www.nrc.no/news/2021/june/israeli-authorities-demolish-shop-in-silwan-15-families-at-imminent-risk/.
21 Al-Haq Affidavit 332A/2021 of 17 June 2021.
22 Article 1(2), ICESCR and ICCPR.
23 Articles 8(2)(b)(viii), 8(2)(a)(iv), 7(1)(d), 7(1)(h), and 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

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

https://www.jpost.com/national-news/court-rejects-6-beduin-negev-land-lawsuits

Court rejects 6 Beduin Negev land lawsuits

Members of the al-Uqbi family argued that they owned land, including at al-Arakib, since Ottoman times.

By JOANNA PARASZCZUK, SHARON UDASIN   MARCH 19, 2012 19:07

In a precedent-setting ruling on Sunday, the Beersheba District Court rejected six lawsuits brought by Beduin regarding private ownership of some 1,000 dunam of land in the Negev.
Seventeen Beduin, members of the al-Uqbi family, filed the six land claims. The complex and often bitter legal proceedings went on for over six years, and discussed in detail the history of the Negev Beduin and land laws dating back to the mid-19th century. The Beduin claim the land had belonged to their families since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and that it had come into their possession by means of purchase and inheritance over generations.
However, in 1951 they say they were evacuated from the land when the IDF confiscated it, and since then the state has not granted them permission to return, and has said the land belongs to the state and was never privately owned.

Significantly, the land in question – south of the Beduin city of Rahat – includes the hotly contested area known as al-Arakib, the site of an ongoing and bitter conflict between Beduin and the state. Temporary shacks built by the Beduin in al-Arakib were demolished by the state and rebuilt on more than 10 occasions, the last in 2010, and last year the state filed a NIS 1.8 million lawsuit against two Beduin families over the issue.
During the al-Uqbi lawsuit, both the state and the Beduin brought extensive expert testimonies, pitting the country’s most prominent experts in historical and political geography against each other. For the plaintiffs, Ben Gurion University’s Prof. Oren Yiftachel, one of the country’s foremost geographers and social scientists, gave expert testimony. Testifying for the state was Prof. Ruth Kark, a leading expert on the historical geography of Palestine and Israel from the Hebrew University.
At the heart of the case was the debate of whether the Beduin were able to prove that they had private land rights to the disputed plots, despite a lack of formal land-title deeds showing the land had been registered in their name in the Ottoman land registry, the “Tabu.”
Central to this was the question of the land’s legal classification under Ottoman and British rule, and whether it had been a form of state land, known as Mawat (wasteland that could not be cultivated). When the Israel Land Law abolished the old Ottoman land classifications in 1969, it said all land would revert to state lands, unless a claimant could produce proof of private ownership in the form of Ottoman or British legal title.
The British Mandate authorities stipulated that the last date by which Beduin could register land classified as Mawat as privately owned was 1921, however the al-Uqbis – like most Beduin – had not done so.

In court, the al-Uqbis argued that the state’s order to expropriate the land from them in 1951 was made on the erroneous assumption that under Ottoman law the land was classified as Mawat. They said that the land had been cultivated and owned by them, and so classified as Miri land under Ottoman legal terms.
Mawat lands were both uncultivated and not adjacent to settled lands. The Beduin, who argued that the el-Ukbi families had lived in al-Arakib before the State of Israel was established, testified that there had been tents and other structures on the land, and that Beduin residents had cultivated barley and wheat there. Therefore, they argued, the Ottoman authorities cannot possibly have classified it as Mawat.
In an expert opinion filed to the court, Yiftachel said that these “tribal areas” of scattered tent clusters were not at that time registered with the authorities, but were nevertheless considered “settled” and met the definition of a “village” in the 1921 Land Ordinance.
The Beduin also presented aerial photographs from 1945 onwards, which they said showed there had been extensive cultivation covering al-Arakib, meaning that it could not have been classified as Mawat land.
The state’s expert witness, Prof. Ruth Kark, gave the complete opposite view, and said that prior to 1858, there had been no fixed settlements on or near to the disputed land. The first fixed settlement had been Beersheba, she said, which the Ottomans founded in 1900 and which is 11 kilometers from al- Arakib – refuting the Beduin’ claims that the land could not have been Mawat because it was both cultivated and next to a settlement.
They also contended that the Ottoman, and later the British, authorities had granted legal autonomy to the Negev Beduin to organize land ownership according to Beduin law, which is why it was not registered as theirs in the Tabu.
However, the court did not accept this claim, saying that if the Ottoman authorities had wished to exempt a particular population from the law, then they would have done so explicitly.
Rejecting the claims, Judge Sarah Dovrat concluded the the land in question had not been “assigned to the plaintiffs, nor held by them under conditions required by law.”
“Regardless of whether the land was Mawat or Miri, the complainants must still prove their rights to the land by proof of its registration in the Tabu,” the judge said.
Dovrat added that “although the complainants believe they have proof that they held the land for generations, and that four families from the el-Ukbi tribe cultivated and owned the land, such claims require a legitimate legal basis in accordance with the the relevant legislation and according to precedents set out in case law.”
The judge held that the plaintiffs’ documents indicated that they knew they had a duty to register land in the “Tabu” (the land registry) but had not wanted to do so. “The state said that although the complainants are not entitled to compensation, it has been willing to negotiate with them,” the judge added. “It is a shame that these negotiations did not reach any agreement.”
The court also ordered the Beduin complainants to pay legal costs of NIS 50,000. Attorneys Michael Sfard and Carmel Pomerantz, who represented the Beduin complainants, slammed the ruling, which they said went against an international trend of recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples to their historic lands.
“In its ruling, the court affirmed the practice of expulsion that the state carried out against the Negev Beduin, and found that 60 years afterwards there is no point in testing whether that massive expropriation of lands was legal or not,” Sfard said on Monday.
Sfard and Pomerantz added the the court did not “take the opportunity to recognize, even symbolically, the historical injustice perpetrated to the residents of these lands, whose ancestors lived there for centuries.” Yiftachel called the decision “troubling,” and said on Monday that the Beduin were considering whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.
“[The ruling] is troubling first and foremost because it unjustly dispossesses many Bedouins who have simply inherited the land from their ancestors. The court decided that just because they didn’t register their land, they ought to lose it,” Yiftachel said. “It’s a sad irony – Jews who bought land from Bedouins in Northern Negev became recognized owners, while the people who sold them the land are now being dispossessed.”
Yiftachel said that the court had ignored new research he presented, which he said showed the Beduin had “acquired rights within a permanent land system they developed and how previous regimes have respected those rights.”
“Most researchers agree that 2-3 million dunam were cultivated by the Beduin in the early 20th century, which gives them land rights,” he said. “Yet the court claimed that no Beduin settlement and rights existed then. Where did the Beduin farmers live – in mid-air?”
Yiftachel added that recognizing the fact that Beduin did own parts of the Negev for generations was “not only a moral duty of any enlightened state, but also the key for good Arab-Jewish relations on which the Negev will depend for years to come.”
“Whatever the court decision, I am committed to the truth,” he said.
ILA director Benzi Lieberman welcomed the court’s ruling, and said on Monday that the ILA expected the Beduin claimants to respect it and “stop trespassing” on the land.
“The ILA will do all in its power to keep state land from trespassers – and this includes farming – in order to safeguard the land,” Lieberman said, adding that the ILA would file lawsuits against those who trespassed on state land.  

https://besacenter.org/the-jerusalem-declaration-on-antisemitism-is-itself-antisemitic/
The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA Center)

The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Is Itself Antisemitic

By Dr. Dana Barnett October 3, 2021

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 2,166, October 3, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA), presented in March 2021, was created to replace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which had been adopted by 35 countries by 2020. The writers of the JDA wished to “clarify” the IHRA, which they feel is insufficiently obsequious to the Palestinians. Their real object is to use the fight against antisemitism as another weapon with which to vilify Israel.

The Jerusalem Declaration of Antisemitism (JDA) is the product of a group of international scholars of antisemitism and related fields who have been meeting since June 2020 in a series of online workshops convened by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Essentially, the new document charges the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism with blurring the “difference between antisemitic speech and legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism.” As a result, the IHRA definition “delegitimiz[es] the voices of Palestinians and others, including Jews, who hold views that are sharply critical of Israel and Zionism.”

The JDA was purportedly written as a resource for strengthening the fight against antisemitism, because “there is a widely felt need for clarity on the limits of legitimate political speech and action concerning Zionism, Israel, and Palestine.” The JDA is presented as the alternative, a “corrective to overcome the shortcomings of the IHRA definition.”

Nowhere in the IHRA definition are Palestinians mentioned; nor does it mention BDS. There are, however, three clauses that can be construed as applying to the actions of Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists. These are:

  • the denial of the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination; e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor
  • the application of double standards by requiring of Israel behaviors that are not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • the comparison of Israeli policies to those of the Nazis.

Pro-Palestinian activists and anti-Israel groups have long complained about the IHRA definition because, in the grip of their fixation on Israel as fundamentally illegitimate and their flat denial of the Jews’ right to self-determination, they reject the premise that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

It should be noted that some of the authors of the new document are radical academic activists, including Israelis and non-Israeli Jews. Among them are Richard Falk, Neve Gordon, Anat Matar, David Feldman, Chaim Gans, Snait Gissis, Amos Goldberg, Avishai Margalit, Hagar Kotef, David Shulman, Dmitry Shumsky, Yair Wallach, Moshe Zimmermann, Moshe Zuckermann, Gadi Algazi, Seth Anziska, Bernard Avishai, Peter Beinart, Louise Bethlehem, Daniel Blatman, Daniel Boyarin, Jose Brunner, Naomi Chazan, Alon Confino, Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, and David Enoch. Some of them have also called for the boycott of Israel. Recruiting Israelis and Jews to deflect accusations of antisemitism is a longstanding practice in anti-Israel and antisemitic circles.

As for its content, the JDA is essentially a wholesale denunciation of the IHRA definition. Some points stand out. The declaration accuses the IHRA definition of malpractice because it considers criticism of Israel antisemitic. However, the IHRA definition clearly states, “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” The JDA suggests that “Institutions that have already adopted the IHRA Definition can use our text as a tool for interpreting it.” It doesn’t explain why an institution that had adopted the IHRA definition should wish to adopt the JDA version, which opposes it.

The JDA makes its political agenda clear by declaring its support for “the Palestinian demand for justice and the full grant of their political, national, civil and human rights, as encapsulated in international law.” Similarly, the JDA wishes to “support arrangements that accord full equality to all inhabitants ‘between the river and the sea,’ whether in two states, a binational state, unitary democratic state, federal state, or in whatever form.”

What the JDA fails to mention is that in Palestinian parlance, the “demand for justice and the full grant of their political, national, civil and human rights” is a euphemism for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state on its ruins. Similarly, the Palestinian demand for a “binational state” or a “unitary democratic state” has been used by the PLO since the late 1960s as code for the transformation of Israel into an Arab state in which Jews are reduced to a permanent minority living on the sufferance of the Muslim majority, a status known in Islamic history as Dhimmis. In the words of Edward Said: “[T]he Jews are a minority everywhere. A Jewish minority can survive [in Arab Palestine] the way other minorities in the Arab world survived.”

As for dismantling the “occupation,” this was effectively ended in January 1996 when Israel relinquished control of 95% of the West Bank’s Palestinian population in line with the Oslo Accords (control of Gaza’s Palestinian population had been transferred to the newly established Palestinian Authority (PA) in May 1994).

The key problem with the JDA is the claim that “Criticizing or opposing Zionism as a form of nationalism” is not antisemitic. It betrays its bias by failing to reject any form of nationalism other than the Jewish one. Needless to say, such a discriminatory denial of this basic right to only one nation (and one of the few that can trace its corporate identity and territorial attachment to antiquity) while allowing it to all other groups and communities, however new and tenuous their claim to nationhood, is pure and unadulterated racism.

No less disingenuous is the JDA’s claim that it is not antisemitic “to compare Israel with other historical cases, including settler-colonialism or apartheid”—another attempt to discredit Israel’s right to exist on account of its alleged dispossession of the (supposedly) indigenous population. Apart from failing to indict any other manifestation of “settler-colonialism” (from the US, Canada, Australia, to most of Latin America, to earlier manifestations of this phenomenon in Europe and the Middle East), this claim ignores the fundamental fact that the Jews are not “colonial settlers” but rather the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel (renamed Syria Palaestina by the Roman occupiers). This millenarian attachment was specifically emphasized by the 1922 League of Nations mandate, which tasked Britain with establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine.

If anything, it is the long string of Muslim occupiers of the Land of Israel (or parts of it)—from the 7th century Arab invaders, to the Seljuk Turks, to the Mamluks, to the Ottoman Turks, to the Egyptians, Jordanians, and newly formed Palestinians—that can be defined as colonial settlers.

As with the “settler colonist” slander, the apartheid canard is not only false but the complete inverse of the truth. Whether in its South African form or elsewhere, such as the US South until the late 1960s, apartheid was a comprehensive and discriminatory system of racial segregation, on the basis of ethnicity, comprising all walks of life—from schooling, to public transportation, to social activities and services, to medical care. None of this has ever been applied in Israel, where the Arab minority has enjoyed full equality before the law and has been endowed with the full spectrum of democratic rights—including the right to vote for and serve in all state institutions. (From the first, Arabs have been members of the Knesset.) From the designation of Arabic as an official language, to the recognition of non-Jewish religious holidays as legal rest days for their respective communities, to the granting of educational, cultural, judicial, and religious autonomy, Arabs in Israel may well enjoy more formal prerogatives than ethnic minorities anywhere in the democratic world. This is at a time when apartheid has been an integral part of the Middle East for over a millennium, and its Arab and Muslim nations continue to legally, politically, and socially enforce this discriminatory practice against their own minorities.

The JDA argues that calls for “boycott, divestment and sanctions are commonplace, non-violent forms of political protest against states. In the Israeli case they are not, in and of themselves, antisemitic,” but it does not call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against any other nation except Israel. Quite clearly, the document is intended to legitimize the anti-Zionist boycott movement against Israel.

Ironically, after the JDA’s writers bent over backward to appease the Palestinians, a leading Palestinian group rejected the JDA. According to the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the highest authority on BDS, there are inherent flaws in the document, such as the following:

  • The JDA excludes the Palestinian perspective as expressed by Palestinians themselves. “Some liberals still try to make decisions that deeply affect us, without us. Palestinians cannot allow any definition of antisemitism to be employed for policing or censoring advocacy of our inalienable rights,” including “[our] history of struggle against settler-colonialism and apartheid.”
  • The JDA fails to mention that “white supremacy and the far right [are] the main culprits behind antisemitic attacks.”
  • The JDA guidelines still try to “police some speech critical of Israel’s policies and practices, failing to fully uphold the necessary distinction between hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate opposition to Israeli policies, ideology and system of injustice on the other.”

Aljazeera, the Qatari media outlet, which favors the Palestinians, published a negative article about the JDA, calling it “an orientalist text.” Mark Muhannad Ayyash, an associate professor of sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, authored the piece. He says the core problem with both the IHRA and the JDA definitions of antisemitism is their failure to address the “silencing and erasure of Palestine and Palestinians.” He argues that by proclaiming that the Jews have a right to their own state, it obscures the fact that “this state was established on a land that was already inhabited by Palestinians.”

Ayyash goes on to say that like the IHRA definition, the JDA sets out to determine “which kinds of anti-Zionist critiques and views constitute antisemitism, and which do not.” But “like all liberal documents that have been produced in the thick of a colonial or settler-colonial moment, this document keeps intact the colonial contract whereby the colonial masters retain the position of privilege and supremacy in voice and status over the colonized.” Ayyash calls the JDA an “orientalist text” because it does not oppose the core problem of the IHRA definition: the “silencing and erasure of Palestine and Palestinians.”

Ayyash considers the JDA an example of “covert orientalism” because “hostility to Israel could be an expression of an antisemitic animus, or it could be a reaction to a human rights violation, or it could be the emotion that a Palestinian person feels on account of their experience at the hands of the State.” Therefore, the JDA, “in supposed opposition” to the IHRA definition’s “anti-Zionism is antisemitism” premise, tells its audience—the Euro-American world—that even the Palestinians, whom Ayyash apparently believes should be absolved of such attentions, should be policed for possible antisemitism. Because the Palestinians “are so reactionary, emotional, and hostile,” they are a “source of statements and campaigns that Euro-Americans should tolerate but also remain vigilant against.”

According to Ayyash, the JDA dares to question “the reasonableness and lack thereof of Palestinians,” and that very assessment is presumptuous and Orientalist. His concern is that according to the JDA, any Palestinian who “question[s] the validity of the idea of a Jewish State for a Jewish majority“ could be characterized as “at best unreasonable and at worst antisemitic.” This is “Orientalism at its best,” Ayyash concludes.

The JDA tried to appease the Palestinians by asserting that anti-Zionism is not antisemitic. But for the Palestinians, this is splitting hairs. In their view, both the IHRA and the JDA are inherently flawed because they accept the basic premise that Jews have a right to a Jewish State. The Palestinians flatly reject the Jewish right to self-determination in any form. No matter how the pro-Palestinian writers of the JDA might want to spin it, that view is fundamentally antisemitic.

Dr. Dana Barnett is a Research Associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

References
https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/

THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION ON ANTISEMITISM March 25 2021 Preamble 

We, the undersigned, present the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, the product of an initiative
that originated in Jerusalem. We include in our number international scholars working in Antisemitism
Studies and related fields, including Jewish, Holocaust, Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Studies. The
text of the Declaration has benefited from consultation with legal scholars and members of civil society.
Inspired by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1969 Convention on the Elimination
of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 2000 Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on
the Holocaust, and the 2005 United Nations Resolution on Holocaust Remembrance, we hold that while
antisemitism has certain distinctive features, the fight against it is inseparable from the overall fight
against all forms of racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and gender discrimination.
Conscious of the historical persecution of Jews throughout history and of the universal lessons of the
Holocaust, and viewing with alarm the reassertion of antisemitism by groups that mobilize hatred and
violence in politics, society, and on the internet, we seek to provide a usable, concise, and historicallyinformed
core definition of antisemitism with a set of guidelines.
The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism responds to “the IHRA Definition,” the document that was
adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016. Because the IHRA Definition
is unclear in key respects and widely open to different interpretations, it has caused confusion
and generated controversy, hence weakening the fight against antisemitism. Noting that it calls itself
“a working definition,” we have sought to improve on it by offering (a) a clearer core definition and (b)
a coherent set of guidelines. We hope this will be helpful for monitoring and combating antisemitism,
as well as for educational purposes. We propose our non-legally binding Declaration as an alternative
to the IHRA Definition. Institutions that have already adopted the IHRA Definition can use our text as a
tool for interpreting it.
The IHRA Definition includes 11 “examples” of antisemitism, 7 of which focus on the State of Israel.
While this puts undue emphasis on one arena, there is a widely-felt need for clarity on the limits of
legitimate political speech and action concerning Zionism, Israel, and Palestine. Our aim is twofold:
(1) to strengthen the fight against antisemitism by clarifying what it is and how it is manifested, (2) to
protect a space for an open debate about the vexed question of the future of Israel/Palestine. We do not
all share the same political views and we are not seeking to promote a partisan political agenda. Determining
that a controversial view or action is not antisemitic implies neither that we endorse it nor that
we do not.
The guidelines that focus on Israel-Palestine (numbers 6 to 15) should be taken together. In general,
when applying the guidelines each should be read in the light of the others and always with a view to
context. Context can include the intention behind an utterance, or a pattern of speech over time, or even
the identity of the speaker, especially when the subject is Israel or Zionism. So, for example, hostility
to Israel could be an expression of an antisemitic animus, or it could be a reaction to a human rights
violation, or it could be the emotion that a Palestinian person feels on account of their experience at
the hands of the State. In short, judgement and sensitivity are needed in applying these guidelines to
concrete situations.
Definition
Antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice, hostility or
violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish).

Guidelines

A.
General
1. It is racist to essentialize (treat a character trait as inherent) or to
make sweeping negative generalizations about a given population.
What is true of racism in general is true of antisemitism
in particular.
2. What is particular in classic antisemitism is the idea that Jews
are linked to the forces of evil. This stands at the core of many
anti-Jewish fantasies, such as the idea of a Jewish conspiracy
in which “the Jews” possess hidden power that they use to promote
their own collective agenda at the expense of other people.
This linkage between Jews and evil continues in the present:
in the fantasy that “the Jews” control governments with a
“hidden hand,” that they own the banks, control the media, act
as “a state within a state,” and are responsible for spreading
disease (such as Covid-19). All these features can be instrumentalized
by different (and even antagonistic) political causes.
3. Antisemitism can be manifested in words, visual images, and
deeds. Examples of antisemitic words include utterances that
all Jews are wealthy, inherently stingy, or unpatriotic. In antisemitic
caricatures, Jews are often depicted as grotesque, with
big noses and associated with wealth. Examples of antisemitic
deeds are: assaulting someone because she or he is Jewish, attacking
a synagogue, daubing swastikas on Jewish graves, or
refusing to hire or promote people because they are Jewish.
4. Antisemitism can be direct or indirect, explicit or coded. For
example, “The Rothschilds control the world” is a coded statement
about the alleged power of “the Jews” over banks and
international finance. Similarly, portraying Israel as the ultimate
evil or grossly exaggerating its actual influence can be a
coded way of racializing and stigmatizing Jews. In many cases,
identifying coded speech is a matter of context and judgement,
taking account of these guidelines.
5. Denying or minimizing the Holocaust by claiming that the
deliberate Nazi genocide of the Jews did not take place, or
that there were no extermination camps or gas chambers, or
that the number of victims was a fraction of the actual total,
is antisemitic.
B.
Israel and Palestine: examples that,
on the face of it, are antisemitic
6. Applying the symbols, images, and negative stereotypes of classical
antisemitism (see guidelines 2 and 3) to the State of Israel.
7. Holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s conduct or
treating Jews, simply because they are Jewish, as agents of Israel.
8. Requiring people, because they are Jewish, publicly to condemn
Israel or Zionism (for example, at a political meeting).
9. Assuming that non-Israeli Jews, simply because they are,
Jews are necessarily more loyal to Israel than to their own
countries.
10. Denying the right of Jews in the State of Israel to exist and
flourish, collectively and individually, as Jews, in accordance
with the principle of equality.
C.
Israel and Palestine: examples that,
on the face of it, are not antisemitic
(whether or not one approves of the view or action)
11. Supporting the Palestinian demand for justice and the full grant
of their political, national, civil, and human rights, as encapsulated
in international law.
12. Criticizing or opposing Zionism as a form of nationalism, or
arguing for a variety of constitutional arrangements for Jews
and Palestinians in the area between the Jordan River and the
Mediterranean. It is not antisemitic to support arrangements
that accord full equality to all inhabitants “between the river
and the sea,” whether in two states, a binational state, unitary
democratic state, federal state, or in whatever form.
13. Evidence-based criticism of Israel as a state. This includes its
institutions and founding principles. It also includes its policies
and practices, domestic and abroad, such as the conduct
of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, the role Israel plays in
the region, or any other way in which, as a state, it influences
events in the world. It is not antisemitic to point out systematic
racial discrimination. In general, the same norms of debate
that apply to other states and to other conflicts over national
self-determination apply in the case of Israel and Palestine.
Thus, even if contentious, it is not antisemitic, in and of itself,
to compare Israel with other historical cases, including
settler-colonialism or apartheid.
14. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions are commonplace, nonviolent
forms of political protest against states. In the Israeli
case they are not, in and of themselves, antisemitic.
15. Political speech does not have to be measured, proportional,
tempered, or reasonable to be protected under article 19 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or article 10 of the
European Convention on Human Rights and other human
rights instruments. Criticism that some may see as excessive
or contentious, or as reflecting a “double standard,” is not, in
and of itself, antisemitic. In general, the line between antisemitic
and non-antisemitic speech is different from the line
between unreasonable and reasonable speech.

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https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism

About the IHRA non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism

The IHRA is the only intergovernmental organization mandated to focus solely on Holocaust-related issues, so with evidence that the scourge of antisemitism is once again on the rise, we resolved to take a leading role in combating it. IHRA experts determined that in order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism is. 

The IHRA’s Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial worked to build international consensus around a non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism, which was subsequently adopted by the Plenary. By doing so, the IHRA set an example of responsible conduct for other international fora and provided an important tool with practical applicability for its Member Countries. This is just one illustration of how the IHRA has equipped policymakers to address this rise in hate and discrimination at their national level.

The working definition of antisemitism

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism. 
 
On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:
 

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 
To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
 
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
 
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
 
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
 
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

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https://bdsmovement.net/A-Palestinian-Civil-Society-Critique-JDA

BNC STATEMENT

A Palestinian civil society critique of the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism

March 25, 2021 By Palestinian BDS National Committee  / Europe, European Union, North America

The “Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism” (JDA), despite its flaws detailed below, presents a mainstream alternative to the fraudulent so-called IHRA definition of antisemitism and a “cogent guide” in the fight against real antisemitism, as many progressive Jewish groups define it–defending Jews, as Jews, from discrimination, prejudice, hostility and violence. It respects to a large extent the right to freedom of expression related to the struggle for Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law, including through BDS, and the struggle against Zionism and Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. 

The JDA can be instrumental in the fight against the anti-Palestinian McCarthyism and repression that the proponents of the IHRA definition, with its “examples,” have promoted and induced, by design. This is due to the following JDA advantages:

  • Despite its problematic Israel-centered guidelines, it provides a coherent and accurate definition of antisemitism. Its authors explicitly reject codifying it into law or using it to restrict the legitimate exercise of academic freedom or to “suppress free and open public debate that is within the limits laid down by laws governing hate crime.” This is helpful in countering the IHRA definition’s attempts to shield Israel from accountability to international law and to protect Zionism from rational and ethical critique. 
  • It recognizes antisemitism as a form of racism, with its own history and particularities, largely refuting the exceptionalism that the IHRA definition (with its examples) gives it.
  • Recognizing that antisemitism and anti-Zionism are “categorically different,” it does not consider advocating for Palestinian rights under international law and for ending Israel’s regime of oppression per se as antisemitic. It thus refutes the most dangerous and weaponized parts of the IHRA definition’s “examples.” Specifically, the JDA recognizes as legitimate free speech the following examples: support for the nonviolent BDS movement and its tactics; criticism of or opposing Zionism; condemning Israel’s settler-colonialism or apartheid; calling for equal rights and democracy for all by ending all forms of supremacy and “systematic racial discrimination;” and criticism of Israel’s foundation and its racist institutions or policies. 
  • It states that “holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s conduct or treating Jews, simply because they are Jewish, as agents of Israel” is antisemitic, a rule that we fully agree with. We call for applying this rule across the board, even when Israel and Zionists, whether Jewish or fundamentalist Christian, are guilty of violating it. Fanatic Zionist and Israeli leaders, like Netanyahu, for instance, often speak on behalf of all Jews and encourage Jewish communities in the US, UK, France and elsewhere to “go home” to Israel.
  • It theoretically recognizes that context matters in the sense that particular situations influence whether a certain utterance or action may be considered antisemitic or not. 
     

Still, Palestinians, the Palestine solidarity movement, and all progressives are urged to approach the JDA with a critical mind and caution due to its flaws, some of which are inherent:

  1. With the JDA’s unfortunate title and most of its guidelines, it is focused on Palestine/Israel and Zionism, unjustifiably reinforcing attempts to couple anti-Jewish racism with the struggle for Palestinian liberation, and therefore impacting our struggle. In spite of that impact, the JDA excludes representative Palestinian perspectives, an omission that is quite telling about asymmetric relations of power and domination and how some liberals still try to make decisions that deeply affect us, without us. Palestinians cannot allow any definition of antisemitism to be employed for policing or censoring advocacy of our inalienable rights or our narration of our lived experiences and evidence-based history of struggle against settler-colonialism and apartheid.
  2. Its ill-conceived omission of any mention of white supremacy and the far right, the main culprits behind antisemitic attacks, inadvertently lets the far right off the hook, despite a passing mention in the FAQ. Most far right groups, especially in Europe and North America, are deeply antisemitic yet love Israel and its regime of oppression.
  3. Despite freedom of expression assurances in its FAQ, the JDA’s “guidelines” still try to police some speech critical of Israel’s policies and practices, failing to fully uphold the necessary distinction between hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate opposition to Israeli policies, ideology and system of injustice on the other. For instance, the JDA considers as antisemitic the following cases:

A. “Portraying Israel as the ultimate evil or grossly exaggerating its actual influence” as a possibly “coded way of racializing and stigmatizing Jews.” While in some cases such portrayal of Israel or gross exaggeration of its influence may indirectly reveal an antisemitic sentiment, in the absolute majority of cases related to defending Palestinian rights such inference would be entirely misplaced. When Palestinians who lose their loved ones, homes and orchards due to Israeli apartheid policies publicly condemn Israel as “the ultimate evil,” for example, this cannot be reasonably construed as a “coded” attack on Jews. 

Interpreting opposition to Israeli crimes and regime of oppression as anti-Jewish, as Israel and its anti-Palestinian right-wing supporters often do, effectively makes Israel synonymous or coextensive with “all Jews.” Ethically speaking, other than being anti-Palestinian, this equation is deeply problematic because in effect it essentializes and homogenizes all Jewish persons. This contradicts the JDA’s opening statement that it is “racist to essentialize … a given population.”

B.“Applying the symbols, images and negative stereotypes of classical antisemitism … to the State of Israel.” As the JDA itself admits elsewhere, such a sweeping generalization is false in all “evidence-based” cases. Consider, for instance, Palestinians condemning Israeli PM Netanyahu as a “child killer,” given that at least 526 Palestinian children were slaughtered in Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza, which the International Criminal Court has recently decided to investigate. Can this be considered antisemitic? Though the hard evidence is irreproachable, should Palestinians avoid using that term in this case simply because it is an antisemitic trope and Netanyahu happens to be Jewish? Is it Islamophobic to call the Saudi dictator Muhammad Bin Salman – who happens to be a Muslim — a butcher due to reportedly orchestrating the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, not to mention the Saudi regime’s crimes against humanity in Yemen? Would showing MBS holding a bloody dagger be considered an Islamophobic trope, given how Islamophobic caricatures often depict Muslim men with blood-soaked swords and daggers? Clearly not. So why exceptionalize Israel then? 

C. “Denying the right of Jews in the State of Israel to exist and flourish, collectively and individually, as Jews, in accordance with the principle of equality.” The principle of equality is absolutely paramount in protecting individual rights in all spheres as well as in safeguarding collective cultural, religious, language, and social rights. But some may abuse this to imply equal political rights for the colonizers and the colonized collectives in a settler-colonial reality, or for the dominant and the dominated collectives in an apartheid reality, thus perpetuating oppression. Anchored in international law, after all, the fundamental principle of equality is not intended to, nor can it be used to, exonerate crimes or legitimize injustice. 

What about the supposed “right” of Jewish-Israeli settlers to replace Palestinians in the ethnically cleansed land of Kafr Bir’im in the Galilee or Umm al Hiran in the Naqab/Negev? What about the ostensible “right” to enforce racist admission committees in tens of Jewish-only settlements in present-day Israel that deny admission to Palestinian citizens of Israel on “cultural/social” grounds? Moreover, should Palestinian refugees be denied their UN-stipulated right to return home in order not to disturb some assumed “collective Jewish right” to demographic supremacy? What about justice, repatriation and reparations in accordance with international law and how they may impact certain assumed “rights” of Jewish-Israelis occupying Palestinian homes or lands? 

Most importantly, what does any of this have to do with anti-Jewish racism?

 1. As recently revealed by Der Spiegel, a police report in Germany, for example, shows that the right and far-right were in 2020 responsible for 96% of all antisemitic incidents in Germany that are attributable to a clear motive. https://twitter.com/bdsmovement/status/1362411616638275586 
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https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/4/21/the-jerusalem-declaration-on-antisemitism-is-an-orientalist-text

The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism is an orientalist text

The JDA fails to produce true opposition to the core problem of the IHRA definition: the silencing and erasure of Palestine and Palestinians.

21 Apr 2021

In a 2000 interview for the Israeli daily Haaretz, journalist Ari Shavit asks Palestinian literary theorist and anti-colonial writer Edward Said whether he thinks “the idea of a Jewish state is flawed”.

In response, Said asks his own questions about the notions of “Jewishness” and “who is a Jew” in this state. Shavit abruptly stops that line of thinking, stating “But that’s an internal Jewish question. The question for you is whether the Jews are a people who have a right to a state of their own?”

Shavit’s argument asserts that the very foundation of the Jewish state as a state for Jews is a matter only for Jews to debate and critically discuss. The only point of entry into this discussion for non-Jews, like Said, is to accept the non-negotiability of that foundation: namely, that Jews have the right to their own Jewish state. What this argument omits is that this state was established on a land that was already inhabited by Palestinians. This argument, and the omission of Palestine and Palestinian life from it, precedes Shavit by decades, and 21 years later, it persists.

Today, we are in the midst of a wave of definitions of antisemitism that are determined to protect the validity of the idea of the Jewish state from any serious critique coming from anti-Zionist Jews (whose Jewishness is increasingly questioned) and non-Jews, foremost among the latter being Palestinians like Said.

The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) illustrates this point. This document situates itself as the liberal replacement to the conservative International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Like the IHRA definition, the JDA sets for itself the task of determining which kinds of anti-Zionist critiques and views constitute antisemitism and which do not. As one of its signatories, Yair Wallach, recently put it, “The JDA pays special attention to antisemitism in anti-Zionist veneer.”

As a liberal document, the JDA shows tolerance for the diversity of views and perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian question. But like all liberal documents that have been produced in the thick of a colonial or settler colonial moment, this document keeps intact the colonial contract whereby the colonial masters retain the position of privilege and supremacy in voice and status over the colonised.

The JDA is an orientalist text that fails to produce true opposition to the core problem of the IHRA definition: the silencing and erasure of Palestine and Palestinians.

I am not making a blanket statement on the signatories of the JDA and branding them as orientalists. I am saying that they all have signed an orientalist text.

Part A of the document is the only segment that is worthy of praise, though the anti-racist and anti-colonial intersectional framework could have been employed in much more depth in its formation. Putting that aside, let me focus on the Preamble and sections B and C.

An orientalist text

Said’s seminal work, Orientalism, did not become a classic only because it critiqued avowedly imperial and explicitly racist texts and authors. It gained widespread acclaim because it showed how imperialist and racist world views can also remain intact in texts that profess liberal and even anti-colonial positions.

Whereas the IHRA definition is an overtly conservative, settler colonial and racist text, the JDA casts itself as a liberal, tolerant and anti-racist document. I need not repeat the critiques of the IHRA definition here, which are plentiful. But the relatively covert orientalism of the JDA requires further explanation and critique.

Two main features of the JDA text clearly illustrate its orientalism.

The first feature concerns the positionality of the Palestinians in the document. Palestinians and the Palestinian critique of Israel appear in two main ways in the JDA.

First, near the end of the Preamble, the JDA states: “[H]ostility to Israel could be an expression of an antisemitic animus, or it could be a reaction to a human rights violation, or it could be the emotion that a Palestinian person feels on account of their experience at the hands of the State [emphases added].”

In supposed opposition to the IHRA definition’s blanket claim that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism”, the JDA tells its intended audience, the Euro-American world, that even though hostile, reactionary, and emotional, the anti-Zionism of the Palestinian can be, in some cases, tolerable. Thus, what is going to save Palestinians from the charge of antisemitism is not a fair hearing of the substance of their claims, statements, and campaigns which have always emphasised that their opposition is not to Jews but to a state that has committed acts of violence against them. Rather, what will save Palestinians is the idea that gentle hearts in the “civilised West” can appreciate that the Orient is an emotional subject whose irrational exaggerations are based on experiences of brutal eliminatory violence and therefore should be tolerated. Pardon me, I meant based on experiences “at the hands of the State.”

Second, precisely because they are so reactionary, emotional, and hostile, the document claims, the Palestinians are a source of statements and campaigns that Euro-Americans should tolerate but also remain vigilant against. This position is clear in the Preamble where it is stated, “Determining that a controversial view or action is not antisemitic implies neither that we endorse it nor that we do not.” Already Palestinian critique of the state of Israel is marred in “controversy”, whereas debates about the Jewish nature of the Jewish state are not. The JDA continues along this path.

The heading of section C states, “Israel and Palestine: examples that, on the face of it, are not antisemitic [whether or not one approves of the view or action]”. The brackets here are key. They are the warning label that appears in the document only when it is about to identify Palestinian critiques and campaigns (such as the BDS movement). No vigilance is required from Euro-Americans when Jews debate what they claim to be an internal Jewish question. But when it comes to Palestinians and their critiques, the message is to stay on guard, because these pesky Palestinians will make unsubstantiated statements as they are so emotional on account of their experiences “at the hands of the State”.

And just in case there was any remaining doubt about the out of control, emotional, and disproportionate responses of the Palestinians, guideline #15 under section C eradicates it: “Political speech does not have to be measured, proportional, tempered, or reasonable … Criticism that some may see as excessive or contentious … is not, in and of itself, antisemitic. In general, the line between antisemitic and non-antisemitic speech is different from the line between unreasonable and reasonable speech.”

The coup de grâce: the JDA gets that questioning the reasonableness and lack thereof of Palestinians is appropriate, especially when they oppose “Zionism as a form of nationalism”, demand justice, ask for full equality in one state, compare Israel with other settler colonial and apartheid states, or when they advance and promote BDS, but that does not mean they are antisemitic. So, bear with and tolerate their emotional outbursts, despite their unreasonableness.

The second feature that illustrates the text’s orientalism is the framing as essentially antisemitic a core feature of the Palestinian critique of Zionism and Israel.

The JDA provides two sets of guidelines to determine what constitutes antisemitism. Section B lists five guidelines on Israel and Palestine where we find “examples that, on the face of it, are antisemitic” and section C lists five guidelines where the examples are not, on the face of it, antisemitic. And in guideline number 10 under section B, the JDA declares the following as antisemitic: “Denying the right of Jews in the State of Israel to exist and flourish, collectively and individually, as Jews, in accordance with the principle of equality.”

What are the boundaries of the State of Israel when it is a state that is engaged in an ongoing project of annexation that has no end in sight? At whose expense is this “flourishing” taking place? The Zionist project advances a zero-sum worldview: either Jews or non-Jews will be sovereign in the land of historic Palestine, there is no compromise. So how is this “principle of equality” to be secured in a context where the Israeli state must maintain Jewish sovereignty for a Jewish majority at all costs? Are Palestinians supposed to accept that the right of Jews in the State of Israel ought to take precedence over their own sovereign rights? According to the JDA, Palestinians are not allowed to answer these questions or any other questions about the Jewish right to a Jewish state by saying “not at my expense”.

Rhetorical sophistication aside, there is very little substantive difference between this guideline and the IHRA definition’s claim that arguing that Israel is a racist endeavour constitutes antisemitism. This probably explains why the JDA is so timid in its declared opposition to the IHRA definition, where instead of unequivocally opposing its adoption, it states, “Institutions that have already adopted the IHRA Definition can use our text as a tool for interpreting it.” And based on guideline number 10, I have full faith that such an interpretation is not only possible but also acceptable to the authors and promoters of the IHRA definition.

The colonial contract is merely repackaged in the JDA: should any Palestinian question the validity of the idea of a Jewish State for a Jewish majority [on the land of historic Palestine and at the expense of Palestinians], then they are at best unreasonable and at worst antisemitic. And the omission of the section in brackets seals and secures the contract, all under the rubric of liberal tolerance.

Orientalism at its best.

The Jewish and Palestinian questions intertwined

The JDA’s preamble states, “There is a widely-felt need for clarity on the limits of legitimate political speech and action concerning Zionism, Israel, and Palestine.”

The issue here is not that there are not any cases of antisemitism appearing in the veneer of anti-Zionism. These incidents certainly exist. But not only do similar deplorable and racist incidents exist against Palestinians, but Palestinians also have to contend with systemic anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism in diplomatic and allegedly peace-oriented discourses and processes, which dehumanise Palestinians and deny them their right to sovereignty.

The dehumanisation, dispossession, and erasure of Palestine and Palestinians is never properly situated in the JDA’s guidelines on the question of Palestine, Israel, and Zionism. Much like Israel’s unilateral annexation of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Declaration unilaterally determines what constitutes legitimate political speech and action without the slightest consideration of the Palestinian experience of Zionism as integral to the framing of the discussion. That is the epistemic violence of orientalist texts such as the JDA.

In the interview I cited in the beginning, Said stressed the connections between the Palestinian and Jewish experiences of exile, dispossession, and statelessness. When Zionism initiated and commenced a political project to colonise Palestine, it destroyed Palestinian society and life and created a Jewish state on top of it. The destruction of Jewish life in Europe was dealt with by destroying Palestinian life in Palestine, and thereafter, the Jewish question ceased to be an internal Jewish question and became intertwined with the Palestinian question. To properly name and tackle antisemitism means properly naming and tackling colonial modernity and the settler colonisation of Palestine. Anything short of that is bound to replicate colonial orientalist discourse and perpetuate colonial modernity.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.


  • Mark Muhannad AyyashAssociate Professor of Sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada.Ayyash is the author of A Hermeneutics of Violence (UTP, 2019). He was born and raised in Silwan, Jerusalem, before immigrating to Canada. He is currently writing a book on settler colonial sovereignty.

Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder and Tamar Hager Present Racism in Israeli Academia

27.09.21

Editorial Note

Last week, Prof. Sarab Abu-Rabia Queder, the BGU Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, and Prof. Tamar Hager of Tel-Hai College published a call for papers on “Various shapes of whiteness: A new look at racism and its institutional operation in Israeli academia.”  The field of research is the critical whiteness theory and the settler-colonial paradigm. 

This call charges the Israeli academia of being “a white Jewish and Ashkenazi patriarchal hegemony which is dominated by European culture.” Also arguing that “non-Jewish groups (principally Palestinians) and non-Ashkenazi Jewish groups (such as Mizrahim Jews, of North African and Middle Eastern origin) remain transparent minorities.”

It also states that the “exclusion of minority groups in higher education institutions in Israel manifests in terms of discrimination, gaps, and lack of representation,” the “racial injustice and discrimination in Israeli academic space.” All this, based on “Critical race theory, which developed in the United States, posits that race and color are significant—albeit constructed—concepts.” 

This call for paper states that “processes of racialization and racism occur across a variety of sociological and cultural fields.” Furthermore, “Class, ethnicity, sex, and gender groupings are tagged ‘black’ or ‘white’ by the hegemony,” where “the ‘black’ groups are considered as inferior in the organizational setting.”  Therefore, the Israeli academia is a “blindness of white privilege”, “devaluing the natives” and a “sovereignty of male whiteness.” 

This sounds odd when these two ladies have both received professorships in Israeli universities and one of them is a Bedouin Arab in charge of diversity and inclusion. 

They also add political perspective, that “In Israel, white privilege remains grounded in a settler colonial reality that has been eradicated in most other parts of the world.”  In Israel, “racist practices are not eradicated—safeguarding the power and privilege of those defined as colonial whites.”  

According to the authors, it was expected that universities “would challenge the exclusion of minorities on the basis of class, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.” However, in practice, “Higher education institutions in Israel constitute a unique instance and space, where the “coloniality of knowledge” is controlled by a colonial-racial matrix of power”. The journal will “shed light on the ways in which political structures and policies perpetuate new structures of racial domination, blindness, and superiority in the academic arena.” 

As IAM repeatedly argued, in critical theory research, there is no need for empirical proof, it is enough to cite scholars from the same field. 

The authors invite papers with “historical and contemporary perspectives on policies and practices of racialization, whiteness, racism, and colonialism—such as segregation, tagging, exclusion, normalized power relations (concealed and open)—in Israeli academia” to analyze the “privileges of white and colonial groups holding power.”  

This is not the first time Abu-Rabia-Queder explores the Israeli “racist” academia.  

A 2019 paper, “The paradox of diversity in the Israeli academia: reproducing white Jewishness and national supremacy,” claims that Israeli policies which are designed to promote diversity and provide Ethiopian Jews with opportunities in Israeli institutions of higher learning create a paradox where, rather than diversifying student bodies and faculties in universities, they “bolster the reproduction of national and religious supremacy of white Jews… the racialized cultural indexes on which Israeli society structures its racialized attitudes towards Ethiopian immigrants have not been purged from university campuses.” Instead, Israeli universities, “reinventing Jewish privilege and national exclusivity.”  

Abu-Rabia-Queder reached this conclusion by interviewing 50 Ethiopian female students on their everyday experiences with other students, professors and administration policies on campus. Abu-Rabia-Queder’s article shows how the academic authorities’ measures to diversify the student body and extend unique aid produces notions of the Ethiopian immigrant as “passive victims in need of rescue and compassion.”  The “aid offered by the establishment… still revolve around a white hegemonic core.”  

Abu-Rabia-Queder describes how, “In an attempt to alleviate racism against Ethiopian immigrants in the Israeli society, academic authorities have devised numerous ‘affirmative action’ policies aimed at incorporating youth of Ethiopian origins in larger numbers into institutes of higher learning. A number of programs and various measures whose objective was to promote ‘diversity’ by extending broad-ranging scholarships to anyone of Ethiopian origins, alongside numerous pre-schools and foundations tackling particular issues in their path to higher education actively herd students of Ethiopian origins into separate programs of ‘affirmative action’.” 

For Abu-Rabia-Queder, the universities have failed. 

She cites Sara Ahmed from Goldsmiths University of London, who “claims that universities failed because they did not take… seriously enough to truly promote social justice and change,” when it “secures rather than threatens the ethos of the university.”  

Abu-Rabia-Queder explains, “By institutional racism, I draw on Ahmed’s (2004, 1) definition of ‘the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture or ethnic origins. It can be seen [. . .] in processes, attitudes and behaviors which amount or discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people’. Seeing as institutional racism and white supremacy are unmarked, ‘taking for granted [the] routine privileging of white interests’.”  

Abu-Rabia-Queder’s paper aims to unveil the mechanisms “through which white Jewish privilege and Jewish national exclusivity are reproduced and reinvented in Israeli universities through black women’s bodies.”  

Based on Ahmed’s theory, Abu-Rabia-Queder describes Israeli universities as racists towards Israeli women of Ethiopian descent.  Abu-Rabia-Queder is interested in the Ethiopian women because these are black people, and through them, she would prove Israel is racist. 

In a similar vein, Abu-Rabia-Queder wrote a 2017 paper, arguing that “From an Israeli colonial perception, the Palestinian woman’s body is perceived as a threat that must be destroyed but also controlled. By colonizing Palestinian women’s bodies, Israel thus colonizes the entire Palestinian population.”  

Such “perceptions leave their imprint on the colonized body… by presenting narratives of Palestinian women from the first generation of the Nakba. Palestinian women consider invasion into their land as a metonym for penetrating the female body.” Abu-Rabia-Queder even argues that “To the settler, the figure of the native female functions as a metonym for unending increase and production of land/bodies that impedes settler expansion and is consequently perceived as a surplus body that should be eliminated.”  

By presenting Jews as wanting to destroy and eliminate Palestinians, Abu-Rabia-Queder slides into anti-Semitism.  

Based on interviews of Bedouin women, Abu-Rabia-Queder was, again, eager to present Israelis as racists.  “A psychologist discusses her experiences trying to hide her Arab identity when meeting with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish patient, fearing a racist reaction: ‘There was a case last week of an ultra-Orthodox family. I wasn’t on duty and the father came in to ask a question. As soon as I saw him, I hung up the phone. What if they find out I’m an Arab?'”  

Beyond the Israeli reality, Abu-Rabia-Queder co-authored a 2019 paper titled “Muslim women in the Canadian labor market: Between ethnic exclusion and religious discrimination,” comparing the labor market position of women from Muslim origin in Canada, with that of the majority group of Christian White Canadian women.  The paper considers cultural explanations and the role of discrimination and a human capital deficit.  Language proficiency, length of stay in Canada and qualifications have significantly affected the labor market. However, “by and large, structural inequality, fostered by cultural racism and that based on color, remains the most plausible explanation.” It is likely that “Islamophobia is increasing in Canadian society, and thus, as in other Western societies, these penalties are more likely to be transmitted (to the second generation) from one generation to the next.” The paper “reveals that Muslims are likely to be facing an additional penalty due to their Muslim background, at least in the case of unemployment, which is likely to be associated with the increase of Islamophobia.”  

Arabs charging Western society with unproved Islamophobia absolves a serious discussion on what causes some Muslim women to fail in achieving their goals. Patriarchal society structure comes to mind. 

Examining Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder’s scholarship, it is easy to see the pattern. She does not find cases of proven racism, but rather, the interviewees’ fear of racism is what counts.  

Based on this method, Abu-Rabia-Queder is trying to prove that the Israeli society in general and the Israeli academia, in particular, are racists. She does not provide solid evidence, and instead, with the help of Hager, they publish the call for papers in the hope that evidence will come.  

For years now, IAM has brought to attention the writings of critical, neo-Marxist scholars.   Racial critical theory, an American import, is the latest rage in this circle.  Unburdened from providing evidence of any kind, this new wave of “research” resembles the previous one; an effort to prove that Israel is a congenitally racist society, laden with hard-to-understand jargon and unsupported contentions.  Arguably, in some cases, the authors themselves could be construed as racists. Nevertheless, the political activist scholars, masquerading as academics, leave the taxpayers to pay the bill.

References

https://www.hum-il.com/message/1082810/

קול קורא // למאמרים (כתב עת): צורות שונות של לובן: מבט מחודש על גזענות והפעלתו המוסדית באקדמיה הישראלית ב (סראב אבו-רביעה-קווידר ותמר הגר) [אנגלית] דדליין לתקצירים=30.9.21

פרטים כלליים

סוג הודעה: קולות קוראים

תאריך פרסום: 28-08-2021

מקוון / לא מקוון:

מיקום: .ישראל


דדליין: 30-09-2021

מעניק מלגה/שכר: לא

כרוך בעלות: לא

אקדמיה/קהילה: אקדמיה

קהל יעד: חוקרים/ותתלמידי/ות מחקר

שפות: אנגלית

פקולטות: חינוךמדעי החברהמדעי הרוח

דיסציפלינות: חינוך והוראהסוציולוגיההיסטוריה

מחקר אינטרדיסציפלינרי: ישראל: השכלה גבוההאנטישמיות וגזענותישראל: חברהישראל: עדות, קבוצות, מגזרים

פרטי קשר

raceisraeliacademia@gmail.com — סראב אבו-רביעה-קווידר ותמר הגר

כתובת ההודעה: https://www.hum-il.com/message/1082810/

Various shapes of whiteness A new look at racism and its institutional operation in Israeli academia

Israeli academia is primarily characterized by a white Jewish and Ashkenazi (Jews of European descent) patriarchal hegemony and is dominated by European culture. While the gender composition of Israeli academia has improved in recent years, non-Jewish groups (principally Palestinians) and non-Ashkenazi Jewish groups (such as Mizrahim Jews, of North African and Middle Eastern origin) remain transparent minorities. Israeli academia has begun to open up to hitherto excluded ethnic and religious minority groups, but exclusionary practices and systems of separation and segregation continue to operate towards these groups in hidden oppressive ways.

With respect to the broader academic discourse, the exclusion of minority groups in higher education institutions in Israel manifests in terms of discrimination, gaps, and lack of representation. Although this discourse does identify institutional practices that generate inequality, it ignores what is described elsewhere in terms of racialization and/or racism; this discourse is thus unable to expose the power structures (both hidden and obvious) and justification regimes that support these organizational conducts.

This issue seeks to take a new look at the practices that reproduce racial injustice and discrimination in Israeli academic space by juxtaposing critical race theory, critical whiteness theory, and the settler colonial paradigm.

Critical race theory, which developed in the United States, posits that race and color are significant—albeit constructed—concepts, and that processes of racialization and racism occur across a variety of sociological and cultural fields. Class, ethnicity, sex, and gender groupings are tagged “black” or “white” by the hegemony; however, the “black” groups are considered as inferior in the organizational setting. Critical whiteness theory complements race theory by providing the theoretical concepts that make it possible to observe and examine the social and institutional challenges created by the blindness of white privilege (Delgado & Stefacic, 2013).

In Israel, white privilege remains grounded in a settler colonial reality that has been eradicated in most other parts of the world. Settler colonialism is a project producing a racialized and gendered national identity, normalizing the sovereignty of male whiteness through mechanisms directed toward devaluing the natives (Veracini, 2010). This objective is achieved through practices of biopolitics aimed at the regulation and administration of the population, as individuals and as collectives. These include practices of correction, exclusion, normalization, disciplining, selection, and elimination (Lemke, 2011).

The most prevalent social perception views liberal perspective and policy as a guarantee of cultural progress and the ultimate fulfillment of values such as equality and freedom. In contrast to this, critical race theory, critical whiteness theory, and the settler colonial paradigm emphasize the ways in which liberal governments maintain and perpetuate the privileges accorded to certain groups, and how they disseminate direct types of camouflaged violence, power relations and exclusionary mechanisms towards other groups. According to their approach, policies of blindness to native identity or color, which ostensibly promote neutral and universal equality, should in theory abolish both obvious and symbolic exclusion and racism. But, even when overt racial practices are eliminated, hidden (and more widespread) racist practices are not eradicated—safeguarding the power and privilege of those defined as colonial whites (Crenshaw, 1988; Delgado & Stefancic, 1997; Siegel, 2001)

In recent years, institutions of higher learning have promoted diversity programs, part of the adoption of a neoliberal mindset and policies. Thus, it might be expected that these institutions would challenge the exclusion of minorities on the basis of class, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. However, in practice, the neoliberal diversity discourse makes it possible to disregard complex types of racist and colonial power relations, and obscures exclusionary practices that continue to exist (Abu-Rabia-Queder, 2019). The current issue seeks to thrust these issues to the surface.

Higher education institutions in Israel constitute a unique instance and space, where the “coloniality of knowledge” is controlled by a colonial-racial matrix of power (Quijano, 2007). Analysis of the complex power relations within its confines will shed light on the ways in which political structures and policies perpetuate new structures of racial domination, blindness, and superiority in the academic arena.

For this issue, we invite submissions presenting historical and contemporary perspectives on policies and practices of racialization, whiteness, racism, and colonialism—such as segregation, tagging, exclusion, normalized power relations (concealed and open)—in Israeli academia, and analysis of the mechanisms that perpetuate the privileges of white and colonial groups holding power. We invite the submission of articles that investigate these issues through the categories of race, whiteness, colonialism, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, disability, and the intersections between them.

Issues to be examined and questions posed:

  • How can racialization and whiteness discourse describe power relations in academia?
  • How are racist discourse and white privilege manifested in the organizational space: for example, in academic departments, in curricula, on bulletin boards, in campus activities, in the choice of library books, on campus, and in general?
  • What types of intersectionality can be identified on academic campuses in Israel, and how are these mechanisms of oppression expressed?
  • How does racism feed into a culture of silencing in courses’ syllabi and teaching, and other campus activities?
  • How does accessibility discourse maintain racialization and white privilege?
  • How do whiteness and racism intersect with colonialism and occupation in knowledge production, diversity policy, and selection processes?
  • How does critical race theory assist us in identifying and locating groups who experience intersecting forms of oppression but remain transparent in the academic space?
  • How do whiteness and racialization intersect with decolonialization in Israeli academia?
  • How practices of settler colonialism such as “elimination,” sovereignty, discipline and dehumanization are manifested in higher education institutions in Israel?

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts/Proposal (300-400 words) examining Israeli academia through the theoretical prism that we have presented and responding to one of the above issues or to other relevant issues with a 50-word biography due: September 30th 2021

Acceptances of abstracts made by: October 15th 2021

Accepted and completed papers (70000-8000 words); March 15th, 2022.

Please send inquiries and abstracts to editors at: raceisraeliacademia@gmail.com

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


https://www.academia.edu/41165115/The_paradox_of_diversity_in_the_Israeli_academia_reproducing_white_Jewishness_and_national_supremacy

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Race Ethnicity and Education
ISSN: 1361-3324 (Print) 1470-109X (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cree20
The paradox of diversity in the Israeli academia: reproducing white Jewishness and national supremacy
Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder
To cite this article: Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder (2019): The paradox of diversity in the Israeli
academia: reproducing white Jewishness and national supremacy, Race Ethnicity and Education,
DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2019.1694502
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2019.1694502
Published online: 02 Dec 2019.
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The paradox of diversity in the Israeli academia: reproducing
white Jewishness and national supremacy
Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder
Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel
ABSTRACT
This paper claims that policies designed to promote diversity and
provide Ethiopian Jews with opportunities in Israeli institutions of
higher learning create a paradox where, rather than diversifying student
bodies and faculties in universities, they bolster the reproduction
of national and religious supremacy of white Jews in the Israeli academia.
Interviews with 50 Ethiopian students reveal that the racialized
cultural indexes on which Israeli society structures its racialized attitudes
towards Ethiopian immigrants have not been purged from
university campuses. Instead, I argue, they continue to suffuse and
shape those very programs designed to combat them by reinventing
Jewish privilege and national exclusivity in Israeli universities.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 8 May 2019
Accepted 14 November 2019
KEYWORDS
Racism; black women;
diversity; higher education;
Israel
Introduction
This paper claims that policies designed to promote diversity and provide Ethiopian Jews
with opportunities in Israeli institutions of higher learning create a paradox where, rather
than diversifying student bodies and faculties in universities, they bolster the reproduction
of national and religious supremacy of white Jews in the Israeli academia.
In an attempt to alleviate racism against Ethiopian immigrants in the Israeli society,
academic authorities have devised numerous ‘affirmative action’ policies aimed at incorporating
youth of Ethiopian origins in larger numbers into institutes of higher learning.
A number of programs and various measures whose objective was to promote ‘diversity’
by extending broad-ranging scholarships to anyone of Ethiopian origins, alongside
numerous pre-schools and foundations tackling particular issues in their path to higher
education actively herd students of Ethiopian origins into separate programs of ‘affirmative
action’. However, as this study’s findings will attempt to demonstrate, the racialized
cultural indexes on which Israeli society structured such attitudes towards Ethiopian
immigrants have not been purged from university campuses. Instead, I argue, they
continue to suffuse and shape those very programs designed to combat them. Through
interviews with 50 Ethiopian female students on their everyday experiences with other
students, professors and administration policies on campus, the article shows how
authorities’ measures to diversify the student body and extend unique aid sustain
essentializing notions of identity, and reproduce notions of the Ethiopian immigrant as
passive victims in need of rescue and compassion. Despite the initiatives of incorporation
CONTACT Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder sarab@bgu.ac.il
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION
https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2019.1694502
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
and aid offered by the establishment, liberal campus cultures still revolve around a white
hegemonic core which revalidates its ascendency through a ‘politics of commiseration’
with an essentialized, colored other.
In other words, the paper will discuss how institutional racism replicates itself in the
various arenas of Israeli academy. By institutional racism, I draw on Ahmed’s (2004, 1)
definition of ‘the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and
professional service to people because of their color, culture or ethnic origins. It can be
seen [. . .] in processes, attitudes and behaviors which amount or discrimination through
unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage
minority ethnic people’. Seeing as institutional racism and white supremacy are
unmarked, ‘taking for granted [the] routine privileging of white interests’ (Gillborn 2005,
485), the paper aims to help unveil the rhetorical, political, cultural and social mechanisms
(ibid, 489) through which white Jewish privilege and Jewish national exclusivity are
reproduced and reinvented in Israeli universities through black women’s bodies.
Black Ethiopian women’s positionality locates them at the intersection between forms
of oppression based on race, gender and nationality. Since women’s bodies are central in
the ethnic reproduction of transmitting its cultural artifacts and serve as markers of the
collective boundaries (Anthias and Yuval-Davis 1983, 66), the black woman’s body is
transformed into a racialized signifier in the creation of racial hierarchies as part of the
‘liberal’ mechanisms of justification deployed by the modern establishment. This study,
therefore, focuses particularly on this group of women.
Throughout history, the bodies of black women were seen as deeply pathological, representing
a danger to the politics of the body as defined by white men. The role of this image,
Wekker (2016) argues, was to facilitate racialized hierarchies which justify benign intervention
which reaffirms the liberal character of the establishment. Thus, the self-image of
a liberal, enlightened establishment which ‘rescues’ black women is reproduced, spreading
the white masculine establishment’s fantasy of ‘rescuing’ black women from depredation.
The Politics of Diversity in Institutes of Higher Education: A Critical Review
A majority of the literature on diversity points to the paradoxes inherent to the ethnic
diversification policies. A common argument with regard to diversity in the academia is
intervention in the form of affirmative action strengthens, rather than weakens, racism
and inequality on campus by turning attention away from the continued monopolization
of the expounders and adherents of hegemonic whiteness of the levers of power in the
academy. On the one hand, policies devised by liberal academic institutions portend
larger equality and diversity, but, on the other, they do not challenge misrepresentations
in course syllabi, biases in academic curricula and the limited diversity amongst faculty
and students alike. As a result, the goal of increasing ‘diversity and the promotion of
equality for minorities’ amounts to little more than lip service, whose most indelible
result is the superficial absolution of the institution in question from complicity in
structural inequality and racism and its branding as progressively liberal and morally
upright (Mirza, 2006; Ahmed, 2004).
The turn to ‘diversity’ in western higher educational institutions is, in part, due to
failure in a broader struggle for equality. Ahmed (2007) claims that universities failed
because they did not take the term and its implementation seriously enough to truly
2 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
promote social justice and change and bare its attendant loss of privileges. The adopted
term of ‘diversity’ fits such a gestural commitment to social change, Ahmed writes,
exactly because it ‘secures rather than threatens the ethos of the university’ (ibid, 238).
The discourse of diversity and the premise of affirmative action therefore serve the
white establishment by superficially alleviating racial tensions on campus, allowing the
persistence of the unequal status quo while permitting the spokespersons of the academia
to congratulate it for ‘celebrating diversity’. These implicitly patronizing policies have
far-reaching repercussions on the sense of legitimacy and belonging of students from
underprivileged groups, making them believe that they are accepted only because race/
color ‘quotas’ rather than thanks to their own merit (Crawley, 2006).
Aguirre Jr. Adalberto (2010) argues that the white academic system promotes diversity
and extends more staying opportunities to underprivileged sections of the population
only when, and if, the interests of the academia align with the stated goals of the
diversification agenda. Thus, for instance, prior to extending support to affirmative
action policies, leading institutions put it through a number of preemptive questions:
Is increased diversity a positive thing for the university, given its unique circumstances
and interests? Will increased diversity aggravate or alleviate broader racial and cultural
dissonances between whites and non-whites? Such questions reveal how the agenda of
diversity is cut to size so that it will never contradict the immediate interests of the
dominant group and the institution itself. Such agendas structurally marginalize minority
students and those from underprivileged backgrounds.
As long as the dominant group continues to be the leading factor in setting the
immediate objectives and the constitutive criteria of eligibility in pro-diversity policies,
they will continue to be sources of unstated relationships of dependence and breed an
economy of gratitude. So long as a white-majority commission determines the ostensibly
‘appropriate’ white:nonwhite ratio in an institution’s faculty or student body, the minority
and underprivileged beneficiaries of such programs will be unable to adopt an active
and critical stance regarding current policies. The white majority thus attains a privileged
stance in the instrument through which the diversification of higher education is
managed and discussed.
Another symptom for the entrenchment of hegemonic groups in the academia is the
ruling out of separate programs and curricula for students of ethnicized and racialized
minorities by the claim that they fail to attend to white sensibilities, narratives or
otherwise marginalizes white students wishing to enroll. Multiculturalism, or the commitment
to pluralism, would thus offset such a hypothetical monocultural program,
further entrenching whiteness as the lingua-franca of school curricula and the indispensable
component of appropriately diversified environments. Offering courses for
foreign languages to all students, by contrast, would promote an institution’s broader
interests since such programs are more likely to attract governmental funding for
teaching assistants and external teaching positions than would effecting real change in
the sought capacities in the institute’s permanent faculty.
The paradox is evident, too, in the process of knowledge production. White
Academics are construed in ways that reinforce their intellectual property rights and
set the tone for what knowledge consists of and its trappings. Their biases are legitimated;
those of their ethnicized colleges are ‘ethnic partisanship’, undue and unwelcome in the
academic community. On certain occasions, Mason (2013) argues, promoting diversity is
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 3
taken simply to mean that they must offer more courses on ethnic minorities and ‘speak
correctly’ to avoid offense, rather than restructuring the admissions and faculty recruitment
processes so they are more representative of the heterogeneity of the societies in
which they operate. This is a self-reinforcing circle, Mason (2013) adds, when courses on
minorities are offered by white lecturers, white students feel they are more ‘objective’
than when they are offered by minority faculty members. The institutional practices
preserving White supremacy drowning out minorities’ discourses are thus camouflaged.
Mirza (2006) demonstrates how diversification policies are experienced as not real to
black students, since they are not accompanied by initiatives instilling a sense of belonging
or community but rather communicate that their ‘just being there’ is the point, as if
their sole function was to be pawns in the head counting game of superficial diversity.
Sara Ahmed likewise argues that diversity became ‘technologies of concealment in the
unfinished work of racism’ (Ahmed, 2004: 8). To her, ‘diversity work’ is an unfinished
project in higher education, because it currently is ‘cut off from histories of struggle
which expose inequalities’ (Ahmed, 2004: 19) and reinserted into a context of white
benevolence, however implicit. She also addresses what she calls ‘a gap’ between the
language of diversity and the performance of diversity (Ahmed, 2007). Most academic
institutions brand themselves ‘diversity led’ organizations, she writes, but how does one
‘do’ diversity?
Glyn Hughes (2013: 126), too, determined that ‘diversity and social justice efforts often
reproduce rather than challenge systemic inequities.’ He poses that the term ‘diversity’
itself is part of the problem, used variably as it is to refer to racial differences, people of
color, the totality of human differences, the array of niche demographic markets, or the
way those differences shape patterns of social inequity.
The present study joins, then, these former contributions in examining the diversity
paradox in Israel, based on the experiences of female Ethiopian students in higher
education institutions across the country. Through broadening the repertoire of diversity
paradoxes, arguing it is not necessarily a phenotype-based index of descending privilege
but a hierarchization rooted in a moral economy of compassion and benevolence
mediated through signifiers of nationality and religion, I seek to expand our understanding
of other modes of racialization.
Ethiopian Jews in Israel: data and history
As of 2017, some 149 thousand Jewish citizens of Ethiopian origins reside in the State of
Israel, 41% of whom were born in Ethiopia (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics 2018).
While a majority of existing literature on African émigrés speaks of European destination
countries forced to accept refugees fleeing war, persecution and insurmountable economic
hardship in their home countries, the Jewish Ethiopian case is unique in the
literature due to the destination country’s involvement in the migratory process and the
émigrés’ premeditated and longstanding desire to immigrate there, thereby making their
‘Aliyah1’ based on the Zionist narrative of the ‘ingathering of the exiles’2 in the Holy Land
(Lamont et al. 2016, 269).
From the Zionist-Israeli perspective, however, Ethiopian Jews were not always considered
a Jewish diaspora due to the orthodox Jewish establishment’s skepticism towards
their Judaism. The state of Israel has therefore reneged on its responsibility to facilitate
4 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
their Aliyah. Only after the passing of the 3379 UN resolution in 1975 which equated
Zionism with racism, did the Israeli government hasten the Aliyah of Ethiopia’s Jews,
culminating on 1984’s ‘Operation Moses’ (Tenenbaum 2013). Conceptualizing Israel as
a settler colonial state, most critical scholars point to the paradoxical ideology at work in
the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel: on the one hand, they are often treated as
‘settlers of color3’, passive pawns brought to Israel as part of Judaizing Palestine in order
to restrain the demographic balance and the increasing of the Arab body. On the other,
dissociation and contempt dominated the representation of the black body as ‘other’,
suffusing exclusionary practices of echoing the grammar of white supremacy to the
exclusion of the Ethiopians from the Israeli national collective through questioning
their Judaism and interpolating them through images of inferiority and dependence
through processes of racialization and criminalization (Yacobi 2015, 20).
Racism directed against Ethiopian Jews in Israel is expressed in two main forms
(differentiated here only in the interest of an analytical dissection): institutional and
everyday racism. Institutional racism begins with the patronizing working assumption of
the Israeli bureaucracy that those who immigrate from ostensibly ‘third world countries’
are inherently unable to master their fates in their new countries and is expressed in
myriad ways: requisite changing of first names of immigrant children to ‘Israeli’ names;
separation of children from their parents and sending them to designated boarding
schools, primarily religious, where little regard was paid to their individual needs and
wishes and were instead trained for blue-collar jobs (Ben-Eliezer 2008; Walsh & Tuval-
Mashiach, 2012).
The absorption of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel was derived, to a large extent, on
a modernizing mindset that underscored enormous cultural gaps between the two countries,
arguing that, in moving from a primitive agrarian setting in Ethiopia to a white, modern and
urban environment in Israel, the immigrants would have to adapt dramatically. To help them
make up for so much, the argument went, the state must pitch in with a structured integration
mechanism which would ‘de-socialize’ and ‘re-socialize’ the immigrants (see, for instance,
Kedar 2012). This approach dictated an integration policy based on far-reaching, often
explicitly patronizing interferences in their lives, one of whose harshest expressions was the
mass relocation of immigrants to designated ‘absorption centers’. Although these centers
were originally supposed to provide a temporary housing solution to the influx of Ethiopian
immigrants, to many they became permanent homes in a process of ‘ghettoization’ of the
immigrants which perpetuated their dependence on government power-brokers and rapidly
transformed the centers into crime-ridden and poverty-stricken quarters segregated from
adjacent residential areas (Herzog 1993; Kaplan and Rosen 1994; Chehata 2012).
Some focal moments have burned themselves into the collective memory of Ethiopian
Jews as signifying the history of institutional racism against them. As soon as they began
arriving in Israel, governmental and rabbinical factors expressed doubts regarding the validity
of their Judaism, leading to lengthy deliberative processes that paused all Aliyah and forced
thousands to wait indefinitely in transit camps for immigration permits. The persistent
discreditation of their religious convictions and affiliations by their coreligionists in Israel
led to initiatives during the late 1970s and 1980s to forcibly proselytize them in ceremonies
including ceremonial baptisms by immersing in Mikvehs, public attestations of their accepting
the yoke of Orthodox rabbinical law and, for men of all ages, circumcision (Kaplan and
Rosen 1994). Although these initiatives were finally curtailed, following the wide
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 5
condemnation and resistance they engendered, they were a watershed moment in the
relationship between the Israeli establishment and Ethiopian Jews. This was made worse by
the fact that Russian-speaking immigrants from the former USSR, who flooded Israel during
the early 1990s, were not subjected to any commensurable ‘initiation’ ceremony into the
Israeli-Jewish collective, despite the fact that their personal documents proved some 30% of
them were not Jewish by Halakhic law (Jewish religious law) (Ben-Eliezer 2008).
Another watershed moment in the history of institutionalized racism against Ethiopians
in Israel is popularly known as the ‘blood donations affair’. In 1996, journalists revealed
that, for years, public hospitals in Israel unofficially threw out blood donations from
Ethiopian donors out of unfounded fears that it might be HIV positive. The revelations
set new lows in the relationship between the Ethiopian immigrants to the Israeli establishment,
prompting spontaneous rage and protest demonstrations across the country. Despite
the public outcry, similar revelations were made 10 years later, in 2006, once again uniting
an otherwise diffuse immigrant community in outrage (Chehata 2012). The blood donations
affair of 1996marked a pivotal moment in discourses on race and racismin Israel. The
fact that the issue revolved around differentiation in a physical unchangeable and, indeed,
hideously loaded factor such as blood strengthened the notion that ‘colorblind’ discrimination
has been little more than a cultural-veneer for scientific racism. In academic circles, the
terms ‘race’ and ‘racism’, by and large considered taboo in the intra-Israeli context, had
reemerged in the discussion of Ethiopian Jews in Israel (Salamon 2003).
Over the last years, second-generation Ethiopian immigrants lead new waves of public
protests against institutionalized racism against the community following a proliferation of
incidents of extreme police brutality and fatal shootings against youngsters (Kobovich 2014).
These younger generation activists also attest more loudly and clearly to experiencing everyday
racism, as well. More than their parents ever were, they are more interconnected into
society, many have spent years in boarding schools or other ‘integrationist’ institutions and
have reported having to cope with a grinding array of routine racism in representations,
discourses by their teachers and guides, microaggressions in everyday exchanges with peers
and strangers, all contributing to an overwhelming sense of marginalization, disaffection and
powerlessness. Such microaggressions are reported in almost all aspects of everyday life in
Israel: white Israelis not wanting to sit next to them in the bus, shake their hand, or hire them
to jobs; ‘white flights’ from residential areas, schools, synagogues; categorical denial of
admission to night clubs and dance bars; in unwontedly aggressive behavior by service
providers and police officers (Ben-Eliezer 2008). The number of indictments of Ethiopian
Jews in 2015 was highly disproportionate, twice that of the nationwide rates (3.5%), with
indictments against minors four times as high (8.5%) (Ministry of Justice 2016).
Of the omnipresent difficulties and failures of the absorption policies, Ethiopian
immigrants have been subjected to in Israel one may learn from their long-term socioeconomic
results. Thirty-five percent of Ethiopian Jewish households are under the
official Israeli poverty line compared to 22% nationwide (according to 2013 data).
Although the number of children enlisted in public schools is high and the number of
high-school drop-outs remains low (2% in 2015) compared to nationwide high-school
drop-outs in Israel (2.2%) (Rabinovits 2017, 15, table 8), but those who matriculate with
high-school diplomas sufficient to facilitate higher-education learning amounts to only
a third of all Ethiopian high-school students compared to 52% nationwide (12).
6 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, in the 2016–2017 academic year
some 3194 Ethiopian Jews were enlisted in institutions of higher learning, amounting to
some 1.2% of all students. Only 8% of males acquired higher degrees compared to
a higher 22% of females, which is still considerably lower than the nationwide rate of
Jewish females acquiring higher education (43%) (Fox and Friedman 2017, 5, Table 2).
As of 2017, Ethiopian Jews without college degrees are overrepresented in low-paying
job sectors such as human resources agencies, maintenance, retailing, food production,
and textiles. In the retailing sector, non-college educated Ethiopian Jews earn 79% of the
overall median income in that sector, compared to college-educated Ethiopian Jews whose
average income amounts to only 47% of the median income rates in their respective
sectors (Fox & Wilson, 2017). Salaries of non-college educated Ethiopian women are by
and large the lowest of white-collar jobs: production, communications, computer programming,
architecture, scientific research and development, advertising, vehicle sales,
and publishing. For instance, in the communications sector, Ethiopian women average
66% of the median income, and 41% of male median income (Israel Central Bureau of
Statistics 2017)
Methodology
The study relies on critical race methodology that is crucial in understanding various
ways of racism. Critical race methodology challenges the hegemonic ideology towards
minorities or people of color by exploring the hidden mechanisms of racism experienced
by them. In this paper (Lynn & Parker, 2009), exploring Ethiopian female student’s
experience in Israeli academy challenges the human liberal approach of higher education
as meritocratic, liberal, and color-neutral institute. Relying on narrative as a method
exposes the everyday racism and turn it into overt (Yosso and Solorzano 2009).
As such, this study adopts a qualitative approach, focusing on narrative research that
addresses meaning as part of the participant’s life story. The narrative research characterizes
each person as someone who creates stories concerning his or her identity,
focusing on the participant’s interpretation of his or her life (Bertux and Kohli 1984).
In-depth narrative interviews were held with 50 Ethiopian women students from the
various academic institutes in Israel. Interviews were held in two sessions, seeking to
obtain a rich narrative concerning different aspects of the participants’ academic experience
(Denzin and Lincoln 1994). The interviews employed two methods found to be
mutually complementary: Rosenthal’s (1994) open-ended question producing a narrative
life story, followed by semi-structured questions.
Interviewees
All 50 participants recruited by a research assistant from the various academic institutions
in Israel. Aged between 24 and 36, most respondents are single, a slim minority
married. Twenty respondents were born abroad, 30 born in Israel. Thirty-five study in
Israeli public universities and 15 in collages.
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 7
Analysis of the interviews
The analysis of the data followed the grounded theory procedure of Strauss and Corbin
(1998) of open, axial and selective coding. The researcher initially read through the data
several times and took notes to determine patterns and regularities. The data then coded
into derived categories and subcategories.
Findings
Narratives of the participants point to the paradox of diversity and affirmative action
employed in Israeli academia toward Ethiopian Jewish students. Thus, the academia is
‘over’ helping and ‘saving’ on one hand; on the other, this policy is ‘emptied’ by the
constant racism experienced by these students in the various arenas of the academia, as
this part shows.
The paradox of ‘the politics of rescue’: celebrating academic morality
The interviewees speak of a situation in which the academic establishment is interested in
aiding the Ethiopian population and facilitate its access to the academia through extensive
full-funding scholarships to Ethiopian candidates, but also describes how this
‘generosity’ stigmatizes its recipients, and the Ethiopian population as a whole, as
dependent. As Herzog claimed (1993, 264), the inherent problem of affirmative action
is that it strengthens the group’s boundaries rather than dissolves them and fuels stigmas
about them, essentially that ‘Ethiopians’ cannot compete on the basis of merit. This is
echoed on Shoshana:
I won’t say no to funding. But to me it’s kind of another nail in our coffin. Makes us more
and more dependent. And you’re always getting stuff: in the army you’ll get a special course
to help you out, in the university they’d give you extra courses. It’s as if they never let you go,
never let you actually compete for anything. It’s also important to make the distinction
between Ethiopians who immigrated during the 90’s and the 2000’s. Because it really is two
entirely different stories. But the issue is, as far as the government is concerned, I’m basically
still a newly-arrived immigrant [Ola Khadasha]. There’s one definition to every immigrant
in Israel, and then there’s one for an Ethiopian immigrant. An Ethiopian immigrant is
anyone whose parents were born in Ethiopia. That’s to say that my child, when and whether
they’ll be born [in Israel], would still be labelled as ‘newly arrived’. And to me it’s very
disturbing to think that I’ll have a child who’ll be eligible from birth to benefits of a newlyarrived
immigrant, when he really isn’t one, never immigrated anywhere.
This extension of such lavish aid to black women effectively robs them of credit for their
achievements, their success is always seen as derived from the aid they have been given, as
Rachel tells:
If I pass something it’s because they’re doing me a favor and I’m Ethiopian. And that’s
kind of disappointing. It’s like it’s not an empowering experience. There’s no question
of forgetting . . . that the academy counts it to its own benefit, the place I am at right
now.
Mirza (2006) found that black women feel that they must be accountable to the establishment
which sponsored them. This feeling of accountability, of being beholden to
8 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
generous benefactors, is especially rampant when full funding is extended, as is usually
the case with Ethiopian students, as Miriam recounts:
I do think it preserves [a relationship of dependence, S.A.Q], but I really don’t know if it’s
possible otherwise. I don’t know how . . . I don’t see how these studies could be funded
without this help. But it’s obvious to me that it does preserve, and that there are so many
wrong things that need to be corrected.
At the same time, however, some students are willing to bear the price in order to get the
funding, as Hanna narrates:
There are those who make sure to present us as . . . the image of the African child with a fly
on his face. I know it’s cynical exploitation, but I play along because I don’t have much of
a choice, I want to go places and I can use it. Like its something very demeaning but there’s
little choice. To work while I study is impossible.
The politics of rescue, structured on the otherness and inferiority of the Ethiopian
(Yacobi 2015, 20) allows the Israeli academic establishment to take a moral high ground.
Its role in ‘saving’ Ethiopian students thus make it a socially redemptive space and
provides the moral justification for the policies designed to ‘integrate’ the Ethiopians.
All the while, as the interviewees attest, the academic establishment traffics in stereotypical
images of abject third-world poverty in the interest of raising donations for the
institution. This allows the institution to ‘celebrate its morality’, as Mirza (2006, 103)
aptly noted:
It would appear that black women are highly ‘visible’ when their bodies help higher
education institutions achieve their wider moral and ethical goals and help them appeal to
a wider global market. But this is not a true representation of equality. It is a notion of
diversity that is skin-deep . . . Black women often find themselves appropriated, their bodies
objectified and commodified for ‘the “desiring machine” of capital’.
One of the expressions of the commodification of the black body in service of the
‘desiring machine’ of capital is the appropriation of the personal story of the ‘needy’
Ethiopian for an aggregated collective. Ofra recalls:
I did that trip to Ethiopia. And then the organizer calls me and asks me if I want to share my
experience . . . if I had, what did he call it, if I had an ‘anecdote’ from my Alyiah. And I’m
like, ‘It’s hard to believe you feel you can just call me. You don’t know me . . . ask me to come
share my private story with 30 people. I mean why ever call it my story? It’s so commercialized
now anyway . . . I just think I shouldn’t be going around, selling my story to everyone
. . . I’ll decide whether to tell my story or not. I’ll choose whether to connect it to the
group or not. But his decision to see an Ethiopian name on the list and say ‘Hmm! . . . that’s
interesting! She could tell us her story!’ made me really angry.
The paradox of ethnic non-diversity
Being the first generation of women to study in the academy, their representations in
universities are still low compared to the general population, sometimes amounting to
a single woman in an entire division. How does the lack of ethnic diversity and of ethnic
representation affect the experiences of the racialization of students from Ethiopian
origins? And how does it play into the establishment-led status quo?
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 9
The acute scarcity of Ethiopian women in the university faculty is cause for endemic
introspection whether they owe their admissions to their merit or due to the establishment’s
unofficial ‘quotas’ necessary to tick the diversity box, or, in the words of Sara, to
‘color’ the department:
I’m always a bit suspicious of people who really like me only because I’m Ethiopian. I mean,
obviously I believe in my abilities but sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’m Ethiopian,
I mean, so they’ll have a few, so they’ll have a little ‘color’ in the department.
The threshold of representation and ethnic diversity of the Ethiopian population in the
academic establishment is what would complement the liberal façade of the institution
and its departments, rather than ensuring that the student body is proportional to the
various sectors of the population, as explains Ruti:
Even in an honors program, if you have twenty Ethiopian guys who’re excellent, they won’t
admit twenty . . . it is very plausible that some institutions would accept Ethiopians and
who’re not racist, but clearly, like, theoretically, that if you have 40 people who could be
admitted to the same institution – they won’t give them to that institution despite the fact
that there are institutions where there aren’t any Ethiopians whatsoever. Get the drift?
Edna adds:
This is what happens a lot of the time. We’re not seen as individuals, but as an aggregated whole.
One is enough, or two are. Maybe ten. It doesn’tmatter. The idea should be that if you’re good,
you get accepted, regardless of what you are. And that is what’s wrong a lot of the times.
Crawley (2006) shows in this regard that the policy of ethnic diversity in higher education
institutions contents itself with minimal representation, therefore making representation
a façade masking the persistent interest of retaining white privilege in the academy. Mirza
(2006) argues that diversity is often construed as just ‘being present’, as a token presence
of minorities, regardless of any broader agendas of justice or ensuring an equal representation
of the population. Numerical lack of diversity creates a feeling of invisibility, as
Rona describes:
There’s a feeling of being invisible. I felt in my first year, I remember, how it felt everyone
were talking, even that they don’t know each other, and I felt I was sort of like a pink
elephant in the room.
Infrequent presence creates an experience of the ‘burden of representation’, i.e. a collective
gaze unto the student that equates her with her ethnic affiliations, as Telma explains:
You’re the only student in your department. Raise such a subject when you don’t have
support a lot of times. No one really understands you, no matter what you say. Sure, they’ll
empathize with you, but no one will really understand you, so you don’t want to carry that
burden alone. And it’s bearing a whole issue, a whole community, because you’re the
representative. Every trifle you say, people around you take it as if it is the authentic voice
of your people.
Between ‘out of place’ and ‘in place’: denial of academic merit
Wekker (2016, 47) notes: ‘securing white superiority . . . requires automatically assigning
blacks to lower-class status’. Being black in the colonial archive means to be inferior in
10 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
the racial ladder. This inferiority has been created and recreated by whites as part of
generating a natural order (ibid, 74) and an essential inferior category. Thus, any
deviation from this inferior category is perceived by whites as being ‘out of place’.
Preserving the inferior status of Ethiopian students also goes through not recognizing
their academic abilities by their automatic herding into separate programs intended for
underprivileged students. In practice, a labeling process is created whereby anyone of
Ethiopian origins is marked regardless of their respective capabilities in the interest of
keeping them ‘in their place’, namely their inferiority in the power matrix of academia.
Thus, attests Mira:
One of the first significant times I realized that my background matters. In the academia you
expect there will be equality and that one’s background won’t matter. You have good grades,
then why should there be any question, you either meet the requirements or you don’t . . .
I remember one meeting with this advisor to Ethiopian students, she tells me ‘Listen, there’s this
program for Ethiopian students in Bar Ilan university, why don’t you try it out.’ I triedasking her
why. Why should I go to an ‘Ethiopian students’ program’ in Bar Ilan if I have the grades to try to
gain admissions to Tel-Aviv. She doesn’t think I’ll get in. I said no. I’m not enrolling in another
university. I have no money, I paid 600 Shekels here, I’mgoing to study. I didn’t understandwhy
they were referring me to the Ethiopians’ program. Couldn’tmake any sense of it. Second degree
again, another advisor for Ethiopian Affairs tells me ‘I don’t think you’re ready, I don’t think
you’re ripe’. Couldn’t see why they kept holding me back. Made me angry. On the other hand,
that’s how I break down doors. So, like, the first time around I understood there’s an issue here.
All that B-S they sold me allmy life, work hard, get a degree, get a good job – it isn’t that simple. It
doesn’t erase the color of your skin. You will not categorize me.
To the white gaze, the presence of Ethiopian students’ black body in the university is
almost automatically associated with staff performing menial tasks, as Keso recalls:
I remember two of my friends asked me, told me ‘Listen, there was a group here who
thought we’re cleaning ladies.’ I was shocked.
Another aspect of racist commends is revealed when Ethiopian students receive astonished
responses for their being bright, meaning their exit from the inferior class, or, to
commentators, being out of place, as Tami illustrates:
I always hate it when people tell me I speak in a high register. “Wow, how impressive! You
speak really well.” I get that a lot. “You’re so articulate!”. All the time. And it’s just
horrifying.
Their labelling as occupying an inferior place is done through numerous everyday micro
gestures of marking by professors and students, and, most forcibly, by the class curricula,
as Dorit explains:
They always throw Ethiopians and Arabs into the same category. When you see studies
about, like, where Ethiopians are in terms of education, schooling, crime rates. And they
show data.
Amit similarly says,
She [a White lecturer] says, “that’s Blacks. They’re more violent.” And I’m the only
Ethiopian in class. So I kind of look at her . . . tell her, “Let’s not talk about it so detachedly.
Let’s talk about me, here. When you say ‘Blacks’, I think you’re generalizing about me, too.”
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 11
The labelling of the Ethiopian group as a perpetual failure, or an underclass in the
literature extends to the subjecting of Ethiopian students to demeaning categories, ones
of whom expectations are never high, as Nurit explains:
We’re labelled for her [the professor] as the weakest group, forget about it! That’s what’s
been going on throughout the semester, no matter how hard you try, you’re already
labelled. And it pissed me off, because we really worked our asses off, even more than
other groups.
Studies (e.g. Wekker 2016) show that ignoring status, class or professional capital is
defined as a racist practice, as it reflects an a priori assumption that Ethiopian women are
out of place. This assumption manifests the lack of recognition imprinted in the colonial
archive, perceiving Ethiopian women through the essential category of inferiority according
to the ‘natural order’.
The struggle against their label as out of place is expressed in their attempt to overcompensate,
to work harder and be recognized as brighter than everyone else in hopes of
breaking the racial stereotype. To Yafa, it means:
Being always at the top, being the most witty, sharpest, most on-point, like with answers up
your sleeve, to know as much as possible because you’ll always be asked the questions . . .
I really don’t want to be in the representation trap but you fall into it in a second.
Rina adds:
I don’t want my successes to be ‘the first Ethiopian’ . . . and I don’t want my shortcomings to
be ascribed to that, either. Because I’m Ethiopian, I came from a bad place.
In her study, Wildhagen (2015) argued that the designation of ‘first-generation’ collage
students by the academic institution classifies them as separate from the ‘typical’ college
student and thus grounds views by their peers and professors that they are deficient both
academically and culturally.
‘Apartheid of knowledge’: securing white Jewishness
“Apartheid of knowledge’’ is defined according to Bernal and Villalpando (2002) as the
separation of knowledges that occurs in the American higher education context. For
many years, the knowledge of blacks as inferior created by white hegemony.
The production of hegemonic knowledge in the Academia is inseparable from white
privilege and hegemony. That is to say that hegemony of white privilege is crucial to
legitimating knowledge as ‘correct’ and its current producers as the natural candidates for
the creation and dissemination of knowledge. White privilege is implicit, manifest and
legitimate. Therefore, the knowledge, values, and standards enshrined and promoted by
whites are essential ‘objective’ in the academic field whereas non-whites are ever tainted by
suspicions of bias, whether succumbed to or eventually overcome. The wells of white
experience are everlasting sources for the knowledge industry; those of blacks are apprehensively
brought as counterpoints, inversions or colorful additions to the mainstay (Ibid, 107).
In the Israeli case, as well, women experience the apartheid of knowledge. Thus, for
instance, a white lecturer ventures her explanation as to what black feminism is, without
12 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
bringing into account the experiences of her Black student of Ethiopian origins. So tells
us Gili:
It is clear to me that my feminism is different from hers [the white professor, S.A.Q.] But she
thinks she knows more than me. She’s already learned these things, and offers . . . offers to
use it in my benefit, supposedly. It doesn’t help me. She comes and tells me what black
feminism is all about. And I’m like, “Ok, I get that you’ve learned about it, and read articles
about it but let me express myself the way I am right now. Or in general, how I cope with
things.” I mean the issue is how I respond to her on level she’ll understand that she doesn’t
understand me just because she’s read bell hooks.
In the Israeli case, we see that the struggle over controlling dominant knowledge is not only
relevant to creating categories of cultural white superiority and of black inferiority, but
there is also a specific context here of the Jewish category, where Judaismis appropriated by
whites through the production of knowledge in the academia. Thus, explains Klara:
What is astounding to see is how the white, western culture, for at least a thousand years, but
let’s focus on the last six hundred years, really like ties itself to antiquity, to Greece and Rome,
how it celebrates it and tries to insert itself into it. Because there’s some kind of ascendancy
because, like, they were at the top. But then you look and see that they, like you see the bias
(strikes table with her hand) itself in the research. How. Don’t. They. Talk. About. Ethiopia!?
Again, Ethiopia. Not even Africa. Ethiopia. Which, in the Iliad, which is Homer’s earliest text,
he, too uses the word ‘Ethiopos’. Ethiopians. The word, it comes from there. It turns out
Ethiopia was a nation highly valued by the Greek. (dolefully) No one even talks about it.
Because I found who I want to study. I want to study Tamra Temanuel. He’s a Jewish figure.
He was in contact with theHaskalah movement, the Jewish Enlightenmentmovement. He was
part of it and its exactly that. This exactly is that place that allows us to deal with things that
people don’t want to deal with, or don’t interest anybody, or are silenced in an attempt to form
our cognition this way or that. They like saying (angrily) that the Ethiopian Jewry was isolated!
But here, it wasn’t cut off! It’s not true! The Ethiopian Jewry had ties to the Jewish diaspora.
For this student, as Giroux (2000, 494) claims, curriculums, which represents only
dominant culture in society, are also ‘pedagogical resources to rewrite the possibilities
for new narratives, identities, and cultural spaces’.
‘Blind love’: securing national-liberal superiority
The day-to-day encounters of Ethiopian students with white students in Institutions for
higher learning in Israel are often marked by the latter’s professed adoration or blind love to
anything Ethiopian. This over-familiarity is explained by Yacobi (2015) as a white passion to
discover and decipher the fantasy of Ethiopian culture rather than an earnest interest in them.
In the Academia, however, the Ashkenazi white student’s adoration is also a testament of his
liberalism, his class, and his occupation as an academic person. Sima relates:
Because academics so often wave their banners of liberalism, so you know they really love Arabs,
you know? Love Arabs and hate Mizrahim. Love refugees, eager to help. I think it does them
good, because, it underscores their superiority over the other. A sort of paternalism, like. “I’m
lord here, but I accept everyone equally, love . . . ” it’s worst with Ashkenazim. But I think most
pronounced is a feeling of superiority. So they don’t know that, but I thinksub-consciously, I also
have this professor; say, when she addresses an Arabic student in her class, she starts talking a bit
more slowly, starts gesturing a lot, like “Do you understand? Sure?”. Things like that. So it’s
particularly visible in the academia, as sort of, yeah, liberal racism.
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 13
Olzi recounts:
I particularly felt this with a friend of mine. He always seemed to have a need to talk to me
about Ethiopia, about Ethiopians and about food. Its like our relationship was based on my
ethnicity. There’s lots of fascination, you know? Lots of fascination. because Ethiopians are
usually nice, so that seems to me the issue, like, they’re really, really nice people, and they
have an amazing culture. Doesn’t know anything about the culture, but it is undoubtedly
“Amazing” to him. To me that’s also racism. Its like being overly nice, unjustifiably so. Its
also something I found to be a symptom of liberal racism.
Yacobi (2015) explained that this encounter reaffirms the gazer’s western position without
meeting his moral infrastructure ‘it carries him away from bearing responsibility for
the colonial oppression and provides the narcissistic indulgence of expressing a critical
stance without remorse’ (ibid, 84). A complementary aspect to this may be white
colonials’ desire to discover the other’s primitivity. The objectification of this primitivity
and its commercialization provide the basis for an ostensibly ‘extraordinary’ encounter
which invariably lends a sense of empowerment and control. This feeling of control is
essential to the setting of national and territorial boundaries to the public in Israel.
Adulation to Ethiopians can conversely be construed as a self-absolution of the charge of
racism, with this anti-racism providing ‘a new discourse of white pride’ (Ahmed 2004, 4).
Discussion
Narratives of Jewish Ethiopian students in the Israeli academy reveal the paradoxical nature
of the diversity agenda led by a number of higher education institutions. The cultural archive
of the Israeli society and the institutional racism on the basis of color, religion, and nationality
continue to seep into the academia on two additional levels, the meso and micro, producing
an ‘expanded multilevel framework’ of institutional racism (see Coretta 2011).
This framework explains institutional racism as a racialization that takes place at the
micro, meso and macro levels. The macro racialization level includes the structural forces
that determine material conditions which ‘provide a frame through which institutional
processes and practices at the meso level are enacted’ (ibid, 177). Those are implemented
by individuals (micro) that are constrained or enabled by structural forces as well. The
meso level includes the socio-economic disadvantage, political, media and popular
discourses dressing race\ethnicity, all which ‘contribute to the common sense understanding
of social life, which inform processes of the micro-level racialization’ (ibid, 177).
Drawing from this model, the paper shows that despite diversity policy suggested at
the macro institutional level, it is not sufficient enough by its own to reduce racism at the
meso (i.g, curriculum, financial support) and micro levels (daily interactions with
professors, colleagues, and white students). Even when universities at the meso level
try to enhance the socio-economic situation of Ethiopian students by scholarship for all,
it does not minimize racialized interactions at the micro-level, which is still influenced by
the inferior representation of Ethiopian women.
Findings here reveal that the practice of diversification is, in fact, a form of lip-service
which fell short of fully instituting diversity. As a result, in other words, the diversification
policy did not change the daily forms of racism experienced by Ethiopian students
from their teachers and their peers (micro) and did not alter their exclusion from the
14 S. ABU-RABIA-QUEDER
curricula (meso). The paradox of diversity raises the ‘racial grammar’ of inequality in the
Israeli academia, revealing a deep structure of inequality in thought and affect based on
race at the heart of the Israeli archive and is sustained by actors of all academic levels.
This racial order is imprinted onto the history and institutional structure of the state
(Martinez, LaBennet, and Pulido 2012).
The intersection of the experience of racialization on the macro, micro, and meso levels
label Judaism and Israeli nationalism as the patrimony of white Jews only. Its white
supremacy also furnishes moral ascendancy and liberal supremacy over the abject
Ethiopian woman. This preservation draws the limits and creeds of the national collective –
the Jew as white, hegemonic and morally superior to marginal groups and minorities. The
sense of moral superiority which bred by the homogenic diversity policy is important and
significant in sustaining the nation through a strategic instillation of shame and pride, as
Ahmed writes, ‘the ideal image of the nation, which is based on some bodies and not on
others, is sustained through this very conversion of shame and pride’ (2004, 3).
In the Israeli context, the diversity policy creates a sense of high moralism amongst the
white protagonists of the Israeli academy, forming the national identity as essentially moral,
or as Ahmed put it: ‘to assert our identity as a nation’, since ‘shame makes the nation in the
witnessing of past injustice. It allows the nation to feel better or even to feel good’ (Ibid, 3).
In celebrating the Establishment’s moral constitution and its white Jewishness, the category
of racialization develops, molding into different forms according to the political and
social objectives the establishment designates and the forces operating within it (Martinez,
LaBennet, and Pulido 2012) on all levels. For instance, in order to keep with its moral
ascendancy, racialization takes the form of ‘rescue’ (macro), ‘blind love’ (micro) and ‘apartheid
of knowledge’ (in preserving the ascendancy of white Jewishness in the meso level).
The different expressions of this category form the various definitions of Ethiopian
students in the academia, and this depends on the manner in which their shifting definitions
serve the interests of the academic establishment. In order to celebrate its morality, the
establishment depends not only on forming ever new categories of ‘need’ (otherness, invisibility,
and inferiority) associated with being Ethiopian but also on the categories of ‘representativeness’
(visibility/prominence). These categories are interchangeable in the macro,
micro, and meso levels according to the establishments’ needs. Thus, for instance, the separate
programs for Ethiopians (macro), the extensive scholarships (meso) and the exclusionary
curricula (meso) place them in the category of persons ‘in need’ or as ‘others’, assisting the
preservation of moral ascendancy of the establishment and its self-image as a force for good.
This labelling, according to Crawley (2006, 107) is ‘threatening and as necessary. Their
strangeness is threatening in relation to how social order is perceived, and it is necessary
in order to provide boundaries to what is considered to be normal’. This category
switches in their transformation into ‘representatives’, for instance, through the practice
of commercializing their bodies in pursuit of a diverse façade alongside their minimal
representation in departments’ faculties (‘color in the department’). However, the criteria
of visibility and representation are themselves put in service of the establishment. For,
according to Ahmed, ‘standing out can invoke deep feelings of need, rejection and
anxiety within the “white other”’ (Ahmed 2004). All these help the academic institution
celebrate its morality, which is an important part of the reaffirmation of the exclusion of
Ethiopians from the national collective and white Jewishness.
RACE ETHNICITY AND EDUCATION 15
In the Israeli context, national and religious ascendancy plays an important role in
preserving the normative order through a juggling of visibility and invisibility, presenting
the Ethiopian students once as abject women in need of donations and once as exemplary
entrepreneurs to be celebrated.
Notes
1. Zionist movement placed Aliyah (Emigration of Jews from Europe to Palestine) as one of its
primary goals, a priority that stands at the heart of the Law of Return, amongst the first laws
to be legislated in the State of Israel, that determines that the Aliyah of Jews to the state does
not constitute immigration but rather a realization of a Jewish birthright to return to their
homeland (Fikar 1999, 338).
2. The melting pot was an integration policy led by early Israeli governments aimed at
achieving the ‘ingathering of the Exiles’, one of the primary goals of early Israeli statehood
that stipulated the social, economic and cultural absorption of immigrants and their full
integration with the veteran Jewish population from the mandatory era.
3. Settlers of color is a term aims to ‘highlight how non-indigenous people of color are set up (by
settler colonial states) to take part in the politics of genocide regardless of their intentions or
historical circumstances, because their displacement into indigenous lands simultaneously
erases indigenous people who previously occupied these lands’ (Smith 2012, 80–81).
Acknowledgments
I thank the ministry of science, technology & space for funding this research between 2014-2017.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.
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https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0011392117742432
https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392117742432
Current Sociology 2019, Vol. 67(1) 141–158
© The Author(s) 2017
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DOI: 10.1177/0011392117742432
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CS
The biopolitics of declassing
Palestinian professional
women in a settler-colonial
context
Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder
Bluastein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Abstract
This article argues that the biopolitics of declassing Palestinian professional women
in Israel, which constitutes part of the logic of eliminating the native, is mediated by
colonial violence that secures labor market class sovereignty for settlers. In this context,
the term declassing refers to rendering this class invisible by disregarding the women’s
presence and/or value in the labor market. The study unpacks the logic of elimination
through the racialized, everyday lived experience of middle-class professional women in
Bedouin society who succeeded in entering the Jewish workplace. These women face
sophisticated erasure tactics, paralleling various manifestations of the direct politics of
fear that discipline the body, will and mind, as well as indirect opposition reflected in the
settler-colonial reinforcement of patriarchal power against women. This article reveals
concealed violent forms of power practiced by the colonialists to declass Palestinian
women and preserve colonialist class superiority in the labor market.
Keywords
Biopolitics, declassing, middle-class women, settler colonialism
Introduction
The colonial logic of elimination (Veracini, 2010) and exclusion of indigenous Palestinians
through settler colonialism have been studied from various points of view in several
Corresponding author:
Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, Bluastein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
Israel, 8499000.
Email: sarab@bgu.ac.il
742432CSI0010.1177/0011392117742432Current SociologyAbu-Rabia-Queder
research-article2017
Article
142 Current Sociology 67(1)
disciplines, including citizenship (Abdo, 2011), space (Yiftachel, 2009), history (Jamal,
2011) and others. In this article, I argue that the biopolitics of declassing Palestinian professional
women, as part of the logic of eliminating the native, is mediated by colonial
violence intended to secure settler class sovereignty in the labor market. The term declassing
refers to Palestinian women’s class subordination, i.e., disregarding their presence
and/or value in the labor market.
The research population consists of a group of middle-class women from the southern
Naqab, who account for no more than 4.1% (Ghara, 2015: 73) of Bedouin1 society yet
represent its greatest financial, educational and cultural capital.
Colonization of the Palestinian economy has been examined extensively with regard
to strategies that impede work access and deny economic rights through land exploitation,
geographical separation, ghettoization of economic enclaves and displacement (see
Turner and Shweiki, 2014). By contrast, my study aims at unpacking the logic of elimination
through the racialized, everyday lived experience of middle-class women in
Bedouin society who succeeded in entering the hegemonic Jewish workplace. I argue
that the settlers’ elimination mechanisms target not only weakened segments of the population,
but also its economically strong sections.
By decolonizing the corpus of knowledge on women and employment, this study
offers an innovative approach that has not been addressed previously in the relevant
literature. First, most research on racialization of the political economy of Palestinians
in Israel examined the topic from a macro standpoint, analyzing power relations between
the state and the Palestinian minority and their effect on the Palestinian political economy
(Abu-Bader and Gottlieb, 2009; Abu-Rabia-Queder, 2017; Lewin-Epstein and
Semyonov, 1994). Second, studies assessing the marginality of Palestinian women in
the labor market mostly adopted a statistical approach (stipulating percentages of
employed and unemployed women) and a perspective that links the political-colonial
structure with cultural factors that deny women equal access (Herzog, 2004; Khattab,
2002; Yonai and Kraus, 2010).
This article argues that despite the obstacles addressed in the literature (such as a
shortage of employment opportunities, the lack of public transportation to and from
Palestinian villages and ongoing racism in the Jewish labor market that largely close
the gates to Palestinian women and thereby lead to high unemployment rates − 80%
among Bedouin women; see Abu-Bader and Gottlieb, 2009), a minority group of professional
middle-class women succeeded in entering the hegemonic labor market. It
is there, however, that they face sophisticated erasure tactics, paralleling various
manifestations of the direct politics of fear that discipline the body, will and mind, as
well as indirect opposition reflected in the reinforcement of patriarchal power against
women.
This article contributes to the field of bodily class stratification/subordination, that is
not carried out primarily by economic (Scott, 2002) or symbolic (Anthias, 2001) means,
but rather through everyday embodied practices involving violent mechanisms. I begin
by unpacking the mechanisms of the ‘logic of elimination’ of women in settler contexts
along two principal theoretical axes: Settler colonialism and its mechanisms of violence,
control and biopolitics, on the one hand, and understanding the politics of declassing in
settler-colonial contexts, on the other.
Abu-Rabia-Queder 143
Settler colonialism, violence, control and biopolitics
Settler colonialism has been defined as a structure (Veracini, 2010) serving as a basis for
analyzing race and gender subordination (Glenn, 2015). In this article, I add class subordination
to the formula. The settler’s primary goal is to establish sovereignty and property
rights over lands and territory through the logic of ‘eliminating’ the natives, an
objective achieved through biopolitics aimed at administration and regulation of the
population – as individuals and collectives – including practices of correction, exclusion,
normalization, disciplining, selection and elimination (Lemke, 2011: 5). In his work,
Foucault (1980) refers to three meanings of biopower: Rearticulation of sovereign power,
which has a central role in the rise of modern racism and the production of liberal forms
of social regulation and individual self-governance. Settlers use various direct and indirect
forms of violence, such as forced displacement of indigenous people from their
lands, masked by ideologies such as modernization, militarized genocide, cultural erasure
through biological or cultural assimilation, containment through segregation and
separation in the public space (Glenn, 2015) and body politics.
Glenn (2015) refers to settler colonialism as a project producing a racialized and gendered
national identity that normalized male whiteness; in the Palestinian case, it normalizes
Jewish sovereignty. This supremacy is achieved by various violent forms of ‘denial
and disavowal of the history of violent dispossession of the indigenous’ (Veracini, 2010:
14), as well as by structuring a naturalized image of the indigenous person as an uncivilized
‘other’ who does not belong to the national boundaries of the nation, unlike the
white full citizen.
In this regard, women’s bodies are used to discipline the native either directly or indirectly,
by manipulating patriarchal control (Stoler, 1997). Patriarchal order may be
exploited, for example, through legitimizing sexual violence and not interfering in cases
of violence against native women. The colonial perception is that women’s bodies are
polluted and thus sexually violable and ‘rapable’ (Smith, 2003: 73). ‘Dirty’ bodies are
perceived as a security, economic and social threat, as ‘ “biologized” internal enemies
(Stoler, 1997: 59). Moreover, women’s bodies are used as a tool for colonial intervention:
particularly through the rhetoric of saving native women from native men, legitimizing
colonial control in land and space (Abu-Lughod, 2013). In addition, colonial
imperialism strengthens patriarchy among the natives and thus perceives itself as more
egalitarian – and consequently more normative – than native society. Patriarchal white
men’s need to control white women is legitimized by the patriarchal control of native
women (Smith, 2003).
In the economic realm, settler colonialism is characterized by its capacity to control
the ‘population economy as a marker of a substantive type of sovereignty’ (Veracini,
2010: 12). This sovereignty is driven by body politics that regulate political life, organize
the community and maintain local control. Sovereignty is practiced not only at the formal
levels of state institutions, but also has alternative forms effected through informal
mechanisms, such as controlling the indigenous economy, subordinating its metropole
and disavowing the indigenous subject (Veracini, 2010: 72).
One such concealed violent form of power is manifested in symbolic violence.
Bourdieu (1989) claims that non-recognition is central to the maintenance of symbolic
144 Current Sociology 67(1)
violence. Long-term domination will succeed if it is esteemed as non-recognition of a
kind of fundamental arbitrariness. Such non-recognition allows for legitimation of domination
and its internalization by the dominated, thereby rendering it ‘natural’. Its effectiveness
is inherent in its embodiment in bodies and habitus, as revealed in physical signs
such as the dominated’s discomfort, contrasting sharply with the dominator’s sense of
confidence and wellbeing. Domination is thus based on obedience to the existing order
and its assimilation in the bodies of the dominated, leading to a feeling of low selfesteem
and even to self-denial reflected in emotions such as anxiety, guilt or even desire.
Symbolic violence is not experienced palpably, but is achieved in a soft, less overt
manner, through contact, awareness and emotion. Accordingly, research on the lived
experiences of Bedouin women would contribute significantly to exposure of the relevant
means of control applied to them and the methods used to legitimize these means.
The politics of declassing in a settler-colonial context
The literature detailed below points to various class systems that the colonizer institutes
within the colonized society, based on level of education, family or clan affiliations or
socioeconomic aspects. Another class system level imposed and practiced by the colonizer
is to dehumanize and demote the colonized, deeming them unworthy of freedom,
rights and so on.
Class stratification is mediated by racialized ideologies and practices, along with an
institutionalized policy that usually structures an inferior economic position for disadvantaged
minority groups. Dominant groups generally succeed in legitimizing their own
culture and mores as superior to those of lower classes by exercising ‘symbolic violence’;
they ‘impose a specific meaning as legitimate while concealing the power relations
that are the basis of its force. They use their legitimate culture to mark cultural
distance and proximity, to monopolize privileges, and to exclude and recruit new occupants
to high status positions – translating symbolic distinction into closure’ (Lamont
and Molnár, 2002: 172–173).
Initial contact between economics and colonial conquest is mediated by the mechanisms
of settler colonialism (McEwan, 2009) that wants not only to control the other
but also to eliminate it in concealed ways. History shows that class formation is a
product of settler colonialism (Good, 1976). The colonizer’s need to advance industrial
and economic superiority through control of land and labor was satisfied by the cheap
labor provided by largely unskilled indigenous workers in urban localities. As economic
colonial capitalism proceeded, a change in social structure took place under
settler colonialism.
One way that colonialists define class boundaries is the manipulation of middle-class
positioning during the colonial period. An educated and nationally conscious middle
class played an important role during the colonial period. Its political mobility threatened
the colonial ruling authorities, that in turn instituted a variety of measures to suppress it.
In South Africa, for example (West, 2002), even though the colonial state kept the indigenous
as hewers of wood and drawers of water, the middle class flourished thanks to the
missionary education that colonialism provided as part of its acculturation policies.
African nationals took advantage of this opportunity to escape working life. At the same
Abu-Rabia-Queder 145
time, their skills and knowledge were essential within the colonial capitalist system that
ran the mission schools, in which they worked as clerks, merchants and bookkeepers. As
this group of educated persons represented a threat to the colonial state, particularly on
its expansion after the First World War, the state responded in developing industrial education
to check expansion of an intellectual elite and to mold an underdeveloped indigenous
society. The middle class, however, refused to be subordinated by colonial realities.
As intellectuals with national awareness, they continued to struggle for African rights
and thus continued to pose a threat to the white conqueror.
Consequently, the colonialist was always interested in neutralizing the revolutionaries
from among the ‘skilled and experienced leaders in modern organization, and to narrow
the composition of the movement to poor peasants, unskilled workers and unemployed’
(Good, 1976: 613). Accordingly, the rulers realized that alliances should be forged with
the traditional leaders, intensifying their traditional tribal leadership to preserve control
of the indigenous middle class, thereby practicing ‘containerization of a subject people’
(Mamdani, 1996: 51).
In the colonial history of Mandatory Palestine, repression of the middle class entailed
various strategies to neutralize the common class interest of residents. One of the bestknown
such strategies applies the divide and rule principle by creating a client state and
politics of notables. The ruler forges a kind of alliance with the upper class in exchange
for extra goods, employment privileges and political rights, forming a colonial glass ceiling
(Watenpaugh, 2006: 2013). In response to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the Arab
intelligentsia and the ruling groups in Mandatory Palestine – who then comprised an elite
of landowners, merchants, senior officials, professional groups and religious aristocrats
– began to organize national protest committees. The political mobility of the Palestinian
middle class threatened the colonial authorities, who responded by adopting various
repressive means, as Rosenfeld explains:
By declassing Arabs, by ‘officially’ making them different, ‘superficial and Levantine,’ … the
state attempt[s] to justify ends, mainly land expropriation, that are specially directed against
Arabs. (Rosenfeld, 1978: 401)
Additionally, colonial rule in Mandatory Palestine broadened class disparities among
different groups and religious sectors, especially when the urban minority controlled the
rural provinces, by reaching out to local leaders and according them additional rights so
that they could control the rural population and exact funds from them (in 1920, most
Palestinians, about 75%, were rural soil tillers; Rosenfeld, 1978). These disparities gave
rise to friction and competition for jobs and employment among religious groups, families
and clans, as well as within the dominant group (educated Muslims and Christians), leading
to the disintegration of class solidarity aiming to decline the national Palestinian interest.
Economic dependence on settlers thus increased, intensifying rural migration to urban
regions. By the 1940s, the emerging proletarian wage-earners’ class had developed into a
flourishing middle class employed in commerce and administration. The thriving urban
intelligentsia played an important role in the Palestinian national movement and in its
political and cultural institutions until it was uprooted by the 1948 war and Nakba (Arabic:
catastrophe) (Mana’a, 1999). The weakened rural group that remained within the
146 Current Sociology 67(1)
boundaries of Israel lacked political and economic power. The Palestinian bourgeois and
the burgeoning Arab cities were cast to the margins and doomed to destruction (Mana’a,
1999). This strategy was intensified by the Zionist Movement, that achieved Jewish control
of state economic resources by conquering land, labor and the market (Mana’a, 1999:
301) through a series of discriminatory laws and political programs and national organizations
such as the Jewish National Fund – a Zionist body established in 1901 to control
land – and the General Federation of Hebrew Labor (Histadrut), established in 1920 as a
trade union to promote Jewish labor. At the Twelfth World Zionist Congress in 1921, the
Zionist Movement coined the expression ‘Zionist ownership’ of land, achieved by replacing
the existing Palestinian population with a Jewish one. Agricultural settlement was a
very important objective for Zionist policy because it was perceived as the most efficient
tool in establishing a territorial base for Jewish society and reinforcing the Jews’ emotional
and cultural ties with the land (Nadan, 2006: 87). This policy endangered the
Palestinian labor market, as 70% of Palestinians were farmers for whom the land was a
source of livelihood, identity and status. As a result of massive land acquisitions, the disparity
between the Jewish and Palestinian economies increased, the rift between the two
populations widened and when the World Zionist Organization (WZO) launched a campaign
to impose Jewish labor in Jewish cities, Palestinian work migration to major urban
centers declined, unemployment among Arabs increased and Palestinian agriculture was
affected adversely, leading to an increase in capitalistic production (commercial agriculture
and industry) in the Jewish labor market, while its Palestinian counterpart remained
non-capitalistic and primarily agrarian (Asad, 1976).
As the Palestinian middle class stagnated, the Jewish one flourished thanks to Israeli and
American government assistance, becoming the dominant factor in all branches of government.
The resulting ruling group thus derived its economic power and resources from land
and property belonging to Palestinians uprooted from their homeland, transforming them
into means of promoting the Jewish middle class and private sector (Rosenfeld, 1978).
This policy is still in effect today: The lack of investment in development of Palestinian
localities and the dearth of economic opportunities for Palestinians preclude emergence
of the human capital required for class mobility, thus perpetuating economic dependence
on the Jewish sector (Khatttab, 2002).
Another means of preserving the rights of the hegemonic collective is the delineation
of physical and symbolic boundaries in the relevant space (Jamal, 2011). One such manifestation
is the isolation of Palestinian localities from Jewish ones through institution of a
racist separation mechanism along spatial and temporal axes, constituting part of a spatial
Judaization policy that gave rise to ghetto citizenship within a creeping apartheid system
(Yiftachel, 2009: 56), in which economic ghettos of poverty are characterized by a backward,
undeveloped and unprofitable economy that cannot compete in the hegemonic labor
market (Khattab, 2002). Most Palestinian localities in Israel are distant from industrial
centers; consequently, anyone who does succeed in finding employment in the Jewish
sector usually works at blue-collar occupations and earns discriminatory wages, even if
his or her training is equivalent to that of their Jewish colleague. Abdo (2011: 40) calls
such conditions racialized inclusion. While the Jewish national economy is based on manufacturing,
industry and development, a third of Palestinian families are dependent on the
Jewish labor market and work therein, another third rely on the local Palestinian market
Abu-Rabia-Queder 147
that is undeveloped and unprofitable and the remaining third on stipends from the Israel
National Insurance Institute because of unemployment, disability, retirement or old age
(Khalidi, 2008: 4). Among the Palestinian-Bedouin, these rates are even higher, with 66%
overrepresentation in unskilled industry and service occupations and very high rates of
women’s unemployment (80%) and poverty (80%) (Abu-Bader and Gottlieb, 2009).
The intersectional location of Palestinian middle-class women in Israel, as women
and as professionals who enter the Jewish labor market with cultural and professional
capital equal to that of their Jewish colleagues, as well as class identity (see Abu-Rabia-
Queder, 2017) that embraces critical awareness, indeed threatens colonial power relations.
As professional Palestinian women are ‘legal persons and living beings’ (Foucault,
2008: 82), one ought to inquire how such subjects are to be governed.
Methodology
Analytical approach
The study applies intra-categorical analysis, as proposed by McCall (2005), that requires
a focused cross-analysis of a given social group and attempts to reveal new aspects of the
everyday lived experience of racism among the transparent group – Bedouin professional
women in this case. The practical research methods derived from this approach are
qualitative, based primarily on analysis of narratives that help reveal sophisticated ways
in which women experience racism and elimination.
Research population
The study involves 50 college-educated Bedouin women in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties,
employed in the public sector in Bedouin localities and nearby Jewish towns, 80% of
whom are married with children and 20% single. The population includes teachers (20%),
school guidance counselors (8%), principals (10%), social workers (14%), physicians (4%),
nurses (14%), researchers (2%), lawyers (14%), psychologists (2%), pharmacists (10%) and
a librarian (2%). This group is part of a developing population of middle-class professional
women among the mostly poor and unemployed Bedouin society (Abu-Bader and Gottlieb,
2009). Although their salaries are higher than the minimum wage (~US$1000/month) in
Bedouin society and the number of children they have (2–3) is lower than the Bedouin average
(7.1; Negev Bedouin Statistical Data Book, 2010), they remain a reduced minority group
within their society: Educated professional women accounted for only 4.1% of the Bedouin
sector (in 2010–2011), as compared with 18% among their counterparts in the Palestinian
population of Israel as a whole (Ghara, 2015: 73).
Research procedure
As a member of the studied society who is personally acquainted with many of the participants,
I did not find it difficult to locate candidates and persuade them to participate.
Most of the women I interviewed, however, were those with whom I had no previous
acquaintance, as I sought to maintain some distance from the participants, enabling
148 Current Sociology 67(1)
analysis of their narratives without personal bias (interviews with the other women were
conducted by research assistants). They all opened up to me, telling their stories
enthusiastically.
Data were collected through two-part narrative interviews, of which the first part
focused on personal background questions such as age, number of years of schooling,
number of years at work, marital status, number of children, workplace and place of
residence (Arab or Jewish), while the second solicited occupational narratives, asking
open questions about choice of occupation, workplace selection, hiring processes,
relations with colleagues and clients, barriers in choice of occupation, role and perceptions
of husband, extended family and community and family–work conflicts. The
questions are based on studies of minority women and employment designating these
factors as the principal determiners of women’s participation in the labor market (see
Modood, 2005).
Analysis of the data followed Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) grounded theory procedure
of open, axial and selective coding. Initially, I read the data several times and took notes
to determine patterns and regularities. The data were then coded into derived categories
and subcategories in two primary layers: Discrimination and agency. Discrimination
includes two time axes – professional choice and the various penalties experienced in the
workplace (see Abu-Rabia-Queder, 2017) – while agency consists of the strategies
women employ to negotiate between their public and private lives (a topic beyond the
scope of this study).
Findings
The findings presented below reveal the direct and indirect disciplinary means by which
the hegemonic players within the Israeli labor market racialize middle-class women as
part of the colonial logic of elimination.
Hostile ‘otherness’ in language and space: The politics of fear
Non-authorization of the native language constitutes another means of applying discipline
and replicating the conqueror’s sovereignty, as it effectively amounts to non-recognition
of the existence/identity of the indigenous people through their language. Language-based
discipline creates what Bourdieu (1992: 5) calls a unified labor market, that serves as a
means of consolidating the social colonial body.
Colonialists exclude indigenous people from hegemonic space by framing their language
as threatening, using the economy of fear as a mechanism to secure the colonizer’s
authority over space, time and life (Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 2015: 4). In Jewish public
space in Israel, Arabic is labeled as the language of the enemy and is consequently perceived
as yet another sign of hostile ‘otherness’ that dehumanizes the Arab (Amara et al.,
2016): Anyone who speaks Arabic is marked immediately as an enemy or as a person
speaking the enemy language who must be eliminated from the social body ipso facto.
Language becomes a significant component in the identity of Palestinian women professionals
and speaking Arabic designates the speakers not only as part of the Palestinian/
Muslim enemy, but also as non-authorized others (Bourdieu, 1992: 9).
Abu-Rabia-Queder 149
Arab-Bedouin women employed in the hegemonic labor market report their fear that
colleagues or patients may discover that they are Arabs. Hence they attempt to conceal
their native Arabic language. A psychologist discusses her experiences trying to hide her
Arab identity when meeting with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish patient, fearing a racist reaction:
‘There was a case last week of an ultra-Orthodox family. I wasn’t on duty and the
father came in to ask a question. As soon as I saw him, I hung up the phone. What if they
find out I’m an Arab?’
Their national identity turns these women into hostile, feared ‘others’, who lose their
sense of belonging to their workplace. They report apprehension about expressing political
views, speaking about Arab national identity and fear of racist responses. One health
system employee said:
I’m at this place … but I don’t exactly belong. I have a gut feeling that keeps me from being
confident that this is my place … I cannot say everything I want to say without fear … it’s very
distressing.
Fear of staff reactions becomes more sensitive during wartime:
I would close myself up inside my room, I preferred coming out only to get my mail or take
something from the printer.
This fear is intensified by employers who insist on using the hegemonic language
even when treating Arabic-speaking patients. One participant attests: ‘The director told
me: “You know what? You’re right, they’re Arabs. But that doesn’t mean you have to
speak to them in Arabic. Speak Hebrew.” ’
The fear of speaking Arabic, perceived as a non-legitimate language that immediately
designates the Arab as a threat, attests to racialization of public space through
language as a signifier of a threatening national identity. In this racialized space,
language is a means of underscoring Jewish sovereignty of public space and the normative
status of Hebrew as the superior language. Internalization of such apprehension
by Palestinian women professionals attests to replication of the settler’s power
and dominance through what Steele (2009) terms a stereotype threat. The fear of
being labeled a threat as a result of speaking your own language is indeed capable of
intensifying the adverse effects of labeling. Fear of being labeled ‘dangerous others’
causes these professional middle-class women to feel unsafe, depriving them of their
sense of belonging.
Biopower in the service of Jewish sovereignty
Supremacist settler colonization produces specific modes of biopolitics that persist not
only in settler states but also in global governance regimes that inherit, extend and naturalize
their power (Morgensen, 2011: 52). The dominant group legitimizes its position
using an ideology that justifies social and racial arrangements. As Lorde (1984) noted:
‘Racism [is] the belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby
the right to dominance’ (see also Yosso and Solorzano, 2009: 131). Lorde claims that one
150 Current Sociology 67(1)
should assess white dominance and hegemony not only according to white privilege but
also white sovereignty, as the latter is a condition for the former. Privilege is granted
even without the subjects’ recognition that life has been made a little easier for them,
having been achieved through such markers as skin color, culture, language, etc.
(Leonardo, 2009: 261).
Colonial domination and guaranteed sovereignty in public institutions is expressed
primarily by blocking the progress of Palestinian professional women and placing only
Jewish women in managerial positions. One Family Health Center nurse reported:
I have a kind of feeling that the supervisors will say something like: ‘You know, we represent
the … Jews or the government.’ In this entire affair, I feel that we Bedouin nurses are not having
our voices heard the way they ought to be. It’s as if they’re not allowing us to do so. We know
our own culture more than other people do. We can run the clinic better because we’re more
familiar with Bedouin patients.
A nurse describes the placement of Jewish Russian-speaking nurses instead of Arabicspeaking
nurses in a place where the latter were sorely needed:
When you see someone that they brought in from Russia, who barely speaks Hebrew, people
don’t understand her. It’s a catastrophe! … I asked why all the instructors are Jewish. Why do
they hire so many Jewish employees and then have to rely on translation?
Placing Jewish workers and managers where Arabic-speaking professionals are
needed is an example of the biopower process (Foucault, 1980), that aims at replacing
the ‘surplus’ Palestinian body impeding the colonizer’s expansion and accumulation of
capital and landscape.
‘Out of place’: Settler denial of indigenous professionalism
Bedouin women sense that they have to bear the burden of proof that they are professional.
Most of the women interviewed repeated the statement: ‘I always felt that I had
to prove myself.’ An attorney says: ‘You always have to make sure to prove that you are
professional even though you are an Arab woman.’
The presence of professional Bedouin women in public space as employees with cultural
capital equal to that of their Jewish colleagues arouses astonishment among their
colleagues and employers alike. Such reactions are brought on by a racist system that
ignores the skills and capital of the employee and focuses on her origin. Arab women in
Israel are assigned to an essential category that draws on the colonial archive of public
discourse in Israel, relying on racism like a habitus transmitted and imprinted in institutions,
everyday life, organizations, thinking patterns, behavior and attitudes towards the
other (Wekker, 2016).
Studies show that ignoring status, class or professional capital is defined as a racist
practice, as it reflects an a priori assumption that Arab professional women are out of
place. This assumption manifests the lack of recognition imprinted in the colonial
archive, perceiving Bedouin women through the essential category of inferiority according
to the ‘natural order’ that has also become the colonial order. The amazement that
Abu-Rabia-Queder 151
Jewish employees express demonstrates that the colonialist link between Arabs and low
status is automatic, enabling preservation of Jewish supremacy at the Israeli workplace,
as Wekker (2016: 47) notes: ‘securing white superiority … requires automatically assigning
blacks to lower-class status’. Coping with this situation by demonstrating professionalism
constitutes an attempt to detach the inherent connection between Arabs and inferior
status or professional incompetence.
The class-racial labeling that Bedouin women experience does not differentiate
between their professionalism and their ethnic origin. One way of coping with this situation
is an attempt to shatter ethnic stereotypes by separating one’s professional image
from the ‘Arab woman’ tag. A physician who began her career in the Jewish sector and
suffered racist remarks by patients talks about the separation she institutes to serve as a
role model for the image of a Bedouin woman:
I make this distinction because I see myself as a physician. I ask myself whether I can or cannot
treat someone. If I cannot, then he’ll certainly say: ‘Sure, it’s because she’s a Bedouin. She
doesn’t know how to treat me.’ I have to be a role model and the manner in which I behave …
I have to be respectful and polite, but lately I began to understand that along with my being a
physician, in the background I am also a Bedouin Arab woman and I have to give of myself so
that they will see how a Bedouin woman behaves and I can serve as an example for Bedouin
women, who can look at me and say: ‘Oh, I know a Bedouin woman who conducts herself in
such a manner.’
Indirect disciplining
Indirect disciplining of the professional Bedouin’s presence in public space is mediated
by reinforcement of patriarchal pressure. As Morgensen (2012: 10) points out: ‘[G]
endered and sexual power relations appear to be so intrinsic to procedures of indigenous
elimination and settler indigenization.’ Strengthening of patriarchal power aims at creating
a patriarchal or traditional wall so that women will be unable to penetrate and destabilize
colonial space. In this manner, they would be disciplined by patriarchal control,
preventing any show of resistance to the colonialists. Such pressure is manifested through
the intersection of patriarchal and labor market exploitation.
When women are discriminated against at their workplace and receive no job promotions,
the patriarchy adopts a more inimical stance towards them. One example is the
story of an unmarried librarian whose father supported her financially during her studies
and confronted the extended family to allow her to leave home, but when she was not
promoted and only worked part-time, he began to press her to change her profession to
teaching, so that she would earn a respectable living:
It was only because I worked for four hours that my father began to dislike the job: ‘You’re not
earning enough!’ It was just at this time that my second sister finished studying education and
began working at our local school as a teacher, where she was earning a very good salary and
finished work every day at 2:00. I worked until eight at night, spending many long hours there
but not earning very much, so there was always this comparison between my sister and me,
especially because I had no work benefits. He really began to wonder whether I made a good
choice or not. I kept saying that everything was all right and that it was only a matter of time.
152 Current Sociology 67(1)
He made a decision: ‘It’s really not good for you, so leave it and come back here to be a teacher’
… I think I will leave the job. I’ll get out of it. Out of desperation, I said I would stay at home
for the time being. You cannot believe how hard it was for me out there: Working only four
hours when you’re capable of working more, because you’re able to do so physically.
Another example demonstrates the intersection of place of residence, mobility and
gender, revealing the lack of consideration that Bedouin women employees encounter.
Bedouin villages have no regular public transportation, but Jewish drivers are unwilling
to enter these villages, thus imposing yet another burden on these women:
It was difficult because the hospital’s pick-up van [whose drivers were Jewish] would not come
into the village. The driver and his passengers [nurses] were afraid to do so. At first, they would
pick me up at Shoqet Junction. Standing there alone was really dangerous. I remember the first
day that I got on the van, what the nurses were saying: ‘We won’t let it happen. We won’t go in.
They’d better not think that we’ll go in there.’ They started tossing out all kinds of comments
and I really felt … Each of them was privileged to be picked up at her home, while I had to wait
at the roadside because the nurses were afraid to enter [my village]. ‘If you want to pick her up,
then pick her up first and then get us later …’ I made things very difficult for my parents. I had
them come and pick me up early in the morning after I finished a night shift.
This intersection of vulnerability and colonial manipulation reinforces patriarchal
exploitation. The women become vulnerable in several respects, as the harm they incur
in colonial space increases their vulnerability in patriarchal space, rendering them
dependent on parents or spouses. This is what Crenshaw (1993: 1249) calls an ‘intersectional
subordination that is frequently the consequence of the imposition of one burden
that interacts with pre-existing vulnerabilities to create yet another dimension of
disempowerment’.
Discussion
The biopolitics of declassing Palestinian women as part of the logic of eliminating the
native is mediated by colonial violence to secure settler’s class sovereignty and
Palestinian women’s transparency. Such violence is embodied in the settlers’ governing
apparatus, that seeks to construct and preserve inequality by ruling others, thereby
demanding, in Fanon’s words, ‘that they serve your interests to the exclusion of their
own, [which] can only be achieved through application of violence’ (Fanon, 1963: 29–
30). In the case at hand, we find two strategies through which the settlers discipline the
native: Directly (through the body, senses and desires) and indirectly (by imposing and
strengthening patriarchal control).
Direct disciplinary mechanisms aim at displacing and replacing the native, thus indigenizing
settlers and settler space (Wolfe, 2012). According to the narratives, this strategy
imposes tangible exclusion and elimination through the sensations and emotions of
apprehension and fear that silence women’s wishes and desires. Disciplining emotions,
thoughts and the body is a means of excluding the symbolic and social body of ‘internal
danger’ (Lemke, 2011: 249) from colonial space. Silencing wishes and disciplining
thoughts by engendering a sense of not belonging are inherent in the structuring of
Abu-Rabia-Queder 153
feelings of elimination and exclusion, as embodied and normalized among natives,
establishing their exclusive inferiority in a space ostensibly not their own. Such structuring
is substantive in securing the settler’s sovereignty in that space.
Among women participating in this study, inferiority is embodied through senses and
emotions signifying fear of the settler. These become indicators of inferiority through the
sensory layer of the body, that helps the settler portray the native person as trapped and
confined, whereas the settler, by contrast, is free and maintains control. Such disciplining
intensifies the settler’s power through fear that courses through the body. The Palestinian’s
body thus becomes anxious, with an uncertain and unstable presence in the designated
space, whereas the presence of the settler’s body is secure and legitimate, arousing existential
apprehension among the natives. This phenomenon, that I call sensory disciplining,
eliminates the sense of belonging and suppresses existential human wishes and
desires, thus perpetuating the colonial order and hierarchy between settler and native.
Shalhoub-Kevorkian (2016: 1) refers to it as the ‘occupation of senses’ and includes it
among the more violent forms of colonial dispossession that address the ‘sensory technologies
that manage bodies, language, sight, time and space’.
Colonial violence is perpetrated by conquest of the senses in colonial space that disciplines
the language/body/senses of professional women and determines what may be
said and what may not, the legitimate and prevailing language of colonial space, the
opinions deemed legitimate therein and who may express them. Such disciplining maintains
the settler’s privilege and superiority. Using embodied means of disciplining, colonial
institutions produce an ‘injured racialized subject’ (Jafri, 2013), who wants to belong
to the colonial space but knows it will never be possible. This structuring of an unfulfillable
desire leads the native to feel that Israeli public space will never be theirs and that
they will never be part of it. Non-recognition of the ‘other’ and the sense of not belonging
are thus embodied in the feeling of undesirability in colonial space.
Jafri (2013) maintains that racialized subjects persist in desiring to belong even after
becoming aware that the realization of their wishes is necessarily constrained by processes
of perpetual social, political and cultural misrecognition, wherein desire and recognition
mark the tenuous relationship that racialized peoples maintain with settler
colonialism: ‘It is perhaps due to this lack of embodied recognition that settler desire is
so significant to sustaining colonial power’ (Jafri, 2013: 77). The feeling that one will
never belong renders the loss of self legitimate.
Fanon (1963) reminds us that the settler’s existence is affirmed once the colonized
conclude that they are of lesser value than the colonizers. In this respect, the settlers keep
the colonized obedient, exacerbating their sense of inferiority.
The feelings and thoughts that participants express – a sense of shock, not belonging,
apprehension about speaking one’s own language, concern about staff responses, others
ignoring their position as professionals, taking offense, fear of what Jewish colleagues
expect, the amazement expressed by Jewish colleagues and clients regarding the image of
Bedouin professional women – all attest to the importance of the body in racializing and
disciplining the native. By positioning the native body as an illegitimate outsider, King
(2013: 23) makes links between the slave’s black body and settler colonialism by stating
that ‘Black women’s bodies are materially and symbolically essential to the space-making
practices of settler colonialism.’ To the settler, the figure of the native female functions as
154 Current Sociology 67(1)
a metonym for unending increase and production of land/bodies that impedes settler
expansion and is consequently perceived as a surplus body that should be eliminated.
From an Israeli colonial perception, the Palestinian woman’s body is perceived as a
threat that must be destroyed but also controlled. By colonizing Palestinian women’s bodies,
Israel thus colonizes the entire Palestinian population (Wadi, 2012). These perceptions
leave their imprint on the colonized body, as Kassem (2011) demonstrates by presenting
narratives of Palestinian women from the first generation of the Nakba. Palestinian women
consider invasion into their land as a metonym for penetrating the female body. When land
is occupied, female bodies are in danger, as they become a target for violent colonial intrusion.
This act strengthens the role of the male as a patriarchal protector: Women lose their
agency and are perceived only as victims who need the protection of men.
Although colonial discourse on Palestinian women’s bodies refers mostly to destroying
them before they enter its space, the case at hand involves legitimate and legal subjects
in the form of a bourgeois body that did enter hegemonic space and consequently
must be removed in sophisticated ways. Following Bourdieu’s ‘class body’ hierarchy
(for analysis, see Mason, 2013), in which bodies of women and non-white persons are
dehumanized and uncontrolled – unlike controlled and cultured white bourgeois bodies
– I claim that the controlled and civilized bodies of Palestinian women who enter the
hegemonic workplace are threatening the hierarchies of these latter class bodies. The
presence of classed, bourgeois bodies of Palestinian professional women is not wanted
in shared public space because it threatens the growth and sovereignty of the bourgeois
body that rules hegemonic space.
Mason claims that there was less emphasis on individual efforts and more on the evolutionary
advancement of the group/race as a whole (2013: 694). In other words, confirming
the presence of a classed bourgeois group of indigenous Palestinians reflects the
class group’s development potential and not only that of the individual, thereby posing
the risk that the hostile body will proliferate. Biopower is thus manipulated by settler
colonialism in sophisticated and concealed ways, producing the specific modes of violence
that naturalize its power (Morgensen, 2011: 54).
Funding
I would like to thank the Rothschild-Cæsarea Foundation for financing this research from 2012 to
2014.
Note
1. The Naqab Bedouin are part of the Palestinian Arab people who remained in Israel after the
1948 Nakba (Arabic: catastrophe). Today, they form part of an indigenous minority, numbering
about 202,000 people (Noach, 2011).
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Author biography
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Women (Magness Press, 2017).

Hiring pro-Palestinian Activist Valentina Azarova to the University of Toronto

19.09.21

Editorial Note

One year ago, IAM reported on Canada’s anti-Israel activities. IAM also discussed the struggle over the directorship of the International Human Rights Program of the Law Faculty at the University of Toronto.   Pro-Palestinian activists supported the nomination of Dr. Valentina Azarova, aka Azarov, a pro-Palestinian legal activist, to head the prestigious program.    

Azarova’s legal career includes the Israeli NGO HaMoked, the Center for the Defense of the Individual, where she defended Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Azarova had also taught Law at Birzeit University, Palestine. 

Azarova has focused on pro-Palestinian themes such as: “The Pathology of a Legal System: Israel’s Military Justice System and International Law”; “Why the ICC Needs A ‘Palestine Situation’ (More Than Palestine Needs the ICC): On the Court’s Potential Role(s) in the Israeli-Palestinian Context”; “From Discretion to Necessity: Third State Responsibility for Israel’s Control of Stay and Entry into Palestinian Territory”; “Trickle-Down Legality: The Role of International Courts in Achieving Palestine’s Independence”; “An International Legal Demarche for Human Rights? Perils and Prospects of the Palestinian UN Bid”; “Is There A Court For Gaza? A Test Bench for International Justice”; “UNESCO, Palestine and Archaeology in Conflict”; “Israel’s Unwillingness: Follow-Up Investigations to the UN Gaza Conflict Fact-Finding Mission Report”; “The 2014 Gaza War: Reflections on Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Accountability”; “Tell It To the Judge: Palestine’s UN Bid and the International Criminal Court,” among others.  

Recently, Jewish groups objected to her candidacy. B’nai Brith of Canada has written a letter to Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, requesting them to deny a work permit to Azarova. B’nai Brith argues that the position should be offered first and foremost to a Canadian citizen. 

Responding to accusations of interference by a university donor, the University of Toronto recently launched an investigation.  The University published a press release, “Hiring Process for the Director of the International Human Rights Program in the Faculty of Law,” discussing the independent review into the hiring process.  The review, published in March 2021, was conducted by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C., former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, concluded that the process was done lawfully and that Azarova was not hired due to immigration and timing issues. 

The review stated that attempts by anyone to block, prevent or disqualify an applicant “must be firmly rejected… unless the matter raised can be demonstrated to be evidence of unfitness for the duties of the position.”

Some politically motivated faculty supported a campaign to censure their own University.    

Samer Muscati, former director of the International Human Rights Program at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, who has been a researcher with Human Rights Watch (HRW), is one of those who call to censure.  He has posted a letter by Amnesty International (AI) notifying the University that it was pausing its relationship with the University of Toronto, for not hiring Azarova. “Having read Cromwell’s report, @amnesty is ‘unable to take at face value the claim that the hire was frozen solely due to immigration issues, rather than external influence from a major university donor critical of Dr Azarova’s academic work on Israel & Palestine.’ #UofTscandal,” Muscati wrote.

In other words, Amnesty International does not trust Justice Cromwell’s report.

Also, the University of Toronto has been censured by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) for its actions surrounding the dis-hiring of Azarova. As Muscati wrote: “Pressure continues to mount over #UofTScandal. @amnesty has just suspended its relationship with @UofT, @UTlaw & @IHRP_UofT “until such time as the #CAUT censure has been lifted and a sustainable roadmap for the future of the #IHRP has been put in place”.”

Muscati took a step further and stated, “Amazing energy at yesterday’s @APS_UTM student rally in support of #AcademicFreedom & #Palestinian rights. @UofT ‘s admin keeps ignoring #UofTScandal but every day more students, faculty lend their voice in demanding accountability. This movement is now unstoppable.”

A group of lawyers named Just Peace Advocates, a Canadian-based independent human rights organization promoting the Palestinian cause, detailed the Azarova affair as an act against the Palestinians. One of their arguments against the review of Justice Cromwell is that the University of York hired him last year to review anti-Semitic violent incidents on campus on November 20, 2019. The violent incidents occurred after a student group Herut Canada hosted an event, “Reservists on Duty: Hear from Former Israeli Defense Forces Soldiers”, as hundreds of students joined the group Students Against Israeli Apartheid to denounce IDF personnel presence on campus. It led to verbal and physical altercations, as the media reported.

Justice Cromwell concluded that York University should adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which caused the pro-Palestinian legal group to mistrust him.  

Interestingly, however, the faculty of Law has another political agenda. They are eager to prove that Muslim organizations in Canada suffer from “Islamophobia” by the Canadian tax authorities, as several radical Muslim organizations lost their tax-deduction status, a decision based on their invitation of speakers related to terrorism.  According to the Law faculty members, this is a testament of Islamophobia because Christian organizations who are not tolerant of LGBTQ have not lost their tax-deductible status, thereby making the tax authority “Islamophobic.” 

The University of Toronto is also under attack by Palestinian students. Articles that appeared in the Varsity, a University of Toronto student paper, “Opinion: We need to be able to talk about Palestine” and “U of T hasn’t been welcoming to Palestinian community members — a new initiative hopes to change that,” among others, provide a gloomy view of the University. The point is, the University of Toronto doesn’t submit to their demands.

The fight over Azarova’s appointment to direct the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto is emblematic of the larger effort by pro-Palestinian activists to turn Western universities into an extension of their political agenda. As IAM has reported, the take-over included the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), American Political Science Association (APSA), among others. 

University-based human rights programs similar to the University of Toronto are the new frontier in this battle.  This is a potentially serious development because of the close ties between human rights organizations and academic pro-Palestinian activists.   As noted before, Muscati, the previous head of the Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto and an Azarova booster is a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a group that is biassed against Israel.

Human rights groups need to serve as objective and reliable chronicles of human rights abuses around the world.  However, as the HRW and AI demonstrate, the temptation to serve political goals is never too far away from the surface. 

References

Feds Must Prevent U of T from Causing a ‘Substantial Harm’ to Canada August 12, 2021

TORONTO — B’nai Brith has written a letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, to request that their ministries deny a work permit to Valentina Azarova, should she apply for one to serve as director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto.

Ms. Azarova was recommended a year ago by a search committee for the position but not hired, because there were qualified Canadians who applied for the position, making her ineligible for a permit, and because she did not meet the advertised requirements. An antisemitic fantasy developed around this refusal to hire which led to a detailed investigation dismissing the fantasy.

Ms. Azarova’s longstanding commitments amount not to impartial academic work but rather to delegitimization of Israel, and to working with a variety of extreme anti-Zionist organizations including Al-Haq, which has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation for Palestine (PFLP), listed as a terrorist entity in Canada.

Despite the clear conclusion of the Cromwell Report that Ms. Azarova was rejected from the position for a valid reason – because qualified Canadians had applied for the job – many opponents continue to fantasize about reality and charge that the real reason for refusal of the recommendation of the search committee was an antisemitic conspiracy – Jewish power, influence and money.

In his letter to the government, our Senior Legal Counsel David Matas explained to Ministers Mendocino and Qualtrough that the University of Toronto has re-advertised for the director of the IHRP, but by quietly altering the job description it has launched a tainted and distorted search process that is weighted against qualified Canadian candidates.

“The recent Law Faculty announcement states ‘The position remains the same as last year’. Yet, it does not remain the same. Last year a license to practice in Ontario or another jurisdiction was required. This year it is not”, said Matas.

“It has been reported that the U of T Faculty of Law Dean has reached out to Azarova to let her know the application is open, but there is no public indication that the U of T has similarly reached out to Canadians who have previously applied for the position” Matas added.

Making matters worse, the accusers went to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and successfully asked them to censure the U of T over the Azarova affair, based on this very same fantasy that the Hon. Thomas Cromwell had conclusively and meticulously rejected. The CAUT censure has artificially restricted the position from Canadian candidates.

“Should Ms. Azarova request a work permit for the position of director of the International Human Rights Program at U of T, the government of Canada should deny that request”, said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “Our federal government simply cannot aid and abet the University of Toronto in a distorted and unfair hiring process that unfairly discriminates against Canadian applicants.”

Speaking at a June 15 panel discussion at York University’s Osgoode Hall, Terezia Zoric, UTFA’s president, similarly claimed that an “entitled powerful Zionist minority” was engaged in “psychological warfare” against critics of the recent Cromwell Report. In her remarks, Zoric simultaneously invoked centuries-old anti-Jewish conspiracy myths while also denying the legitimacy of Jewish people’s concerns of antisemitism.

Mr. Matas concluded his letter by stating, “in our view, hiring Ms. Azarova for the position of director of the International Human Rights Program of the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto would cause a substantial harm to Canada by causing a substantial harm to the University of Toronto, for the reasons set out in our submission the Cromwell Review cited earlier. In any case, the search process this time round is as tainted as the first, albeit in a different way. If the present search process leads to a request for a work permit for Ms. Azarova, that request should be denied.”

To read the letter in full, CLICK HERE.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/188_-Nm7sooJEzqXgGeYOb_1MvsJ6wvRH/edit

Hon. Marco Mendicino July 22, 2021

Minister of Immigration, Refugees 

and Citizenship of Canada

Hon. Carla Qualtrough

Minister of Employment, Workforce 

Development and Disability Inclusion

Government of Canada

Ottawa

Re:  A work permit for Valentina Azarova

The purpose of this letter is to request that your Ministries deny a work permit to Valentina Azarova, should she apply for one to serve as director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto.  Ms. Azarova was recommended a year ago by a search committee for the position but not hired, because there were qualified Canadians who applied for the position, making her ineligible for a permit, and because she did not meet the advertised requirements. An antisemitic fantasy developed around this refusal to hire which led to a detailed investigation dismissing the fantasy. The University has recommenced the search but with a thumb on the scales in favour of Ms. Azarova.  In what follows, we elaborate and explain.

Background

The existence of Israel since its inception has been attacked in a variety of ways.  The initial attacks were armed invasion.  Those invasions, having failed in 1948, 1967 and 1973, led to a change in tactics.  The attempts to extinguish the Jewish state proceeded to take the form of terrorism and delegitimization through demonization and double standards.

Valentina Azarova is a writer, activist and advocate whose primary focus throughout her career has been this delegitimization effort.  This history includes opposition to academic freedom for those opposed to her views. You can find the details of this anti-Israel history in the submission we made to the Independent Review of the Search  Process for the Directorship of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law by the Honourable Thomas A. Cromwell.

Ms. Azarova was nonetheless recommended by a search committee for the position of director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto.  This recommendation was made, according to Ms. Azarova herself and one member of the search committee, without any reference at all at her interview to her single focus Israel bashing history.   The search committee gave no consideration to how this history could possibly have been consistent with the position for which she was recommended.  

This recommendation was further made despite the fact that there were qualified Canadians who applied for the position.  Also overlooked by the search committee was that Ms. Azarova did not meet one of advertised requirements for the position, that the successful candidate be a member of a Canadian or foreign bar.

The recommendation of the search committee was rejected by the University administration on the basis that there were qualified Canadian who applied for the position and that the University in good conscience could not say otherwise.  She was ineligible for the position because she could not get a work permit to take up the position.  

The University was also concerned that Ms. Azarova did not have the advertised necessary qualification for the position as licensed to practice law in a Canadian or foreign jurisdiction.  The problem was not just that she was not then licensed to practice law in a Canadian or foreign jurisdiction. She did not have the necessary law degree to allow her to obtain such a license. And that, it would seem, should have been that.

However, those determined to see her take the position as Director persisted.  They fantasised and charged that the real reason for refusal of the recommendation of the search committee was an antisemitic trope – Jewish power, influence and money. This fantasy, needless to say, had no connection with reality. But it held and holds sway based on the flimsiest of pretexts.  

The University administration outside the Faculty of Law had made a telephone call to an alumnus about alumni matters. In the course of this call, the alumnus, who had heard of the shambolic manner in which the search committee had gone about the task of making its recommendation and noted her obvous disqualifications for the position, commented that the University should exercise due diligence in the hire.  This comment was passed on to the Faculty of Law, which had no other reaction than dismay at the leak in the search process. 

The accusers claim that the real reason for the non-hire was not the fact that there were qualified Canadians who applied for the position nor the fact that Ms. Azarova did not have an advertised required qualification for the position as a member of a local or foreign bar.  The real reason, they say, was this incidental remark in a call the alumnus did not make in a conversation about other matters with someone not from the Law Faculty. 

The accusers refer to the alumnus as Jewish, as associated with the Jewish organization CIJA, as a judge, as not just any type of judge but a Tax Court judge – emphasising the relationship to money, as a donor, as related to other donors.  They refer to the call without reference to the fact that he did not make it, implying that he did.  They make no reference to the fact that the call to the alumnus was made by someone outside the Law Faculty, implying that the alumnus called the Law Faculty. They make no reference to the fact that the call was about other matters, implying that the call was specifically about the hire of Azarova.

The accusers created so much noise with this antisemitic fantasy that the University felt compelled to appoint a former Supreme Court of Canada judge, Hon. Thomas Cromwell, to review the search committee process.  His report came out with the obvious, that there was nothing to those fantasy accusations and that the real reason for the rejection of the search committee recommendation was the reason given – that there were qualified Canadians who applied for the job.

Not to be deterred, the accusers then went to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), asking CAUT to censure the University of Toronto based on the very fantasy that the Hon. Thomas Cromwell had conclusively and meticulously rejected.  CAUT then did so, pretending that the Judge had overlooked plausibility matters that he had, in fact, addressed in great detail.  The fact that CAUT censure was driven by an antisemitic fantasy is illustrated by the remarks of the University of Toronto Faculty Association president, who publicly characterized, in her position as President of UTFA, the opposition to the hiring of Ms. Azarova as the work of “an entitled powerful Zionist minority”, a standard antisemitic trope.

Present situation

The University then re-advertised the position of director of the International Human Rights Program. As set out below, the advertisement and search process is weighted against qualified Canadian candidates.  It is a procedure with its thumb on the scale in favour of Ms. Azarova.  

The CBC reported, in a story dated June 7, 2021, under the heading “Following controversy, U of T resumes search for International Human Rights Program director” that Faculty of Law Dean Brunnée “has reached out to Azarova to let her know the application is open”.  There is no public indication that the Faculty of Law reached out to all Canadians who had applied previously for the position to let them know that the application for the position had been reopened. 

A media release from the University on the resumption of the hiring process for the position stated:

“A new search committee – chaired by Dean Brunnée – will assess qualifications of Canadian candidates, should any emerge.” 

Because of the censure of CAUT, there a question whether any Canadian candidates would emerge. The CAUT Procedures Relating to Censure state that 

“Censure means asking CAUT members:

not to accept appointments at a censured institution; …

It also means that CAUT will:

refuse to accept advertisements for positions vacant at an institution under censure in the CAUT Bulletin or on the CAUT website …”    

Because of the CAUT censure, the Canadian candidacy for the position is artificially restricted.  Any CAUT member, a whole swath of potentially eligible Canadian candidate, would be violating CAUT policy by applying for the position.  As well, many qualified candidates may not see the advertisement because of the CAUT restriction on advertising.

These problems presumably would not bother CAUT. CAUT decries a claimed outside interference in the University of Toronto hiring process for director of the international human rights program, an interference which a former Canadian Supreme Court of Canada judge found conclusively did not occur.  Yet, CAUT hypocritically engages in its own interference, indicating that, to lift the censure, Azarova would have to be offered the position of director (which they misleadingly characterise as a re-offer).

The Canadian Immigration requirement that Canadians should be given preference cannot reasonably be met as long as the CAUT censure persists.  The attempt to fill the position should wait until CAUT withdraws its censure.

The advertisement for the Program Director referred to the assessment of qualifications of only Canadian candidates, not the assessment of qualifications of all candidates. The reason for that distinction appears to be the reference in news release to Azarova as the preferred candidate of the previous search committee.  The news release appears to be saying that she remains the preferred candidate absent any suitable Canadian candidate.  In other words, no other non-Canadians need apply. 

As well, the job qualifications have changed.  The position when previously advertised had as a requirement 

“Licensed to practice in Ontario; applicants licensed to practice in other jurisdictions with strong Human Rights experience will be considered.”

This was, as noted, a requirement Ms. Azarova did not meet and was a concern of the Law Faculty in addition to the fact that there were Canadian applicants qualified for the position.

The more recent advertisement drops this as a requirement.  The ad has the phrase “Admitted to the Bar or also licensed to practice in some jurisdiction.” under a heading “Experience” with a cluster of other forms of experience described as assets.  The ad has been taken down from the internet and is attached to this letter.  

The recent Law Faculty announcement states “The position remains the same as last year”.  Yet, it does not remain the same.  Last year a license to practise in Ontario or another jurisdiction was required.  This year it is not.

University President Meric Gertler, in a meeting to the Governing Council of the University, stated that “The position remains the same as last year and has been reposted”.  Yet, the position as previously advertised was not reposted.  The new posting removes the requirement in the previous posting that a license to practise in Ontario or another jurisdiction was required.

The job qualifications appear to have been tailored after the fact to conform to the qualifications of Ms. Azarova.  A requirement in the first version of the ad which she did not meet disappears as a requirement in the second version of the ad. 

Our concern  

For Ms. Azarova to obtain a work permit, she would either have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada that there is no Canadian or Permanent Resident suitable for the position who had applied for it or demonstrate that her hiring would bring a substantial benefit to Canada.  The deadline for applications under the current search process, July 7th, has passed, but no decision resulting from that search process has yet been made public.  

We wish to request now, in advance of any decision, that should Ms. Azarova be chosen for the position, she be denied a work permit.  The search process was weighted in her favour and against qualified Canadians. Law Faculty Professor David Dyzenhaus stated about the current search: “I think the message is pretty clear that Dr. Azarova, should she apply, will be hired.” We would agree. The distortion in the present search process should prevent the grant of a Labour Market Impact Assessment in her favour as well as a finding that her hiring would bring a substantial benefit to Canada.

In our view, hiring Ms. Azarova for the position of director of the International Human Rights Program of the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto would cause a substantial harm to Canada by causing a substantial harm to the University of Toronto, for the reasons set out in our submission the Cromwell Review cited earlier.  In any case, the search process this time round is as tainted as the first, albeit in a different way.  If the present search process leads to a request for a work permit for Ms. Azarova, that request should be denied.

Sincerely

David Matas

Senior Honorary Counsel

B’nai Brith Canada

602-225 Vaughan Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3C 1T7
Tel: 1 204 944 1831
Fax: 1 204 942 1494
E-mail: dmatas@mts.net 

=======================================https://hrandequity.utoronto.ca/culture/commitments/ihrp-caut/

University of Toronto

HIRING PROCESS FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAM IN THE FACULTY OF LAW 

An independent review into the hiring for the position of director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the U of T’s Faculty of Law found that external influence did not play a role in the decision to discontinue the search. Such an inference was the basis of an allegation made by some that academic freedom had been breached. But the review concluded this was unjustified.

The review, by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C., former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, concluded the candidate was not hired for this professional manager (PM4) (non-academic) role because of immigration and timing issues, and not as a result of external influence. While negotiations were at an advanced stage, no formal job offer had been made or rescinded. The University has adopted all of the recommendations in the Cromwell report.

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Censure Against University of Toronto

Subsequent action by the Canadian Association of University Teachers to censure the University has been disappointing and is not supported by Mr. Cromwell’s findings.

The University is strongly committed to upholding the principles and practice of academic freedom and merit-based hiring, free of external interference.

PM Protections Advisory Committee

The Vice-President & Provost and Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity, and Culture are composing an advisory group to examine protections for Professional/Managerial staff with professional credentials who lead clinical or experiential learning opportunities and whose duties require them to tackle topics likely to arouse controversy.

The Advisory Group will conduct consultations with members of the University on the issues under consideration and are seeking input from all members of our U of T community.

The Acting Vice-President and Provost and the Vice-President, People Strategy and Culture are therefore inviting responses to the Call for Submissions.Learn more about the Advisory Group and how you can help

Additional documents

Cromwell Report

University Updates

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

https://www.law.utoronto.ca/news/faculty-law-resumes-hiring-process-director-international-human-rights-program

Faculty of Law resumes the hiring process for the Director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP)

Monday, June 7, 2021

The new Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Jutta Brunnée, is resuming the process to fill the position of Director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP).  

The position remains the same as last year. The search last year identified a preferred candidate. 

By law, the University is required to follow a rigorous process; specifically, the Faculty will be posting advertisements for four consecutive weeks to solicit candidates. A new search committee – chaired by Dean Brunnée – will assess qualifications of Canadian candidates, should any emerge.  

“In the interests of the Faculty and our broader community, we will be moving forward expeditiously, including complying with any required immigration or Canadian work authorization process,” said Dean Brunnée.   

“We look forward to filling this role. The IHRP is a key part of our international and experiential offerings and students greatly value the opportunities it provides.” 

Under the previous dean, the hiring process was discontinued because, at the time, there was an urgency to fill the role by September 2020; that was not possible with the identified preferred candidate due to immigration and timing issues.  

Now that Professor Emerita Rebecca Cook has agreed to serve as Interim Director until a permanent director has been named, the Faculty of Law can take the time needed to resolve the issue of work authorization and any immigration issues, in accordance with due process and law.  

The resumption of the search is timely and consistent with the commitments the University has made, following the release of the Cromwell Report, and a review of the IHRP by Professor Cook, the founder of the program. 

Dean Brunnée has also conducted an extensive consultation with Faculty on rebuilding collegiality. 

In light of the controversy that followed the discontinuation of the search, the Honourable Thomas Cromwell was commissioned to conduct an independent review to provide a factual narrative of events; determine whether existing policies and procedures were followed, including those relating to academic freedom and confidentiality; and offer advice to the President. Justice Cromwell’s report, submitted March 15, 2021, found no evidence to support the inference that academic freedom had been breached in the hiring process. The President announced that the University had accepted and would implement all the report’s recommendations. 

The IHRP works to enhance the legal protection of existing and emerging international human rights obligations through advocacy, knowledge-exchange and capacity-building initiatives. It provides experiential learning opportunities for students, and legal expertise to civil society. 

Further reading on this issue:  

Please send any enquiries to media.relations@utoronto.ca

=============================================Samer Muscati@SamerMuscatiAmazing energy at yesterday’s @APS_UTM student rally in support of #AcademicFreedom & #Palestinian rights.   @UofT‘s admin keeps ignoring #UofTScandal but every day more students, faculty lend their voice in demanding accountability.   This movement is now unstoppable.

https://twitter.com/SamerMuscati/status/1394693055463182344
May 18, 2021


Samer Muscati@SamerMuscatiPressure continues to mount over #UofTScandal. @amnesty has just suspended its relationship with @UofT, @UTlaw & @IHRP_UofT “until such time as the #CAUT censure has been lifted and a sustainable roadmap for the future of the #IHRP has been put in place.” https://amnesty.org/download/Documents/AMR2021442021ENGLISH.PDF…
https://twitter.com/samermuscati/status/1394718661739417609


Samer Muscati@SamerMuscatiHaving read Cromwell’s report, @amnesty is “unable to take at face value the claim that the hire was frozen solely due to immigration issues, rather than external influence from a major university donor critical of Dr Azarova’s academic work on Israel & Palestine.” #UofTscandal

May 18, 2021

AMR 20/4144/2021Official Correspondence Reference Number:TO AMR 20/2021.173118 May 2021President Gertler and Dean BrunnéeUniversity of TorontoToronto, OntarioCanadaDear President Gertler and Dean Brunnée:We write to you on behalf of both Amnesty International Canada and Amnesty International’s CrisisResponse Programme to regretfully inform you that we are, with immediate effect, pausing our relationshipwith the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and its International Human Rights Law Program (IHRP). Weare taking this step in support of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Council’sdecision to censure the University of Toronto.Amnesty International has, through its Digital Verification Corps (DVC), a now more than four-yearpartnership with the IHRP. The DVC is an award-winning, flagship programme within the Crisis ResponseProgramme at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat. It trains students from seven universitiesacross the globe, including the University of Toronto, on the process and practice of open source researchfor human rights advocacy and accountability. The IHRP became a DVC partner in 2017 and hassuccessfully contributed to a wide range of Amnesty research.Like the CAUT, we are greatly concerned about the sequence of events that led to the Faculty of Law’sdecision not to appoint Dr Valentina Azarova as IHRP Director. Having read the report by retired SupremeCourt of Canada Thomas Cromwell, we are unable to take at face value the claim that the hire was frozensolely due to immigration issues, rather than external influence from a major university donor critical of DrAzarova’s academic work on Israel and Palestine.We regret that we have been placed in a position to suspend our relationship with the University of Toronto,the Faculty of Law, and the IHRP until such time as the CAUT censure has been lifted and a sustainableroadmap for the future of the IHRP has been put in place.Yours sincerely,Joanne MarinerKetty NivyabandiSam DubberleyDirector, Crisis ResponseSecretary GeneralHead, Evidence LabAmnesty InternationalAmnesty InternationalAmnesty InternationalInternational SecretariatCanadaInternational SecretariatAMNESTY INTERNATIONALINTERNATIONAL SECRETARIATPeter Benenson House, 1 Easton StreetLondon WC1X 0DW, United KingdomT:+44 (0)20 7413 5500F:+44 (0)20 7956 1157www.amnesty.org

=============================================http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Letter-to-Dean-Iacobucci-from-former-IHRP-Directors-Sep-12.pdf

September 12, 2020Professor Edward Iacobucci, DeanUniversity of Toronto Faculty of Law78 Queens ParkToronto, OntarioCanadaVia emailDear Dean Iacobucci:We write as former Directors of the International Human Rights Program at the Faculty of Law. OnFriday, we learned that Professor Audrey Macklin had resigned her position as chair of the IHRP’s FacultyAdvisory Committee and of the circumstances giving rise to her resignation.As the human rights community in Canada and elsewhere have been acutely aware, the IHRP has beenwithout a permanent director for over a year. During that time, the Faculty of Law has initiated twosearches for a Director with the international human rights background and expertise necessary to steer theprogram. As a result of the most recent search, the hiring committee, chaired by Professor Macklin,identified two viable candidates for the position. The hiring committee advised the Faculty that shouldneither of these candidates accept the position, there were no further options from the current pool and itwould be a failed search.Happily, Dr. Valentina Azarova – the hiring committee’s top candidate – accepted the Faculty’s offer inmid-August. Dr. Azarova’s human rights practice in domestic and international settings over the past 15years has been wide-ranging and impressive. She has carried out strategic litigation, legal advocacy, andlegislative reform. She has worked to establish human rights enforcement mechanisms in Europe andbeyond, and has regularly advised and consulted for United Nations fact-finding missions and mandate-holders, governments, and civil society. She has taught international law and international human rights lawsince 2009, and established and taught clinical offerings since 2012. She holds a doctoral degree from theIrish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, and has lived and worked in the Middle East and Africa.The IHRP’s most recent Director, Samer Muscati, immediately began working to help Dr. Azarovaunderstand the duties of the Director and the foci areas of the IHRP to date. In the meantime, the Faculty ofLaw put Dr. Azarova in touch with immigration counsel to advise her on her options for securing a permitto work in Canada, and Dr. Azarova began planning to move with her partner from Germany to Toronto,where her stepchildren reside. In early September, however, Professor Macklin was advised that the Facultyhad been contacted by a judge of the Tax Court of Canada, who had expressed concern about Dr. Azarova’sscholarship on the operation of international law in the context of Israel’s occupation of the PalestinianTerritories. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Azarova’s offer was rescinded by the Faculty. It is now ourunderstanding that starting this week, you will be interviewing candidates already deemed by the hiringcommittee as unsuitable for the position of IHRP Director.We recognize that it is the Dean’s prerogative to make the ultimate decision with respect to hiring at theFaculty of Law. We expect, however, that such decisions be made in good faith. We are therefore alarmedby the sequence of events, which strongly suggests improper external interference by a member of the
judiciary in the hiring of the IHRP Director as well as a serious breach of confidentiality in the hiringprocess. Given that the essential nature of international human rights practice is to hold the powerful toaccount, any IHRP Director and their work will unavoidably be the subject of criticism from some quarters.As a staff appointment, the position of IHRP Director does not confer academic freedom. The IHRPDirector’s security of tenure is particularly vulnerable, and the Faculty of Law should stand as a bulwarkagainst external pressures to the IHRP’s work. Instead, the facts suggest that your office has caved topolitical pressure.If the Faculty of Law chooses to install a new IHRP Director from a pool of candidates that the hiringcommittee has already rejected as unsuitable and unqualified for the position, it will send the message thatthe University of Toronto’s law school has little interest in providing a serious experiential learningprogram in international human rights practice, at a time when the need for lawyers committed topreserving and advancing fundamental freedoms at home and abroad is greater than ever. Such a step woulddiminish the reputation of the Faculty of Law and irrevocably damage the reputation of the IHRP and allthose associated with it.Instead, we urge you to renew the Faculty’s offer to Dr. Azarova, whose breadth of practice and depth ofexpertise would be a tremendous contribution to the student experience, and whose reputation andnetworks in the global human rights community would bring credibility to the IHRP and the University ofToronto. We understand that her immigration status may result in some delay before she can formally startat the IHRP. However, we believe that after a 12-month search and the interests at stake, she is worth a fewmonths’ wait.Sincerely yours,Carmen Cheung and Samer Muscati

============================================https://thevarsity.ca/2021/09/12/u-of-t-hasnt-been-welcoming-to-palestinian-community-members-a-new-initiative-hopes-to-change-that/
U of T hasn’t been welcoming to Palestinian community members — a new initiative hopes to change that

The perpsectives of Palestinian alumni show that U of T has a long history of silence 
September 12, 2021By Yasmeen Atassi, Racha Ghanem and Salwa Iqbal

Content warning: This article discusses instances of anti-Palestinian harassment.

There is no shortage of Palestinian existence at the University of Toronto. Whether through student or club advocacy, conversations about Palestine have persevered for years in student communities. But Palestinians and those interested in Palestine have felt a blatant lack of institutional support at the university. 

We are writing this open letter in response to an editorial by The Varsitythat called upon U of T to affirm a commitment to free speech for Palestinian community members. We also echo a call by a fellow student, who argued that “We need to be able to talk about Palestine” without fear or apprehension and under the protection of the educational institution at which we study. 

We, student researchers for the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS), believe discourse about Palestine is essential to a true survey of colonial and anti-colonial history. “Hearing Palestine,” a student and faculty initiative founded in fall of 2020 under the auspices of the IIS, aims to make space for that kind of discourse on campus.

Hearing Palestine 

Hearing Palestine is a talk series that invites U of T alumni of Palestinian backgrounds to speak about their experiences on campus and in their careers. Two of the speakers who’ve spoken so far have been Diana Buttu, who was a legal advisor for the Palestine Liberation Organization from 2000–2005, and Dr. Abdel Razzaq Takriti, the University of Houston’s inaugural Arab American educational foundation chair in modern Arab history. 

Their reflections, which we’ve included in our letter, underscore that U of T has a long history of anti-Palestinian racism. While this atmosphere has pushed students to work together toward liberation, in Takriti’s words, their time at U of T remained a time of hostile “structural constraints and pressures.”

“There were only a handful of classrooms where we could talk and feel safe,” Takriti said. As Buttu put it, students “effectively came out very bruised.” 

Diana Buttu’s story, as told on “Hearing Palestine” 

In the late 1980s, Diana Buttu began her undergraduate studies in the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies and the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto. At that time, Palestinians were rising up against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, in what would be called the first intifada (1987-1993). 

With the help of the late Professor James Graff (1937-2005), Buttu was introduced to a cohort of students of Palestinian backgrounds. The group was not large, consisting of around six or seven students. Still, they decided to speak against the institutional erasure of Palestinians on campus. They also advocated for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

As they did this advocacy work, they faced harassment and intimidation by active Israeli Zionist groups on campus. During a student club fair, their group put out tables in Sidney Smith Hall. Buttu recalls that Zionist students verbally attacked them, even calling the university police on them. 

But the group stood their ground and, against all odds, they succeeded in establishing the Middle East Forum and worked on a student publication called al-Mizanwhich is Arabic for “balance.” They also ran events, including two where they hosted renowned American-Jewish anti-Zionist scholar Norman Finkelstein, and one with Hanan Ashrawi. 

In 1995, Diana Buttu returned to U of T as a graduate student in the Faculty of Law. By then, the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995 had been signed, and Israeli settlements in the West Bank began expanding exponentially. The accords were meant to be part of a peace process, but freedom of expression on the subject of Palestine became even more restricted. 

During that time, Buttu felt that Zionism was becoming normalized on campus. She recounted that Israeli judges who supported the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied territories and other anti-Palestinian policies were invited to speak on campus.

Buttu recalled that some faculty members expended much effort to include Israel in course offerings and syllabi. She does not remember Palestine being treated the same way. 

After graduating from U of T Law, Buttu became a Palestinian-Canadian intellectual and lawyer who specializes in international law and international human rights law. She has advocated for Palestinian human rights in a multitude of forms, from writing op-eds for major newspapers to hosting a podcast

During her time at U of T, she endured non-supportive faculty, daily aggressions, and systemic impediments. However, given her accomplishments, her story is also one of defiance and a commitment to social justice and change. 

Listening to Diana Buttu tell her story in 2021 showed us how — both then and now — simple student tasks like juggling coursework and studying for exams are made so much more difficult when you are also taking up the mantle of defending and humanizing yourself.

Abdel Razzaq Takriti’s story

By the time Abdel Razzaq Takriti began his undergraduate studies at U of T in 1999, the conversations that were initiated about Palestine during the first intifada had succumbed to silence once more. His time at U of T was riddled with daily experiences of harassment. During his “Hearing Palestine” talk on March 4, 2021, he described in great detail what life was like for him as a Palestinian U of T student. 

He told one story about how he joined The Varsityonly to be assigned coverage of a Hebrew University and U of T “friendship event” at a hotel. An Israeli minister was in attendance. In his reporting, he mentioned that there was no Palestinian presence at the event, but he recalled the final articlehaving a “celebratory” tone. It had been rewritten and published under his name without his consent. His attempts at shedding light on valid flaws were discredited as if to maintain a certain narrative.

“Of course, afterwards, I resigned from The Varsity,” Takriti said. That was just one instance that made him feel unwelcome at U of T— harassment followed him in his dormitories, at extracurricular activities, and in classrooms.

When people asked where he was from and he said that he was Palestinian, that was seen as a political statement. Because of that politicization, many other Palestinian students would publicly identify with where they grew up — Jordan, Lebanon, or Dubai, for example — instead of saying that they were Palestinian. 

Still, Takriti and other engaged students searched for university groups through which they could advocate. But the Arab Student Association (ASA) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) were only involved in cultural, social, and religious activities. 

While recounting that, Takriti emphasized that the apolitical nature of these associations should not be easily condemned, because it was a consequence of the pressures that the groups’ student leaders experienced. For example, the ASA faced attacks similar to the harassment that Buttu experienced during the annual Arab Week when they included mentions of Palestine during tabling at Sidney Smith Hall.

But in the context of the second intifada in 2000–2005, 9/11, and the US invasion of Iraq, Takriti recalled that he joined a group of U of T students that came together to push back against an upsurge of Islamophobia. Those students — mostly undergraduates — included Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and students from Africa and Asia, as well as allies from Jewish communities.

This group sought to form a vibrant alternative intellectual and social space and embarked on wide-ranging social justice campaigns. They participated in hosting the al-Awda conference, a huge international event on Palestinians’ right to return to Palestine, and many of them became active in the Arab Students Collective (ASC). 

The ASC sponsored the first Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which spread across the globe, becoming one of the largest worldwide solidarity events with Palestine. 

CAUT censure is a continuation of U of T’s history

In September 2020, U of T allegedly rescinded an offer of employment to Dr. Valentina Azarova at the Law Faculty’s International Human Rights Program. Against all protocols, her name had been leaked, and ended up at a Zionist advocacy organisation, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). A financial donor, Justice David E. Spiro of the Tax Court of Canada, allegedly put pressure on the university’s administration to block her hiring.

The university administration commissioned Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell to investigate this case. Following that investigation, Cromwell published a report — however, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Executive Director David Robinson stated to The Varsity that CAUT council members felt that the report’s mandate was too confined. Although the report found conflicting reports of what happened, Cromwell did not have the authority to assess the “credibility or plausibility” of those reports. 

The donor, Spiro, was also a former member of the CIJA board of directors, and Justice Thomas Cromwell was a keynote speaker for their annual legal conference while he was conducting the investigation. The connection between the donor, the investigator, and the organization involved went largely unnoticed. 

Reflecting on U of T’s past, it’s clear that none of these decisions emerged in a vacuum. The oral histories of Diana Buttu and Dr. Takriti give substance to the feelings of anti-Palestinian hostility that we believe many individuals, students, and scholars have experienced for decades. 

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Council, the main body which protects the rights of academic staff in Canada, has ruled against the Cromwell report. Following this series of events, CAUT has decided to censure the universityuntil the right course of action is taken, causing events and educational opportunities at the university to come to a standstill. 

Nevertheless, the university has decided to resume its search for a new director of the IHRP, despite the way educational opportunities are dwindling for its own students. It opposes the CAUT censure, and does not believe the Azarova case falls under the council’s jurisdiction because the position was administrative, not academic.

The CAUT censure has gained widespread support. Despite this, we believe that the way speech about Palestine has been treated as an exception to free speech worldwide has been insufficiently integrated into the conversation. Advocating for academic freedom remains tokenistic if the reality of extensive policing of Palestine on the ground is not challenged. 

It’s true that students like Diana Buttu and Abdel Razzaq Takriti have, at times, succeeded in establishing student clubs and publications that created a space for Palestine. It’s also true that student organisations, such as the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) BDS Movement, have stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people. 

However, even our attempts at opening a space for discussion have been publicly undermined and defamed by Zionist organisations. In an attempt to highlight aspects of Palestinian culture, we included Ghassan Kanafani, an influential Palestinian advocate and writer, on our “Hearing Palestine” posters. For that, we were met with polarizing labels of terrorism and antisemitism.

The pervasive erasure of Palestinians, the systemic silencing of student-led organisations, and the quotidian and explicit anti-Palestinian discrimination have subjected individual students to such pressure that the permanence of any project has been impossible. Coupled with the university’s lack of institutional and faculty support, U of T  has time and time again reverted to the unsupportive empty space described by our Palestinian-Canadian alumni and the hostile atmosphere we all know. 

The importance of listening and free speech 

U of T should be a safe space for Palestinian students to be unapologetically Palestinian. Students, staff, and faculty — especially untenured faculty — should be able to openly speak against countries that benefit from settler colonialism without fear of retribution. We should be able to struggle against an occupying state, and we should be able to hold our administration accountable for what we feel amounts to anti-Palestinian bias. 

To begin with, the administration should balance the resources it allocates to the study of Palestine, which are few compared to the study of Israel. Out of the 700 programs that U of T’s three campuses offer to undergraduate students, there is only one class being taught on Palestinian history: HIS370 — Modern Palestine. In our experience, course syllabi have remained largely Eurocentric despite the diversity of the student body.

The administration should also break up its normalised relations with Israel by limiting the extensive fellowships and exchange programs it currently has with Israeli universities. This would help sever the intimate relationship between settler colonialism and the production of knowledge rooted in silencing the past and present. 

Finally, we call on the administration to stop donor pressure on the hiring of faculty and its influence on the unequal distribution of donor funds for different programs and syllabi.

Above all, we need to listen to Palestinian community members’ stories. Only then can we pinpoint what is to be rectified. For example, from the narratives of Diana Buttu and Dr. Abdel Razzaq Takriti, we have come to understand how faculty support can affect and enable student-led activism. 

So “Hearing Palestine” responds to longstanding calls to improve the university experience for Palestinians and those interested in the history of Palestine. Following the Azarova case, the bombardments of Gaza, and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from entire neighborhoods in Jerusalem and elsewhere, we hope, as students, to transform this project into a centre for the critical study of Palestine. 

Given the lack of institutional support for Palestinians and Palestine throughout U of T’s history, the IIS’s involvement with “Hearing Palestine” is a promising guarantor for the permanence and evolution of this project. We hope that, over time, “Hearing Palestine” will augment the existence of Palestine in academic and scholarly discourse at U of T.

We call on the university to recognize the reality we present to them by meeting us in the middle and investing in a more permanent commitment to Palestine on campus.

Yasmeen Atassi, Racha Ghanem, and Salwa Iqbal are affiliated with the Institute of Islamic Studies.

Stockholm Syndrome Influences Academics

02.09.21

Editorial Note

In 1995, Dr. Assaf David, a political scientist at the Hebrew University, then a soldier in the Israeli army, traveled to reach his military base on a bus in Jerusalem. Near Rene Cassin High School, the bus was struck by a terrorist suicide bombing. David was seriously injured and lost an eye.

In a 2015 Haaretz article, David recalled his story. “The terrorist was sitting in a very crowded bus, and was very close to me. I remember a strong jolt to my eye, and then a sensation as if I was flying in the air, a soul without a body. I lost consciousness – I don’t know for how long – until at some point I became aware of the fact that I was lying on the floor. I moved my tongue over my teeth to see if they were still there, and then came the dreadful smell and taste. I felt people walking on top of me to escape, and then I understood a terrorist attack had occurred. I got up – my rifle was still on me – and sat down on the sidewalk, in shock. I did not absorb the fact that I couldn’t see in one eye, and assumed I was simply in a deep fog… At the hospital, they suspected that the piece of shrapnel that damaged my eye had penetrated to the brain. In the end, the bleeding in the brain was absorbed, but it wasn’t possible to save my eye. I went on to have a series of operations on my hand, because the shrapnel had cut into it down to the bone. I still don’t have much feeling in my hand.” 

Apart from the trauma, David admits that “the event changed me in the sense that I am able to imagine the suffering of the other side.” In 2015, David and colleagues established the think tank Forum for Regional Thinking, which aims to offer an “alternate voice,” one which is “less harsh and more diverse” about the Middle East.

David identifies with the new alternative voice.  In an article in Hebrew last year, David stated, “Sometimes I feel more Arab than Jewish, especially when it comes to oppression and racism against Arabs and Mizrahim in general. I’m part of the East, my appearance is Mizrahi, I speak Arabic, even when I speak Hebrew, the pronunciation is Arabic.”

Comments to his articles suggest manifestations of the Stockholm Syndrome, an emotional response of a victim of abuse that develops positive sympathy toward the abuser.

Last month, David published an article in Haaretz titled “No, Palestinian Textbooks Are Not Antisemitic.” David reviewed a German Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) report on the Palestinian Authority school’s textbooks. David believes that ignoring Israeli textbooks in comparison is “fundamentally tendentious.” The article is misleading. Contrary to his assertions, Dr. Arnon Groiss, who has been following Palestinian textbooks for many years, found enough evidence of anti-Semitic nature. He wrote a response.

For example, Groiss found a verse in a poem of a seventh-grade textbook that calls for the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque “from the grip of infidelity and the Devil’s aides.”

Groiss found a history textbook where students need to “‘clarify the Zionist gangs’ goal in perpetrating massacres’, the student who ‘defined correctly the Zionist gangs’ goal in perpetrating massacres’ gets the unsatisfactory mark. The student who ‘connected correctly the thinking of the Zionist gangs to their perpetration of massacres’ gets the satisfactory mark, and the one who ‘accurately connected the perpetration of the Zionist massacres to the Jewish religious thinking’ gets the highest mark – Good.”

Groiss also noted that David incorrectly read an interpretation. The Georg Eckert Institute report finds a “call for tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and justice” within the PA textbooks when referring to the Palestinian society exclusively, with no connection to Israel or the conflict. Yet, David assumed it was said in relation to Israel.

David wrote in his article favorably of the research done by Tel Aviv University Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, another peace activist whose research had been shaped by decades of pro-Palestinian activism. Bar-Tal was one of the academic “peace industry” pioneers, which has received millions in financial support.  The “peace industry” was intent on demonstrating that Palestinians were “ripe” for peace. 

After describing Palestinian textbooks favorably, David contradicts himself when stating that “Palestinian textbooks do contain examples of anti-Semitism, incitement to violence, glorification of violence and dehumanization of Jews or Israelis, but according to the researchers their frequency is limited.”

David has an explanation for Palestinian anti-Semitism: “The Palestinian nation would have to be a saint for its textbooks to be completely free of such examples, in light of the expanding occupation, the widespread dispossession and the dehumanization from the Israeli side, which are supported by the enormous resources that are at the disposal of the strong party in the conflict.”

These days, David and his colleagues are working hard to show that the Palestinians and their textbooks are free of anti-Semitism.  

References:

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-no-palestinian-textbooks-are-not-antisemitic-1.10103745

Opinion | No, Palestinian Textbooks Are Not Antisemitic

A new study unequivocally refutes the accusation made by right-wing Israeli organizations
Assaf DavidAug. 10, 2021 12:26 PM
In June, Germany’s Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research published a comprehensive survey of textbooks used in the Palestinian Authority school system. Over the course of 18 months a research team analyzed 156 textbooks and 16 teacher guides פublished by the Palestinian Education Ministry between 2017 and 2019, as part of a curriculum and textbook reform initiated by the PA for all subjects taught in grades 1-12. The GEI study examined content in Palestinian textbooks addressing hate or violence, the promotion of peace and religious coexistence as well as elements addressing reconciliation, tolerance and the observation of human rights. The research was funded in its entirety by the European Union, and the materials were analyzed on the basis of UNESCO-defined criteria of peace, tolerance and nonviolence in education.As with any comprehensive study of such a complicated subject, the findings are complex and can be interpreted in various ways.Conservatives in Europe and in the United States (especially in the U.S. Congress) pounced on it, some of them with a push from anti-Palestinian conservatives in Israel. The reactions from the other side, however, have been few, perhaps because the obsession with Palestinian textbooks is perceived, correctly, as an amusement reserved for the right. But the left cannot exclude itself from the playing field on which the rules of the game and the balance of power between the occupier and its allies on one side and the occupied on the other are determined. I will address the research and its findings while paying attention to the framework defined for it, to what is in it and especially to what is not in it.First, the research team’s statement, in a press release, that its work provides a “comprehensive and objective analysis” of Palestinian textbooks is puzzling by all accounts. The analysis is indeed very comprehensive, but the extent of its objectivity can only by evaluated by readers with a range of perspectives, not the authors. Such a statement is unusual when voiced by such a reputable textbook research institution as GEI, and raises a creeping suspicion that it is not by chance.A 200-page report of a study funded by the EU and devoted entirely to examining the textbooks of one side of the conflict – the vanquished side – is inherently flawed. Students in the state education systems in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories do not learn about each other in a vacuum. The balance of power between Israel, which denies the growing violence required to maintain the occupation, and the Palestinians, dictates the framework and the narratives that are taught in each.The research of Profs. Daniel Bar-Tal and Sami Adwan, whose review and comparison of textbooks on both sides by a joint Israeli/Palestinian research team yielded fascinating findings, is an example of how research on the textbooks of two societies that are involved in an intractable conflict can and should be carried out. It is surprising that an EU-funded study ignores such a necessary comparative methodology, the kind that is reflected even in the doctoral dissertation of Yifat Shasha-Biton, a senior member of a moderate right-wing party who serves as Israel’s education minister.One-sided objectivityThe very notion of examining only Palestinian textbooks with a fine-tooth comb, while completely ignoring their mirror image in Israeli textbooks, is fundamentally tendentious. It’s hard to believe that political considerations were not involved in the decision, the result in part of ongoing pressure from IMPACT-SE, a conservative Israeli nongovernmental organization, on the EU and on the British government, a contributor to the PA and to the UN Relief and Works Agency – pressure that was also expressed as “assistance” in drawing up EU legislation that includes Palestinian textbooks only.One of the leaders of the one-sided criticism of Palestinian textbooks in the European Parliament is Monika Hohlmeier, a conservative MEP from Germany. The pressure for such a study began effectively in a proposal she pushed through the EU Committee on Budgetary Control in 2018 that focused solely on criticizing the Palestinian textbooks and curricula. In these circumstances, the GEI research team’s insistence on its “objectivity” is mere whistling in the dark.Given that the study’s objective is to focus on the response of the occupied population to the violence of the occupier, our only option is to make the best of a bad situation and extract from it a few important findings and insights for the benefit of the fight against the occupation and the pursuit of Palestinian independence.
One of the important things about the study is the team’s clear determination that the characterization of Palestinian textbooks in the studies published by IMPACT-SE suffer from “generalising and exaggerated conclusions based on methodological shortcomings” (p. 15). In contrast, binational comparative studies of Palestinian and Israeli textbooks, including that of Bar-Tal and Adwan, are mentioned favorably. We can only hope that the editors of the Ynet news website, who in recent years have given IMPACT-SE a broad platform, remember this in the future.The research team offers a passing reference to the Palestinian Education Ministry’s determination that international law permits resistance – by implication, violent resistance – to an occupying power (p. 20). This is a very complex legal issue, and it is impossible to analyze the attitude to it in the Palestinian textbooks without addressing it seriously. It seems that the team tried to have it both ways and failed. In any event, its recognition of the occupation and of the legitimacy of resisting it, at least nonviolently, stands out as a lone voice in the wilderness of conservative studies generated by Israeli organizations, led by IMPACT-SE. These organizations have never heard of the Israeli occupation in the territories, apparently, and therefore cannot recognize the legitimacy of any form of resistance.The distinction among different types of resistance, and between violent resistance directed against an army versus that targeting civilians, is a good beginning for any future examination of Palestinian textbooks, and GEI did well to find a place for it, even if cautiously and indistinctly. It is nevertheless hard not to wonder about the discovery of the “narrative of resistance” to the occupation and the “antagonism towards Israel” in the textbooks.Sympathy for the occupier?Did the researchers forget that the occupation is more present than ever, and that every day Israel works very hard, directly and through its settler emissaries, to tarnish its image in the eyes of the Palestinians in the territories? In these circumstances, is it possible to expect narratives sympathetic to Israel?Finally, and perhaps most important: The study’s findings unequivocally refute the exaggerated and overgeneralized accusations by conservative Israeli organizations about antisemitism and incitement to violence in Palestinian textbooks. It reveals “numerous instances [in which] the textbooks call for tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and justice” and distinguishes among various types of Palestinian criticism of Israel and among textbooks in various subjects (such as religious studies).Palestinian textbooks do contain examples of antisemitism, incitement to violence, glorification of violence and dehumanization of Jews or Israelis, but according to the researchers their frequency is limited. But this bears repeating: The Palestinian nation would have to be a saint for its textbooks to be completely free of such examples, in light of the expanding occupation, the widespread dispossession and the dehumanization from the Israeli side, which are supported by the enormous resources that are at the disposal of the strong party in the conflict.Given the inherent limitations of the study, and the framework imposed on it, these are important insights that should set a minimum threshold for future research on the subject. It would be better, of course, for these studies to be comparative and deeply rooted in the context of the occupation, in order to deserve the descriptor “objective.”Assaf David is the director of the Israel in the Middle East research cluster at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and co-founder and academic director of the Forum for Regional Thinking.
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Dr. Groiss responds to Haaretz

By Dr. Arnon Groiss -August 12, 2021

Dr. Assaf David, head of the Israeli Forum for Regional Thinking, has published an article in Haaretz, Aug 10, 2021, in which he reviews the recent report by the German Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) on the Palestinian Authority textbooks. In his article, titled “No, Palestinian textbooks are not anti-Semitic” Dr. David tries to stress the findings of the report in light of his anti-occupation ideology. He also laments the floor given to Israeli “conservative” research institutes that influence with their “one-sided” findings policy makers in Europe. Being one of the researchers he probably refers to, I would like to make the following comments: 

  1. In sharp contrast to the article’s title, there is anti-Semitism in the PA textbooks. The teachers’ guides as well show the ways it is inculcated in the students’ minds. Following are 2 examples: 
  2. A verse within a poem in a seventh-grade textbook calls for the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque “from the grip of infidelity and the Devil’s aides”. Is it not anti-Semitism?

image.png
(Arabic Language, Grade 7, Part 1 (2020) p. 67)

  1. A teacher’s guide accompanying a grade-10 history textbook features a student evaluation sheet dealing with three topics. The third one (marked in red) evaluates the student’s ability to “clarify the Zionist gangs’ goal in perpetrating massacres”, with three options: Good (3 points), Satisfactory (2) and Unsatisfactory (1).  The student who “defined correctly the Zionist gangs’ goal in perpetrating massacres” gets the unsatisfactory mark. The student who “connected correctly the thinking of the Zionist gangs to their perpetration of massacres” gets the satisfactory mark, and the one who “accurately connected the perpetration of the Zionist massacres to the Jewish religious thinking” gets the highest mark – Good (3). Again, is the pedagogical attempt to channel the student into combining Judaism with massacres not anti-Semitism of the worst kind?   

image.png
(Teacher’s guide, Geography and Modern and Contemporary History of Palestine, Grade 10 (2018) p. 164)

Even the Georg Eckert Institute’s report itself, that tries hard to hide such phenomena in the PA textbooks (the above-mentioned two examples do not appear there), presents a case of anti-Semitic attitude in a PA textbook: “One textbook provides a learning context that displays anti-Semitic motifs” (p. 172).

Dr. David himself eventually admits in his Haaretz article that “examples of anti-Semitism… exist in the Palestinian textbooks but, according to the research team, their scope is limited” (translated from his Hebrew article). 

Why, then, is this misleading title of his article? 

  1. The Georg Eckert Institute has found other negative aspects in the Palestinian textbooks, such as questioning the legitimacy of the State of Israel’s existence (pp. 171, 173 in the report) and the approval of violence against Israeli civilians (the Executive Summary p. 4), but it still insists that these books meet UNESCO standards. In view of this and other failings I wonder if this 194-page report is truly professionally scientific. To me it seems highly politicized. 

III. Dr. David mentions and praises a former study of both Palestinian and Israeli schoolbooks conducted by Professors Daniel Bar-tal of Tel Aviv University and Sami Adwan of Bethlehem University. That research was grossly biased and I criticized it widely when published (2013). The researchers simply omitted the most extremist Palestinian textbooks (those of religious studies) and added the ultra-religious Haredi textbooks that are not subjected to the Israeli Ministry of Education’s supervision, just to “show” that the two parties are evenly extremist. They also omitted from the list of the study categories the one dealing with peace education (because such items appeared in the Israeli textbooks only). And there were other serious faults in that study I referred to at that time.

  1. In Dr. David’s view, the Palestinians – being an occupied nation – are fully entitled to express their resistance to the occupier (Israel) in their schoolbooks, so that one should be lenient to expressions of hatred and violence appearing there – contrary to the view of the authors of the GEI report whom he criticizes over that. He just forgets to mention, as a scholar of Middle Eastern studies, the fact that, in Palestinian eyes, the occupation of Palestine started with the very establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and not in 1967. For those who do not know this, following is an example taken from the Palestinian schoolbooks:

In the following chart in a mathematics textbook that presents the numbers of Palestinians in various areas in the world in 2015, according to the Palestinian Statistics Center, the Palestinian citizens of Israel are classified as living “inside the territories occupied in 1948” (the second pink line):image.png
Mathematics, Grade 4, Part 1 (2020) p. 22)

I think that one must not be naïve and talk about the Palestinians’ right to act against the occupation so long as they mean the territory “from the river to the sea”. Accordingly, one should not justify the hatred and violence expressions against Israel and the Jews that are found in their schoolbooks in the pretext of “the occupation”, as done by Dr. David.

  1. He further stresses the report’s finding that the PA textbooks “call for tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and justice” but fails to mention that the report specifically states (p. 170) that such pieces refer to the Palestinian society exclusively, with no connection made to Israel or the conflict. Such failure may signify that he did not read the report (or rather the General Conclusion thereof) profoundly enough. I would not be harsh on him and say that he ignored that on purpose. 
  2. To sum up, Dr. Assaf David’s article is, in my view, a pure political statement with no professional values

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Dr. Arnon Groiss is an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, having earned his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. He is also a retired journalist, having worked for close to 40 years at the Voice of Israel – Arabic Radio, where he acquired additional experience in this field. Since 2000 he has been studying the attitude to the “other” and to peace in various Middle Eastern curricula, particularly the Palestinian one, and authored numerous reports dealing with this issue, having examined over a thousand schoolbooks and teachers’ guides. Dr. Groiss presented his findings to policy makers at the United Nations, the US Congress, the European Parliament, the British House of Commons, the French Assemblée nationale, the German Bundestag, the Canadian and Swedish parliaments and the Israeli Knesset, as well as to people of the press and in various research institutions.============================================================

https://www.972mag.com/what-is-israels-place-in-the-middle-east/


What is Israel’s place in the Middle East?

By +972 Magazine September 6, 2016

It’s time for Israel to recognize that it can coexist with its neighbors without fear or feelings of superiority. Academia can lead the way.
By Assaf David

The perception of Israel as a foreign entity in the Middle East, hence a fortress under threat, is shared by all major purveyors of knowledge and discourse in the political and public Israeli-Jewish sphere. Alas, the academia, as well as the so-called “peace camp,” do not offer an alternative perception, which would view Israel for what it really is: a country becoming well-integrated into the Middle East, and one that can and should live in the region without fear or feelings of superiority.

The following talk was presented, in Arabic, at a conference titled “Winds of Change in the Middle East” at Ben Gurion University on January 26, 2015.
***
Good afternoon,
Instead of offering you a well-organized thesis on the Israeli public discourse with respect to the Arab Spring, I would like to address a few aspects of the topic. These aspects have to do with the way in which Jewish citizens of Israel tend to view the Middle East, and the ways in which the various purveyors of knowledge and discourse vis-a-vis the region — be they members of the establishment, of academia, or of what is known as the “peace camp” in the political sphere and outside of it — replicate this point of view.
Let us start at the beginning: the claim that Israel is a foreign entity in the Middle East fails the test of reality. Israel, in fact, is closely tied — for better or worse — to the region in which it exists, much more so than to the liberal-democratic West, and much more so than some Jews or Arabs are willing to admit. Israel and its neighbors are new nation-states, products of the withdrawal of colonial powers from the region in the middle of the last century. All countries of the Middle East face processes that are characteristic of post-colonial states, the foremost being the threat toward their national identity from super-identities (such as religion and pan-nationalism) or sub-identities (community, origin, or ethnicity), and the prioritization of military-security considerations over civilian ones in decision-making.
Second, Israel is a state in which a certain nationality and religion control the government and the resources, similar to other countries in the region (with the exception of Lebanon). Third, in all countries of the region, including Israel, religion and the state compete for primacy as well as for shaping the public sphere. Fourth, with its many communities, Israeli society is a collectivist society, resembling the surrounding societies more than it resembles those of the liberal-democratic West. And finally, the Mizrahi background, with its many aspects, is a central component in the Israeli identity, including Israeli Jewish identity.
I could go on and on, but I think that the principle is clear. Israel, as a state, community, and population, fits well into the Arab Middle Eastern world. How prominent is this fact among the Israeli purveyors of knowledge and discourse regarding the Middle East? Not so much. They find it convenient to think of Israel as a Western, liberal state, different from the regional landscape. But this is only partially true and only in certain aspects. If we take into account long-term trends, Israel is — in significant aspects — a proud Middle Eastern state.
If Israel is a Western, liberal, different state, then the Middle East necessarily constitutes a threat. And there are well-known ways to address a threat. If it is a real threat, it is possible to strike at it or live with it in tense coexistence. If it is a potential threat, it can be disregarded as long as it is small and insignificant. When it awakens and becomes powerful, it should be monitored in order to know when it reaches the level of a real threat. These are exactly the means adopted by the State of Israel and its purveyors of knowledge and discourse toward Arabs, Islam, and the Middle East. Since all of these are perceived as threats, a path-dependence is created which ostensibly compels us to address the “threat” using known means.
Thus the peace agreements between the State of Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians are intended primarily to contain that threat. Once contained or neutralized, it is relegated to the level of potential threat. It can be disregarded (like Jordan), watched with concern in case it is a great threat (like Egypt), and be under constant debate whether we should attack it, live with it in tense coexistence, dismiss it or monitor it. If the threat is domestic like the Palestinians, even if contained or neutralized, it remains an eternal threat and cannot be viewed as an opportunity for a genuine connection with the region in which we exist. Or in other words: to replace the security attitude with a civil one.
Hence the attitude of the Israeli purveyors of knowledge and discourse toward the vicissitudes of the Arab Spring. We should not complain about the establishment. The state institutions charged with collecting intelligence, research, and evaluation of the uprising are by nature conservative, cautious, and more risk-averse than opportunity-driven. No wonder that when the Arab Spring began to falter, state authorities adopted a pessimistic view of the events and preferred the return of oppressive regimes to the democratically elected Islamic option. This attitude is justified, at least in part, by instability and rising violence, and certainly the disintegration of some states, which concern not only Israel’s citizens, but even more so, the citizens of these states.
But what is the role of purveyors of knowledge and discourse in the public and political sphere, in the academia and the media? I cannot avoid cynicism; in a Western, liberal, civilized state, they are expected, and should be expected to present an alternative world view — a pluralistic and multi-dimensional perspective of reality. But the central purveyors in Israel accept the two components of the prevailing paradigm: first, Israel is a foreign entity in the region, and second, as a consequence, Israel is permanently faced with an existential threat. This paradigm blinds many from seeing that there is no big difference, for example, between integrating the Muslim Brotherhood into the political regime of the neighboring countries, versus the struggle between religious-conservative parties and the secular-liberal parties in Israel. Political Islam is perceived by the Israeli purveyors of discourse and knowledge as a threat, whereas political Judaism is perceived as reality — not desirable, perhaps, but nevertheless a product of a democratic process that has to be accepted.
Let us start with the Israeli academia. Is research on the Middle East conducted in Israel capable of offering alternative, critical, and complex thinking about what is going on in the region? Moreover, does the Israeli academia itself reflect the recognition that Israel belongs in the Middle East? The answer is emphatically “no.” Were the answer “yes,” there would have been Regional Studies programs offering courses on Israel and the Middle East alongside one another, and the various courses would have featured the relationships between society and state, religion and state, army and politics, sociology, political economy and so on — of all Middle Eastern states, including Israel. However, the studies of modern Israel are concentrated in the faculties of Social Science (sociology, anthropology, political science, economics), and the study of Israeli and Jewish history and the history of Islam and the Middle East are segregated in the humanities and liberal arts faculties
Study of the modern day Middle East in general — and inter-disciplinary study in particular — is missing from the Israeli academia, for two reasons: first, the prevailing perception that “Middle Eastern studies” necessarily, and exclusively, means the history of Arabs and Islam; and second, the lack of interest on the part of Middle Eastern studies in true inter-disciplinary research. In other words, it is doubtful whether the Israeli academia, in its present form, is capable of creating a large body of research and scholars who could analyze the events in the Middle East from different angles and within diverse scientific disciplines, which is the only way to enrich the local academic discourse, currently focused on history or, at best, on modern political or radical Islam. Without the contribution of social sciences — sociology, political economy, political psychology, political science, anthropology and culture studies — it is impossible to put together a body of knowledge about any society. Israeli research offers none of the above, and it is doubtful that it can offer any, given the lack of academic programs and research training. This in spite of the fact that inter-disciplinary research of the Middle East is flourishing in the Western, liberal academia, to which we ardently aspire to belong.
Let us take one of the main purveyors of Middle East knowledge in Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), as a prime example. MEMRI’s motto is “to get to know the neighbors in order to make peace.” However, anyone reading their publications gets the impression that “knowing the neighbors” merely aims to reinforce the prevailing paradigm — namely, that the Arabs and Islam are fundamentally different from Israel — rather than challenging it. Under these circumstances it is futile, of course, to speak of peace. Other extra-academic research institutes and information (not to mention intelligence) gathering centers are sometimes guilty of lacking the ability to conduct research in Arabic, therefore unable to cope with the complexity of the reality of the Arab and Islamic region; or of inundating us with information and analysis reflecting the security-based “perception of threat.” And I ask: why do we need more knowledge if it only reinforces what we already know?)
For its part, the Israeli media derives its information mostly from these purveyors of discourse. Sometimes it provides a stage for academics who, as discussed earlier, lack the knowledge, time, attention, and necessary scientific tools to analyze modern events, although they may possess rich historical knowledge. With the exception of a few pundits, the central commentators in the Israeli public discourse, both from the academic and the communication perspective, support and inflate the “threat thesis.” The fear-mongering TV programs of Zvi Yehezkeli, in the spirit of “Allah, Islam, and ISIS” are the most prominent examples of this phenomenon.
One of the greatest features of the public discourse on the Middle East in Israel is the preservation of the imaginary separation between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, and the belief that what happens “here” is fundamentally different from what goes on “there.” It therefore follows that there is no reason or need to compare the two sides: these are not just distinct domains of reporting and analysis, but rather separate worlds that are essentially different from each other. The result is that the public discourse in general, and the public discourse vis-a-vis the Middle East in particular, reflects the belief that criticism of Arabs and of Islam is professionally legitimate and “indicative of reality,” whereas criticism of similar problems and phenomena on “our” side belongs, at best, to domestic politics punditry, and at worst it is “politically biased,” “non-professional” or, to use the explicit term, “leftist.” This tendentious structuring is the work of those dominant research and information institutes, which examine only the Arab contribution to the perpetuation of the conflict. Although some of them can pass academic muster, they nevertheless manufacture a distorted and partial picture of reality.
Will salvation come from civil society organizations, especially from what is known as the “peace camp?” Regrettably, I do not think so. Most of these organizations give up when it comes to a genuine connection to the region. At best, they can communicate in neo-liberal English with the Arab liberal elite. They are obviously incapable of producing alternative knowledge about the Arab region, because most of their members are Ashkenazi Jews, usually male, who never took the time to learn Arabic and, furthermore, do not understand why it is important to do so. Even worse, they gladly leave the graduates of Arabic and Islam studies to join the government and military-security apparatus, which is very eager to incorporate them into its ranks and provides them plenty of opportunity to perpetuate the threat concept. For these organizations, graduates of elite American universities with glittering titles suffice. These graduates may have a natural talent fund-raising, but when it comes to Islam, Middle East, and Arabic, they are completely foreigners to the Middle East, and, in fact, to large segments of Israeli Arab and Jewish society as well.
The “Forum for Regional Thinking,” which I co-founded and head, was established recently based on the “CanThink” website. This site was established over three years ago by a number of Middle East scholars from the Israeli academia, whose convictions differs from what has been described above. The Forum seeks to make its modest contribution to undermining the paradigm of separation between Israel and the Middle East, and to bringing about a significant change in the Israeli public discourse about the Middle East. The Forum members come from different backgrounds, but for each of us the Middle East is part of our lives. We are sick and tired of the tangible and the intangible fences, of the cultivation of ignorance and the resulting anxiety. The damage caused by the fortified walls that Israel has erected to separate itself from its environment is growing, and if we continue to raise them further, it will lose contact with reality.
We seek to change the constricting mode of thinking about Israel’s place and its very existence within the Middle East, which is based on ignorance, a lack of understanding, and fears. We feel that Israel should recognize its strength as a regional power, which can and should coexist with its neighbors without fear or feelings of superiority.
To that end, the members of the Forum are expected to work on formulating an alternative to the conventional and hackneyed representations of the Middle East in the Israeli consciousness. We will do all we can to infuse the Israeli discourse with civilian thinking, acquaintance, understanding and, above all, with empathy. The path we intend to chart leads directly to meeting with our neighborhood and neighbors. Only when we recognize and get to know “them” — the Arabs, their culture, their society, their economy and their politics, as well as the Arab elements that exist within Jewish and Israeli identities — only when we learn to recognize all of these as part of our environment with which and within which we live, only then we can think of a durable future in the Middle East.
I invite every one of those present here, especially the Arabs among us, to contribute analyses, research and policy papers to enrich the Israeli public discourse about Islam, Arabs and Israel in the Middle East.

Dr. Assaf David is a founding member and director of the Forum for Regional Thinking (FORTH). He teaches at the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Read this article in Hebrew here.

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https://www.mekomit.co.il/%D7%95%D7%90%D7%96-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%93%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%90-%D7%94%D7%9B%D7%A8%D7%AA%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%9E%D7%A8-%D7%9C%D7%99-%D7%A7%D7%97-%D7%90%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%9F-%D7%A9/

ואז הירדני שלא הכרתי אמר לי: קח את העין שלי
ד”ר אסף דוד גדל בקריית ארבע, איבד עין בפיגוע בירושלים, אבל דווקא הפיגוע עורר בו את הצורך להבין מה הישראלים והפלסטינים עושים אלה לאלה. שיחה יוצאת דופן עם אדם שמגדיר את עצמו ישראלי, יהודי, ציוני וערבי. מתוך “אנשי הספר” של אלחנן מילר
מאת: אסף דוד 20.2.2020

נפצעתי בפיגוע טרור. נסעתי באוטובוס, והאוטובוס התפוצץ. פיגוע טרור של חמאס. נפצעתי קשה, איבדתי את עיני השמאלית ונפצעתי קשה גם ביד ובחזה.
זו היתה תקופה קשה מאוד, תקופת ההחלמה אחרי הפציעה ארכה חודשים ואפילו שנים. אני זוכר שבאותה תקופה ניסיתי להבין מה גורם לאדם לחגור חגורת נפץ ולהתפוצץ בין אנשים, אזרחים. באותה תקופה הייתי חייל, לקראת סוף השרות הצבאי, אבל היה מדובר באזרחים, באוטובוס אזרחי, הפצועים ברובם היו אזרחים, ילדים, נשים, זקנים.
הבידוד והגזענות בין היהודים והערבים צריכים להיעלם. דר אסף דוד, המנהל האקדמי של הפורום לחשיבה אזורית (מתוך “אנשי הספר”, צילום ובימוי אלחנן מילר)
מאותו זמן ניסיתי להבין לעומק את המניעים של הפלסטינים שעשו מעשים כאלה ומה עושה ישראל לפלסטינים שגורם להם לעשות מעשים כאלה ומה השלכות הכיבוש, של אנשים ושל אדמה, על הפלסטינים תחושת הדיכוי, והייאוש שדוחפת אנשים לפעולות כאלה.
כעבור כמה שנים התחלתי ללמוד באקדמיה והיו לי חברים רבים ערבים, פלסטינים, ירדנים ולאט לאט התחלתי להבין את המניעים ואת החשיבה הערבית סביב הציונות והיהדות. כמובן שאני עדיין ישראלי, יהודי, ציוני מבחינת האמונה בזכות היהודים להגדרה עצמית, ליהודים כמו לפלסטינים, ואני מאמין בצורך לחלק את הארץ בין היהודים לערבים הפלסטינים ובצורך של שני העמים לחיות בשלום ובטחון, אבל אין משמעות הדבר שלילה של הזכויות הלאומיות של הפלסטינים בקיומה של מדינה פלסטינית ובחיים של שלום ובטחון לערבים ויהודים במזרח התיכון כולו.
“מה אנחנו עושים זה לזה”
אני זוכר מקרה באותו בית חולים שהייתי מאושפז בו לאחר הפציעה. היתה לי פגיעת ראש ודיברתי עם אח ביחידה לפציעות ראש בבית החולים הדסה עין כרם. הוא היה ערבי, שמו עומר, דיברתי איתו בזמן שהחליף את התחבושת. הוא רואה את הפצע ומזיז את ראשו מצד לצד ואומר לי: “מה אנחנו עושים זה לזה”. ובאותו רגע בכיתי את הבכי הראשון. הבכי הראשון אחרי הפציעה קרה כשהאח הערבי עומר דיבר איתי על האלימות שאנחנו מפעילים זה כנגד זה.
לא בכיתי על הפציעה או איבוד העין, אלא על חוסר המשמעות ואי ההבנה בין יהודים וערבים שגורמים לנו לעשות דברים כאלה אחד לשני.
 “יהודי המזרח התיכון – מפציעה בפיגוע לעשיית שלום”. מתוך פרויקט “אנשי הספר”. ביים, צילם ותרגם אלחנן מילר
מאותו יום אני רואה את הערבים והפלסטינים ומבין אותם במילים, ובתרבות, ובדרך בה הם מבינים אותנו, איך הם מפרשים את העולם, את ישראל, את הציונות. למרות שאולי אחלוק עליהם בדברים מסוימים, אבל השקפת עולמם על היהדות והציונות נעשית דרך עיני הערבים והפלסטינים, ואז אתה מבין דברים רבים שלא הבנת כיהודי, ציוני, או ישראלי.
אני בן 46. נולדתי ברמת גן וכשהייתי בן חמש משפחתי עברה לקרית ארבע. גדלתי בהתנחלות. היא היתה למעשה כפר קטן בגדה המערבית, ליד חברון, והתחנכתי בשורות הציונות הדתית. למדתי בבית ספר דתי.
המשפחה היתה מזרחית, ממוצא תימני. סבי עליו השלום נולד בתימן ועלה ארצה עם שתי נשים. הוא היה נשוי לשתי נשים. שתיהן היו סבתות שלי, עליהן השלום. היה נהדר לבלות את החגים עם המשפחה התימנית ובטקסים הדתיים התימנים. כילד דתי, מזרחי, תימני – כל ילדותי היתה סביב הדת והטקסים הדתיים
בציונות הדתית הרגשתי גזענות
השפה הערבית היתה בסביבה של סבא וסבתא שלי ז”ל. הם דיברו ערבית בלהג תימני יהודי שהוא שונה מאוד מהלהג הערבי התימני המקומי. ההגייה של האותיות ח, ע, ה היתה נפוצה מאוד בין המשפחות התימניות ובמסורת ההיהודית התימנית. הייתי הוגה את החי”ת והעי”ן מילדותי ועד היום, יכול להיות שהעי”ן נעלמה קצת…
קריית ארבע בשנות השמונים היתה למעשה כפר קטן, כמו קיבוץ. אנשים הכירו זה את זה והיה ערבוב רב בין המזרחים לאשכנזים, מכל העדות והמוצאים. אבל בית הספר הדתי – האופי שלו היה אשכנזי מאוד, שייך לאליטה האשכנזית של הציונות הדתית, ושם היה קצת מוזר. הרגשתי קיפוח והרגשתי בגזענות.
היתה כמו כפר קטן, כמו קיבוץ. קריית ארבע (מיכל פטאל / פלאש 90)
כתלמיד בכיתה ט’, למדתי מעט ערבית בבית הספר הדתי באפרת. את הרוב למדתי בהמשך, במיוחד לדבר ולתקשר עם אנשים בתקופת הדוקטורט. הדוקטורט שלי עסק ביחסים צבאיים ואזרחיים בירדן. עבדתי גם במכון בשם ECF שעסק ביחסי השלום בין ישראל לפלסטינים, ירדן, ובמידת מסוימת גם מצרים.
ביקרתי בירדן פעמים רבות עם הצוותים הישראלים וליוויתי את הצוותים הירדנים שהגיעו ארצה. שם למדתי הרבה מיומנויות דיבור. הייתי חייב לדבר עם הירדנים והעמיתים. יש לי חברים רבים בירדן ואני אוהב את כולם.
לפעמים אני חש יותר ערבי מיהודי, במיוחד בדברים שנוגעים לדיכוי ולגזענות נגד ערבים ומזרחיים באופן כללי. אני חלק מהמזרח, המראה שלי מזרחי, אני דובר ערבית, אפילו כשאני מדבר עברית, ההגייה ערביתצייץשתף
השפה הערבית היא חלק מחיי וחלק מחיי משפחתי וחלק מהמורשת התרבותית של כל העדה התימנית בישראל. כל החמולה שלי שגרה בראש העין וברחבי הארץ, ככל שדיברו עברית, הייתי שומע ערבית – מההגייה, ומהמילים, ומהביטויים ומההתנהגות, ומהתרבות, הכל משולב בערבית ובתרבות הערבית
התרבות הערבית היתה חלק מחיי, כל חיי, והתנכרתי לתרבות הערבית, במיוחד בתקופת בית הספר הדתי, כי כמו שאמרתי כולו היה תרבות מערבית, והייתי זר שם. נאלצתי להסתיר את התרבות הערבית. במידת מה, התנשאו עליה.
הירדני שהזכיר לי את אבא שלי
כעבור כעשר שנים מהפציעה ומהאירוע עם האח עומר, ליוויתי קבוצה של מורים ישראלים בירדן וביקרנו בא-שונה. פגשתי ירדני אחד שלא הכיר אותי. באותה תקופה היו לי מכרים ירדנים רבים שחלקם ידעו על מה שקרה לי ועל הפציעה בפיגוע, אבל הוא לא ידע.
אחד מחבריי הירדנים סיפר לו את הסיפור שלי והוא התקרב אליי ושאל אותי: “תגיד עסאף (זה השם שלי בערבית), זה נכון שקרה לך כך וכך?” . אמרתי לו: “כן”.
הוא שאל אותי: “מי פגע בך?”.
שאלתי אותו: “מה פירוש מי פגע בי?”
הוא שאל: “האיש, המחבל היה פלסטיני?”
אמרתי לו: “בטח שפלסטיני”.
הוא התקרב אליי ואמר לי: “קח את העין שלי, במקום העין שלך”.
וזו היתה כנראה הפעם השניה שבכיתי סביב הפיגוע. כי את אותו דבר אמר לי אבי כשנפצעתי. הוא היה אומר לי: “קח את העין שלי במקום העין שלך”. הביטוי הזה הוא ביטוי ערבי, לא תשמע אותו אצל האשכנזים, או במערב. אולי הזדהות אתך או משהו כזה. אבל הביטוי “קח את העין שלי במקום שלך” זה ביטוי ערבי שהגיע מאבא שלי והגיע מירדני אלמוני בשנת 2006 או 2007.
החלום שלי שיחסי יהודים וערבים בישראל יהיו נורמליים. יצחק רבין והמלך חוסיין עם הנשיא קלינטון בעת חתימת הסכם השלום ב-1994 (צילום: נתי שוחט / פלאש 90)
לפעמים אני חש אמפתיה ואפילו הזדהות בין יהודים וערבים בארץ, אפילו ערבים פלסטינים. לפעמים אני חש יותר ערבי מיהודי, במיוחד בדברים שנוגעים לדיכוי ולגזענות נגד ערבים ומזרחיים באופן כללי. אני חלק מהמזרח, המראה שלי מזרחי, אני דובר ערבית, אפילו כשאני מדבר עברית, ההגייה ערבית.
כשעבדתי בירדן, הייתי מלווה ירדנים והייתי מדבר איתם בערבית והייתי מתווך בינם ובין קבוצות יהודיות, למשל מורים דתיים, או שופטים שרעים ירדנים ורבנים ליברלים יהודיים שנפגשו יום אחד ותרגמתי לכל קבוצה. כעבור רבע שעה או חצי שעה, השופט הירדני אומר לי: “תגיד ליהודים כך וכך”. כלומר נהייתי חלק מהערבים.
ומעבר להכל, כשגילו שאני ממוצא תימני, היו מזדהים איתי, ואוהבים אותי, ושואלים מאיפה המשפחה, מאיפה סבא שלך, מאיפה סבתא שלך ז”ל, והייתי אומר להם שסבתא שלי מתעז, וכמובן שהם הכירו את העיר תעז, ומאותו רגע הייתי ערבי בעיניהם.
השוק כמודל לחיים נורמליים
מנקודת מבטי השוק הוא מקום בו אני לומד יותר מאשר באוניברסיטה. כי יש את האנשים הפשוטים, הרגילים בשוק, רובם שמרנים, בין אם יהודים או ערבים. הם עובדים שם יחד, עושים קניות ביחד. רוב בעלי הבסטות והחנויות היהודים הם ממוצא מזרחי, והערבים ממזרח ירושלים או ממוצא חברוני. הם עובדים יחד, מקללים אחד את השני בערבית ובעברית, אוהבים זה את זה, ובמובן מסוים היחסים ביניהם נורמליים יותר מאשר היחסים בין הפרופסורים והמשכילים הערבים והיהודים באוניברסיטאות, למרות שהם שמאלנים וליברלים בעמדותיהם, ולא יודע מה. השוק הוא מעבדה של יחסים טבעיים בין אנשים רגילים ואני לומד שם יותר ממה שאני לומד באוניברסיטה.
בשוק יהודים וערבים עובדים יחד, מקללים אחד את השני בערבית ובעברית. שוק מחנה יהודה (צילום: ליבה פרקש / פלאש 90)
באוניברסיטה אפשר ללמוד וללמד אנשים ולחנך אנשים כשאתה מרצה ולתת להם מבט אחר על ישראל או היהודים במזרח התיכון או על הפלסטינים והשלכות הכיבוש וכולי. האקדמיה מבודדת מהעם ומהרחוב. זו לא בעיה רק בישראל אלא בכל העולם, גם בעולם הערבי.
לא מדינה במזרח התיכון, מדינה מזרח תיכונית
היום אני המנהל האקדמי של הפורום לחשיבה אזורית וחוקר במכון ון ליר בירושלים. אני עומד שם בראש קבוצת מחקר בשם “ישראל במזרח התיכון”. במילים אחרות הנושא שלנו בקבוצה הזו ב-ון ליר הוא עיסוק ברעיון שישראל היא מדינה מזרח תיכונית, לא רק מדינה במזרח התיכון. כלומר היא לא רק נמצאת גיאוגרפית במזרח התיכון, היא מדינה מזרח תיכונית במובן תרבותי, דתי, מבחינת יחסי רוב ומיעוט, מבחינת יחסי הצבא והחברה האזרחית, ועוצמת הצבא ושרותי הבטחון בישראל ובעולם הערבי.
כמובן שיש הבדלים רבים, אבל המסגרת הכללית דומה מאוד. אנחנו רואים שהדת והמדינה באזור, כולל ישראל, מתחרות ביניהם על שליטה וקביעת החיים הציבוריים. החברה הישראלית, על שלל עדותיה וקבוצותיה, נחשבת לחברה קולקטיבית יותר מאשר אינדיבידואלית, ובכך היא קרובה יותר לחברות המקיפות אותה מאשר לחברות המערביות הליברליות הדמוקרטיות.
כשהערבי קם בבוקר, הוא לא חושב על היהודי, על האיום היהודי, או על הקיום היהודי. הוא חושב על עצמו ועל חייו ועל משפחתו ועל מקור הפרנסה שלו. ולכן אנחנו מנסים לשקף ליהודים ולדעת הקהל בישראל ש-99% מהערבים במזרח התיכון מתעסקים באותם דברים בהם מתעסקים היהודים בישראל – שחיתות, פוליטיקה, יחסים חברתיים, זוגיות, וכולי.
בית ההוצאה “מכתוב” הוא פרויקט תרגום של סיפורים ורומנים ערביים מערבית לעברית מרחבי מדינות המזרח התיכון – אלג’יריה, תוניסיה, לבנון, פלסטין, ירדן. יש צימאון גדול בקרב המגזר הספרותי היהודי והישראלי לסיפורים ורומנים בערבית, כי יותר ויותר אנשים מבינים שישראל היא חלק מהמזרח התיכון ומהמרחב הערבי ומבינים שיש צורך להנכיח ולהבין את הציוויליזציה הערבית שסביבנו.
החלום שלי לעתיד הוא שיחסי יהודים-ערבים בישראל ובסביבתה יהיו נורמליים כמו היחסים ביניהם במדינות המערב. יש שם מהגרים יהודים וילידים יהודים, מהגרים ערבים וילידים ערבים, ויש עלייה באיסלאמופוביה במדינות המערב, אבל יש סוג של יחסים נורמליים בין יהודים וערבים.
יחסים נורמלים אין פירושם יחסים טובים בכל מצב ובכל זמן. למרבה הצער קיימת שנאה בין קבוצות אנושיות בעולם ויש לה סיבות ידועות, אבל גם שנאה היא סוג של יחסים נורמליים. שנאה ותסכול והצורך לשפר את היחסים האלה קיים בכל החברות האנושיות.
אבל רעיון הבידוד, והגזענות, והדמוניזציה שקיימים בין יהודים וערבים בתוך ישראל ועם השטחים הכבושים ובין ישראל שבין הירדן לים והסביבה המזרח תיכונית שלה, רעיון הבידוד הזה, והדמוניזציה, ואי-קבלת האחר – הדבר הזה צריך להימחות מהעולם, להיעלם
צילום, בימוי ותרגום: אלחנן מילר, מתוך פרויקט “אנשי הספר”

Eyal Weizman’s Double Standards: Ignores Human Rights Abuse by the Palestinians

26.08.21

Editorial Note


Dr. Eyal Weizman, a British Israeli architect, is another academic recruited to smear Israel.  In February 2020, IAM reported that he was refused a visa to the US on the grounds of security risk.  Weizman is a life-long anti-Israel radical activist who made a career out of pro-Palestinian advocacy. Weizman established Forensic Architecture (FA) at the Goldsmiths University of London, Department of Visual Cultures, which he has run since 2010.

Weizman recently hit the news when his organization, the FA, threatened to remove its artwork from the Whitworth gallery at Manchester University. The gallery removed a statement of solidarity with Palestine, which FA inserted. It was part of the exhibition which focuses on violence, including by Israeli forces against Palestinians.  FA demanded the removal of their exhibition upon hearing of the removal of their solidarity statement. However, the University of Manchester, due to pressure from Palestinian groups, reinstated the solidarity statement, and the exhibition continues to run. 

FA is a research agency investigating human rights violations, including violence committed by states, police forces, militaries, and corporations. Their “investigations employ pioneering techniques in spatial and architectural analysis, open source investigation, digital modeling, and immersive technologies, as well as documentary research, situated interviews, and academic collaboration. Findings from our investigations have been presented in national and international courtrooms, parliamentary inquiries, and exhibitions at some of the world’s leading cultural institutions and in international media, as well as in citizen’s tribunals and community assemblies.” 

Forensic Architecture boasts about contributing to the field of “investigative journalism, human rights and activism.” It aims to create a “robust debate” in human rights, architecture and legal circles. However, It carefully selects the incidents it investigates to meet its political agenda.

Weizman achieved prominence when he collaborated with Sandi Hillal, a Palestinian architect and researcher, and Alessandro Petti, her husband. Hilal was the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program in the West Bank at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 2008 to 2014. In 2007, Hillal, Petti and Weizman founded DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour, Palestine. It gathers architects, artists, activists, urbanists, film-makers, and curators working collectively on politics and architecture. A major theme that keeps reoccurring is the Palestinian refugee camps, “Camps are established with the intention of being demolished. They are meant to have no history and no future; they are meant to be forgotten. The history of refugee camps is constantly erased, dismissed by states, humanitarian organizations, international agencies, and even by refugee communities themselves in the fear that any acknowledgement of the present undermines their right of return.” In other words, the refugee camps are there for the residents waiting for their “return” to Israel. 

However, Forensic Architecture does not investigate crimes of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas against its people, such as the killing of dissidents.  Weizman ignores reports by Freedom House, which evaluated last year’s political rights and civil liberties of people, ranging from the right to vote to freedom of expression and equality before the law. Freedom House, in comparison, found that the West Bank and Gaza received some of the lowest scores. Israel’s total score is 76 and its people are free; the West Bank’s total score is 25 and its people are not free; the Gaza Strip’s total score is 11 and its people are not free. 

Even Iran’s meddling in Palestinian affairs does not convince Weizman and his partners to scrutinize the Palestinians abuse of human rights. Such steadfast refusal to acknowledge the human rights violations of the Palestinians and their Iranian mentor reflects his double standards. 

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/18/palestinian-solidarity-note-reinstated-at-manchester-university-gallery

Manchester University puts Palestinian solidarity statement back in gallery

Statement on ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians reinstated after complaint led to it being removed

A note at the entrance to Forensic Architecture’s Cloud Studies exhibition at the Whitworth gallery prompted a complaint from UK Lawyers for Israel. Photograph: Alan Williams/PA
Damien Gayle
@damiengayle
Wed 18 Aug 2021 17.02 BST

The University of Manchester has reversed a decision to remove a statement of solidarity with Palestine’s “liberation struggle” from an exhibition of works by a human rights investigations agency.

Alistair Hudson, the director of the university’s Whitworth gallery, said it was important for Forensic Architecture’s Cloud Studies exhibition “to remain open in full”. UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) responded by saying it was “considering all options”.

A senior university official had previously written to Jewish groups to tell them the exhibition’s opening statement, criticised as “factually incorrect and dangerously one-sided”, had been removed.

Hudson said instead that the Whitworth would provide a space for alternative responses to contextualise the issues raised by Cloud Studies. “It will be displayed prominently in the gallery,” he said.

He added: “The university, as a non-political organisation, has tried to balance extremely complex issues raised by the exhibition, but we believe that the worst outcome for all parties concerned would have been to close this exhibition for an extended period of time.”

The university’s climbdown comes after Forensic Architecture responded to the decision to remove the statement by pulling Cloud Studies “with immediate effect” on Sunday. That day, the gallery tweeted that the exhibition was closed due to “unforeseen circumstances”, and it was not due to open on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, pro-Palestinian groups staged protests. Manchester Palestine Action said the university had “suppressed the truth about Israel’s war crimes” as its supporters rallied at the Whitworth. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said it had coordinated 13,000 letters to the university through its online platform.

The impact of war in Palestine was just one of a number of human rights issues examined by Cloud Studies. But a statement pinned to the exhibit’s entrance had specifically denounced Israel’s military operations in Gaza and its “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.

It said the Palestinian “liberation struggle” was “inseparable from other global struggles”, and particularly the struggle for Black liberation.

In a letter to the University of Manchester last month, UKLFI had said the statement was full of inaccuracies, and that it “seems designed to provoke racial discord” by trying to “falsely equate Israelis with white supremacists”.

The group asked what regard was paid to “the impact of the inflammatory language and representations” in the exhibition on Manchester’s Jewish communities, and warned that the university could be in breach of its public-sector equality duty “to foster good relations between different communities”.

Prof Nalin Thakkar, the university’s vice-president for social responsibility, wrote back to say he understood the concerns around the statement, adding: “We consider it appropriate for it to be removed, which we have now done.”

After the reinstatement, Eyal Weizman, the director of Forensic Architecture, said he had made clear to the university that the equality duty had to include Palestinians.

“The equality duty extends to all communities,” Weizman said. “The effect of the removal of the statement that we have seen on both the Palestinians in Manchester and pro-Palestinian groups is huge, precisely because they were left out of the conversation.”

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https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/aug/16/artists-pull-work-from-whitworth-gallery-after-palestine-statement-removal

Artists pull work from Whitworth gallery after Palestine statement removal

Solidarity message removed from exhibition by Forensic Architecture after UK Lawyers for Israel campaign

Damien Gayle @damiengayle

Mon 16 Aug 2021 19.13 BST

A Turner prize-nominated investigative group has said it is pulling an exhibition of its work at the Whitworth gallery in Manchester after a statement of solidarity with Palestine was removed from the display.

Part of the exhibition addresses violence used by Israeli forces against Palestinians and was accused of being “incendiary and by its very nature one-sided” by UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI) which advocates for Israeli causes.

Forensic Architecture, a team of architects, archaeologists and journalists whose digital models of crime scenes have been cited as evidence at the international criminal court, demanded the closure of its exhibit “with immediate effect” upon learning of the removal.

The removal of the statement followed a campaign by UKLFI. A letter sent on 28 July by UKLFI to the University of Manchester, which controls the Whitworth gallery, suggested the exhibition could through its “inflammatory language and representations [of Jewish people]” breach the university’s public sector equality duty. It argued the comparison of the Palestinian and Black liberation struggles “seems designed to provoke racial discord”.

The intervention led to a meeting between representatives from the university, the gallery, UKLFI and Jewish community groups in Manchester, where the decision was taken to remove the statement.

Emails seen by the Guardian suggest Forensic Architecture’s director, Eyal Weizman, a British-Israeli professor at Goldsmiths, learned of the statement’s removal from a blog post by UKLFI. “As our work seems to have been compromised despite our strong objections, we demand that our exhibition is closed with immediate effect,” Weizman told the gallery.

The show, Cloud Studies, has been open since 2 July and looked at how pollution, chemical attacks and the aftermath of explosions affect marginalised people. It explored the use of teargas and white phosphorus in Palestine, chemical warfare in Syria, the use of teargas against protesters in Chile, the effects of deliberately started forest fires in Papua and highlighted major new work on environmental racism in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley”’.

At the entrance to the exhibition was pinned a note, headed “Forensic Architecture stands with Palestine”. It said: “We believe this liberation struggle is inseparable from other global struggles against racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, and settler colonial violence and we acknowledge its particularly close entanglement with the Black liberation struggle around the world.”

Weizman told the Guardian: “I’m stunned that the University of Manchester forced the removal of our ‘solidarity with Palestine’ statement which forms part of our exhibition.

“The statement refers to well-documented realities in Palestine, endorsed by major human rights groups. That the University of Manchester did so following the pressure from a self-appointed lobbying group known to platform the extreme-right settler movement in Israel disregard well-accepted principles of academic and artistic freedom and is an affront to the principles of human rights, in Palestine and elsewhere, that FA’s exhibition promotes.”

Weizman was referring to an episode two years ago when an event staged by UKLFI in London featuring a representative of the far-right organisation Regavim was blockaded by British Jews opposed to Israel’s occupation. At the time the UKLFI director, Caroline Turner, said Regavim was “certainly not a champion of hate” as it took action “against Jewish as well as Arab violators”.

UKLFI disputed the characterisation of its intervention as lobbying. It “expressed reasonable concerns”, the organisation told the Guardian. Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI, said: “In our view the university took a responsible decision, allowing the continued display of what passed for artistic elements in Forensic Architecture’s exhibition, even though these were also misleading, but removing the introduction which was pure propaganda. Forensic Architecture’s decision to pull the whole exhibition suggests that they are more interested in propaganda than art.”

The University of Manchester has previously been embroiled in controversy over censorship of expressions of solidarity with Palestine. In 2017 the university censored the title of a Holocaust survivor’s talk on Israel after Israeli diplomats said its billing – “You’re doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to me” – amounted to antisemitic hate speech.

In a statement provided by the University of Manchester, Alistair Hudson, director of the Whitworth gallery, said it was important that the exhibition remains on show, but that it was “paused” on Sunday.

But, he added: “We recognise the concerns expressed about the inclusion of that statement within the exhibition space and take these seriously, including regarding how it might be received by visitors to the gallery and around its potential impact on some communities in the city, community cohesion and fostering good relations.”
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https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/forensic-architecture-exhibition-at-whitworth-in-manchester-accused-of-antisemitism

Manchester gallery accused of provoking racial discord over exhibition on environmental effects of Israel-Palestine conflict

Cloud Studies by Forensic Architecture on show at the Whitworth Gallery has been criticised by the UK Lawyers for Israel

KABIR JHALA

12th August 2021 12:11 BST

An exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester that addresses violence used by Israeli forces against Palestinians has been accused of antisemitism by a UK-based legal organisation that advocates for Israeli causes.

Devised by the Turner Prize-nominated artist research group Forensic Architecture, Cloud Studies (until 17 October) examines how power structures shape the air we breathe, surveying instances across the globe—including Israeli military action in Palestine and the West Bank—to show the toxic environmental effects of chemical warfare such as tear gas and bomb clouds.

An introductory text to a film in the exhibition begins: “Forensic Architecture stands with Palestine” and continues to outline experiences of “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian neighbourhoods by “Israeli police and settlers”. It continues stating that the Palestinian liberation struggle “is inseparable from other global struggles against racism, white supremacy antisemitism, and settler colonial violence”.

In response, Daniel Berke, the director of UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a Manchester-based legal organisation supporting Israel, has written to the vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, to which the Whitworth belongs, claiming that the exhibition’s language seems “designed to provoke racial discord”.

Of chief concern, Berke writes, is the impact of the show on Jewish people in Manchester, citing reports of a marked upswing in cases of antisemitism in the UK following a period of increased violence in Gaza in May.

Installation view of Cloud Studies at Whitworth Gallery, Manchester Image: Courtesy of Forensic Architecture and Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester

Due to the fact that the Whitworth is connected to a public university, the letter states, the institution is legally bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty, a set of guidelines created under the 2010 Equality Act. The UKLFI claims that the exhibition infringes upon some of the act’s mandates, including the “elimination of discrimination, harassment and victimisation”, and the consideration to “foster good relations between different communities”.

UKLFI further cites an email written by the artist Daniel Mort, also seen by The Art Newspaper, that criticises the Whitworth’s “one-sided” curatorial stance, saying: “The exhibition text is presented as fact without any context and is full of inaccuracies and omissions—not least in the absence of any mention of Hamas who escalated both the unrest within Israel and the Gaza hostilities.”

Mort also challenges the “dangerous conflation of Israeli policy and action with colonialism and white supremacism. “This kind of simplistic view, when presented on a gallery wall in a semi-educational guise, is all too often accepted without question by visitors who may have little in-depth knowledge of a given situation. As such it is extremely divisive,” he says.

However, the Israeli-born director of Forensic Architecture Eyal Weizman defended the exhibition. Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle he said: “We did not report on the rockets, nor did we report on the reason that the rockets were fired, in the dispossession of Palestinian families in Jerusalem and the tear gassing of al Aqsa Mosque”, he said.

Weizman also pushes back against claims that the show would lead to an increase in antisemitism in Manchester, adding: “I disagree with those that say so: like anti-Palestinian racism, we oppose and condemn antisemitism, and wrote it in our statement.”

The letter from UKLFI adds that Weizman is “banned from the US on security grounds”, and “opposed the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism”.

In a statement shared with The Art Newspaper, a spokeswoman for Forensic Architecture says: “As evident in our 10 years of work—in both the form and content of our investigations into settler colonial violence around the world—we work with communities to oppose all forms of anti-Palestinian racism, fascism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism.”

A spokesperson for the Whitworth tells The Art Newspaper that the gallery “takes the concerns expressed very seriously and is in discussions with relevant community groups and exploring as a priority steps that may be taken to address the concerns which have been raised regarding aspects of the exhibition.”

“We do understand that this particular work is challenging and can be difficult and that it may cause strong reactions from those who disagree with its content. Any suggestion that this is in some way discriminatory is a real cause for concern for the Whitworth Gallery which holds dearly its commitment to a zero tolerance of all forms of racism.”

This incident marks the latest run-in between UKLFI and the Whitworth. Last month, the gallery was forced to remove a statement posted on its website following an intervention from UKLFI. UKLFI claimed that the statement, made in solidarity with Palestine, was “divisive” and “likely to cause fractions” at a vulnerable time for the Jewish community.

UPDATE: This article was amended on 12 August 2021 to reflect that Eyal Weizman, director of Forensic Architecture, is banned from entering the US on security grounds, rather than Whitworth Gallery director Alistair Hudson, as was originally published. The headline was also changed to better represent the contents of this article.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/23/israeli-checkpoint-killing-of-palestinian-was-an-execution-report-claims

Israeli checkpoint killing of Palestinian was an execution, report claims

London-based group says video evidence casts doubt on claims Ahmad Erekat was conducting an attack

Israeli forces executed a 26-year-old Palestinian at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank last year, a report has alleged, challenging Israeli police claims that the man was a “terrorist” conducting an attack.

Forensic Architecture, a British research body based at Goldsmiths, University of London, said it had conducted an analysis into the death of Ahmad Erekat, who was shot seconds after his car crashed into a booth and lightly wounded an Israeli border guard.

The incident last June was described on the day by Israeli police as a “vehicle attack”, saying that its forces had “quickly neutralize [sic] the threat from the terrorist”.

In the past few years, Palestinian attackers have used car-rammings against Israeli security forces and civilians.

However, Forensic Architecture said its investigation, which reconstructed the scene using available film, including security footage published by police, cast “significant doubt” on claims Erekat was involved in an attack, and suggested the crash may have been an accident.

A collision expert cited in the report, Jeremy J Bauer, found the car was not accelerating significantly and hit the woman at low speed. “Our analysis also comes across evidence that raises the possibility that Erekat braked before impact with the checkpoint,” the report said.

Israeli forces had not produced “any evidence that it was not the result of an error or malfunction”, it added.

According to Erekat’s family, he was running chores for his sister’s wedding, which was due to take place later that day.

Israeli police claimed Erekat “approached officers” after the crash. Forensic Architecture said video proved he had “raised his hands in the air, moved away from the soldiers, and did not pose any immediate threat”.

He was shot up to six times within seconds, it said, adding that Israeli forces offered no immediate medical aid, even while he was clearly alive. The killing amounted to an extrajudicial execution, it concluded.

Erekat’s body was stripped and left for more than an hour and a half on the ground, it said.

Forensic Architecture is headed by Eyal Weizman, a British-Israeli professor at Goldsmiths. It has conducted several open-source investigations that use 3D modelling, including into the Beirut port explosion and US police brutality.

This is the first investigation by the body’s Palestine Unit and was supported with documentation by the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq.

Responding to the report, Israeli police claimed Erekat had moved “quickly towards the border police officers” while “waving his hands in a manner deemed threatening”.

Police and military investigators had concluded that “Erekat carried out a deliberate ramming attack”. Without providing evidence, police said information on Erekat’s phone “reinforced” that conclusion.

It added Erekat had no pulse minutes after the incident and was pronounced dead. “During the entire incident, there was no degrading treatment.”

It said it would not be able to comment on holding the body, as it was part of legal proceedings in the high court.

B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, says the country is holding dozens of bodies of Palestinian attackers and alleged attackers to use “as bargaining chips for future negotiations”. Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, is believed to hold the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.=======================================


http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=885

The Guardian | January 16, 2009

Growing outrage at the killings in Gaza
The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel‘s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel‘s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

******

Among the 300 signatories:

Dr. Eyal Weizman, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths

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

https://www.sciarc.edu/people/faculty/sandi-hilal

Sandi Hilal
History+Theory
Sandi Hilal is an architect and researcher. Hilal was the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program in the West Bank at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) from 2008 to 2014. Together with Alessandro Petti, she founded Campus in Camps (www.campusincamps.ps), an experimental educational program hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem with the aims to overcome conventional educational structures by creating a space for critical and grounded knowledge production connected to greater transformations and the democratization of society. Hilal and Petti co-authored the book Architecture after Revolution (Sternberg, Berlin 2014), an invitation to rethink today’s struggles for justice and equality not only from the historical perspective of revolution, but also from that of a continued struggle for decolonization. In 2007, together with Alessandro Petti and Eyal Weizman, she founded DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) (www.decolonizing.ps) in Beit Sahour, Palestine, with the aim to combine an architectural studio and an art residency able to gather together architects, artists, activists, urbanists, filmmakers, and curators to work collectively on the subjects of politics and architecture.

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

18.08.21

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.

References:

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

352 views Streamed live on Jul 7, 2021

British Society for Middle Eastern Studies
65 subscribers
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: https://brismescampaigns.org/ 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
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https://brismescampaigns.org/mission-statement/

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.

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https://brismescampaigns.org/campaigns/

Campaigns
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.

https://brismescampaigns.org/about-us/

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.

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https://brismescampaigns.org/people/

  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.
https://brismescampaigns.org/events/
BRISMES Campaigns launch
Post author By brismescadmin
https://www.brismes.ac.uk/conference/   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
Panellists:
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

________________________________
Categories
UNCATEGORIZED
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
Panellists:
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  

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https://www.brismes.ac.uk/about-us

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.

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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 brismescampaigns.org 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

Academic Former Prisoner on Espionage Sees the Zionist Movement a Story with Unhappy Ending

12.08.21

Editorial Note

Dr. Ehud (Udi) Adiv, a former member of the radical group Matzpen who spent twelve years in prison on spying for Syria, pursued a successful academic career.  He completed a Ph.D. degree in 1998 in political science at Birkbeck, University of London, under the supervision of Sami Zubaida.  His thesis was titled “Politics and identity: a critical analysis of Israeli historiography and political thought.” He then returned to Israel and taught at the Israeli Open University in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication, until his retirement.

Like his Matzpen comrades, he devoted his career to trashing Israel and promoting a distorted view of Zionism, often using hard to comprehend neo-Marxist jargon. 

Adiv’s most recent contribution is an article in Academia Letters, a project by Academia.edu, titled “The Israeli ‘Republic of Letters’ between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.” The paper posits that the “Zionist dream was meant to be an ideal Jewish society,” but it ended in a “bloody conflict followed by ongoing war against the local Palestinian people.”  Adiv then repeats all the post-Zionist tropes that see Israel as a “colonial project” conducting “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians. Consequently, “demanding its secularization and democratization.” 

Following a long lament about the tragic failure of Zionism, Adiv offers his solution that is an odd cross between Marxism and psychobabble.   He writes:  “I consider the old-new idea of republicanism, by means of which people could transcend their subjective unmediated ‘self love’ by conscious political realization. As it is, republicanism is precisely the political mechanism that enables and induces self-realization.”

The “modern republican nation-state” is Adiv’s solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. He writes, “In Israel, the Jewish-Arab dichotomy as the predominant discourse is indeed specific and divisive. Only a republican perspective could be a unifying and progressive force that could transcend both the antagonisms of Jewish vs. Arab patriotism, and the power of the globalized economy. The republican perspective would require constant efforts to raise the self-awareness of the people, which should ultimately manifest itself in the establishment of a unified Palestinian-Israeli state. Thus, unlike the post-Zionist critics, I believe that only republicanism can convince the two peoples to transcend their ethnic patriotism by ‘exciting their minds with more desire to know.’ For Israel, this is most urgent and crucial.” 

According to Adiv, the republic of Israel and Palestine would reach a “mutual understanding, a process of reaching an agreement… to harmonize their interpretations of the world.” He ended his piece by stating this is how “I view the future Israeli-Palestinian polis as a realization of what Aristotle called ‘civic virtue’ by means of political institutions.” 

Adiv’s ideas are the reincarnation of the old Matzpen ideal of Jews and Palestinian Arabs living side by side as brothers.   If the notion of a brotherly coexistence was misguided during the heyday of Matzpen in the 1950s, it is positively delusional today.   The Gaza Strip is under the brutal dictatorship of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which act on the behest of its Iranian masters.  The Palestinian proxies and Hezbollah have been equipped with a huge arsenal of projectiles directed at Israel.   While not an existential threat, missiles from Gaza have disrupted life in Israel numerous times since the IDF left Gaza unilaterally in 2005.  The West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas is a corrupt and stagnant system that jails and kills its critics.   

Of course, Adiv would never mention that there is something fundamentally wrong with the political system which the Palestinians created.  But even he would probably have a hard time explaining how the Palestinians can “transcend their subjective unmediated ‘self love’ by conscious political realization.”

Matzpen and its intellectual heirs have created an academic equivalent of the “earth is flat theory.”  Israeli institutions of higher learning have provided a taxpayer-supported platform for its propagation.  

References:

https://www.academia.edu/50084044/The_Israeli_Republic_of_Letters_between_Neo_Zionism_and_Post_Zionism

ACADEMIA Letters
The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism
and Post-Zionism
udi adiv
The history of the Zionist movement is a story with an unhappy ending. The story was begotten
by the vision of establishing an ideal Jewish society. It ended in bloody conflict followed by
ongoing war against the local Palestinian people. Indeed, for the early Zionist ideas it was a
tragic end, because it was the inevitable consequence of the immanent inconsistency of the
Zionist idea itself. Like the Greek tragedies, it can be regarded as a necessary failure in the
face of necessity. The incongruity is that of the idea of Zionism as the telos of centuries-long
galut (‘exile’) and the reality of Zionism in the “here and now” as a colonial project, a means
to that end. It was also inconsistent of the Zionists to attempt to introduce enlightened ideas
of liberalism and socialism into the Middel-Eastern European idea of Jewish nationalism. It
was this, as well as the inconsistency of the Zionist idea that sooner or later would trigger the
conflict with the Palestinians and has continued to be its main driving force ever since.
Jurgen Habermas explains that understanding the concept of modernity begins with Hegel.[1]
Thus, contrary to the “radical break” of post-modernism, he argued for the dialectic of modernity
as a synthesis according to which the present is viewed as a continuous renewal of the
past. And indeed, initially, the early Zionists did search for a Jewish safe haven, a national
renewal after the miserable conditions of East-European Jewry. Indeed, as Zionism emerged
in the writings of Ahad Ha’am, Martin Buber and the socialist writers of Poalei Tzion Smol
(the Zionist Workers of the Left), it could have been interpreted in light of that enlightened
tradition. However, with the establishment of the State of Israel by means of “fire and sword”
it became clear that this was no longer the case. The Zionist Yishuv, as a modem settlement
project, has already accomplished a “radical break” with its European enlightened tradition,
which can only be interpreted in terms of “our world, our time”. Given this post-factum unhappy
end, we must ask ourselves what was the cause and the meaning of such a failure of the
Academia Letters, July 2021
Corresponding Author: udi adiv, udiadiv@gmail.com
Citation: Adiv, U. (2021). The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.
Academia Letters, Article 1838. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1838.
1
©2021 by the author — Open Access — Distributed under CC BY 4.0
early Zionist idea? Indeed, the Zionist idea of a Jewish national revival was initially posited as
a spiritual and pious reward for the sufferings of East European Jewry. This idea was turned
into a civil religion that had some appeal for those Jews vis-a–vis the hostile anti-Semitism
that surrounded them. However, over time, the new civil religion was transmuted into the
collective sentiment and general will of the Zionist settlers, becoming the spiritual dimension
and idea of “good”, in the light of which the Zionist Yishuv sublimated and harmonized its existence
vis-à-vis the local Palestinian people. This attitude has exacerbated the conflict from
the beginning of the Zionist settlement until today.
Nonetheless, despite the apparent conformity and continuity, one can recognize a clear
division among the Zionist movement. On one hand, there were the mainstream writers, who
invented or dreamed up Zionism, which eventually gave rise to the conflict with the Palestinians.
On the other hand, there were the humanists and the socialists who tried to integrate
the Zionist idea of auto-emancipation in the universality of human emancipation. Hence, the
Zionist Movement at the time in a state of flux, could still choose other more enlightened ways
to achieve its Jewish national idea.
During the 1960s and 1970s, writers of what I call the “neo-Zionist school” gradually
came to the fore. This generation, of such writers as Shlomo Avineri, Shmuel Eizenstadt,
Anita Shapira, Yosef Gorni, Israel Kolat, Israel Bar-Tal, Ze’ev Sternhell and Boaz Evron,
privileged offspring of the Zionist Yishuv, were raised as masters of the land and had not
shared the bitter experience of East-European Jewry. It is against these writers, therefore,
that my criticism is directed. They should have remembered Hegel’s definition of hindsightwisdom
that “rises only when dusk is falling”, i.e. an understanding of the tragic end of the
Zionist dream. Moreover, the 1967 War and the occupation of the Palestinian territories that
followed completely negated the image of Israel as an autonomous Jewish state. Since that
time, there has been an ongoing attempt by the neo-Zionist writers to revive and reconstruct
what Anita Shapira called the “Jewish defensive ethos” of Zionism. Nevertheless, in spite
of the occupation of Palestinian teritories, their critical works have continued to appear since
the late 1980s. The new generation of writers has tried to redefine the Zionist movement and
the Israeli polity as they really were. These Israeli-born writers belong to a generation more
critical and less ideologically oriented than previous generations, using terms such as: “pure
settlement” (Shafir, 1989); “ethnic cleansing” (Pappe, 2006); “Center and Periphery” (Kimmerling,
2004); “immigrants and natives” (Yiftachel, 1999); “Occident and Orient” (Yona
and Shenhav, 2005); “a national invention” (Zand, 2008); and “a regime that is not the one..”
(Azulai & Ofir, 2010).
Be that as it may, these works move between “the two faces of the Janus-head of Zionism”.
Lacking “the Jewish spirit”, they see Israeli society as an invention – a modern Jewish-Israeli
Academia Letters, July 2021
Corresponding Author: udi adiv, udiadiv@gmail.com
Citation: Adiv, U. (2021). The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.
Academia Letters, Article 1838. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1838.
2
©2021 by the author — Open Access — Distributed under CC BY 4.0
nation independent of historical Judaism. They try to present the reality of Israeli society
rather than the idealizations of the Zionist myth. Thus, some post-Zionist writers see Israeli
society today as a radical break with the Jewish past. Others see it as a continuation of
traditional Judaism at a higher (or lower) stage. In either case, they essentially remain Israeli-
Jewish nationalists. So when and where was this exclusivist Israeli-Jewish nation created?
The post-Zionist writers, simply refer to the reality of Israeli society, without even raising the
fundamental question of the historical origins of Jewish-Israeli nationhood in Mandate Palestine[
2]. They argue against what Oren Yiftachel called the existence of a “Jewish ethnocracy”,
demanding its secularization and democratisation, but for them it is, nonetheless, an Israeli
nation existing in what Kimmerling called “a socio-political bubble”, in and for itself. Zand’s
recent book “When and How I stopped being a Jew”(2013) is a good example of post-Zionist
critique, in which he regards Jewish tradition, as an historical anchronism. However, if it is
not derived from Jewish ethnicity, how else can one define a discrete Israeli society independently
of the Palestinians if, as we know, nationhood is the “will of the many”, not that of a
chosen few. If this is really the case, the second question must be: What is the significance
and what are the consequences of post-Zionist critique? It only raises the odds by criticizing
some aspects of the outcomes and repercussions of Zionism, but still defines itself within the
frame of reference of Zionist assumptions with regard to the establishment of Israeli-Jewish
nationhood in “the land of Israel”. For this reason, my argument is directed against the critical
writers of the post-Zionist school because I believe that the main problem with Israeli critical
thought as presented in the not altogether unbiased historical and sociological studies, is
its lack of a perspective that extends beyond the positive facts. To paraphrase young Marx,
the point is not only to try to explicate Israeli society as it really is, but also to insist that the
enlightened human ideas stimulated and inspired the historical process – ideas by means of
which the critical writers could transcend their blinkered nationalistic hic et nunc. If this is
not the case, if their criticism is merely a negation of the dominant ideology; if it is only a
representation without political objectification; indeed, if it is, a la Frankfurt School, only the
spirit of the “I” against the “is”, then it is either a very unfortunate criticism, or just criticism
for criticism’s sake; in which case, the inspirational, educative, revolutionary voice of the
intellectual becomes intolerable.
In opposition to the theoretical positivism of post- Zionist writers, I consider the old-new
idea of republicanism, by means of which people could transcend their subjective unmediated
“self love” by conscious political realization. As it is, republicanism is precisely the political
mechanism that enables and induces self-realization, of man as a self-conscious being
in the world. In other words, politics actually applies such a “reintegration of a fragmented,
alienated existence”,[3] enabling people to transcend their immediate existence and become
Academia Letters, July 2021
Corresponding Author: udi adiv, udiadiv@gmail.com
Citation: Adiv, U. (2021). The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.
Academia Letters, Article 1838. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1838.
3
©2021 by the author — Open Access — Distributed under CC BY 4.0
what Aristotle called “a political animal”. The Polis, the modern republican nation-state, is
the realm in which man can be objectively recognized as a self-conscious being at one with
his Polis. In Israel, the Jewish-Arab dichotomy as the predominant discourse is indeed specific
and divisive. Only a republican perspective could be a unifying and progressive force
that could transcend both the antagonisms of Jewish vs. Arab patriotism, and the power of
the globalized economy. The republican perspective would require constant efforts to raise
the self-awareness of the people, which should ultimately manifest itself in the establishment
of a unified Palestinian-Israeli state. Thus, unlike the post-Zionist critics, I believe that only
republicanism can convince the two peoples to transcend their ethnic patriotism by “exciting
their minds with more desire to know.[4] For Israel, this is most urgent and crucial. Moreover,
it is quite evident that ethnic patriotism as well as full globalization would be tantamount to
an absolute and irrevocable bill of divorce from any kind of a conscious political freedom.
As Habermas put it; contrary to the “instrumental” and “strategic” actions that characterize
capitalist globalization, such states would embody “rational action” – mutual understanding,
a process of reaching an agreement between speaking subjects in order to harmonize their
interpretations of the world (Habermas,1995). I view the future Israeli-Palestinian polis as a
realization of what Aristotle called ”civic virtue” by means of political institutions. That is,
politics as a conscious exercise that goes hand-in-hand with the world at large, as an end in
itself, rather than as an expression and\or means of a particular “will to power” and recognition.
References
[1] Habermas offers his interpretation of what Horkheimer and Adorno called “the dialectic
of enlightenment”. He says: “We must return to him (Hegel) if we want to understand the
internal relationship between modernity and rationality [00]. He dates the beginnning of
the present from the break that the enlightenment and the French revolution signified at
the close of the 18th and the start of the 19th century. Hegel believed that “we would come
to the final stage in history – our world, our own time’.
[2] Hence, the answers are varied. During the Mandate period they were the leaders of the
Jewish Section of PCP, who first turned against the radical anti Zionist policy of the PCP,
and argued that following the mass immigration of the German Jews during the 1930s,
such a newly created “Jewish-Hebrew nationhood” came to life in “Eretz Israel”. All the
same, ten years later, in may 1947, following Andrei Gromico “surprising” speech in favor
of the “Partition plan”, the Communists leaders themselves admited that, indeed, after the
Academia Letters, July 2021
Corresponding Author: udi adiv, udiadiv@gmail.com
Citation: Adiv, U. (2021). The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.
Academia Letters, Article 1838. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1838.
4
©2021 by the author — Open Access — Distributed under CC BY 4.0
Holocoust, such a new “Jewish nationhood” did create in Palestine. Furthermore, in view
of their new ”post-Zionist” policy, the Communists even fought during 48 War, on the side
of the Zionist forces, in defence of, what they belived was, the right of the Zionist Yishov
to establish its seperate exclusivist “Jewish state”.
[3]
[4] John Milton, Paradise Lost, IV: 513-24, 1667.
Academia Letters, July 2021
Corresponding Author: udi adiv, udiadiv@gmail.com
Citation: Adiv, U. (2021). The Israeli “Republic of Letters” between Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism.
Academia Letters, Article 1838. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1838.
5
©2021 by the author — Open Access — Distributed under CC BY 4.0

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

https://www.shabak.gov.il/english/heritage/affairs/Pages/1972.aspx

Exposure of a Jewish-Arab Espionage and Terror Network (1972)

On December 7, 1972 the media released an announcement from the spokesman for the Israeli Police, Northern region: “The security establishment exposed and arrested a covert organization, operating in the northern and central part of the country on behalf of Syria. This organization included Arabs, most of whom were from the northern part of the country as well as Jews with extreme left wing views. Some of the members in the organization were spying against Israel and the organization was preparing for sabotage operations in Israel.

31/12/1971

…so far approximately 20 people were detained. The person suspected as head of the organization in Israel, is a Christian Arab resident of Haifa, a pro-Chinese businessman with extreme communist views, who was formerly a member of the communist party and an activist in the illegal nationalistic organization “Al-Ard”. In recent years he had moved toward “Matzpen” circles.

The main operator of the organization, who is currently located in Damascus, is a former Israeli Arab from Haifa. During his stay in Israel he was one of the heads of “Al-Ard”. He was detained in Israel together with his wife, on grounds of espionage. The couple was released from prison in 1968, and emigrated permanently from Israel after waiving their Israeli nationality. He became an activist for the Palestinian Liberation Organization as well as an agent for the Syrian and Egyptian intelligence.

Amongst the detainees there are two young Israeli-Jews, extreme left wing activists and pro-Chinese communists, who were active in “Matzpen” as well as in an ultra radical left wing movement, which supported violent activities against the government and the establishment. The two are suspected of operating on behalf of the Syrian network and having been sent by the head of the network through Europe to Syria, where they underwent firearm and sabotage training and where they also transferred information to the enemy.

A number of other extreme left-wing activists are also suspected of connections to the network or of having known about its activities and are currently being interrogated… “
This was the conclusion of an intelligence operation conducted by the ISA’s northern region which had lasted two years.

The head of the network in Israel was a Christian Arab by the name of Daud Sam‘an Turki, the owner of a bookstore in Haifa, who was 45 years old at the time. Turki was active in “Maki” (a Communist political party) and was expelled in 1963 due to his pro-Chinese views. In the 60’s he took part in various activities for “Matzpen” (an anti-capitalist and anti-Zionist organization whose official name was the Israeli Socialist Organization) and “Rakah” (an organization that developed from “Maki”). He was well known among the Arab population for his support of terrorist activity.

The ISA began receiving intelligence information about Turki’s irregular activities from the midst of 1968. Specifically, the ISA discovered that Turki maintained a relationship with one Habib Kahwahji in Cyprus, as well as the fact that he carried out a visit to the latter in 1969.

Habib Kahwahji a Maronite Christian, was 38 years old at the time: a teacher and a poet, as well as a nationalist who was a central figure in the “Al-Ard” organization, which was later declared illegal. Kahwahji and his wife were placed in administrative detention after the Six Day War, following the capture of documents demonstrating their connections with Syrian and Egyptian intelligence. In 1968 the couple arrived at a deal with the authorities, according to which, they emigrated and waived their Israeli nationality in return for their release from administrative detention. Since that time, Kahwahji resided in Cyprus, and he was suspected by the ISA as functioning as a spotter for Arab intelligence organizations.
Indeed, in the year 1970, the ISA received intelligence information indicating that Turki was attempting to recruit people for covert activities, most probably for terrorism.

In October 1970 Turki traveled to Turkey where he stayed for about a month, employing the cover story that he needed to make arrangements for his daughter’s academic studies there. Upon his return, in early December 1970, the ISA discovered that he was planning on founding a covert organization to carry out armed combat. Turki told his recruits that he was connected to a Palestinian terror organization – apparently the PLO – and that they were to receive weapons and to carry out terrorist attacks.

The ISA began to monitor Turki and to carry out surveillance on him, and via these means, exposed a number of Turki’s actual recruits as well as his attempts at recruitment.
Later, the ISA learned that Turki had begun recruiting in mid-1969 and that his network was operated from abroad by Habib Kahwahji. Turki was identified as the leader of the network in Israel and the ISA ascertained that he was also connected to the Egyptian intelligence.

In mid-1971 another cell in the network was exposed, which was led by Subhi Na’arani, a Bedouin and former security prisoner. The intelligence information gathered on this cell, beginning in mid-1970 – before the ISA discovered the connection with Da’ud Turki – was the first information regarding the creation of the terrorist network.

The recruits associated with Subhi Na’arani’s cell were all former security prisoners. They were a group used to interrogations as well as rough prison conditions. The group had connections with criminals they had met in jail, and were prepared to achieve their goal via any means possible. From the instant the cell was exposed, the ISA received information about planned kidnappings, armed robberies, assassinations and obtaining weapons.

Turki began sending his recruits to meet Habib Kahwahji abroad in July 1971. The ISA discovered that the purpose of these meetings – besides initial acquaintance, briefings, and intelligence debriefings – was weapon and terror training in Syria. By the end of 1971, Turki had sent five recruits on such missions.

The ISA’s assessment that the network was operating on behalf of the Syrian intelligence was confirmed in September 1971. Following a dispute that arose between Kahwahji and “the organizations”, the Syrians took upon themselves responsibility for financing the activities in Israel. Turki informed his recruits that from that point on, in addition to preparing for terrorist operations, they were to gather information. During that month the ISA discovered that the network included Jewish recruits.

And indeed, in November 1971, a young Israeli was identified as being linked to Turki’s covert activities: a Jewish youth by the name of Udi Adiv, a resident of Haifa. A search on his name revealed that he was well-known: a 25 year old raised on Kibbutz Gan Shemuel, a student in Haifa University and a member of an ultra-Maoist segment of Matzpen called “The Red Front”. This group was at the time Matzpen’s most radical segments. An ISA check of the data revealed that the Red Front had a connection with at least three Arabs who had been identified as associated with the network, among them Subhi and his colleague Anis Kar‘awi, who were among those who had been trained in Syria.

A further check revealed that Udi Adiv had left for Greece on September 28, 1971.
The ISA conjectured that Adiv was the head of a cell in the organization, and that the members of his cell were apparently Jews, and that members of his cell were also to be sent abroad.

On July 26, 1971 Dan Vered, a member in “The Red Front” was sent to Greece. The ISA determined that he too, was a member of Adiv’s group, and had also met with Kahwahji. Later on, two additional Jewish members of the cell, both also members in “The Red Front”, were identified – David Cooper and Yehezkel Cohen.
In September 1972 Adiv embarked for Greece for the second time. He returned to Israel on October 17 after having undergone training in Syria, like those who had preceded him. He brought back one thousand dollars with him in order to help fund the organization’s activities.

In October 1972, the ISA decided to interfere in order to counter the organization’s activities, for fear that it would go out of control. The information gathered to that date was astonishing:

 10 cell leaders, including Turki

 27 members

 117 suspected members and otherwise related individuals!
One of the ISA’s main concerns was that following Turki’s loss of control over Subhi Na’arani’s group it would carry out an independent terrorist attack.
The date scheduled for the beginning of the ISA’s foiling operation, and for arrests, was the beginning of December, 1972.
On the night between December 5th and 6th 1972 the arrests were carried out, and interrogations of suspects commenced.
Sixty individuals were interrogated, of whom forty were indicted. By the conclusion of the investigation, the following picture of the network had emerged:

 The organization included 34 people, including Turki’s daughter, who was studying in Turkey and was in communication with Kahwahji.

 The organization included ten cells, seven of which were already active and three of which had been assigned commanders and were in the process of being established.

 Seven members of the organization had undergone training in Syria, including Turki himself. Eight others were somewhere in the process of being sent to such trainings.

 Searches on those recruited to the group revealed pistols, but no explosive devices or materials.

The ISA determined that Daud Turki had initiated the founding of the network following the Six Day War. He had initially attempted to contact the Egyptian intelligence, via his acquaintance Kahwahji, but with no success. In late 1970 he renewed his relationship with Kahwahji and the organization was transferred to the sponsorship of a left wing group within the PLO.

Following the return of his first recruit, Subhi Na’arani, from training, he realized that he had been trained in Syria. He concluded from this that the organization was supported by the Syrian intelligence on the basis of training in return for intelligence. The network was later charged with intelligence gathering missions and was funded in return via recruits who were sent abroad.
Turki had recruited Udi Adiv in the summer of 1971, after meeting him at a “Matzpen” conference. He was appointed as head of the Jewish segment in the covert group that was established.

In September 1971, Adiv traveled to meet with the “representative of a Palestinian organization,” who turned out to be none other than Habib Kahwahji. Kahwahji did not tell him his real name, and instead identified himself as “Abu Kamal” and told him that he was a left wing activist in the PLO. Adiv underwent an intelligence debriefing with him and revealed all of the information he knew, including information about sensitive locations in Israel in which terrorist attacks could be carried out. Adiv agreed to report intelligence information about Israel, including emergency Israeli military callups.
In order for Adiv to do so he was trained in code writing and in fact sent two letters to a covert mailing address that was provided to him.

Adiv began in the work of recruiting Jewish members to the network. In this way, he recruited Dan Vered, David Cooper and Yehezkel Cohen. He also passed on to Turki a recommendation for the recruitment of two Arabs, one of whom was Ghassan Aghbaria, who was recruited as head of a cell. According to Adiv, he intended to recruit the entire Israeli anti – Zionist left.

Dan Vered was sent in July 1971 to a training mission in Syria, and in addition to the military training he underwent, he was instructed on the transmission and reception of coded messages over the radio. Upon his return Adiv and Vered attempted to receive the broadcasts of the program regarding which he’d been briefed, through Radio Damascus.

In September 1972 Adiv was sent once again on a mission on behalf of the network. This time he underwent training in shooting and sabotage in Damascus. He was debriefed there by intelligence and revealed everything he knew regarding the IDF and essential factories in Israel. He was entrusted with a number of intelligence missions and was instructed in sending coded messages. He was assigned the member of the network responsible for collecting the weapons that were to be smuggled into Israel from Lebanon, and to find storage locations for them in Tel Aviv.

The largest and most dangerous cell in the network was run by Subhi Na’arani. It numbered seven individuals, and two of its members trained in Syria. In August 1972 this cell was removed from Turki’s authority.

Five other issues came to light during the interrogations, of which the most well-known was the account of the connection between two members of the “Matzpen” faction “The Revolutionary Communist Alliance” and a member of the PLO. The two, Rami Livne and Mali Lerman, were arrested and confessed. During Adiv’s interrogation, it emerged that he had intended to recruit Livne, the son of a member of parliament from “Rakah”, Avraham Levenbraun, to the network.
In March 1973, Turki, Adiv, Vered, Subhi and Kar‘awi were convicted of treason. Turki and Adiv were sentenced to seventeen years imprisonment, Subhi and Kar‘awi were sentenced to fifteen, and Vered was sentenced to ten years. Yehezkel was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and Cooper was sentenced to five. Other members were also sentenced to various periods of imprisonment. Only one of the accused was acquitted due to insufficient proof.

Rami Livne and Mali Lerman were convicted and after appealing, their sentences were eased: Livne was imprisoned for four years and Lerman for two.
The publication of the affair in the media on December 8, 1972, caused great shock amongst the public, due to the unprecedented fact of Jewish participation in an Arab network of espionage and terror. The media called the network “the Jewish-Arab espionage and terror network”, although the Jews were only one small cell in a broad Arab network.

The effect of this shock was even greater because of its timing: the network was exposed a short time after the Lod Airport Massacre (May 1972), which was carried out by individuals sent by terror organizations, and the murder of the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics (September 1972).
The focus of public attention was, of course, focused on the Jewish members of the group, especially Adiv, a former kibbutz member and Vered, a high school teacher and counselor.

The comparison between Adiv, who betrayed the country and the late Uri Ilan, an IDF soldier who committed suicide in the Syrian prison in the early 50’s, both from Kibbutz Gan Shemuel, was inevitable. The message that Ilan wrote before committing suicide, “I did not betray,” became a national legend in Israel.
The media reports following the arrests and during the trials received wide coverage over a long period of time.

What was unique about this affair – apart from being the first Arab-Jewish ideological terrorist and espionage network in Israel – it was an underground organization, long in the planning, with the purpose of operating mainly as a fifth column carrying out terrorist attacks in strategic locations during times of national emergency, all this, in coordination with the enemy.
The network was also unique by virtue of its large number of members as well as the lengthy duration of its operation.

EU Research Fellows Call to Boycott Israeli Universities

05.08.21

Editorial Note

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is the European Union program for doctoral studies and postdoctoral training. It is named after Marie Curie, a Polish and naturalized French physicist and chemist who researched radioactivity.  The fund provides financial support to researchers for excellent research, boosting jobs, growth, and investments in Europe and beyond.  

Little did the MSCA know that many recipients of their grants try to harm universities.

On July 22, 2021, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECC Palestine) published a letter by 160 beneficiaries of EU research funding, MSCA, and ERC fellows.   The letter urged the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture to prohibit the disbursement of European research funds to Israeli institutions, which the letter identified as “complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.”

In particular, the letter urges the EU Commission “to amend Horizon 2020 policy guidelines on the participation of Israeli entities to exclude all Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law from Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, and all EU Research Framework Programmes until they abide by international law and human rights and cease their collaboration and systematic complicity in Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”

The letter urges the EU Commission to use their leverage to address “Israel’s brutal military assault” and Israel’s “human rights violations.”  

The letter claims that Israel is a “heavily militarized state and an occupying power under international law, and the Palestinians who are an occupied, stateless people under a settler-colonial and apartheid regime.” Therefore, the European Commission and its institutions should “cease any complicity in Israel’s existing regime of injustice oppressing Palestinians.” 

The reasons are “The complicity of Israeli academic institutions in Israel’s structural violence perpetrated against Palestinians across historic Palestine has been broadly and systematically documented.” Furthermore, “Given the evidence of the relationship between Israeli academic institutions and the systematic state practices of settler colonialism, and the crimes of apartheid and persecution, which have escalated again in Israel’s latest round of violence, we urge you to exercise your leverage and ensure the relationship with Israel’s academic institutions is based on respect for international law and human rights.”  

Among the signatories are some Israelis.  Neve Gordon, formerly from Ben Gurion University, now at Queen Mary University of London (UK), is a notorious anti-Israel activist who called for the boycott of Israel on the pages of the LA Times in 2009; Professor Haim Yacobi, University College London (UK), is a political activist with the NGO Zochrot, which promotes the “return” of Palestinian refugees from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel;  Professor Eyal Weizman, Goldsmiths University of London (UK), is another notorious anti-Israel activist, who recently put up an exhibition that detailed the environmental effects of Israel’s military action in Gaza and the West Bank, but did not mention the effect of the Gaza missiles which targeted Israel.

Among other signatories are three high profile anti-Israel activists: Professor Niko Besnier, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), who was a member of the AAA Task Force Engagement on Israel-Palestine, in 2015, which recommended a boycott of Israel; Siggie Vertommen, a Post-doc, Ghent University (Belgium), who, as a post-doc at King’s College London, was accused of producing anti-Semitic work, as reported by IAM; Omar Jabary Salamanca, researcher, Ghent University (Belgium), who, in 2011, delivered a talk “The Case for Boycotting Israel” at Ghent University.

Being one-sided, the letter fails to report the violations of Palestinian human rights by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, including the recent Palestinian Authority raiding and killing dissidents.

Interestingly, the various Iranian media outlets promote the letter.

The signatories claim to “take seriously our mandate to generate equitable, responsible and inclusive scientific knowledge.”  However, the group reflects the pernicious politicization of the academe where pro-Palestinian activists have managed to invade numerous professional associations, turning them into platforms that tarnish and delegitimize the State of Israel.   In doing so, they slide into anti-Semitism as described by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which the European Commission already adopted.

References:

https://www.eccpalestine.org/160-recipients-of-eu-research-funding-call-to-exclude-complicit-israeli-universities-from-eu-programmes/
160 Recipients of EU Research Funding Call to Exclude Complicit Israeli Universities From EU Programmes  POSTED ON 22 JUILLET 2021 POSTED IN: ACTIONS, EUROPEAN UNION, NEWS

  • 160 academics, past and current recipients of prestigious European Union research funding, urge the EU to exclude all Israeli academic institutions complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law and Palestinian human rights from its research funding and programmes. 
  • Signatories commend existing EU prohibition of funding for illegal Israeli settlement entities, but call for complicity to be the determining factor for exclusion rather than solely geographic location.
  • The letter urges the EU to ensure fulfillment of its mandate to generate equitable, responsible and inclusive scientific knowledge via effective measures
  • The initiative is part of growing global trend of scholars taking a stand against complicity with Israeli academic institutions and for Palestinian rights

160 academics from 21 countries urge the EU to exclude all Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law and Palestinian human rights from its taxpayer-funded research programmes. The academics are past and current recipients of some of the most prestigious European Union research funding programmes, including the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship.

This marks the first international initiative of EU funding recipients calling on EU institutions to stop funding complicit Israeli academic institutions until they cease their well-documented and systematic complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.

The letter was launched following Israel’s recent escalation of violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza, the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and in present-day Israel. The signatories recognize Israel’s latest round of violence as part of its “decades-long campaign of repression” against “Palestinians who are an occupied, stateless people under a settler-colonial and apartheid regime.”

The academics praise the EU’s existing policy which, in line with the EU’s mandate to generate equitable, responsible and inclusive scientific knowledge, prohibits the allocation of research funds to Israeli entities situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), or for research carried out there. The EU Commission has recently reiterated that research and innovation activities funded by the EU must comply with ethical principles and be in conformity with international law, though this has not been the case on several occasions.

The signatories, regardless, urge the EU to extend “the prohibition of European research funds to include Israeli institutions complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights, regardless of where they are situated.”

The signatories further note and provide evidence of “the relationship between Israeli academic institutions and the systematic state practices of settler colonialism, and the crimes of apartheid and persecution.”

The letter stresses the “emerging consensus among some of the most prominent human rights organisations,” including Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, that the violations and war crimes (including the crime of apartheid) perpetrated by Israel are part of a single regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The signatories urge the EU to exercise its “leverage and ensure the relationship with Israel’s academic institutions is based on respect for international law and human rights.”

They call on the EU “to amend Horizon 2020 policy guidelines on the participation of Israeli entities to exclude all Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law from Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, and all EU Research Framework Programmes until they abide by international law and human rights and cease their collaboration and systematic complicity in Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”

The initiative is part of a growing global trend of scholars taking a stand against complicity with Israeli academic institutions and in solidarity with Palestinian rights. In recent weeks, nearly 350 academic departments, programs, unions and associations and over 23,000 university faculty, staff and students have endorsed statements in support of Palestinian rights, most committing to or calling for accountability measures to end complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.
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http://www.eccpalestine.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/EU-Funded-Researchers-Signed-Letter-to-European-Commission.pdf

Dear European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture,
We, a group of concerned fellows and alumni of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, European
Research Council, and other EU research funding, write to urge you to use your leverage to
address the human rights violations that have occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
and Israel in recent weeks, and to actively dissuade such violence from resuming.
We acknowledge that the current ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, announced on 21st May 2021, has
brought a necessary respite from 11 days of Israel’s brutal military assault. Nevertheless 254
people have been killed: 242 Palestinians in Gaza, among them 66 children, and 12 Israelis. The
effects of Israel’s attacks on media and health facilities are grave. Amnesty International has
denounced Israel’s targeting of residential buildings in Gaza, “in some cases killing entire families –
including children” that “may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
The UN reports 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza, many of whom are already
refugees from prior expulsions by Israel. Israel’s military strikes have destroyed clean water and
electricity infrastructure, and severely damaged health facilities like the Hamad hospital, further
preventing emergency care for the nearly 2,000 Palestinians wounded. The residential tower
hosting offices of Associated Press and Al-Jazeera in Gaza were razed to the ground by precision
Israeli missiles, hindering journalists’ abilities to cover Israel’s attacks on Gaza. This is only Israel’s
most recent violent attack on Gaza. Its 14-year illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip has not been
addressed by the ceasefire.
Since April, Israel has arrested and/or detained at least 1,800 Palestinians, including hundreds of
Palestinian citizens of Israel. These arrests are a repressive measure against legitimate protests
carried out by Palestinians, in solidarity with civilians targeted by Israel in the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Over the last months, Israel has escalated its policies of forced expulsions in the East Jerusalem
neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, culminating in a military police attack on worshipers inside the Al
Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem during the last days of Ramadan. Israel’s ongoing arrests and
displacements are part of its decades-long campaign of repression, expulsions, unequal residency
rights, and discriminatory planning policies that have persisted despite multiple ceasefires. These
policies are promoted by extremist settler movements and rubber-stamped by a political and
judicial system that the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch,
recently described as meeting the international definition of “apartheid” from the Jordan River to
the Mediterranean sea. In addition, the transfer of civilians of the occupying state into a militarily
occupied territory constitutes a war crime according to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court, which EU states have ratified.
We stand in solidarity and grief with all families who lost their loved ones, no matter their
provenance: one victim is already too great a loss. However, portraying the historic and ongoing
violence as a “conflict” between equally powerful parties is misleading. There is a stark difference
between Israel, a heavily militarized state and an occupying power under international law, and the
Palestinians who are an occupied, stateless people under a settler-colonial and apartheid regime.
That is why we believe it is crucial for key political actors like the European Commission and its
institutions to act accordingly and cease any complicity in Israel’s existing regime of injustice
oppressing Palestinians-.
As scholars and researchers who are current and past beneficiaries of EU research funding,
MSCA and ERC fellows and alumni and have benefited from generous EU investment in our
research, we take seriously our mandate to generate equitable, responsible and inclusive scientific
knowledge. The European Commission has already taken a principled position and its funding
guidelines for Horizon 2020 prohibit the allocation of funds to Israeli entities situated in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, or for research carried out there.
As the EU Commission recently reiterated: “Article 19 of the Horizon 2020 Framework Regulation
provides that all the research and innovation activities carried out under Horizon 2020 must comply
with ethical principles and relevant national, Union and international legislation…” The necessary
provisions have been made in EU legislation and its implementing rules to “ensure the respect of
positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the EU of
Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967”.
This is a principled position, in line with international law and the respect of human rights. Israeli
entities located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and built on Palestinian land are structurally
involved in the perpetration of war crimes and human rights abuses. However, we believe that,
given the emerging consensus among some of the most prominent human rights organisations, the
crux of the problem goes beyond the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It would be important to
extend the prohibition of European research funds to include Israeli institutions complicit in Israel’s
violations of Palestinian human rights, regardless of where they are situated.
Indeed, the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in Israel’s structural violence perpetrated
against Palestinians across historic Palestine has been broadly and systematically documented.
Allow us to provide some examples:
1. Israeli universities, irrespective of their location, are structurally involved in Israel’s
violations of international law and human rights, as clearly demonstrated in this report.
2. The military doctrines and weaponry utilised in Israel’s violations of international law and
Palestinian human rights are developed in top Israeli universities, as reported here,
3. Israeli universities have multiple partnerships with and scholarships sponsored by Israeli
weapons manufacturers and numerous joint academic programs with the Israeli military.
4. Hebrew University is partially built on land illegally expropriated from Palestinian owners
and hosts an Israeli military base on campus.
5. Israeli universities perpetrate forms of institutional racism against their Palestinian students
and violate their rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression.
6. The knowledge production of Israeli universities supports and rationalises practices of
ethnic cleansing, as reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
7. Some of the most prominent ethicists working in Israeli universities develop the “moral”
justifications for the killing of civilians and the perpetration of war crimes.
8. Israeli universities collaborate regularly with settlement institutions and have involved these
institutions in EU research programs in which they participate, in violation of EU guidelines.
Given the evidence of the relationship between Israeli academic institutions and the systematic
state practices of settler colonialism, and the crimes of apartheid and persecution, which have
escalated again in Israel’s latest round of violence, we urge you to exercise your leverage and
ensure the relationship with Israel’s academic institutions is based on respect for international law
and human rights. As current and past beneficiaries of EU research funding, we urge you to amend
Horizon 2020 policy guidelines on the participation of Israeli entities to exclude all Israeli academic
institutions that are complicit in Israel’s grave violations of international law from Horizon 2020,
Horizon Europe, and all EU Research Framework Programmes until they abide by international law
and human rights and cease their collaboration and systematic complicity in Israel’s regime of
military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.

Yours,
The 160 Signatories attached below
1 Samer Abdelnour Senior Lecturer at University of Edinburgh (UK)
2 Lilith Acadia Assistant Professor, National Taiwan University (Taiwan)
3 Luigi Achilli Researcher, European University Institute (Italy)
4 Ahmet Akkaya Independent Researcher (Belgium)
5 Nida Alahmad Lecturer, University of Edinburgh (UK)
6 Walaa Alqaisiya PhD, London School of Economics, London (UK)
7 Lorenzo Alunni MSC Fellow, EHESS, Paris (France)
8 Diego Andreucci Postdoc, Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands)
9 Miriyam Aouragh Reader, University of Westminster (UK)
10 Marta Araujo Senior Researcher, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
11 Karel Arnaut Associate Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
12 Nishat Awan Senior Researcher, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
13 Stefania Barca Senior Researcher, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
14 Marie Beauchamps Independent writer and researcher (Netherlands)
15 Maria J Beltran Muñoz Lecturer, Pablo de Olavide University (Spain)
16 Berenice Bento Professor, University of Brasília (Brazil)
17 MatteoBenussi MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
18 Niko Besnier Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
19 Benedetta Bessi MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
20 Brenna Bhandar Associate Professor, University of British Columbia Canada)
21 Susan Blackwell Lecturer, University of Utrecht (Netherlands)
22 Tamar Blickstein MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
23 Camillo Boano Professor, UCL, London (UK)
24 Xavier Bonal Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
25 Sarah Bracke Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
26 Eva Brems Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
27 Rita Calvario Postdoc, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
28 MatteoCapasso MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
29 Giovanni Capellini Professor, University of Roma Tre (Italy)
30 Giovanni Carbone Professor, University of Milan (Italy)
31 Gabriel Catren Researcher, National Centre for Scientific Research (France)
32 Millicent Churcher MSC Fellow, Free Universiy of Berlin (Germany)
33 Linda Clarke Professor, University of Westminster London (UK)
34 Olga Cojocaru Researcher, Centre of Migration Research Warsaw (Poland)
35 Eileen Connolly Retired Professor, Dublin City University (Ireland)
36 MatteoCosci MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
37 Massimiliano CovielloResearcher, Link Campus University of Rome (Italy)
38 Costanza Curro Postdoc, University of Helsinki (Finland)
39 Petr Daněk Senior Lecturer, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)
40 Romina De Angelis Researcher, UCL London (UK)
41 Silvia De Bianchi ERC grant holder, University of Barcelona (Spain)
42 Chiara De Cesari Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
43 Valerie De Craene Post-doc, Ghent University (Belgium)
44 KatrienDe Graeve Associate Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
45 Marco Demichelis Senior Researcher, IUAV University of Venice (Italy)
46 Marco Di Branco MSC Fellow, University La Sapienza of Rome (Italy)
47 Cesare Di Feliciantonio Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
48 John Doyle Professor, Dublin City University (Ireland)
49 Sinéad D’Silva Researcher, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
50 Constance Dupuis Researcher, Erasmus University of Rotterdam (Netherlands)
51 Sergio Durante Professor, University of Padua (Italy)
52 Dian Ekowati Senior Researcher Officer CIFO (Indonesia)
53 Jan Engelen Professor Emeritus, University of Leuven (Belgium)
54 Irmak Ertor Assistant professor, University of Barcelona (Spain)
55 Nur Aiman Fadel PhD ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
56 Layal Ftouni Assistant Professor, Utrecht University (Nethelrands)
57 Pablo Garcia Researcher, University of Leiden (Netherlands)
58 Maziyar Ghiabi MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
59 Cristiano Gianolla Researcher, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
60 Emanuela Girei Lecturer, University of Sheffield (UK)
61 Eduardo Gómez-Sánchez Professor, University of Valladolid (Spain)
62 Neve Gordon Professor, Queen Mary University of London (UK)
63 Xavier Guignard PhD Candidate, University of Paris-1 (France)
64 Michael Harris Emeritus Researcher, Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu, Paris
(France)
65 Alex Henley MSC Fellow, University of Oxford (UK)
66 Livia Holden Director of Research, Paris Nanterre University (France)
67 Ilenia Iengo PhD Candidate, Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)
68 Omar Jabary Salamanca Researcher, Ghent University (Belgium)
69 Thibaut Jaulin Researcher, Sciences Po University of Paris (France)
70 Emil G. Howard Joffé Senior Researcher, University of Cambridge (UK)
71 Georgios Kallis Professor, University of Barcelona (Spain)
72 Shivani Kaul PhD Candidate, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
73 Christian Kesteloot Emeritus Professor, University of Leuven (Belgium)
74 VK Kolinjivadi Post-doc, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
75 Antti Kupiainen Professor, University of Helsinki (Finland)
76 Michele Lancione Professor, University of Turin (Italy)
77 Madeleine Le Bourdon Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London (UK)
78 Maria Jose Lera Associate Professor, University of Seville (Spain)
79 Les Levidow Senior Researcher, Open University (UK)
80 Chrisoula Lionis Researcher, University of Manchester (UK)
81 RaquelMachaqueiro Post-doc, Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal)
82 Marianne Maeckelbergh Professor, University of Leiden (Netherlands)
83 Pieter Maeseele Professor, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
84 Cephas Mandizvidza Senior Researcher, Scientific Research Development Centre
(Zimbabwe)
85 Sabrina Marchetti Associate Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
86 Emma Martin Diaz Professor, University of Seville (Spain)
87 Alice Massari Researcher, University of Florence (Italy)
88 Francesca Mazzilli MSC Fellow, University of Bergen (Norway)
89 Richard McNeil-Willson Research Associate, EU University Institute (Italy)
90 Bruno Meeus Post-doc, University of Leuven (Belgium)
91 Laura Mentini PhD Candidate, Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)
92 Julie Metta PhD Candidate, University of Leuven (Belgium)
93 Nina Isabella Moeller Associate Professor, Coventry University (UK)
94 Rahman Momeni Researcher, University of Nottingham (UK)
95 Annelies Moors Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
96 Clément Mouhot Professor, University of Cambridge (UK)
97 Frank Moulaert Emeritus Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
98 Muhammad Umair Researcher, Mukati Technical University of Denmark
99 Vjosa Musliu Assistant Professor, Free University of Brussels (Belgium)
100 Yael Navaro Professor, University of Cambridge (UK)
101 Aysha Navest PhD University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
102 Azadeh Nematy Junior Fellow, University Bielefeld (Germany)
103 Idesbald Nicaise Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
104 Elana Ochse Associate Professor, University of Turin (Italy)
105 Ruud Oeters Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
106 Michelle Pace Professor, Roskilde University (Netherlands)
107 Polly Pallister-WilkinsAssociate Professor, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
108 Mario Pansera ERC grantee, University of Vigo (Spain)
109 Christopher Parker Associate Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
110 Esther Peeren Professor University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
111 Alfonso Perez Researcher, Pompeu Fabra University (Spain)
112 Nicola Perugini Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh (UK)
113 Sean Phelan MSC Fellow, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
114 Daniela Pioppi Associate Professor, University of Naples (Italy)
115 Andrea Pollio MSC Fellow, Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy)
116 Stefano Portelli Researcher, University of Leicester (UK)
117 Caitlin Procter Professor, European University Institute (Italy)
118 Mauro Puddu MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
119 Sabrina Puddu MSC Fellow, Leuven University (Belgium)
120 Raija-Leena Punmäki Professor, Tampere University (Finland)
121 Carlo Alberto Redi Professor, University of Pavia (Italy)
122 Hilary Rose Emeritus Professor, University of Bradford (UK)
123 Steven Rose Emeritus Professor, Open University (UK)
124 Jonathan RosenheadEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics (UK)
125 Anna Rosinska MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
126 Catherine RottenbergAssociate Professor, University of Nottingham (UK)
127 Sahar Saeidnia Post-doc, Free University of Brussels (Belgium)
128 Salah Eddine Salhi Researcher, University of Abou Bakr Belkaïd (Algeria)
129 Francesca Savoldi Post-doc, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
130 Todd Sekuler Post-Doc, Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany)
131 Paula Sequeiros Associate Researcher, University of Coimbra (Spain)
132 Jonathan Silver Researcher, University of Sheffield (UK)
133 Maria Ainara Sistiaga Gutierrez Post-doc, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
134 Thomas Smith Assistant Professor, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)
135 Joana Sousa Researcher, University of Coimbra (Spain)
136 AngeloStefanini Researcher, University of Bologna (Italy)
137 Mikki Stelder Postdoc, University of British Columbia (Canada)
138 Andy Stirling Professor, University of Sussex (UK)
139 Erik Swyngedouw Professor, University of Manchester (UK)
140 Lewis Turner Lecturer, Newcastle University (UK)
141 Barbara Van Dyck Associate Professor, Coventry University (UK)
142 Gert Van Hecken Assistant Professor, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
143 Geert Van Hootegem Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
144 Geertrui Van Overwalle Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
145 Dirk Vandermeulen Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
146 Diana Vela Almeida Researcher, University of Science and Technology (Norway)
147 Giorgos Velegrakis Researcher, University of,hens (Greece)
148 Jef Verhoeven Emeritus Professor, Leuven University (Belgium)
149 Siggie Vertommen Post-doc, Ghent University (Belgium)
150 Foteini Vervelidou Postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston (USA)
151 Lorenzo Vianelli Post-doc, University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
152 Gordon Walker Professor, Lancaster University (UK)
153 Eyal Weizman Professor, Goldsmiths University of London (UK)
154 Susanne Wessendorf Professor, Coventry University (UK)
155 Kalpana Wilson Lecturer, Birkbeck University of London (UK)
156 Bilge Yabanci MSC Fellow, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
157 Haim Yacobi Professor, University College London (UK)
158 Alexandra Zavos Researcher, Panteion University (Greece)
159 Dina Zbeidy Researcher, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
160 Francesco Zucconi Researcher, IUAV University of Venice (Italy)

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https://www.eccpalestine.org/about-us/

Who We Are

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) was founded in 1986 as a network of European committees, organisations, NGOs and international solidarity movements, dedicated to the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and justice. ECCP is based in Brussels and has a legal status as a non-profit organisation under Belgian law.

ECCP in its work is trying to challenge EU complicity with Israels ongoing violations of International Law and Palestinian rights. We are coordinating political actions, grassroots campaigns and debates at the European level, highlighting the ways in which the EU, despite its many verbal condemnations, continues to fund Israeli companies and institutions that are directly involved in the maintenance of the Israeli regime of apartheid, colonialism and occupation.

ECCP OBJECTIVES: 

 ECCP supports a ‘rights-based approach’ (focusing on the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people) as opposed to a ‘solution-based approach’.

a) The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as enshrined in international law and relevant UN resolutions

b) An end to the 1967 occupation of all Arab lands, particularly the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and its associated regime

c) The right of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality

d) Respect, protection and promotion of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

e) The unconditional release of all Palestinian prisoners

MEMBERS

Austria:

Society for Austro-Arab Relations  – SAAR

Women in Black (Vienna)

Belgium:

Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP)  

Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel – BACBI

Palestina Solidariteit 

Intal

Centre National de Coopération au Développement (CNCD.11.11.11)

M3M – Médecine Pour Le Tiers Monde

Plateforme Charleroi Palestine

Czech Republic

ISM Czech Republic

Initiative for a Just Peace in the Middle East

Finland

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) – Finland

Finnish-Arab Friendship Society

France

Association France Palestine Solidarite (AFPS) 

Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine

Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP)

BDS France

Germany

Deutscher Koordinationskreis Palastina Israel (KOPI)

Buendnis fuer Gerechtigkeit zwischen Israelis und Palaestinensern e.V.  BIP 

DPG

BDS Berlin

Ireland

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

Italy

FIOM-CGIL

AssoPacePalestina  

Cultura è liberta

New Weapons Research Group

Luxembourg

Comite Pour Une Paix Juste Au Proche –Orient (CPJPO)

Netherlands

Netherlands Palestina Komittee

DocP

Norway

Fellesutvalget for Palestina – The Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine

Scotland

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

Slovenia

BDS Slovenia

Slovakia

Iniciatíva za spravodlivý mier na Blízkom východe – Slovak Initiative for a Just Peace in the Middle East

Spain

RESCOP

ISM Spain

Sweden

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS)

Switzerland

Collectif Urgence Palestine

BADIL

Association Switzerland Palestine (ASP)

BDS Switzerland

UK

British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The Declaration of Falsification and Lies: Declaration on the Supression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine

By Israel Academia Monitor

29.07.21
Editorial Note

Israel has not properly addressed the accusations of apartheid and the calls for punishment. The distortion of the truth and outright lies that have been spread are easily refutable. 

The “Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine” is a case in point. The document represents an initiative by Ahmed Abbes, a Tunisian French mathematician from the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.   Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, a long-time anti-Israel activist, had assisted with the project.   

The following statements comprise the Declaration: 

1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law;

3-The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, Adalah, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people rather than limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017];

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic;

5- Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.
 
However, there are answers to this egregious declaration:

1- Prior to 1948, the Palestinian Arabs had no intention of co-existing with the Jews and occasionally responded with massacres (1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-9)  The Palestinian leader, Mufti Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, collaborated with Hitler and helped round up Jews in Bosnia in 1941.  He hoped that the Germans would conquer Palestine and set up extermination camps like in Europe.  When, in 1947, the United Nations offered the Partition Plan, the Palestinians rejected it and, with the help of the Arab States, invaded the fledgling state of Israel. They had the misfortune of losing the 1948 war and, like other losing belligerents, had to live with the consequences. 

2- The accusation that Israel is an apartheid regime is misguided. In Israel itself, there are Palestinian Israelis who enjoy democratic freedom. The rest of the Palestinians who live under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – both non-democratic entities – had enjoyed fewer rights than the compatriots in Israel.  In fact, Hamas runs a brutal dictatorship in the Gaza Strip, and, recently, the Abbas government in the West Bank had cracked the whip against critics. 

3-The apartheid accusations by the human rights organizations such as Adalah, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch have been based on falsified information obtained from the same sources.  As for the 2017 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA) report, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked ESCWA to remove the report from its website as it was published without consultation with the U.N. secretariat. Therefore, Rima Khalaf, the UN Under-Secretary-General, and ESCWA Executive Secretary, resigned.  The United States Mission to the U.N. published Ambassador Nikki Haley’s response to the resignation of Khalaf: “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the Secretary General’s decision to distance his good office from it.”  Worth noting that the ESCWA comprises 20 Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, among them the worse enemies of Israel. Most of these states are not democratic and violate their citizens’ human rights far worse than Israel.   

4- Contrary to the assumption that “Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society,” it is the Palestinian society that periodically unleashes massive violent attacks against Israel. The recent war that Gaza started and the revelation of underground tunnels from Gaza into the heart of Israeli villages prove the extent of the belligerence of the Palestinians.  Israel has the right to protect itself from such aggressions. Blaming Israel for the Gaza blockade for over 14 years is wrong. Egypt has blocked Gaza too for committing acts of terrorism on Egyptian soil. Following a terrorist attack from Gaza that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers in 2014, Egypt started expanding the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt. As for mentioning the COVID pandemic, it cannot be blamed on Israel.
 
5- No Western or other states would have accepted terrorist and missile attacks targeting its people. Israel’s reactions were moderate, aiming at the Palestinian militant groups while avoiding harming the civilian population. 

The signers of this document include some Israeli academics, Hagit Borer, Neve Gordon, Haim Bresheeth, Adi Ophir, Anat Matar, Emmanuel Farjoun. They request “the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement.” While Israel is a democratic state, Palestine is not. 

The Palestinian people are responsible for their mismanagement. Israeli academics, activists, and others should stop pretending they are unaware of Palestinian misconduct. It behooves the Tunisian French mathematician and the large group of signers to pressure the Palestinians to become democratic, peace-loving, and respectful of human rights.

References
https://www.transcend.org/tms/2021/07/declaration-of-the-crime-of-apartheid-israel/
https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/43063
https://www.aurdip.org/declaration-on-the-suppression-and.html?lang=en

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine

6 July | fr français

Over 900 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries have signed the following declaration calling for the dismantling of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants all its inhabitants equal rights and duties. The signatories include many distinguished figures, including the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, the Nobel Chemistry Laureate George Smith, academics with legal expertise Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, John Dugard and Richard Falk, scholars Étienne Balibar, Hagit Borer, Ivar Ekeland, Suad Joseph, Edgar Morin, Jacques Rancière, Roshdi Rashed and Gayatri Spivak, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, composer Brian Eno, musician Roger Waters, author Ahdaf Soueif, economist and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Sir Richard Jolly, former Vice President European Parliament Luisa Morgantini, South African politician and veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils and Canadian peace activist and former national leader of the Green Party of Canada Joan Russow.

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine

Whereas:

1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law;

3-The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, AdalahB’TselemHuman Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people ratherthan limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017];

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic;

5- Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.

Considering:

i- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates in its first article that ’all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ And taking account that the inalienable right of self-determination is common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, and as such, a legal and ethical entitlement of all peoples.

ii- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which stipulates in Article I that ’apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.’ The States Parties to this Convention undertake in accordance with Article IV:
_  “(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime;
_  “(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.”

The endorsers of this document:

A- Declare their categorical rejection of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and exiles wherever they might be in the world.

B- Call for the immediate dismantling of this apartheid regime and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants and implements on all the inhabitants of this land equal rights and duties, regardless of their racial, ethnic, and religious identities, or gender preferences, and which respects and enforces international law and human conventions, and in particular gives priority to the long deferred right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their towns and villages during the creation of the State of Israel, and subsequently.

C- Urge their governments to cease immediately their complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime, to join in the effort to call for the dismantling of apartheid structures and their replacement by an egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.

D- Call for the establishment of a National Commission of Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability to accompany the transition from apartheid Israel to a governing process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. In the interim, until such a process is underway, issue a call for the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation of Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Endorsed by 969 academics, artists and intellectuals on July 17, 2021 (click here for the full list), including

  1. Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
  2. Sinan Antoon, New York University, United States
  3. John Avery, Writer, Denmark
  4. Bertrand Badie, Sciences Po Paris, France
  5. Étienne Balibar, Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, United Kingdom
  6. Anthony Barnett, Writer, United Kingdom
  7. Edmond Baudoin, Auteur de bandes dessinées, France
  8. Jacob Berger, Filmmaker, Switzerland
  9. George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law/Professor, musician, United States
  10. Nicolas Boeglin, Professor of Public International Law, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  11. Hagit Borer, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  12. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Council of Elders of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland
  13. Bruno Boussagol, Metteur en scène, France
  14. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, United States
  15. Anouar Brahem, Musician, Composer, Tunisia
  16. Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, France
  17. Victoria Brittain, Writer and journalist, United Kingdom
  18. Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library, United Kingdom
  19. Hafidha Chekir, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, Al Manar University, Tunis; Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Tunisia
  20. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Professeure émérite de droit public et de sciences politiques, Université Paris-Diderot, France
  21. David Comedi, National University of Tucumán and National Research Council, Argentina
  22. Jean-Paul Cruse, Écrivain indépendant, France
  23. Laurent Cugny, Professeur, Sorbonne Université, France
  24. Eric David, Emeritus Professor of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  25. Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
  26. Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Professeure émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
  27. Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
  28. Raymond Deane, Composer, author, Ireland
  29. John Dugard, University of Leiden, Netherlands
  30. Ivar Ekeland, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
  31. Brian Eno, Artist/Composer, United Kingdom
  32. Adolfo Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980 (Nobel Peace Prize 1980), Argentina
  33. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
  34. Emmanuel Farjoun, Emeritus Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  35. Jan Fermon, Avocat. Secrétaire général Association Internationale des Juristes Démocrates, Belgium
  36. Pierre Galand, Ancien professeur des Universités à l’U.L.B., Belgique
  37. Domenico Gallo, Chamber President in Supreme Court of Cassazione, Italy
  38. Irene Gendzier, Prof Emeritus in the Dept Political Science, Boston University, United States
  39. Catherine Goldstein, Director of Research, Paris, France
  40. Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  41. Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  42. Nacira Guénif, Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis, France
  43. Sondra Hale, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  44. Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, United States
  45. Marc Hedrich, Cour d’appel de Caen, France
  46. Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Writer, Norway
  47. Judith Herrin, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  48. Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Présidente d’honneur de l’association EJE (Gaza), France
  49. Shir Hever, Political Economist, Germany
  50. Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  51. Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
  52. Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  53. Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
  54. Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  55. Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
  56. Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
  57. Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
  58. Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
  59. Patrick Le Hyaric, Président du groupe L’Humanité. Député européen 2004 -2014, France
  60. Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin Ireland (retired associate professor), Ireland
  61. Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
  62. David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
  63. Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Boston College Center for Human Rights & International Justice, United States
  64. Moshé Machover, Mathematician, KCL, United Kingdom
  65. Kate Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
  66. Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Ireland
  67. Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the National Order of Lawyers of Tunisia from 2013 to 2016 and as such received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, Tunisia
  68. Dick Marty, Dr. Jur. Dr. H.c., former Chair of the Committee of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland
  69. Gustave Massiah, Ancien enseignant à l’école d’architecture de paris la villette, France
  70. Georg Meggle, Philosopher, Prof. em. at University of Leipzig, Germany
  71. Georges Menahem, Director of research in Economics and Sociology, CNRS, MSH Paris-Nord, France
  72. Luisa Morgantini, Former Vice President European Parliament, Italy
  73. Edgar Morin, Directeur de recherches émérite au CNRS, France
  74. Chantal Mouffe, Professor emeritus University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom
  75. Véronique Nahoum-Grappe, Anthropologue, France
  76. Safa Nasser, Academician, Palestine
  77. Jan Oberg, DrHc, peace and future researcher, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
  78. Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus professor, Sorbonne University, France
  79. Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor, The Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the center for Middle East Studies, Brown Universities, United States
  80. Norman Paech, Professor emeritus University of Hamburg, Germany
  81. Karine Parrot, Professeure de droit à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
  82. John Pilger, journalist, film-maker, author, United Kingdom
  83. Ghislain Poissonnier, Magistrate, France
  84. Susan Power, Head of Legal Research and Advocacy, Al-Haq, Palestine
  85. Prabir Purkayastha, Editor, Newsclick.in, India
  86. Jacques Rancière, Professeur émérite, Université Paris 8, France
  87. Roshdi Rashed, CNRS/Université de Paris, France
  88. Bernard Ravenel, Historian, France
  89. Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London, United Kingdom
  90. Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita Sociology University of Bradfor, United Kingdom
  91. Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  92. Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, United States
  93. Alice Rothchild, MD, retired, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, United States
  94. Joan Russow, Researcher, Global Compliance Research Project, Canada
  95. Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  96. Leila Shahid, Former Ambassador of Palestine, Palestine
  97. Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker – Essayist, France
  98. John Smith, Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London, United Kingdom
  99. George Smith, Emeritus Professor, University of Missouri; 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate, United States
  100. Nirit Sommerfeld, Singer, actress, writer, Germany
  101. Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
  102. Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University, United States
  103. Jonathan Steele, Author and journalist, United Kingdom
  104. Annick Suzor-Weiner, Professor emeritus, Université Paris-Saclay, France
  105. Salim Tamari, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine
  106. Virginia Tilley, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States
  107. Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  108. Roger Waters, Musician, United Kingdom
  109. Thomas G. Weiss, The CUNY Graduate Center, United States
  110. Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  111. John Womack jr, Harvard University, United States

* Institutional affiliations are given only for identification purposes* The full list of signatories is available here.* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

Version françaiseversión en españolversione italianaالنسخة العربية
https://www.aurdip.org/signatories-of-the-declaration-on.html

Signatories of the Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine

6 July | fr français

* List of the 969 signatories of the Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine (last update: July 17, 2021)

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse the declaration by completing this form.

* Institutional affiliations are given only for identification purposes

  1. Salar Abbasi, Professor of Law, Portugal
  2. Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
  3. Ines Abdeljaoued Tej, University of Carthage, Tunisia
  4. Nahla Abdo, Professor, Carleton University, Canada
  5. Joseph Abdou, Professor of Mathematics, University Paris 1, France
  6. Gamal Abina, Journalist, France
  7. Malek Abisaab, Associate Prof. Mcgill University, Canada
  8. Matthew Abraham, University of Arizona, United States
  9. Bashir Abu-Manneh, University of Kent, United Kingdom
  10. José Abu-Tarbush, Profesor Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
  11. Iyad Abualrub , University of Oslo, Norway
  12. Mohammad Abusara, Associate Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  13. Antonio Achilli, Medico chirurgo, Italy
  14. Martine Adrian-Scotto, Université Côte d’Azur, France
  15. Rimona Afana, Visiting Scholar, Emory University School of Law, United States
  16. Jorge Luis Agurto Aguilar, Journalist, Peru
  17. Hadji Ahmed, Artist, Germany
  18. Hamja Ahsan, Artist and writer, United Kingdom
  19. Mateo Alaluf, Professeur émérite, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  20. Liliana Albertazzi, Professor Maison des Sciences de l’homme, France
  21. Danielle Alcock, Regional Lead, Canada
  22. Mike Alewitz, Professor Emeritus, Mural Painting, Central CT State Univsersity, United States
  23. Jo Alexander, Managing Editor, Oregon State University Press (retired), United States
  24. Zahra Ali, Rutgers University, United States
  25. Armando Aligia, Professor of Physics, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Bariloche), Argentina
  26. Diana Allan, McGill University, Canada
  27. Roger Allen, Physician – retired, United Kingdom
  28. Lori Allen, Reader in Anthropology, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom
  29. Paul Allies, Professeur émérite, Université de Montpellier, France
  30. Eric Alliez, Université Paris 8, France
  31. Carlos Almeida, Researcher, Centre for History of the University of Lisbon, Portugal
  32. Bruno Alonso, Chemist, Director of research in Montpellier, France
  33. Miguel Alpízar, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  34. Osama Alsarraj, Architect, Syria
  35. Sama Alshaibi, Professor, University of Arizona, United States
  36. Kamal Altawil, M.D., United States
  37. Olivetti Anna, Historian, Italy
  38. Rachad Antonius, Professor (retired), Sociologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
  39. Sinan Antoon, New York University, United States
  40. Constanza Araya Sandoval, Anthropologist, researcher Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Spain
  41. Jobb Arnold, Professor, University of Winnipeg, Canada
  42. Innes Asher, Professor Emeritus University of Auckland, New Zealand
  43. Satoshi Ashikaga, Researcher of International Law and Peace Studies, Japan
  44. Iain Atack, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  45. Philippe Audebaud, retired, Assistant Professor in Computer Sciences, France
  46. Elsa Auerbach, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
  47. John Avery, Writer, Denmark
  48. Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal University, Canada
  49. Negar Azimi, Writer and editor, New York, United States
  50. Igor Babou, Professor, Paris University, France
  51. Saleem Badat, Research Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  52. Bertrand Badie, Sciences Po Paris, France
  53. Elena Baena-González, Biologist, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
  54. Teresa Bailey, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, United Kingdom
  55. Mona Baker, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  56. Viviane Baladi, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
  57. Thomas Balenghien, Researcher, France
  58. Étienne Balibar, Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, United Kingdom
  59. Dominique Ballereau, Observatoire de Paris (retraité), France
  60. Jihad Ballout, Media executive, United Kingdom
  61. Angelo Baracca, Professor of Physics (retired), University of Florence, Italy
  62. Marie-José Barbot, Professeur des universités Lille, France
  63. Jean Barge, Professeur honoraire, France
  64. Mustafa Barghouti, Writer, Palestine
  65. David Barkin, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
  66. Anthony Barnett, Writer, United Kingdom
  67. Isaías Barreñada, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  68. Jinan Bastaki, Researcher, United Arab Emirates
  69. Asmahan Batraoui, Traductrice, France
  70. Frédéric Baudin, Université Paris-Saclay, France
  71. Edmond Baudoin, Auteur de bandes dessinées, France
  72. Viviane Baudry, Professeure retraitée, France
  73. Ibrahim Beisani, Physician, former President of the Palestinian Community in Catalonia, Spain
  74. Adda Bekkouche , Maire-adjoint, Colombes, France
  75. Amel Belkacemi, Enseignante chercheuse, Algérie
  76. Dirk Belmans, Architecte, Belgium
  77. Esteban Beltrán Ulate, Profesor Universitario, Costa Rica
  78. Yazid Ben Hounet, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, France
  79. Ghassen Ben Khelifa, Journalist, Tunisia
  80. Haykel Ben Mahfoudh, Professor of international humanitarian law, University of Carthage, Tunisia
  81. Fifi Benaboud, Politologue, ancienne fonctionnaire Internationale, France
  82. Alejandro Bendaña, Writer, Nicaragua
  83. Roberto Beneduce, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Turin, Italy
  84. Badia Benjelloun, Médecin, France
  85. Farida Benlyazid, Filmmaker, Morocco
  86. Meriem Bennani, Artist, Morocco/United States
  87. Belkacem Benzenine, Full researcher, CRASC, Algeria
  88. Jacob Berger, Filmmaker, Switzerland
  89. Anna Bernard, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  90. Thomas Berns, Professeur à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique
  91. Mohammed Berrada, Writer, Morocco
  92. Omar Berrada, Writer and curator, United States
  93. Jacques Berthelot, Former economist at ENSAT (Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse), France
  94. Lucile Bertrand, visual artist, Belgium
  95. Mireille Besson, CNRS & Aix-Marseille University, France
  96. Francesca Biancani, University of Bologna, Italy
  97. Monique Biesemans, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  98. Alain Bihr, Honorary professor of sociology, University of Bourgnogne-Franche-Comté, France
  99. Sirma Bilge, Professor, Université de Montréal, Canada
  100. Julie Billaud, Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland
  101. Amahl Bishara, Tufts University, United States
  102. George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law/Professor, musician, United States
  103. Beatriz Bissio Staricco, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  104. Chris Blacktop, Registered Mental Health Nurse, United Kingdom
  105. Susan Blackwell, Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
  106. Jacob Blakesley, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  107. Javier Blanco, Lawyer, Spain
  108. Olga Blazevits, Researcher, Italy
  109. Elizabeth Block, Potter & singer, Canada
  110. Nicolas Boeglin, Professor of Public International Law, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  111. François Bohy, Composer, France
  112. Jordi/Jorge Bonells Rodríguez, Écrivain – Professeur émérite, Université de Toulon, France
  113. Véronique Bontemps, anthropologue, CNRS, France
  114. Claire Borel, IRO Université de Montréal, retraitée, Canada
  115. Hagit Borer, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  116. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Council of Elders of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland
  117. Michiel Bot, Assistant Professor of Law and Humanities, Tilburg University, Netherlands
  118. Steven Botticelli, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, United States
  119. Sedki Boualem, Ancien diplomate, Algeria
  120. Jean-Pierre Bouché, Molecular Biologist, CNRS (retired), France
  121. Jean-Pierre Boudine, Mathématicien, agrégé, retraité, auteur, France
  122. Mohamed Bouguerra, Retired University professor, France
  123. Habiba Bouhamed Chaabouni, Physician, Emeritus Professor of medical genetics, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
  124. Jean-Claude Bourdin, Professeur émérite de philosophie, Université de Poitiers, France
  125. Youcef Boussaa, Psychiatre des hôpitaux retraité, France
  126. Bruno Boussagol, Metteur en scène, France
  127. Paul Bove, Editor, Writer, United States
  128. Roxane Bovet, Curator/publisher, Switzerland
  129. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, United States
  130. Robert Boyce, Emeritus Reader, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  131. Patrick Boylan, Associate Professor of English Language & Translation (retired), Roma Tre University, United States
  132. Corinne Brachet, biochemist, engineer, in Paris, France
  133. Michael Bradburn-Ruster, Professor/Poet, United States
  134. Anouar Brahem, Musician, Composer, Tunisia
  135. José A. Brandariz, University of A Coruna, Spain
  136. Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, France
  137. Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, United Kingdom
  138. Jean Bricmont, Retired professor, UClouvain, Belgique
  139. Claude-Hélène Brissac-Féral, Sciences Po Bordeaux, France
  140. Victoria Brittain, Writer and journalist, United Kingdom
  141. Birgit Brock-Utne, Professor, University of Oslo, Norway
  142. Adam Broomberg, Professor, Germany
  143. Bernadette Brooten, Professor Emerita, Brandeis University; Director, Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, United States
  144. Maurice Bruynooghe, KULeuven/Emeritus Professor, Belgium
  145. Michel Bühler, Chanteur, écrivain, Suisse
  146. Erica Burman, Professor of Education, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  147. Claude Calame, Historien, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France
  148. Julia Calver, Artist, United Kingdom
  149. Joseph Camilleri, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  150. Julie Campiche, Musician, composer, Switzerland
  151. Lucas Cantori, Publisher, Suisse
  152. Michel Capron, Professeur émérite de sciences de gestion, Université Paris 8 – Saint-Denis, France
  153. João Caraça, Senior Adviser, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal
  154. Sophie Carapetian, Artist, United Kingdom
  155. Jorge Carneiro, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
  156. Ana Maria Carrillo-Farga, Historian, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México
  157. Fred Carter, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  158. Cristina Castello, Journaliste et poète franco-argentine ; Colegio Universitario de Periodismo, Argentina
  159. Rinella Cere, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
  160. John Chalcraft, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), United Kingdom
  161. Tannous Chalhoub, Assistant professor, Lebanese University, Canada
  162. Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library, United Kingdom
  163. Pamela Chamberlain , Activist, United States
  164. Indu Chandrasekhar, Publisher, Tulika Books, New Delhi, India
  165. Claudine Chaouiya, Aix-Marseille University, France
  166. Max Charvolen, Artist, France
  167. Julie Chateauvert, Associate Professor, Innovation, Elisabeth-Bruyere School of Social Innovation, Saint-Paul University, Canada
  168. Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor of Comparative literature, Jadavpur University, India
  169. Claudia Chaufan, Associate Professor, York University, Canada
  170. Hafidha Chekir, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, Al Manar University, Tunis; Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Tunisia
  171. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Professeure émérite de droit public et de sciences politiques, Université Paris-Diderot, France
  172. André Chenet, Poète, France
  173. Anuradha Chenoy, retired Professor, India
  174. Mohamed Cheriet, University of Quebec’s Ecole de technologie supérieure, Canada
  175. Farida Cheriet, Professor, Polytechnique Montreal, Canada
  176. Lounes Chikhi, Research Director at CNRS, University Toulouse 3, France
  177. Usuf Chikte, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  178. Yves Chilliard, Research Director (retired), INRAE, Clermont-Ferrand, France
  179. Robert Chimambo, Environmental and Climate Justice Activist, Zambia
  180. Larbi Chouikha, Professor, Manouba University, Tunisia
  181. Abd Raouf Chouikha, University Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
  182. Alberto Clarizia, Professor (retired) Università Federico II Napoli, Italy
  183. Pierre Clément, Retraité, Aix-Marseille Université; honoraire Université Lyon1, France
  184. Françoise Clément, Economist, France
  185. Ted Clement-Evans, formerly a Fellow of the RICS, United Kingdom
  186. Darlene Coffman, Retired educator , United States
  187. Laurent Cohen, Translator and activist, Spain
  188. Jack A Cole, Retired New Jersey state police, United States
  189. Elliott Colla, Georgetown University, United States
  190. David Comedi, National University of Tucumán and National Research Council, Argentina
  191. Annie Conter, Professeur Émérite de Génétique, Université Paul Sabatier, France
  192. Portilla Contreras, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  193. John Cooper, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  194. Modibo Coulibaly, Chargé de recherche, Université des Sciences Techniques et Technologiques de Bamako, Mali
  195. Emma Courtine, Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium and circus artist, France
  196. Phyllis Creighton, Writer, Toronto, Canada
  197. Marcos Criado, Profesor derecho internacional de la UCR Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  198. Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, Curator, Brazil
  199. Nicki Croghan, Medical interpreter, United States
  200. Robin Huw Crompton, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  201. Dominique Crozat, Professor, Paul Valéry Montpellier University, France
  202. Jean-Paul Cruse, Écrivain indépendant, France
  203. Elyse Crystall, Assoc Prof, UNC-Chapel Hill, United States
  204. Laurent Cugny, Professeur, Sorbonne Université, France
  205. Paolo Cuttitta, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
  206. Philippe Cyroulnik, Art critic and curator, France
  207. Frans Daems, Emeritus professor of linguistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  208. Jocelyne Dakhlia, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France
  209. Laurent Dauré, Journalist, France
  210. Eric David, Emeritus Professor of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  211. Marc David, Departement Wiskunde, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
  212. Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, United States
  213. Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
  214. Dayan-Herzbrun Dayan-Herzbrun , Professeure émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
  215. Nino De Amicis, Professor, Italy
  216. Daniel de Beer, Emeritus Professor, Saint Louis University, Belgium
  217. Lieven de Cauter, Philosopher, KU Leuven, Belgium
  218. Cécile de La Monneraye, Sculptor, France
  219. Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
  220. Jan De Maeseneer, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
  221. Hugo De Man, Emeritus Professor, Kuleuven, Belgium
  222. Salomé de Unamuno, Retraitée du CNRS, France
  223. Frederiek de Vlaming, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  224. Raymond Deane, Composer, author, Ireland
  225. Cormac Deane, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin, Ireland
  226. Pascal Debruyne, Political science, Odisee University College, Belgium
  227. Sharae Deckard, Associate Professor in World Literature, University College Dublin, Ireland
  228. Tom Decorte, Professor, Belgium
  229. Lara Deeb, Professor, Scripps College, United States
  230. Hendrik Deelstra, Emeritus, professor University Antwerp, Belgium
  231. Martine Defais, Molecular biologist CNRS retired, France
  232. Dominique Dehais, ENSA Normandie, France
  233. Jan Dekeyser, Architect & lecturer KU Leuven, Belgium
  234. Adela Del Olmo García, Redactora y traductora, Spain
  235. Antonio Esau Del Rio Castillo, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia/ Nanomaterials Researcher, Italy
  236. Sheila Delany, Simon Fraser University/writer, scholar, professor, Canada
  237. Paul Delmotte, Prof. retraité de l’IHECS, Bruxelles, Belgium
  238. Stéphane Delorme, architecte, France
  239. Jan Delrue, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, architecture, Belgium
  240. Pina Delvaux, Art in boxes, Luxembourg
  241. Tj Demos, Professor, UC Santa Cruz, United States
  242. Christian Depardieu, Galeriste, rédacteur en chef de performarts.net, France
  243. Linval DePass, Drug Development Scientist, United States
  244. Johan Depoortere, Journalist (retired), Belgium
  245. Charles Derber, Professor and author, Boston College, United States
  246. Radhika Desai, Professor, University of Manitonba, Canada
  247. Jack Desbiolles, University of South Australia, Australia
  248. Sudhanva Deshpande, Managing Editor, LeftWord Books, India
  249. Blandine Destremau, Senior researcher, CNRS, France
  250. Manthia Diawara, Professor, New York University, United States
  251. Javier Díaz, Journalist, Spain
  252. James Dickins, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  253. James Dickins, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  254. Natalya Dinat, Medical Doctor, South Africa
  255. Rabia Djellouli, Professor, CSUN, United States
  256. Elizabeth Dore, Writer, United Kingdom
  257. Laymert dos Santos, State University of Campinas (Retired), Brazil
  258. Antonino Drago, Università Federico II Napoli, Italy
  259. Alexandra Draxler, Retired from UNESCO, France
  260. Michael Jacob Drexler, Bucknell University, United States
  261. Françoise Dreyfus, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  262. Sufyan Droubi, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
  263. Bruno Drweski, INALCO- Sorbonne Paris Cité, France
  264. Simon du Chaffaut, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
  265. Vincent Dubois, University of Strasbourg, France
  266. Jean-Yves Dubré, Président AFPS49, France
  267. Marie Ducaté, Artiste plasticienne, Marseille, France
  268. John Dugard, University of Leiden, Netherlands
  269. Michael Dunford, Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex, China
  270. Marie-José Durand-Richard, (retired) associate professor, Université Paris 8 Vincennes-St Denis, France
  271. Elizabeth Eastmond, Art Historian, Aotearoa New Zealand
  272. Paul Eid, Université du Québec à Montréal (sociology), Canada
  273. Ivar Ekeland, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
  274. Nadia El Fani, Filmmaker, Tunisie
  275. Najat El-Khairy, Palestinian Artist preserving Palestinian culture, Canada
  276. Rabab El-Mahdi, The American University in Cairo, Egypt
  277. Hoda Elsadda, Professor, Cairo University, Egypt
  278. Julia Elyachar, Assoc. Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University, United States
  279. Philippe Enclos, Maître de conférences en droit privé (retraité), Université de Lille, France
  280. Ron Engel, Professor Emeritus, Meadville/Lombard Theological School, United States
  281. Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro, Researcher, Professor, United States
  282. Brian Eno, Artist/Composer, United Kingdom
  283. Griffin Epstein, Professor at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada
  284. Didier Epsztajn, Animateur du blog “entre les lignes entre les mots”, France
  285. Ola Erstad, University of Oslo, Dep. of Education / Professor, Norway
  286. Muhammed İbrahim Ertuğrul, Writer, Turkey
  287. Farid Esack, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  288. Adolfo Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980 (Nobel Peace Prize 1980), Argentina
  289. Chokri Essifi, Writer, Tunisia
  290. Marc Estrin, Novelist; editor, Fomite Press, United States
  291. Susan Etscovitz, Social worker, United States
  292. Phyllis Ewen, Artist, United States
  293. Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Canada
  294. Kamil Fadel, Head of Physics department, Palais de la découverte, Paris, France
  295. Carmelo Faleh-Pérez, Profesor de Derecho Internacional Público en la ULPGC y Asesor jurídico de la Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (AEDIDH), Spain
  296. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
  297. Mirelle Fanon Mendes France, Chair Frantz Fanon Foundation, France/Martinique
  298. Randa Farah, Associate Professor, Western University, Canada
  299. Emmanuel Farjoun, Emeritus Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  300. Judith Favish, Research associate, South Africa
  301. Gordon Fellman, Brandeis University, United States
  302. Eileen Ferguson, Visual artist, Ireland
  303. Jan Fermon, Avocat. Secrétaire général Association Internationale des Juristes Démocrates, Belgium
  304. Sujatha Fernandes, University of Sydney, Australia
  305. Anita Fernandez, Monteuse cinéma, écrivain, France
  306. Ricardo Fernandez, Anthropologist/Archaeologist, United States
  307. Enzo Ferrara, Centro Studi Sereno Regis – CSSR Torino, Italy
  308. Benjamin Ferron, Université Paris-Est, France
  309. Brigitte Fichet, Retraitée, Université de Strasbourg, France
  310. Gary Fields, Professor, University of California, San Diego, United States
  311. Peter Karl Fleissner, Professor, retired, Austria
  312. Angela Flynn, University College Cork, Ireland
  313. Jacques Fontaine, Maître de conférence honoraire en géographie, Université de Besançon, France
  314. Manzar Foroohar, Professor Emerita, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, United States
  315. Reb Fountain , Songwriter, Aotearoa, New Zealand
  316. Enrique Fraga, Maître de conférences, Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France
  317. Marilyn Frankenstein, University of Massachusetts/Boston, (retired) Professor, Quantitative Reasoning in Arguments, United States
  318. Estelle Fredet, Réalisatrice, France
  319. Alan Freeman, Writer, Canada
  320. Steven Friedman, Research Professor University of Johannesburg , South Africa
  321. Samuel Friedman, Research Professor, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, United States
  322. Michele Frigerio, Physicist, CNRS, France
  323. Ruth Fruchtman, Writer and Journalist, Berlin, Germany
  324. Will Furtado, Artist, writer, editor, Germany
  325. Arunima G., Director, Kerala Council for Historical Studies, India
  326. Robert Gaillot, Artiste plasticien, France
  327. Pierre Galand, Ancien professeur des Universités à l’U.L.B., Belgique
  328. Nancy Gallagher, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Barbara, United States
  329. Eric Gallais, Université Paris-Diderot (Paris-VII), France
  330. Luciana Galliano, Musicologist, Italy
  331. Claire Gallien, Montpellier 3 University / Senior Lecturer, France
  332. Domenico Gallo, Chamber President in Supreme Court of Cassazione, Italy
  333. Mario Gamba, Journalist, Italy
  334. Militza Ganeva, Art restorer, Bulgaria
  335. Pierre-Louis Garcia, Musicien, Professeur au conservatoire de musique de Mantes la jolie, France
  336. Eduardo García, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
  337. Manel Garcia Biel, Sindicalista CCOO, Spain
  338. Fernando García Burillo, Editor, Spain
  339. Marie-Dominique Garnier, Etudes de genre, Université de Paris 8, France
  340. Jean-Luc Gautero, maître de conférences, Université Côte d’Azur, France
  341. Didier Gazagnadou, Professeur d’anthropologie, Université Paris 8, France
  342. Jean Pierre Gazeau, Professeur émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
  343. Mathilde Gelin, Researcher, France
  344. Irene Gendzier, Prof Emeritus in the Dept Political Science, Boston University, United States
  345. Gumpel Georges, Retraité, Partie civile au procès de Klaus Barbie, France
  346. Dina Georgis, Professor at University of Toronto, Canada
  347. Julie Gervais, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  348. Michel Gevers, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  349. Abbas Ghaddar, University of Virginia, United States
  350. Hassan Ghorbani, LEREPS – Université Toulouse I Capitole, France
  351. Mona Ghosheh, Psychologist, United States
  352. David Gibbs, Professor of History, University of Arizona, United States
  353. Yulia Gilich, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  354. Pierre Gillis, Emeritus Professor, University of Mons, Belgium
  355. Terri Ginsberg, The American University in Cairo, Egypt
  356. Victor Ginsburgh, Emeritus professor, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  357. Mireille Gleizes, Pianist, Belgium
  358. Jean-Christophe Goddard, Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France
  359. Catherine Goldstein, Director of Research, Paris, France
  360. Sue Goldstein, Artist, Canada
  361. Alicia Gómez, Professor, Spain
  362. Carlos Gomez-Ariza, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  363. Santiago González, Economist, Comité Solidaridad Causa Árabe, Spain
  364. José González, Professor, Spain
  365. Trevor Goodger-Hill, Writer, poet, Canada
  366. Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  367. Michel Goulard, researcher in statistics, Auzeville, France
  368. Kevin Gould, Concordia University, Canada
  369. Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University, United States
  370. Pierre-Henri Gouyon, Professeur au Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris, France
  371. Héctor Grad, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  372. Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  373. Jean-Guy Greilsamer, Jewish activist against israeli apartheid, France
  374. Julien Grivaux, Sorbonne Université, France
  375. Michel Gros, mathematician, Researcher in Rennes, France
  376. Salah Guemriche, Écrivain, France
  377. Nacira Guénif, Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis, France
  378. Daniel Guerrier, Editor, France
  379. Jeanne Guien, Researcher in social sciences, France
  380. Philippe Guiguet Bologne, Poet, France
  381. Juan José Guirado Fernández, Retired professor, Universidad de Vigo, Spain
  382. Peter Gurney, Professor of Social History, University of Essex, United Kingdom
  383. Rico Gutstein, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, United States
  384. Freda Guttman, Visual artist, Canada
  385. Magnus Haavelsrud, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  386. Yassine Hachaichi, Université de Carthage, Tunisia
  387. Pascal Hachet, Psychologist and writer, France
  388. Elaine Hagopian, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Simmons University, United States
  389. Sondra Hale, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  390. Wael Hallaq, Columbia University, Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities/Painter, United States
  391. Olivier Hamerlynck, Scientist, Belgium
  392. Dalia Hammoudeh, Scientist, United States
  393. Amel Hamza-Chaffai, University of Sfax, Tunisia
  394. Dyala Hamzah, Professor, University of Montreal, Canada
  395. Jeff Handmaker, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
  396. Lara Harb, Princeton University, United States
  397. Githa Hariharan, Writer, India
  398. Egbert Harmsen, Analyst, researcher and human rights activist, Netherlands
  399. Fatima Harrak, Research Professor, Morocco
  400. John Harries, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  401. Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, United States
  402. Howard Harris, Retired university lecturer, United Kingdom
  403. Sean Harris-Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
  404. Michelle Hartman, Professor, McGill University, Quebec, Canada
  405. Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  406. Mary Lynn Hassan, U.N. Retired, France
  407. Alastair Hay, Professor (Emeritus), University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  408. Abe Hayeem, RIBA, Chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, United Kingdom
  409. Danny Hayward, Writer, United Kingdom
  410. David Heap, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  411. Pierre Hébrard, Université Paul Valéry, France
  412. Raoul Hébréard, Artiste contemporain, France
  413. Marc Hedrich, Cour d’appel de Caen, France
  414. Iris Hefets, Psychoanalyst, International Psychoanalytic Society, Germany
  415. Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Writer, Norway
  416. Eric Heilmann, Professeur à l’université de Bourgogne, France
  417. Yacine Helali, Documentary filmmaker, France
  418. Odile Hélier, Anthropologue, France
  419. Charles Heller, Research Associate, Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
  420. Aref Herbawi, Palestine Polytechnic University, Palestine
  421. Hege Hermansen, University of Oslo, Norway
  422. Sami Hermez, Associate Professor, Northwestern University in Qatar, Qatar
  423. Carlos Herrera, Professor, CY Cergy Paris University, France
  424. Judith Herrin, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  425. Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Présidente d’honneur de l’association EJE (Gaza), France
  426. Shir Hever, Political Economist, Germany
  427. Hilde Heynen, KU Leuven, Belgium
  428. Solange Hibbs, Universitaire, historienne, France
  429. Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, United Kingdom
  430. Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, University of South Australia, Australia
  431. Joan Hinde, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  432. CJ Hinke, Thammasat University, Thailand
  433. Wieland Hoban, composer and translator, Germany
  434. Christian Hogsbjerg, University of Brighton, United Kingdom
  435. Ivan Huber, Prof Emeritus, Fairrleigh Dickinson Univ., Madison, NJ, United States
  436. Leila Hudson, University of Arizona, United States
  437. Richard Hudson, University College London, United Kingdom
  438. David Hughes, University College Dublin, Ireland
  439. Anna Kristina Hultgren, Professor of Sociolinguistics, The Open University, United Kingdom
  440. Perrine Humblet, Honorary Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  441. Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  442. Farrell Hunter, Country Director: Community Adult Education, South Africa
  443. Mary Hurrell, Artist, United Kingdom
  444. Conleth Hussey, University of Limerick, Ireland
  445. Mahmood Ibrahim, Cal Poly Pomona, United States
  446. Philippe Icard, Université de Bourgogne, France
  447. Jeremy Ironside, Independent Researcher, New Zealand
  448. Patrick Italiano, Chercheur – Université de Liège, Belgium
  449. Ferran Izquierdo-Brichs, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
  450. Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
  451. Jean Jackson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  452. Khader Faiez Jadallah, Universidad de Jaén, España
  453. Na’eem Jeenah, Executive Director, Afro-Middle East Centre, South Africa
  454. Hassan Jijakli, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  455. Abry Jocelyne , Professeur en retraite , France
  456. Jörgen Johansen, Journal of Resistance Studies, Scandinavia
  457. Diana Johnstone, Writer, France
  458. Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  459. Holly Jonas, International lawyer, Canada
  460. Bernt Jonsson, Former Director, Life & Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden
  461. Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
  462. Jeanette Jouili, Syracuse University, United States
  463. Aurélie Journée-Duez, Anthropologist, EHESS / LAS, France
  464. R.A. Judy, Professor of Critical Studies, University of Pittsburgh, United States
  465. Baudouin Jurdant, Université Paris Diderot, Portugal
  466. Rula Jurdi, Professor, Canada
  467. Jon Jureidini, University of Adelaide, Australia
  468. Janeen Kabbara, Conflict Resolution Specialist, United States
  469. Aissa Kadri, Universitaire, France
  470. Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  471. Katy Kalemkerian, Champlain College, Canada
  472. Labib Kamhawi, Writer and former Prof. of political science at Jordan University, Jordan
  473. Raphael Kaplinky, Univrsity of Sussex, Emeritus Professor, United Kingdom
  474. Geeta Kapur Kapur, Art Writer, India
  475. Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
  476. Otared Kavian, Professeur, Université de Versailles, France
  477. Habib Kazdaghli, Historien, Université de Manouba, Tunisie
  478. Habib Kazdaghli, Historien, Université de Manouba, Tunisie
  479. Brigid Keenan, Writer, United Kingdom
  480. Robin Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  481. Susan Kelly, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  482. Martin Kemp, Psychoanalyst, UK-Palestine Mental Health Network, United Kingdom
  483. Mercedes Kemp, Writer, United Kingdom
  484. Marie Kennedy, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
  485. George Kent, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii, United States
  486. Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
  487. Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
  488. Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  489. Gholam Khiabany, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  490. Ghufran KhirAllah , Professor of Sociolinguistica in Nebrija University & researcher at Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  491. Makram Khoury-Machool, Academic – Cambridge , United Kingdom
  492. Darwis Khudori, Université Le Havre Normandie, France
  493. Azadeh Kian, Professor Université de Paris, France
  494. Rina King, Science Educator, South Africa
  495. John King, Composer, United States
  496. Laurie King, Anthropologist, Georgetown University, United States
  497. Joost Kircz, em. Research professor Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
  498. David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge, United States
  499. Michel Kokoreff, Université Paris 8, France
  500. Avishek Konar, Economist, O.P. Jindal Global University, India
  501. Demir Köse, Teaching assistant at Ghent University, Belgium
  502. Ashish Kothari, Pune, India
  503. Natalie Kouri-Towe, Assistant Professor, Concordia University, Canada
  504. Wayne Kraft, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Washington University, United States
  505. Robert Kriger, Retired, National Research Foundation, South Africa
  506. Hubert Krivine, Physicien, France
  507. Isabelle Krzywkowski, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
  508. Atif Kubursi, Emeritus Professor, MCMaster University, Canada
  509. Urszula Kucharczyk, Playwright, United Kingdom/Poland
  510. Rose Marie Kuhn, Professor Emerita, California State University Fresno, United States
  511. Radha Kumar, Writer, India
  512. Blair Kuntz, University of Toronto, Canada
  513. Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
  514. Emily LaBarge, Writer, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
  515. Thierry Madjid Labica, Université Paris Nanterre, France
  516. Poka (Hayden) Laenui (Burgess), Attorney, Hawaii
  517. Nora Lafi, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany
  518. Premesh Lalu, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  519. Bernard Lamizet, Ancien professeur d’université, institut d’Études politiques, Lyon, France
  520. Olfa Lamloum, Chercheuse, Tunisia
  521. Peter Lange, Sculptor, New Zealand
  522. Jacob K. Langford, Artist & researcher, Germany
  523. Marilyn Langlois, Community Organizer, Richmond California, United States
  524. Michelangelo Lanza, SR Study Center (MIR/MN-Turin) member & translator, Italy
  525. Patricia Laranco, Writer and artist, France
  526. Jacques Larrieu, Professor emeritus, Université Toulouse Capitole, France
  527. Dimiti Lascaris, Lawyer, journalist and activist, Canada
  528. Martin Lascoux, Uppsala University, Sweden
  529. Marc Lassonde, Professeur de mathématiques, retraité, Université des Antilles, France
  530. Patrick Le Hyaric, Président du groupe L’Humanité. Député européen 2004 -2014, France
  531. Pierre Le Pillouër, Poète, France
  532. Bernard Le Stum, Université de Rennes 1, France
  533. Pierre LeBlanc, Writer, Canada
  534. Elisabeth Lebovici, Art critic, France
  535. Jean-Louis Leleu, Université Côte d’Azur, France
  536. Gwen Lemey, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  537. Bernard Lemoult, Enseignant chercheur, France
  538. Helen Lenskyj, Professor Emerita University of Toronto, Canada
  539. Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin Ireland (retired associate professor), Ireland
  540. Patricio Lepe-Carrión, Universidad de La Frontera, Chile
  541. Michael Leslie, Concert Pianist, formerly at Richard Strauss Konservatorium, Munich, Australia / Germany
  542. Bruno Levallois, Inspecteur général honoraire de l’Education nationale, France
  543. Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University, United Kingdom
  544. Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
  545. Philippe Lewandowski, Retired librarian, University of Strasbourg, France
  546. Cédric Lhoussaine, Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Lille, France
  547. Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois at Chicago, United States
  548. Peter Lipman, Fellow, Cabot Institute, United Kingdom
  549. Yoav Litvin, Writer, United States
  550. David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
  551. Peter Lock, Retired, peace and conflict research & urban environment for our grandchildren, Germany
  552. Roland Lombard, Directeur de Recherche retraité, ex-président du Collectif Interivertunivertaire pour la Coopération avec les Universités Palestiniennes, membre de l’Académie des arts, sciences et belles-lettres de Dijon, France
  553. Marie-Nëlle Lombard-Crémieux, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France
  554. Sheila Long, Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland
  555. Arab Loutfi, Adjunct Film maker, and adjunct Faculty at Film department AUC (American university of Cairo), Egypt
  556. Miriam Lowi, Professor, the College of New Jersey, United States
  557. Thomas Luce, Lay leader-Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Licensed theologian, United States
  558. Robin Luckham, Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  559. Mainolfi Luigi, Accademia di belle arti, Italy
  560. Ruth Luschnat, none/ writer sometimes…( HP) against classism, Germany
  561. Madeline Lutjeharms, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  562. Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Boston College Center for Human Rights & International Justice, United States
  563. Kathleen Lynch, University College Dublin, Ireland
  564. Madhava Prasad M, EFL University Hyderabad, India
  565. Fearghal Mac Bhloscaidh, Coláiste Ollscoil Naomh Muire, Béal Feirste, Ireland
  566. Keguro Macharia, Independent Scholar, Kenya
  567. Moshé Machover, Mathematician, KCL, United Kingdom
  568. Kate Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
  569. Rania Madi, Geneva University, Switzerland
  570. César Madureira, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
  571. Sara Magalhães, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  572. Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Ireland
  573. Rasigan Maharajh, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  574. Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the National Order of Lawyers of Tunisia from 2013 to 2016 and as such received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, Tunisia
  575. Paul Maillet, Accredited Peace Professional CPSC, Canada
  576. Bernard Maitte, Professeur émérite Université de Lille, France
  577. Ziad Majed, Associate Professor, American University of Paris, France
  578. Esther Makhetha, Academic, South Africa
  579. Emmanuelle Mallet, Painter and activist, France
  580. Rita Manchanda, Author, Human Rights & Peace Advocate, India
  581. Paola Manduca, Retired professor of Genetics, Italy
  582. Marc Mangenot, Économiste, France
  583. Firoze Manji, Adjunct Professor, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
  584. Pierre Marage, Emeritus Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  585. Maurice Margenstern, Professor emeritus, University of Lorraine, France
  586. Michael Martin, Professor, Media School, Indiana University, United States
  587. María Luisa Martín, Lawyer, Spain
  588. Martín Martinelli, Universidad Nacional de Luján, Argentina
  589. David Martínez, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  590. Ana Karine Martins Garcia, Coordinator of the Study and Research Group on the History of Health Practices and Diseases, Brasil
  591. Mario Martone, Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, United States
  592. Dick Marty, Dr. Jur. Dr. H.c., former Chair of the Committee of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland
  593. Sarah Marusek, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  594. Jan Masschelein, Professor KU Leuven, Belgium
  595. Gustave Massiah, Ancien enseignant à l’école d’architecture de paris la villette, France
  596. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  597. Mira Mattar, Writer, United Kingdom
  598. Karim Mattar, University of Colorado at Boulder, United States
  599. Nyla Matuk, Poet, writer, Canada
  600. Brian Maye, Griffith College Dublin, Ireland
  601. Sophie Mayoux, Translator/traductrice, France
  602. Jean-Pierre Mazat, Emeritus professor, University of Bordeaux, France
  603. Olivier Mazet, Institut Mathématique de Toulouse, France
  604. Justine McCabe, Psychologist, United States
  605. Charles McGrath, Historian, Ireland
  606. Emilia McKenzie, Arist, United Kingdom
  607. Cahal McLaughlin, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom
  608. Brian McMahon, Munster Technological University, Ireland
  609. Niall Meehan, Head, Journalism & Media Faculty, Griffith College, Dublin, Ireland
  610. Georg Meggle, Philosopher, Prof. em. at University of Leipzig, Germany
  611. Miomirka Melank, Graphic designer, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  612. Natalie Melas, Associate Professor, Cornell University, United States
  613. Catherine Melin, visual artist, France
  614. Jeffrey Melnick, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
  615. Georges Menahem, Director of research in Economics and Sociology, CNRS, MSH Paris-Nord, France
  616. Constanza Mendoza, Artist and researcher, Chile
  617. Eduardo Meneses, Artist and Member of “Comité de Solidaridad EcuadorXPalestina”, Ecuador
  618. Aurélie Menninger, Dancer, France
  619. Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  620. AG Menon, Architect, Urban Planner, Conservation Consultant, India
  621. Ritu Menon, Publisher, writer, India
  622. Piet Mertens, Emeritus professor in Linguistics, KU Leuven, Belgium
  623. Essaid Mesnaoui, Musiciens pour la paix, France
  624. Mark Methven, Independent Scholar / Oracle Database Administrator, United States
  625. Alan Meyers, Boston University School of Medicine, United States
  626. Michel Mietton, Professeur émérite, Université de Lyon, France
  627. Gian Giacomo Migone, Former professor of history, University of Torino, Italy
  628. Ali Mili, Académie tunisienne des sciences, des lettres et des arts, Beit al-Hikma, Tunisia
  629. John Millar, Independent historian, United States
  630. Alain Mille, Université Lyon 1, France
  631. Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  632. Thomas Miller, University of Arizona, United States
  633. Jamal Mimouni, Head of the astrophysics program, Department of Physics, University of Constantine 1; President of the African Astronomical Society (AfAS), Algeria
  634. Paul-Antoine Miquel, Université de Toulouse 2, France
  635. Dieter Misgeld, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. University of Toronto, Canada
  636. Alexis Mitchell, New York University, Artist, Canada/United Kingdom
  637. El-Khansa Mkada, Université de La Manouba, Tunisia
  638. Amina Mkada, Translator, Tunisie
  639. Arturo Montejo-Ráez, Computer Science Researcher, Spain
  640. Maël Montévil, Université Paris 1, France
  641. Thomas Moore, Anthropologist, Peru
  642. José-Luis Moragues, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier III (Retraite), France
  643. Luisa Morgantini, Former Vice President European Parliament, Italy
  644. Edgar Morin, Directeur de recherches émérite au CNRS, France
  645. Julie Morisset, Professeure de philosophie, France
  646. Marc Mormont, University of Liege, Belgium
  647. Chantal Mouffe, Professor emeritus University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom
  648. Clément Mouhot, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  649. Gracia Moya García, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  650. Aamir Mufti, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  651. Martha Mundy, Professor Emerita, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  652. Nora Lester Murad, Fordham University, United States
  653. Claude Murcia, Professeure émérite, Université Paris Diderot, France
  654. Akram Muti Hernández, Publicist and Music Producer, Spain
  655. Pushpamala N, Artist, India
  656. Karma Nabulsi, Professor, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  657. Véronique Nahoum-Grappe, Anthropologue, France
  658. Joëlle Naïm, Artist, author, translator, France
  659. Nadia Naser-Najjab, Lecturer in Palestine Studies, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  660. Jamal Nassar, Emeritus Professor, California State University San Bernardino, United States
  661. Safa Nasser, Academician, Palestine
  662. Rehab Nazzal, Visual Artist, Canada
  663. Mary Jane Nealon, Writer, United States
  664. Daniel Neofetou, writer, United Kingdom
  665. Suresh Nesaratnam, Senior Lecturer in environmental Engineering, The Open University, United Kingdom
  666. Jan Nespor, The Ohio State University, United States
  667. Joe Newman, Lecturer in Popular Music, Music department, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  668. Ides Nicaise, Emeritus Professor, KU Leuven, Belgium
  669. Ghyslaine Noel, Artiste, France
  670. Elisabeth Nyffenegger, ICRC (Retired), Switzerland
  671. Daithí Ó Madáin, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, Éire
  672. Eyleen O’Rourke, University of Virginia, United States
  673. John Oakes, The Evergreen Review, United States
  674. Jan Oberg, DrHc, peace and future researcher, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
  675. Elana Ochse, University of Torino, Italy
  676. Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus professor, Sorbonne University, France
  677. Frédéric Ogée, Professor of British literature and art history, Université de Paris, France
  678. Josiane Olff-Nathan, Université de Strasbourg, France
  679. Perrine Olff-Rastegar , Porte-parole du CJACP (Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine), France
  680. Pamela Olson, Author of Fast Times in Palestine, United States
  681. Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor, The Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the center for Middle East Studies, Brown Universities, United States
  682. Caroline Ortoli, Poète, France
  683. Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  684. Norman Paech, Professor emeritus University of Hamburg, Germany
  685. Christine Pagnoulle, Université de Liège, Belgium
  686. Salvatore Palidda, University of Genoa, Italy
  687. Francesco Pallante, Università di Torino, Italy
  688. David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor, Stanford University, United States
  689. Sylvie Paquerot, Professeure agrégée, Canada
  690. Rose Parfitt, Kent Law School, United Kingdom
  691. Ian Parker, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
  692. Paul Parker, Elmhurst University, Professor Emeritus, United States
  693. Karine Parrot, Professeure de droit à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
  694. Nigel Parsons, Massey University, New Zealand
  695. Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker, India
  696. Michel Paty, Directeur de recherche honoraire au CNRS, Lab SPHERE, Université Paris, France
  697. Enrico Pau, Film director, Italy
  698. Leslie Pauls, Accounting Supervisor Oakton Community College, United States
  699. Marie-Anne Paveau, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
  700. Peter Pelbart, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brasil
  701. Lorraine Pellegrini, Artiste plasticienne, France
  702. David Peñafuerte Rendón, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  703. Livio Pepino, Former magistrate, Italy
  704. Francisco José Peragón, Técnico Laboratorio Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  705. Alberto Perez, Musician, Spain
  706. Daniel Pérez, President of AFRICANDO, Spain
  707. Amalia Perfetti, Insegnante, activiste, Italy
  708. Maria Perino, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy
  709. Diane Perlman, Visiting Scholar, George Mason University, Jimmy and Rosalind Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, United States
  710. Jacques Perreux, Fondateur du Festival des Passeurs d’Humanité, France
  711. Guy Perrier, Professeur émérite Université de Lorraine, France
  712. Nicola Perugini, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  713. Adria Petani, Painter, Italy
  714. Jean-François Pétillot, Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier 3, France
  715. Laurence Petit-Jouvet, Film-maker/Cinéaste, France
  716. Vahe Petrosian, Chair Astronomy Program Stanford University, United States
  717. Roland Pfefferkorn, Professeur émérite de sociologie, Université de Strasbourg, France
  718. Ruth Phelps, Save The Children & Médecins Sans Frontières (retired), United Kingdom
  719. Pamela Philipose, Independent Journalist, India
  720. Ronald Preston Phipps, International Center for Process Science Philosophy and Education, United States
  721. Elizabeth Picard, Emerita Directrice de Recherche CNRS, Lab IREMAM, France
  722. Sol Picciotto, Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
  723. Michael Pierse, Queen’s University Belfast, Senior Lecturer, Ireland
  724. Michael Pierse, Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland
  725. John Pilger, Journalist, film-maker, author, United Kingdom
  726. Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary, International Platform of Jurists for East Timor, Netherlands
  727. Alain Piqué, Retired Professor, Université de Bretagne occidentale, France
  728. Ghislain Poissonnier, Magistrate, France
  729. Christopher Pollmann, Professeur agrégé de droit public, Université de Lorraine, Metz, France
  730. Ismail Poonawala, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  731. Vesselin Popovski, Vice Dean Jindal Global Law School, India
  732. Raphaël Porteilla, Université de Bourgogne, France
  733. Amina Poulain, Enseignante-chercheuse, France
  734. Leila Pourtavaf, York University, Canada
  735. Susan Power, Head of Legal Research and Advocacy, Al-Haq, Palestine
  736. Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  737. Veerle Provoost, Professor of ethics, Ghent University, Belgium
  738. Prabir Purkayastha, Editor, Newsclick.in, India
  739. Anne Querrien, co-directrice revue Multitudes, France
  740. Monica Quirico, Researcher, Italy
  741. Yakov Rabkin, University of Montreal, Canada
  742. Ali Raiss-Tousi, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom
  743. Aneil Rallin, Associate Professor, Soka University of America, United States
  744. Anandi Ramamurthy , Professor of Media and Culture, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
  745. Leda Ramos, Professor, LatinxFaculty4BLM, United States
  746. Jorge Ramos Tolosa, Universitat de València, Spain
  747. Jacques Rancière, Professeur émérite, Université Paris 8, France
  748. Gregory Randall, Profesor, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  749. Norma Rantisi, Professor, Concordia University, Canada
  750. Mohan Rao, Former professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
  751. Syksy Räsänen, University of Helsinki, Finland
  752. Roshdi Rashed, CNRS/Université de Paris, France
  753. Kamran Rastegar, Tufts University, United States
  754. Bernard Ravenel, Historian, France
  755. Carina Ray, Brandeis University, United States
  756. Syed Tahseen Raza, Departement of Strategic & Security Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, India
  757. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Professor Emeritus Dr., Computer Sci. Dept. at BHT Berlin; Former president of the International League f. Human Rights e. V. – FIDH Germany, Germany
  758. Dave Rendle, Poet, United Kingdom
  759. Alessandra Renzi, Associate Professor, Concordia University Montreal, Canada
  760. John Reynolds, Maynooth University, Ireland
  761. Bernard Richard, Documentary filmmaker, Paris, France
  762. Nick Riemer, University of Sydney, Australia
  763. Vincent Rivasseau, Professor, University of Paris-Saclay, France
  764. Bruce Robbins, Columbia University, United States
  765. William Clare Roberts, McGill University, Canada
  766. Chris Roberts, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  767. Reihana Robinson, Poet & artist, Aotearoa New Zealand
  768. Lisa Rofel, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  769. Eleanor Roffman, retired professor emerita, United States
  770. David Rohrlich, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University, United States
  771. Marguerite Rollinde, Chercheuse retraitée, Université Paris 8, France
  772. Vincent Romani, Université du Québec à Montréal UQAM, Canada
  773. Pieter Rombouts, Ghent University, Belgium
  774. Valerio Romitelli, University of Bologna , Italia
  775. Maggie Ronayne, National University of Ireland, Galway/ Lecturer in Archaeology, Ireland
  776. Antonio C.S. Rosa, TRANSCEND Media Service – Editor, Portugal/Spain/Germany
  777. Frances Rosamond, University of Bergen, Norway
  778. Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London, United Kingdom
  779. Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita Sociology University of Bradfor, United Kingdom
  780. Jerry Rosen, California State University, Northridge, United States
  781. Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  782. Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, United States
  783. Alice Rothchild, MD, retired, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, United States
  784. Brahim Rouabah, The City University of New York, United States
  785. Joan Russow, Researcher, Global Compliance Research Project, Canada
  786. John Ryan, Retired Professor of Geography, University of Winnipeg, Canada
  787. Mary Ryan, Writer/Actor, Ireland
  788. Hanan Saca – Hazboun, Bethlehem University, Palestine
  789. Victoria Sachse, University of Strasbourg, France
  790. Fabio Bacila Sahd, UFMA, Brasil
  791. Maha Salama, Al-Quds, Palestine
  792. Ventura Salazar García, Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  793. Gabriela Saldanha, Independent academic, United Kingdom
  794. Walid Salem , Assistant Professor, Al-Quds University, Palestine
  795. Luca Salza, Université de Lille SHS, France
  796. Didier Samain, Sorbonne University, France
  797. Catherine Samary, Économiste, altermondialiste, membre de l’UJFP, France
  798. Vida Samiian, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, CSU Fresno, United States
  799. Rodolfo Sánchez, Professor, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Bariloche), Argentina
  800. María del Carmen Sánchez Miranda, Profesora Universidad de Jaén, Spain
  801. Odile Sanson – Friedmann – Yelles, Traductrice, France
  802. Joanna Santa Barbara, Retired physician, New Zealand
  803. Michal Sapir, writer and musician, United Kingdom
  804. Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, New York City, United States
  805. Samir Saul, Professor of History, Université de Montréal, Canada
  806. Rosemary Sayigh, Scholar, Retired lecturer at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  807. S. Sayyid, Professor, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  808. Andrew Schaap, Associate Professor of Politics, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  809. Rita Schepers, Emeritus Professor, KU Leuven, Belgium
  810. Skip Schiel, Independent photographer, United States
  811. Heike Schotten, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
  812. Malini Schueller, University of Florida, United States
  813. Manuel Schwab, American University in Cairo, Egypt
  814. Lionel Schwartz, Professeur émérite, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
  815. Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  816. Lynne Segal, Professor, Burkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom
  817. Michaël Séguin, Saint-Paul University, Canada
  818. Geneviève Sellier, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France
  819. Irna Senekal, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  820. Martin Serge, Université Sorbonne nouvelle, France
  821. Patrick Séron, Artiste peintre, France
  822. Jacob Serruya W., Historian, Venezuela
  823. Stefano Severi, University of Bologna, Italy
  824. Benedict Seymour, University of London Goldsmiths, United Kingdom
  825. Leila Shahid, Former Ambassador of Palestine, Palestine
  826. Wisam Shamroukh, Lecturer, Palestine
  827. Stephen Sheehi, Sultan Qaboos Professor of Middle East Studies, The College of William & Mary, United States
  828. Lara Sheehi, The George Washington University, United States
  829. Stephen Sheehi, College of William & Mary, United States
  830. Simon Sheikh, Programme Director, MFA Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom / Germany
  831. Nilima Sheikh, Artist, India
  832. Shela Sheikh, Lecturer, Postcolonial Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London , United Kingdom
  833. Ria Shibata, Toda Peace Institute, New Zealand
  834. Philip Short, Writer, France
  835. Daniel Sidobre, Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, France
  836. Susanna Sinigaglia, Publicist, performer, Italy
  837. Nasser Sitta, MD, United States
  838. Massa Sitta, Associate, United States
  839. Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker – Essayist, France
  840. James Skelly , Institute of Advanced Study Koszeg/Sociologist, Ireland
  841. Charles Slater, California State University Long Beach, United States
  842. David Slavin, Emory Univ, Clayton State Univ, United States
  843. Susan Slyomovics, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles, United States
  844. John Smith, Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London, United Kingdom
  845. George Smith, Emeritus Professor, University of Missouri; 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate, United States
  846. Ania Soliman, Artist, France/United States
  847. Nirit Sommerfeld, Singer, actress, writer, Germany
  848. Phoebe Sorgen, Berkeley Adult School, United States
  849. Sylvain Sorin, Professeur émérite, Sorbonne Université, France
  850. Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
  851. Ghislaine Soulet, Urbaniste, France
  852. Roger Southall, Emeritus Professor in Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  853. Jean Paul Souvraz, Artiste Peintre, France
  854. Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University, United States
  855. Michael Springate, Writer, Canada
  856. Annabelle Sreberny, Emeritus Professor, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom
  857. Pierre Stambul, Professeur retraité (Mathématiques), France
  858. Jonathan Steele, Author and journalist, United Kingdom
  859. Angelo Stefanini, University of Bologna, Italy
  860. Irène Steinert, University of Amsterdam, social psychology, Netherlands
  861. Chris Stone, Hunter College (CUNY), United States
  862. Anastasia Stouraiti, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  863. Darko Štrajn, Philosopher, Educational Research Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  864. Lucienne Strivay, Honorary Professor, University of Liège, Belgium
  865. Paolo Emilio Strolin, Emeritus Professor, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  866. Élio Sucena, Professor, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  867. Annick Suzor-Weiner, Professor emeritus, Université Paris-Saclay, France
  868. Adnan Swaid, Retired research scientist, New Zealand
  869. Ted Swedenburg, Professor of Anthropology, University of Arkansas, United States
  870. Alain Tabbagh, Professeur émérite, Sorbonne Université, France
  871. Alexis Tadié, Sorbonne Université, France
  872. Arturo Tagliacozzo, Department of Physics, Universita’ di Napoli “Federico II”, Italy
  873. Taoufiq Tahani, Université de Lille, France
  874. Nozomi Takahashi, VIB-Ghent University, Belgium
  875. Fatiha Talahite, Economist, Senior Researcher, Paris, France
  876. Salim Tamari, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine
  877. Charling Tao, Director of Research, France
  878. Turgut Tarhanli, Professor of Public International Law, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
  879. Fabien Tarrit, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France
  880. Leyya Tawil, Artist, United States
  881. Clyde Taylor, Emeritus Professor, New York University, United States
  882. Trisha Terwilliger, Artist, United States
  883. Jacques Thibiéroz, Sorbonne Université, Paris (retraité), France
  884. Philip Thomas, Retired Psychiatrist and Former Professor, United Kingdom
  885. Ann Thomson, European University Institute (emerita), France
  886. Laurent Tichit, Université d’Aix-Marseille, France
  887. Virginia Tilley, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States
  888. Chris Tilly, University of California Los Angeles, United States
  889. Rachid Tlemcani, Professor of orld Politics, University of Algiers, Algeria
  890. Gianni Tognoni, Secretara General, Permanente Peoples Tribunal, Italy
  891. Steve Tombs, Professor, The Open University, United Kingdom
  892. Barry Trachtenberg, Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History, Wake Forest University, United States
  893. Mounir Traïkia, Assistant Professor , Université Clermont Auvergne, France
  894. Sâ Benjamin Traore, Postdoctoral research Fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  895. Deepak Tripathi, Writer, United Kingdom
  896. Ipek Tureli, McGill University, Canada
  897. Oscar Ugarteche, Instituto de investigaciones economicas UNAM, Mexico
  898. Mario Roberto Uruñuela, Playwright Writer, Mexico
  899. Gabriele Usberti, Retired Professor of Philosophy of Language, University of Siena, Italy
  900. Montse Vallmitjana, Societat Catalana de Biologia, Spain
  901. Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  902. Erik Van der Straeten, UA Antweren retired, Belgium
  903. Raf Van Laere, Former president of the Académie royale d’Archéologie de Belgique, Belgium
  904. Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
  905. Thomas Van Riet, Professor of Physics, Leuven University, Belgium
  906. Roger van Zwanenberg, Managing Director of Pluto Journals, United Kingdom
  907. Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi, India
  908. Guido Vanden Wyngaerd, KU Leuven, Belgium
  909. Marc Vandepitte, Author, Belgium
  910. Eric Vanhaute, Ghent University, Belgium
  911. Michel Vanhoorne, Honorary Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
  912. Biljana Vankovska , Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
  913. Henry Veltmeyer, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico
  914. Dominique Ventre, Institut Polytechnique Paris (retired), France
  915. Aviel Verbruggen, Emeritus Professor in economics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  916. Claude Verges, Professor of Medical Ethics and Bioethics, University of Panama, Panama
  917. Françoise Vergès, Writer, Antiracist Decolonial Feminist, France
  918. Thomas Vescovi, Chercheur indépendant en histoire contemporaine, France
  919. Anna Viacava, M.D. Psychiatrist, Italy
  920. Pedro Vianna, Poète, homme de théâtre, enseignant universitaire (Valencia), Français
  921. Dominique Vidal, Journaliste et historien, France
  922. Carlos Villán Durán, President, Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law, Spain
  923. Blanca Villuendas, Researcher, University of Oxford, Germany / United Kingdom
  924. Marina Vishmidt, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  925. Vincenzo Vita, President of (AAMOD) Audiovisual Archive of The Democratic and Labour Movement, Italy
  926. Giuseppe Vitiello, Honorary Professor of Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics, University of Salerno, Italy
  927. Jan Vromman, High school teacher, doctor in arts, documentary maker, Belgium
  928. Rinaldo Walcott, Professor, University of Toronto, Canada
  929. Dan Walsh, Palestine Poster Project Archives, United States
  930. Gretchen Walters, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
  931. Paul Wapner, American University, United States
  932. Rabab Ward, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Canada
  933. Anusheh Warda, Oakland Unified School District, United States
  934. Dror Warschawski, Sorbonne Université, France
  935. Roger Waters, Musician, United Kingdom
  936. Melissa Weiner, College of the Holy Cross, United States
  937. Thomas G. Weiss, The CUNY Graduate Center, United States
  938. Abraham Weizfeld, Independent writer, Canada
  939. Joan Whitaker, Community Health Worker, United States
  940. John Whitbeck, International Lawyer and Writer, France
  941. Johannes Wijenberg, former ambassador for The Netherlands, Netherlands
  942. John Wilkins, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  943. Julian Williams, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  944. Ian Williams, Writer, United States
  945. Françoise Willmann, Université de Lorraine, France
  946. Siobhan Wills, Ulster University, Ireland
  947. Peter Wills, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  948. Patricia Willson, Université de Liège, Belgium
  949. Jessica Winegar, Professor, Northwestern University, United States
  950. Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  951. Yves Winter, Associate Professor of Political Science, McGill University, Canada
  952. Nicole Wolf, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  953. Theresa Wolfwood, Poet, Canada
  954. John Womack jr, Harvard University, United States
  955. Michael Wongsam, Writer, United Kingdom
  956. Pam Wortley , Retired GP, United Kingdom
  957. Jan Wyns, Teacher, Belgium
  958. Stephen Yeo, Writer, history and poetry (retired academic), United Kingdom
  959. Nathalie Younès, Associate professor Université Clermont-Auvergne, France
  960. Lissorgues Yvan, Professeur émérite de littérature espagnole, Université Jean Jaurès, Toulouse, France
  961. Hatem Zaag, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
  962. Patrick Zahnd, Sciences Po Paris / PSIA, Mexico
  963. Rehana Zaman, Artist, United Kingdom
  964. Bahram Zandi, Co-chair, International Committee, Green Party US, United States
  965. Maung Zarni, Co-founder and head, Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia, United Kingdom
  966. Jorge Min Hui Zhou Zhou, University of Granada, Spain
  967. Markus Zimmer, Justice Systems Advisor, United States
  968. Allan Zink, Researcher in political science, France
  969. Said Zulficar, Retired UNESCO official, Egypt

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https://richardfalk.org/2021/07/07/declaration-of-the-crime-of-apartheid-israel/

DECLARATION OF THE CRIME OF APARTHEID: ISRAEL

7JUL

[PREFATORY NOTE: The Declaration on Apartheid below is an initiative initiated by the wellknown Tunisian mathematician, Ahmed Abbes, and endorsed by scholars and artists worldwide. If impressed
please distribute widely as there is a campaign underway to reach 1,000 signatures.]

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
6 juillet |

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Over 700 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries have signed the following declaration calling for the dismantling of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants all its inhabitants equal rights and duties. The signatories include many distinguished figures, including the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, academics with legal expertise Monique Chemillier-Gendreau and Richard Falk, scholars Étienne Balibar, Hagit Borer, Ivar Ekeland, Suad Joseph, Jacques Rancière, Roshdi Rashed and Gayatri Spivak, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, composer Brian Eno, musician Roger Waters, author Ahdaf Soueif, economist and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Sir Richard Jolly, South African politician and veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils and Canadian peace activist and former national leader of the Green Party of Canada Joan Russow.

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
Whereas :

1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity ;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people ; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law ;

3-The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, Adalah, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people rather than limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017] ;

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic ;

5- Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.

Considering :

i- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates in its first article that ’all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ And taking account that the inalienable right of self-determination is common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, and as such, a legal and ethical entitlement of all peoples.

ii- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which stipulates in Article I that ’apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.’ The States Parties to this Convention undertake in accordance with Article IV :
_ “(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime ;
_ “(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.”

The endorsers of this document :

A- Declare their categorical rejection of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and exiles wherever they might be in the world.

B- Call for the immediate dismantling of this apartheid regime and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants and implements on all the inhabitants of this land equal rights and duties, regardless of their racial, ethnic, and religious identities, or gender preferences, and which respects and enforces international law and human conventions, and in particular gives priority to the long deferred right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their towns and villages during the creation of the State of Israel, and subsequently.

C- Urge their governments to cease immediately their complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime, to join in the effort to call for the dismantling of apartheid structures and their replacement by an egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.

D- Call for the establishment of a National Commission of Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability to accompany the transition from apartheid Israel to a governing process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. In the interim, until such a process is underway, issue a call for the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation of Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Endorsed by 723 academics, artists and intellectuals on July 8, 2021 (click here for the full list), including

Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
Sinan Antoon, New York University, United States
John Avery, Writer, Denmark
Bertrand Badie, Sciences Po Paris, France
Étienne Balibar, Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, United Kingdom
Anthony Barnett, Writer, United Kingdom
Edmond Baudoin, Auteur de bandes dessinées, France
George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law/Professor, musician, United States
Nicolas Boeglin, Professor of Public International Law, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Hagit Borer, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Council of Elders of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland
Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, United States
Anouar Brahem, Musician, Composer, Tunisia
Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, France
Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library, United Kingdom
Hafidha Chekir, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, Al Manar University, Tunis ; Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Tunisia
Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Professeure émérite de droit public et de sciences politiques, Université Paris-Diderot, France
David Comedi, National University of Tucumán and National Research Council, Argentina
Laurent Cugny, Professeur, Sorbonne Université, France
Eric David, Emeritus Professor of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Professeure émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
Ivar Ekeland, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
Brian Eno, Artist/Composer, United Kingdom
Adolfo Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980 (Nobel Peace Prize 1980), Argentina
Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
Emmanuel Farjoun, Emeritus Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Jan Fermon, Avocat. Secrétaire général Association Internationale des Juristes Démocrates, Belgium
Domenico Gallo, Chamber President in Supreme Court of Cassazione, Italy
Irene Gendzier, Prof Emeritus in the Dept Political Science, Boston University, United States
Catherine Goldstein, Director of Research, Paris, France
Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Sondra Hale, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, United States
Judith Herrin, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Présidente d’honneur de l’association EJE (Gaza), France
Shir Hever, Political Economist, Germany
Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Boston College Center for Human Rights & International Justice, United States
Moshé Machover, Mathematician, KCL, United Kingdom
Kate Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Ireland
Dick Marty, Dr. Jur. Dr. H.c., former Chair of the Committee of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland
Georg Meggle, Philosopher, Prof. em. at University of Leipzig, Germany
Jan Oberg, DrHc, peace and future researcher, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus professor, Sorbonne University, France
Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University ; Visiting Professor, The Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the center for Middle East Studies, Brown Universities, United States
Karine Parrot, Professeure de droit à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
Ghislain Poissonnier, Magistrate, France
Susan Power, Head of Legal Research and Advocacy, Al-Haq, Palestine
Prabir Purkayastha, Editor, Newsclick.in, India
Jacques Rancière, Professeur émérite, Université Paris 8, France
Roshdi Rashed, CNRS/Université de Paris, France
Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London, United Kingdom
Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita Sociology University of Bradfor, United Kingdom
Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, United States
Alice Rothchild, MD, retired, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, United States
Joan Russow, Researcher, Global Compliance Research Project, Canada
Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Leila Shahid, Former Ambassador of Palestine, Palestine
Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker – Essayist, France
John Smith, Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London, United Kingdom
Nirit Sommerfeld, Singer, actress, writer, Germany
Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University, United States
Jonathan Steele, Author and journalist, United Kingdom
Annick Suzor-Weiner, Professor emeritus, Université Paris-Saclay, France
Salim Tamari, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine
Virginia Tilley, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States
Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Roger Waters, Musician, United Kingdom
Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, United Kingdom
John Womack jr, Harvard University, United States
* Institutional affiliations are given only for identification purposes

* The full list of signatories is available here.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form