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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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
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 byThe 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 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-Mizan, which 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 Varsity, only 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.
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.
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. ===========================================================
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:
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:
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?
(Arabic Language, Grade 7, Part 1 (2020) p. 67)
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?
(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?
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.
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): 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.
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.
To sum up, Dr. Assaf David’s article is, in my view, a pure political statement with no professional values
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.============================================================
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.
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”
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
As well-known, Palestinian groups rely on Israeli radical academic activists to present them as peace-loving partners.
The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) has got a new vice-president, Neve Gordon, a former professor at Ben Gurion University who calls for the boycott of Israel.
As IAM reported in October 2020, Gordon co-authored a book on Human Shields, which hides that Hamas uses hospitals to store weapons or uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, which was well documented, but Gordon preferred to turn a blind eye and blamed Israel instead. Gordon wrote, “In an effort to legitimize its bombing of Palestinian medical facilities following the 2014 war on Gaza, Israel invoked both exceptions in a legal report. It accused ‘Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ of exploiting ‘hospitals and ambulances to conduct military operations, despite the special protection afforded these units and transports under customary international law… Israeli strikes destroyed or damaged seventeen hospitals, fifty-six primary healthcare facilities, and forty-five ambulances. To defend these attacks, Israel accused Hamas of using hospitals to store weapons and hide armed militants.”
In other words, Gordon has chosen to protect Hamas from human-shielding accusations.
As IAM reported in July, the previous 2020 BRISMES annual general meeting resolved to establish the “BRISMES Campaigns Limited” to advocate the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ was inaugurated during the latest Annual conference on July 05-09, 2021.
The launching of the Campaigns panel was recorded and uploaded to YouTube and is available to anyone.
The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ is titled “Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education,” but nothing else is promoted except for the boycotting of Israel.
The group published their Mission Statement, that the ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ stands for “equality in Middle East Studies,” seeking a “more liberated Middle East Studies, a popular pedagogy that links research and theory to democratic practice, wider public and private understandings, and egalitarian politics across borders.”
The ‘BRISMES Campaigns’ opposes the current ways Middle East Studies “implicated in injustice and domination – racism, colonialism, Orientalism, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, authoritarianism, (neo)liberalism, and elitism.”
It promotes a “transnational solidarity and global justice” by supporting the Palestinian call for BDS “against the unjust regime of occupation and apartheid imposed by Israel.”
The panelists included: Introduction from chair Hicham Safieddine, King’s College London; Omar Barghouti, Co-founder of PACBI & the BDS movement; Sara Salem, LSE; Fady Joudah, Poet; Marcy Newman, Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; John Chalcraft, LSE; Jamie Allinson, University of Edinburgh. To recall, Barghouti was a postgraduate student at Tel Aviv University’s Philosophy (ethics) Department, exploiting it for nine years. In his talk, he trashed Tel Aviv University, including his host, the Philosophy Department.
BRISMES is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The Charitable objects of BRISMES are “To encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region from the end of classical antiquity to the present day in particular but not exclusively through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.”
According to its Statement of Purpose, “Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We work to promote interest in Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle East Studies is a diverse field, which encompasses all the humanities and social sciences.”
However, it was hijacked by pro-Palestinian activists, causing it to breach its own mandate. According to its website, BRISMES aims to “encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region… through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.”
Clearly, BRISMES is breaching the Charity’s purpose by promoting a boycott of one country in the Middle East, that is Israel. IAM advises the Charity Commission of England and Wales to investigate BRISMES for this breach of conduct.
BRISMES CAMPAIGNS – Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education
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 ====================================================
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.
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.
About us BRISMES Campaigns is an independent subsidiary of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). Our mandate is to engage politically and socially in promoting egalitarian education in Middle East Studies, including the endorsement and implementation of the call to boycott Israeli academic institutions voted by BRISMES AGM on 24 June, 2019.
ANNE ALEXANDER is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, an activist in the UCU union, co-editor of Middle East Solidarity magazine and a member of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). Her doctoral research focussed on the anti-colonial movements in Egypt and Iraq between 1945-1963 and she contributes regularly to a range of publications on the politics and practice of social movement organising in the Middle East.
JAMIE ALLINSON is senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh and author of The Age of Counter-revolution.
Miriyam Aouragh is a Reader at the University of Westminster (London). Her doctoral research focused on the birth and implications of the internet in Palestine. She led a Leverhulme project about the revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world and their techno-social relations as they are marked by revolution and counter-revolution. Her current research (CAMRI) studies how the contradictions of capitalism shape the modes and meanings of resistance in the era of digital transformations, her work is published amongst others in her book Palestine Online (IB Tauris 2011).
JOHN CHALCRAFT is Professor of Middle East History and Politics at the LSE. His research focuses on history ‘from below’ in Gramscian perspective. His most recent book is Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (CUP, 2016). He currently serves as Treasurer for the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and as Secretary of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).
HICHAM SAFIEDDINE is Lecturer in the History of the Modern Middle East at King’s College London with a focus on political economy and intellectual history. He is co-founder of e-zines Al-Akhbar English and The Legal Agenda English Online Edition. 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
BRISMES Aims is to “encourage and promote interest and study of the Middle Eastern cultural region from the end of classical antiquity to the present day in particular but not exclusively through the dissemination of information and by the encouragement of co-operation amongst persons concerned with the scholarly study of the region.” According to its Statement of Purpose, “Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We work to promote interest in Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle East Studies is a diverse field, which encompasses all the humanities and social sciences and reaches from the present back to classical antiquity. The long history of our field of study has made us particularly aware of the connections between knowledge and power. We see connections between research, education, teaching and fundamental questions of social change. We do not believe that research and education should be divorced from the wider social and political context nor that it should exist to serve elites. We believe that a commitment to promote research and education in Middle East Studies involves a duty to consider the conditions under which knowledge is produced and disseminated, and if necessary, to speak out against power structures and interests that prevent the flourishing of research and education in our field.”
We currently have more than 450 members drawn from all over the world and are governed by a Council of trustees elected from the membership. Since 1974, we have published the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies – now issuing 5 editions a year through Taylor & Francis – which is free to members. We offer funding and prizes to support and recognize the best research, to which all BRISMES members are eligible to apply. We also organise public annual lectures and the BRISMES Annual Conference, which draws participants from all over the world and attracts the latest research on all aspects of Middle East Studies in Britain and beyond. Members enjoy a reduced attendance rate here, too.
================================================= BRISMES Campaigns panel transcript by YouTube Transcript 00:00 uh hello everybody and welcome to this 00:03 panel 00:04 titled middle east studies and practice 00:06 and anti-colonial education 00:08 my name is hishtam safiyadin i will be 00:11 co-chairing 00:11 this panel with my dear colleague jamie 00:14 allenson 00:15 and i first want to give a special 00:18 thanks to the conference coordinator 00:19 bronwen mehta for the incredible job 00:21 of coordinating online events at the 00:23 conference and i want to express 00:25 my gratitude to annalisa praven as well 00:28 um 00:28 for kindly volunteering to support the 00:31 session 00:32 in addition to zoom if you’re with us on 00:34 zoom this event is going to be live 00:36 streamed on youtube so it’s also 00:37 available 00:38 to watch by non-conference member 00:41 participants 00:42 the link has been put by runway in the 00:44 chat so if you are on facebook right now 00:46 watching us 00:47 if you have friends please do cut and 00:49 paste and share on your social media 00:51 platform um we have five distinguished 00:55 speakers and we have 00:56 my fellow co-directors which we’ll we’ll 00:58 talk about at the end of the session 01:01 but after a brief introduction to what 01:03 brismes campaigns is 01:04 i’m going to introduce each one of the 01:06 speakers before they speak 01:08 and then jamie at the end will talk 01:10 about how you can stay all connected 01:12 and get involved in brismes campaigns 01:14 and after that we’re going to open the 01:16 floor 01:16 for questions and discussions 01:20 so we are gathered today to celebrate 01:23 and discuss 01:24 the celebrate the launch of brismes 01:26 campaigns and to discuss the very 01:28 important relationship between palestine 01:31 pedagogy and liberation and i think it’s 01:34 quite apt that we do so as part of this 01:36 year’s conference which is titled 01:37 knowledge power and middle east studies 01:40 so let me begin with a quote about 01:42 knowledge and power that speaks to our 01:43 topic 01:44 and this is a signature report that my 01:46 colleague and co-director miriam arwag 01:48 uses at the bottom of her email and i 01:50 always rate it every time she sends me 01:52 the email 01:53 this is what edward said says in his 01:55 race lectures in 1993 01:58 nothing in my view is more reprehensible 02:01 than those habits of mind in the 02:03 intellectual 02:04 that induce avoidance that characters 02:07 that characteristic turning away 02:09 from a difficult and principled position 02:12 which you know 02:13 to be the right one but which you decide 02:16 not to take 02:17 why you do not want to appear too 02:19 political 02:21 you are afraid of seeming controversial 02:24 you want to keep a reputation 02:26 for being balanced 02:29 objective moderate your hope 02:33 sorry um 02:36 can you can you hear me yeah 02:40 hello can you hear me yes we can yeah 02:44 okay good okay sorry 02:45 your hope is to be asked back to consult 02:49 to be on a board or prestigious 02:51 committee and so 02:52 to remain within the responsible 02:54 mainstream 02:55 someday you hope to get an honorary 02:57 degree a big prize 02:59 perhaps even an ambassadorship for an 03:02 intellectual 03:03 these habits of mind are corrupting par 03:05 excellence 03:06 if anything can denature neutralize 03:10 and finally kill a passionate 03:11 intellectual life 03:13 it is the internalization of such habits 03:16 end quote so in the spirit of the public 03:19 intellectual so eloquently articulated 03:22 and embodied by edward saeed 03:23 and others who devoted their lives and 03:26 in some cases lost their lives in the 03:28 pursuit of speaking truth to power 03:31 and in steadfast an unapologetic 03:33 defiance of the mounting assault 03:35 on public and higher education including 03:38 the most recent and reprehensible 03:40 campaign of intimidation and coercion 03:42 by the uk government under the very 03:44 false pretext of fighting anti-semitism 03:47 in order to silence and demonize the 03:49 teaching of palestine 03:51 if it did not conform to zionist tastes 03:54 and standards 03:55 we gather today we gather to celebrate 03:58 the launch of brismes campaigns 04:00 brismes campaigns is an organization 04:02 founded by academics working in middle 04:04 east studies 04:05 and associated disciplines because we 04:08 recognize that the academy is part of an 04:10 unjust world 04:11 and that the unjust world is part of the 04:13 academy 04:14 we aim to campaign and agitate as well 04:17 as educate 04:17 for a just world inside and outside the 04:20 academy 04:21 we seek a more liberated form of middle 04:23 east studies a popular pedagogy 04:26 that links research and theory to 04:28 concrete pursuit 04:29 of social justice through wider public 04:32 engagement 04:33 action-oriented activism and egalitarian 04:36 politics 04:38 both on the domestic and international 04:40 stage 04:41 we therefore oppose the ways in which 04:43 middle east studies 04:44 on and off campus is implicated in the 04:47 exploitation and domination 04:49 in exploitation and domination racism 04:52 colonialism 04:53 orientalism patriarchy homophobia 04:57 ableism authoritarianism neoliberalism 04:59 and elitism 05:01 we believe in transnational solidarity 05:03 and global justice 05:05 we believe in the importance of 05:07 organizational and cultural struggle 05:09 across borders 05:10 and of making links with excluded groups 05:14 we pursue our goals in coordination with 05:16 our parent charity and its membership 05:18 but i have to emphasize we are an 05:20 entirely distinct 05:21 entity we will also do so 05:24 with other like-minded educational and 05:27 community organizations 05:28 we are going to mount our campaigns on 05:31 specific issues 05:32 as well as join forces with appropriate 05:34 other campaign when appropriate with 05:36 other 05:37 campaigns because we oppose injustice 05:40 and domination and support emancipation 05:42 and liberation 05:43 we fully endorse and it is our duty to 05:46 actually 05:47 honor the bds resolution passed by 05:50 brismes 05:51 in june of 2019 by endorsing this 05:54 palestinian call for boycott divestment 05:56 and sanctions 05:57 we are doing so against the unjust 05:59 regime of israeli occupation 06:01 and apartheid as workers in education 06:04 our focus on the boycott of israeli 06:06 universities and research centers 06:09 as a result of their decades-long 06:11 institutional complicity in the racist 06:13 oppression of palestinians 06:15 including fellow educators and students 06:17 is going to be key 06:19 brismes campaigns advocates for a 06:21 boycott of institutions 06:22 not individuals something that we have 06:24 to repeatedly raise 06:26 unfortunately either sometimes it’s 06:28 misunderstood or actually 06:30 ignored we look for ways to advocate 06:33 effectively for bds in the united 06:34 kingdom and beyond 06:36 aiming to raise awareness as to the 06:38 conditions of palestinian educators 06:40 researchers and students facing 06:42 apartheid 06:43 racial discrimination occupation siege 06:47 colonization and exile 06:50 we do so fully aware that today in the 06:52 uk 06:54 educators are under attack facing 06:56 intimidation 06:57 silencing smears misinformation and 07:00 defamation 07:02 textbooks are being censored academics 07:04 are being disciplined 07:06 students are being put off researching 07:09 citizens 07:09 are being denied speaking out and a very 07:12 concrete example is the adoption as we 07:14 know of the ihra 07:16 and the false accusations of 07:17 anti-semitism which are leading to a 07:20 shrinking space 07:21 and curtailing academic freedoms and 07:22 palestinian voices 07:24 within the academy we are going to stand 07:27 in solidarity with our colleagues facing 07:29 that stress 07:30 a smear of one is a smear of all 07:33 we must be united in defending our 07:36 fundamental rights 07:38 to academic freedom and support for 07:40 justice and equality 07:42 that being said we’re not a single issue 07:44 organization 07:45 we are concerned with diverse social 07:47 issues of subordination objective 07:49 variation 07:50 exclusion in our field whether in 07:52 relation to race 07:53 gender sexuality state power culture 07:55 disability 07:57 and or social class and our campaigning 08:00 activity will 08:01 hopefully reflect this and at the end of 08:03 the days these campaigns are going to be 08:05 as good as the people 08:07 who will actually take part in them 08:09 including us and of course all those of 08:11 you who will join us 08:13 so let me with this turn to our speakers 08:15 without further ado 08:16 um our first speaker is um 08:20 omar is the co-founder of the 08:21 palestinian campaign for the academic 08:23 and cultural boycott of israel pakhmi 08:26 and the bds movement for palestinian 08:28 rights and he is 08:29 the co-recipient of the gandhi peace 08:32 award in 2017. 08:34 the title of this presentation is just 08:37 academics 08:38 ethical duty in the struggle to 08:40 dismantle israeli apartheid 08:42 and settler colonialism omar it’s a real 08:44 pleasure to have you the floor is yours 08:47 thank you very much hicham and everyone 08:49 for having me 08:51 some 340 academic departments and 08:54 programs 08:55 and over 23 000 academics globally 08:58 have expressed solidarity with the 09:00 palestinian liberation struggle in the 09:02 last couple of months 09:03 alone with many of them endorsing bds 09:06 or similar accountability measures the 09:09 significant 09:10 shift in discourse on palestine in most 09:13 of these solidarity statements 09:15 reflected in analyzing israel as a 09:17 regime of settler colonialism and 09:19 apartheid 09:20 is due to that tireless work of 09:22 palestinian scholars 09:23 and academic boycott activists the 09:25 patient work 09:27 of international activists scholars over 09:29 the years 09:30 and without doubt the racial and social 09:32 justice uprising 09:33 led by the black lives matter movement 09:37 this reflects an acknowledgement by many 09:39 scholars that they should 09:41 never settle for being just academics 09:45 they aspire instead to be just 09:49 academics academics who uphold in an 09:52 ethically consistent manner 09:53 the principle and value of justice that 09:56 is 09:57 cognizant of that academic associations 10:00 and student governments 10:01 at tens of u.s canadian uk and other 10:04 universities 10:05 have voted in the last few years for 10:07 various bds measures 10:09 including divestment from companies 10:11 involved in israel’s occupation 10:14 inspired by the south african 10:16 anti-apartheid struggle and the u.s 10:18 civil rights movement 10:19 the non-violent anti-racist 10:22 intersectional bds movement 10:24 was launched in 2005 by the broadest 10:27 coalition 10:28 in palestinian society it calls for 10:31 ending israel’s 1967 occupation 10:34 upholding the right of palestinian 10:36 refugees to return to their lands 10:38 and ending israel’s institutionalized 10:41 and legalized system of racial 10:43 domination 10:44 which meets the u.n definition of 10:46 apartheid as recently acknowledged 10:48 by human rights watch and israel’s 10:50 leading human rights organization 10:52 bet-7 israel has been waging an 10:56 all-out war of repression against bds 10:59 for years 11:00 partly because of its leading role in 11:03 popularizing the apartheid analysis of 11:05 israel 11:06 but perhaps the most important factor is 11:09 the fact that bds has 11:10 drastically redefined solidarity with 11:14 the palestinian struggle for freedom 11:15 justice and equality as an ethical 11:18 obligation 11:19 to end complicity above everything else 11:23 in the face of flagrant oppression 11:25 anywhere 11:26 apathy and inaction are immoral 11:30 when one has the ability to act without 11:32 suffering 11:33 significantly they’re far more immoral 11:36 still 11:37 when one has not only the ability 11:40 but also the duty to act because of the 11:43 complicity of one’s 11:45 state or institution in the system of 11:48 oppression and i’ll get back to this 11:49 later 11:51 few forms of pressure have triggered as 11:53 much alarm in israel’s establishment 11:56 as the growing bds movement on western 11:58 college campuses 12:00 and the rapidly growing support for a 12:02 comprehensive academic and cultural 12:04 boycott of israel 12:05 and of its complicit institutions in 12:08 parallel 12:09 many individual academics around the 12:11 world have 12:12 joined the widespread silent that is 12:15 unannounced yet quite effective 12:17 boycott of israel israel realizes that 12:21 an effective academic boycott 12:23 would irreversibly hurt its brand 12:27 and feed the growing coals for economic 12:30 boycotts and eventually sanctions 12:32 israel’s academic institutions after all 12:35 have been a 12:35 pillar of its regime of oppression 12:38 playing a major role 12:40 in planning implementing justifying 12:44 and whitewashing israel’s crimes against 12:46 the palestinian people 12:49 the complicity of israeli universities 12:51 takes many forms 12:52 including the development of weapon 12:55 systems 12:56 and military doctrines used in the 12:58 commission 12:59 of israeli war crimes and crimes against 13:01 humanity 13:03 they systematically provide those 13:04 universities provide the military 13:06 intelligence establishment 13:08 with indispensable research on 13:10 archaeology demography geography 13:12 hydrology 13:13 psychology philosophy among other 13:15 disciplines 13:16 and they tolerate and often reward 13:19 racist 13:20 speech theories and bogus scientific 13:23 research this complicity also includes 13:27 institutionalizing discrimination 13:29 against palestinian arab citizens 13:31 among them scholars and students 13:33 suppressing israeli academic research 13:36 especially on the nakba and construction 13:39 of 13:39 campus facilities and dormitories in the 13:41 occupied palestinian territory as hebrew 13:43 university has done 13:44 in occupied east jerusalem for instance 13:47 ariel university located in the illegal 13:50 settlement 13:50 by the same name was built entirely on 13:53 stolen palestinian land 13:55 it’s another glaring example of academic 13:57 complicity 13:59 an independent campaign no aerial ties 14:02 initiated by authoritative palestinian 14:04 bodies 14:05 and supported by prominent academics 14:07 worldwide has called for 14:09 non-recognition of ariel university and 14:11 for ending 14:12 all institutional ties with it 14:15 examples of academic complicity in 14:17 israel’s crimes 14:18 against the palestinian people abound 14:21 here i list only a few 14:23 technion prides itself of developing 14:26 many of the weapon systems particularly 14:29 drone technologies employed by the 14:31 israeli forces in their bloodbaths 14:33 in gaza and lebanon 14:36 tel aviv university has designed tens of 14:38 weapons used by the israeli occupation 14:40 forces 14:41 the institute for national security 14:43 studies also takes credit for the 14:45 development of the so-called 14:47 dahiya doctrine or doctrine of 14:49 disproportionate force 14:51 that is adopted by the israeli army and 14:53 which calls for 14:54 quote the destruction of the national 14:58 civilian infrastructure and intense 15:01 suffering among the civilian population 15:03 end of quote 15:04 as a means of defeating and otherwise 15:07 impossible to defeat 15:08 non-statal resistance the bds movement 15:12 upholds the universal right to academic 15:15 freedom 15:16 and therefore calls for boycotting 15:18 institutions not individuals 15:20 as brismes does the palestinian 15:23 campaign for the academic and cultural 15:24 boycott of israel pappy 15:26 subscribes to the u.n definition of 15:28 academic freedom 15:29 which prohibits the infringement on the 15:32 academic freedom of others 15:33 as well as discrimination and repression 15:37 anchored in precepts of international 15:39 law and universal human rights backbee 15:41 rejects 15:42 on principle any mccarthyite type 15:45 political tests or boycotts targeting 15:48 individuals 15:49 based on their opinion or identity such 15:52 as citizenship 15:54 race gender religion religion and so on 15:57 if however an individual is representing 16:00 the state of israel 16:02 or a complicit israeli institution such 16:04 as a dean director 16:05 president or is commissioned to 16:08 participate in israel’s efforts to 16:10 rebrand itself then her or his 16:12 activities 16:13 are subject to the institutional boycott 16:17 and that the bds movement is calling for 16:20 the boycott conflicts with academic 16:22 freedom argument 16:23 also confuses academic privileges 16:26 with academic freedom and fails 16:29 accordingly 16:30 to grasp that an institutional academic 16:33 boycott 16:34 would harm perks and privileges not 16:37 rights some critics may argue 16:41 that bds contravenes academic freedom 16:43 still 16:44 because it cannot but hurt individual 16:47 israeli academics 16:49 if it were to be effective at all by 16:52 ignoring the real 16:54 systematic israeli suppression of 16:56 academic freedom of the colonized 16:58 indigenous palestinians and focusing 17:01 solely on the hypothetical 17:03 infringement on academic freedom of the 17:06 colonizers 17:07 that the boycott allegedly would entail 17:09 this argument is patently racist 17:12 and colonial the academic boycott of 17:15 israel that palestinian civil society 17:17 has called for 17:18 is closely connected to israel’s 17:21 relentless 17:22 and deliberate attack on palestinian 17:24 education 17:25 which some have termed scholasticide 17:28 and which goes back to the 1948 nakba 17:32 an israeli researcher’s dissertation for 17:34 instance 17:35 reveals that during and immediately 17:37 after the nakba 17:39 tens of thousands of books stolen from 17:43 palestinian homes 17:44 schools and libraries in jerusalem jaffa 17:48 haifa safad and elsewhere were plundered 17:51 and destroyed 17:52 by zionists and later israeli militias 17:54 some of them are kept 17:55 in israeli libraries in the first few 17:59 weeks of the first intifada 1987-1993 18:03 israel shut down all palestinian 18:05 universities 18:06 some like birzed for several consecutive 18:08 years and then 18:10 it closed all 1194 palestinian schools 18:14 in the occupied west bank 18:16 including jerusalem and gaza next 18:19 came the kindergartens eventually 18:22 every educational institution in the 18:25 occupied palestinian territory was 18:26 forcibly closed 18:28 this promoted palestinians to build an 18:31 illegal 18:32 network of underground schools 18:34 palestinian scholars and students are 18:36 methodically denied their basic rights 18:38 including academic freedom 18:40 and are often subjected to imprisonment 18:42 denial of freedom of 18:44 movement even violent attacks on 18:46 themselves and their institutions 18:48 including the bombing of palestinian 18:49 universities in gaza in 2014 18:52 and again in the recent assault in may 18:54 of this year 18:56 palestinian citizens of israel have also 18:58 suffered for decades from the structural 19:00 racism 19:01 that pervades the israeli educational 19:03 system as far back as 2001 19:06 human rights watch reported quote 19:08 discrimination at 19:10 every level of the israeli education 19:12 system winnows out 19:14 a progressively larger proportion of 19:16 palestinian arab children 19:18 as they progress through the school 19:20 system 19:22 or channels those who persevere away 19:25 from the opportunities of higher 19:27 education 19:28 the report continues the hurdles 19:30 palestinian arab students face 19:32 from kindergarten to university function 19:35 like a series of seeds with sequentially 19:39 finer holes end of quote 19:43 in the past many academics supported a 19:45 much more sweeping academic boycott 19:48 against apartheid south africa’s 19:49 universities and individual academics 19:52 yet today some of those same academics 19:54 are reluctant 19:55 to support a strictly institutional 19:58 boycott of israeli academic institutions 20:00 that are complicit this is the 20:02 definition 20:03 of hypocrisy still bds including the 20:07 academic boycott is growing 20:08 at an inspiring rate and israel’s 20:11 standing 20:12 is nose diving worldwide in a recent 20:15 yougov poll for instance israel’s 20:18 favorability dropped 20:19 sharply since february of 2021 till now 20:23 among european publics including in 20:24 germany and france 20:26 in the uk israel’s favorability dropped 20:29 27 20:30 points during this period making it the 20:33 least favorable 20:34 of all the countries surveyed in the u.s 20:37 representative alexandria ocasio-cortez 20:40 tweeted quote apartheid states aren’t 20:43 democracies 20:44 while representative cory bush went 20:46 further uplifting the key palestinian 20:49 demand for defunding israeli apartheid 20:51 she said 20:52 the fight for black lives and the fight 20:54 for palestinian liberation are 20:55 interconnected 20:57 we oppose our money going to fund 20:59 militarized policing 21:00 occupation and systems of violent 21:02 oppression and trauma 21:04 we are anti-apartheid period end of 21:06 quote 21:08 major tv network personalities 21:11 major artists icons like john legend and 21:14 snoop dogg 21:15 star athletes in the uk leading football 21:17 clubs 21:18 hollywood celebrities susan sarandon 21:20 viola davis john cusack 21:22 wentworth miller mark ruffalo natalie 21:24 portman among many many many others 21:26 have all expressed solidarity like never 21:28 before 21:29 some of them tweeting the famous 21:31 disappearing map of palestine 21:33 undergraduate settler colonialism 21:35 dock workers unions in oakland 21:37 california durban south africa and in 21:38 italy 21:39 have refused or started to organize 21:41 towards refusing 21:42 the handling of israeli ships according 21:46 to a newly released report by the 21:48 euromet human rights monitor 21:50 91 of the children 21:53 in gaza suffer some form of 21:56 conflict-related trauma 21:58 after the latest israeli massacre which 22:00 killed more than 67 children 22:03 injured hundreds and made thousands of 22:05 children homeless 22:07 your universities have our children’s 22:10 blood 22:10 and traumas on their hands they 22:13 invest hundreds of millions of pounds in 22:16 companies 22:17 that maintain israel’s occupation and 22:19 apartheid according to psc research 22:22 they conduct joint research including 22:24 military security research 22:26 with deeply complicit israeli 22:27 universities 22:29 mobilizing pressure to boycott israel’s 22:31 deeply complicit academic institutions 22:33 and to end all forms of uk university’s 22:37 criminal complicity 22:38 in israeli apartheid and subtler 22:40 colonialism is 22:42 the most urgent and ethical obligation 22:44 of uk 22:45 academics to end today 22:49 more than ever palestinians are telling 22:51 the world 22:52 that true solidarity with our struggle 22:54 for freedom justice and equality 22:56 spells bds we’re shattering our wall of 23:00 fear 23:00 every day and we need an eruption of 23:04 courageous meaningful solidarity that 23:06 can 23:07 end all complicity in israel’s regime of 23:10 oppression 23:11 we need you to be not just academics 23:15 but truly just academics 23:18 thank you thank you thanks a lot homer 23:22 um i’m i’m searching for the icon of the 23:25 clap but you know what i’m going to 23:26 stick to the old fashioned way of doing 23:28 things 23:28 i realize that speakers may not see my 23:31 chat comments especially that they’re 23:32 wonderful comments 23:33 taking place people are putting things 23:35 in the chat so if you get this it means 23:37 two minutes i don’t know if you can see 23:38 it 23:38 if you get this it means your time is 23:40 out um but don’t misinterpret this in 23:43 any other way 23:44 uh thanks a lot and i think i have a few 23:47 things to ask about but we’ll keep this 23:48 for the q a 23:50 uh moving on to our next speaker 23:54 our next speaker is sarah salem sarah is 23:57 an assistant professor at lse 23:59 her research interests include political 24:01 sociology postcolonial studies 24:03 marxist theory and global histories of 24:06 empire and anti-colonialism 24:08 and her recently published book which i 24:10 highly recommend with cambridge 24:12 university press is entitled 24:14 anti-colonial after lives in egypt the 24:16 politics of hegemony 24:18 the title of her presentation is 24:20 teaching with anti-colonial archives 24:22 sarah we are delighted and honored to 24:24 have you with us and the floor is yours 24:28 thank you so much hicham thank you for 24:30 this invitation 24:32 and thank you homer for that really 24:34 moving um 24:35 talk this is a very tough act to follow 24:38 but i’ll do my best so 24:40 i was invited to talk a bit about the 24:42 question of teaching colonialism 24:45 and anti-colonialism and in particular 24:48 to think about the classroom as a space 24:50 in which the politicization of 24:51 colonialism is becoming 24:53 increasingly intense so this is a moment 24:56 here 24:56 in the uk but i think also in many other 24:59 parts 25:00 of the world that is both terrifying in 25:03 kind of seeing this coalition that’s 25:05 coming together pushing against critical 25:07 education 25:08 but also quite hopeful in seeing 25:10 increasing resistance to this as well 25:12 and 25:12 i’m going to speak to both of these um 25:15 to this kind of split 25:16 reality uh through a course that i teach 25:18 on anti-colonial archives and 25:21 just to say this idea of anti-colonial 25:23 archives came 25:25 also in the wake of the egyptian 25:28 revolution and other revolutions across 25:30 the region 25:31 that have very much kind of thought 25:33 creatively 25:34 about how to remember and do 25:37 and retrieve revolutionary and 25:40 anti-colonial moments in the wake of 25:42 extreme kind of state 25:43 erasure and of course this is something 25:45 that we 25:47 can also learn a lot from when we think 25:49 about the anti-colonial movements of the 25:50 past as well as anti-colonial 25:53 movements such as the palestinian one in 25:55 the present so 25:57 what i want to talk about briefly here 25:59 is in particular this question of 26:01 teaching 26:02 british empire and by extension 26:05 and relatedly the question of 26:07 anti-colonial resistance in the 26:08 contemporary uk and what this means for 26:11 people all of us who think about and 26:14 work on 26:14 the middle east and north africa of 26:16 course global 26:17 north universities are very much sites 26:20 of extraction 26:21 and coloniality but i think what we’re 26:23 seeing now as well is 26:25 very much a coordinated pushback from 26:28 the attacks on quote-unquote critical 26:30 race theory to the withdrawing of 26:31 funding because of a refusal 26:34 to not do research on the legacies of 26:36 british empire 26:37 past and present as well as many of the 26:39 cases that my esteemed panelists are 26:41 going to talk to 26:43 talk about so thinking for example about 26:46 these discussions around critical race 26:48 theory which has now 26:49 actually been banned in some u.s states 26:51 which was discussed here in parliament 26:53 the effect has been less to critique or 26:56 disprove these ideas but rather to 26:58 create a panic around them which draws 27:00 in people across 27:02 the political spectrum and from multiple 27:04 spaces and of course all of this is 27:06 taking place in a context in which 27:08 anti-racism and anti-colonialism in 27:10 particular 27:11 but also feminism and feminist 27:13 resistance have become 27:14 key sites of a battle around maintaining 27:17 white supremacy 27:18 and racial capitalism globally 27:22 so i focus specifically on the politics 27:24 of teaching and pedagogy 27:26 um through these recent controversies 27:28 about the british empire because i think 27:30 this has made it even more urgent that 27:31 we creatively address 27:34 this question of teaching in the 27:35 classroom when it comes to 27:38 these consistent attempts to erase or 27:40 forget 27:42 the british empire and its lasting 27:44 effects 27:45 the classroom is just one site of 27:47 struggle among many and 27:49 i think in this panel we’re going to 27:50 talk about several of these sites 27:53 and so in the rest of this talk i’ll 27:55 focus on some of the dimensions of 27:57 teaching with 27:58 and through and alongside anti-colonial 28:00 archives 28:01 that might push back or create 28:04 classrooms that 28:06 push against this invitation to engage 28:08 in either nostalgia 28:10 amnesia or both siding when it comes to 28:13 the legacies of empire 28:14 as bell hoax reminds us in teaching to 28:16 transgress pedagogy and teaching more 28:19 broadly can work to make visible 28:20 histories that have been marginalized 28:22 through the cultivation of classrooms as 28:24 spaces of 28:25 care and radical imagination and to me 28:28 the space of pedagogy 28:30 which has always been political and i 28:32 think now is becoming more 28:34 visibly politicized is an important 28:36 arena in which we can challenge 28:38 these erasures rewritings but also the 28:41 very overt forms of disciplining that 28:44 have 28:44 that have been happening to both staff 28:46 students faculty and 28:48 and everyone else involved in 28:49 universities across the country 28:53 so in relation to the teaching on to 28:56 teaching on middle east 28:57 and north africa and the contemporary uk 28:59 i think there are multiple 29:01 reasons or multiple elements that have 29:04 come together to create this condition 29:06 that i 29:06 label terrifying the most kind of 29:09 visible one now is this conservative 29:11 government that is very much 29:13 actively supports this rising tide 29:15 against critical scholarship especially 29:17 scholarship critical of colonialism past 29:20 and present 29:21 but we also see the rise of right-wing 29:23 views across the world 29:25 the limits around knowledge production 29:27 and the discussion of palestine in 29:28 particular as 29:29 as has been mentioned the ihra 29:31 definition 29:32 we also have the long-standing prevent 29:34 agenda and 29:36 anti-radicalization programs which have 29:38 put in place many institutional 29:40 kind of check holds that are often not 29:43 very 29:44 visible but that do a lot of work to 29:46 also silence 29:48 debates around questions of colonialism 29:51 and anti-colonialism 29:52 we also have the conservative program 29:54 but also at times the labor program of 29:56 defunding 29:57 public education institutions and rising 30:00 precarity 30:02 and finally we have a lot of projects 30:04 now of diversity and inclusion 30:07 that often successfully co-opt what are 30:09 very radical student demands or student 30:12 movements that very much 30:13 act in solidarity with anti-colonial 30:16 questions or anti-colonial movements 30:19 themselves and 30:19 so i think within this broad kind of 30:22 political landscape 30:23 there’s a lot at stake when it comes to 30:26 the region but also when it comes to 30:28 basic anybody who is 30:30 working or teaching or doing activism 30:32 around these questions 30:34 in the contemporary uk 30:37 i think the scandals that have emerged 30:40 uh the quote-unquote scandals 30:41 that have emerged around teaching um 30:44 empire 30:45 show once again how crucial um this 30:48 question of 30:49 imperial nostalgia is to britain’s kind 30:52 of self-understanding and how it 30:53 understands its position in the world 30:56 but at the same time it’s clear that as 30:58 more people push to teach discuss 31:00 and challenge traditional narratives of 31:02 empire or even just to discuss 31:04 empire at all the pushback becomes 31:06 increasingly insistent and 31:08 i think it’s crucial to note as well 31:09 that this challenge is a transnational 31:11 one this 31:12 this pressure is transnational it’s not 31:14 something we’re only seeing in one place 31:16 but actually 31:18 there is this traveling of certain ideas 31:20 and certain 31:21 kind of markers or words that hold a lot 31:24 of meaning and i think here again 31:25 critical race theory 31:27 is a good example of something that has 31:30 you know suddenly was cropping up 31:32 in multiple places and the aim is very 31:35 much not to have a very precise 31:36 definition of what it is but rather to 31:39 kind of gather 31:40 an effective um kind of halo around it 31:43 so 31:44 i want to turn now to some of the ways 31:47 in which teaching 31:48 and with anti-colonial archives has 31:51 helped 31:52 um to think about the classroom as a 31:54 space in which we can 31:55 maybe de-center some of these um 31:58 challenges or maybe 32:00 create spaces or classrooms in which 32:03 the teaching or the understanding of 32:06 both british empire and anti-colonial 32:08 resistance 32:08 um are centered rather than 32:12 something that is not part of what we’re 32:14 teaching so 32:15 just to note of course uh alongside 32:18 these questions of pedagogy it’s very 32:20 important to join a union 32:22 and to also join brisbane’s campaigns 32:24 because although pedagogy is really 32:25 important 32:26 as hicham and norma have mentioned there 32:28 are really 32:29 worrying structural features as well to 32:32 education that i think it’s important to 32:34 as address through these more kind of 32:36 organized spaces 32:39 so the first thing i want to talk about 32:41 is 32:42 the way in which pedagogy can challenge 32:44 this 32:45 debate here in england around this need 32:48 for objectivity for balance for equal 32:50 attention to varied perspectives 32:52 especially around the legacies of 32:54 british empire and again this is very 32:56 much connected to 32:58 some of the ramifications of the prevent 33:00 agenda that require 33:02 this quote-unquote balance to be in 33:04 place and of course 33:06 classrooms have never been apolitical so 33:08 one thing that i found 33:10 really invigorating and thinking about 33:12 teaching 33:13 is how to work with radical archives but 33:15 also to think with post-colonial and 33:17 black feminist pedagogy 33:19 in creating space for feelings emotions 33:22 senses materiality and other forms of 33:25 knowing that are often 33:26 discounted or seen as less valuable in 33:30 relation to 33:31 the textual or the canon itself 33:34 so partly this meant thinking with and 33:36 through approaches to history that focus 33:38 on memory 33:39 rather than maybe more classical 33:41 historical texts 33:43 partly it meant thinking about ourselves 33:45 as part of anti-colonial archives our 33:47 bodies feelings life histories even our 33:50 names 33:51 but most above all it meant thinking 33:53 about 33:54 ourselves as con as all connected 33:56 through to anti-colonial histories of 33:58 course in very different ways 34:00 and i think the effect of this was very 34:02 much to not counter objectivity or prove 34:05 objectivity but rather to decenter it 34:08 and to think about how both ourselves in 34:10 the classroom but also the spaces all 34:12 around us so in the case 34:14 of lse the buildings the legacy of lse 34:17 itself 34:18 spaces nearby like the british museum or 34:21 even just streets all around us were all 34:23 implicated actually in histories of 34:25 empire in important ways 34:27 and not relegated where empire is not 34:30 relegated to the past or to elsewhere 34:32 which is usually imagined 34:34 to be the us i think this sharp 34:36 delineation between past and present 34:38 which has also become a very 34:40 big feature of the debate around 34:42 colonialism in the uk 34:44 is also something that thinking with 34:47 radical 34:48 or none kind of official archives is a 34:51 really interesting way of challenging 34:53 and in particular um we thought a lot 34:57 with 34:57 things like music food for example 35:01 we had an amazing session where we’re 35:04 thinking about cookbooks 35:05 as um theoretical material rather than 35:08 empirical material and all of these ways 35:10 in which other forms of knowing 35:12 became centered were also an important 35:14 way of collapsing time and kind of 35:16 collapsing these temporal distinctions 35:19 that tend to 35:20 exist in this debate around empire and i 35:23 think by collapsing this 35:24 distinction between past present and 35:27 future 35:28 there was a lot and way we there was a 35:30 lot in which we were able to 35:32 um move beyond this debate about how the 35:35 past influences the present and i think 35:38 this is a whole other topic but on this 35:40 question of decolonizing the classroom i 35:43 think there’s much to say 35:44 as well about the textual and the 35:45 dominance of the textual 35:48 and what what an anti-colonial education 35:51 that doesn’t 35:52 value the textual over other senses 35:54 might do 35:56 i want to now turn to the question of 35:58 solidarity and connections because i 36:00 think 36:01 as omar mentioned this is really a 36:03 crucial um 36:04 challenge that we’re facing today thank 36:06 you hisham um 36:08 first because i think what we what we’re 36:09 seeing in the present and this was why i 36:11 spoke about being hopeful 36:13 is that there are there’s an incredible 36:16 wave of movements that have been 36:17 fighting against all of the different 36:19 challenges that i outlined earlier and 36:21 this goes 36:22 back quite far but we can think about 36:25 the long-standing palestinian solidarity 36:27 movements 36:28 but also the fight against tuition fees 36:30 movements against the white curriculum 36:32 black lives matter 36:34 and many more that have all energized 36:36 one another in important ways and i 36:38 think 36:39 again this was interesting in the 36:41 classroom in the sense that 36:42 anti-colonial archives themselves are 36:44 not 36:44 um siloed into these regional 36:48 or national or also disciplinary borders 36:50 and very much 36:51 think about connections as an important 36:54 um 36:55 source of learning or source of 36:56 knowledge and i think there’s 36:58 a lot to think about as well in it in 37:00 how we can connect these different 37:02 um struggles together i think first of 37:04 all because that connection is crucial 37:07 and that anti-colonial energy is 37:10 underpins so many of these movements but 37:12 second because the coalition that 37:14 is made up of the government and co 37:18 is also targeting um many of these 37:22 kind of questions and many of these 37:23 movements at the same time and so i 37:25 think it’s 37:26 very urgent that we also make those 37:29 connections and think about those 37:30 struggles as 37:31 very intimately entangled even while of 37:34 course they have their own 37:35 specificities so finally i’m going to 37:39 end by touching 37:40 on the diversity and inclusion inclusion 37:43 agendas that we see 37:44 across academic institutions in england 37:47 because i think in many ways 37:49 these have been responsible for a lot of 37:51 the co-optation that’s happened 37:53 especially around kind of radical 37:55 student demands and radical 37:57 change and thinking about anti-colonial 38:00 education 38:01 i think there’s so much left to do here 38:03 especially around how 38:04 universities act as border police so the 38:07 policing that happens 38:08 around questions of visas and so on 38:10 inside universities 38:12 inequalities around global knowledge 38:14 production even just 38:16 kind of the basic point that we still 38:19 teach everything and read everything in 38:21 english 38:22 but also questions of funding questions 38:24 of scholarships and 38:26 very importantly what homer mentioned as 38:29 well this question of how so many of 38:30 these institutions are complicit 38:33 in um what is happening to palestinians 38:36 so i think 38:38 in these i think in in some 38:41 unfortunate way these diversity and 38:43 inclusion agendas have also become 38:44 something we need to think about pushing 38:48 against because i think in many ways 38:50 they do a lot of work in 38:53 de-radicalizing what have been very 38:56 radical calls against institutions here 38:58 in england 38:59 so i won’t have time to discuss this but 39:02 i do also want to mention that beyond 39:03 england it’s also crucial that we think 39:05 about 39:06 the increasing curtailments around 39:08 accessing archives and fieldwork in the 39:11 middle east and north africa itself 39:13 um and of course here 39:16 there’s also a great need and and um 39:19 there’s so much amazing work on the 39:21 expansive and creative approach to what 39:23 archives can look like when 39:24 states have you know so clearly and 39:27 strongly shut down access to 39:29 knowledge and history in in many parts 39:31 of the world 39:32 so i’ll stop here because i think i’m 39:34 out of time but thank you again 39:36 um for all this work and yeah i’m 39:39 looking forward to the rest of the 39:40 tunnel wonderful thank you so much i 39:43 don’t think i can do this i was just 39:44 joking it’s too 39:45 harsh just to do so i’m just gonna do 39:47 this if your time is up 39:49 uh thanks again sarah for this very 39:51 eloquent and rich presentation 39:53 and your reference to the focus on 39:54 memory the question of past versus 39:56 present 39:57 border police saying you also brought up 39:59 very pertinent issues of 40:01 how things are being changed in the 40:02 academy 40:04 the word is decolonization but you’ve 40:06 actually used de-radicalization so 40:07 that’s 40:08 interesting to juxtapose these two 40:09 things maybe in the q a 40:11 speaking of transnational we are 40:13 extremely excited to have someone who is 40:15 actually in 40:16 india who will be telling us more about 40:18 how they teach palestine there so i hope 40:20 that’s a fresh change from all of us we 40:22 teach in the uk before we move to mercy 40:25 though 40:25 um and as there is a poetry reading 40:28 unfortunately uh freddie judah our 40:31 esteemed palestinian poet 40:33 uh because we examine life he saves 40:35 lives so 40:36 he’s also a medical doctor and he’s on 40:39 call and he hasn’t been able to 40:41 uh unfortunately join us because he’s at 40:43 the hospital and 40:44 so he’s actually recorded uh his 40:47 recitation 40:48 and i’m going to share it with my screen 40:50 bear with me it’s a seven to eight 40:52 minute recording 40:53 i should also point out there’s a lot of 40:55 links being put in the chat 40:57 and has very generously and kindly also 40:59 uh 41:00 updated us on what what you can do in 41:03 terms of 41:03 joining a brismes and she and jamie 41:05 will talk more about this 41:06 afterwards so um i’m now sharing 41:10 my screen bear with me 41:18 um 41:20 can you see it now 41:23 and also let me know if you can hear it 41:27 can you hear it yes we can 41:38 i can’t hear it 41:42 i can’t hear it either some of you can’t 41:44 hear it 41:45 uh maybe someone can uh advise me i mean 41:49 i have 41:49 you have to unshare it unshare it and 41:52 then when you do 41:53 share they’ll be on the bottom ask to 41:56 share with 41:57 audio and you have to click that 42:02 okay so i press share oh share sound i 42:06 see 42:07 wonderful 42:14 it’s asking me for my 42:20 are you i can you see my screen right 42:22 now 42:25 no we can’t okay good good because i’m 42:28 typing my uh 42:29 my password just a second 42:38 it’s still asking me for my id to be 42:41 able to share the audio 42:54 sorry folks okay can you see now the 42:58 the screen at least dude good afternoon 43:01 everyone um 43:02 we can hear you sorry i can be in here 43:04 with you 43:05 um live 43:08 [Music] 43:10 i will read two poems of mine 43:13 and one in translation 43:17 um the first poem of mine 43:21 is called 43:24 remove um 43:27 which uh links um despite its 43:31 uh directness uh the civilizational 43:34 trope 43:35 of uh property and language 43:39 um especially if you remember that 43:42 the equivalent for stanza in arabic 43:46 you know room in italian uh is 43:50 date is house um 43:54 there is also the poem that i centered 43:57 around 43:57 uh around which i centered the uh my 44:00 recent essay 44:02 in the los angeles review of books uh my 44:04 palestinian poem that the new yorker 44:06 would not publish 44:09 remove you 44:12 who remove me from my house are blind to 44:16 your past 44:18 which never leaves you yet you’re no 44:21 mold 44:21 to smell and sense what’s being done to 44:24 me 44:25 now by you 44:28 now dilatory 44:31 attritional so that the past is climate 44:35 change 44:36 and not a massacre so that the present 44:39 never ends but i’m closer to you 44:44 than you are to yourself and this 44:47 my enemy friend is the definition 44:50 of distance oh don’t be 44:54 indignant watch the video 44:57 i’ll send you the link in which you 44:59 cleanse me 45:00 item after limb thrown into the street 45:03 to march 45:04 where my catastrophe in the present is 45:07 still not the size of your past 45:11 is this the wall you throw your dice 45:13 against 45:15 i’m speaking etymologically i’m okay 45:18 with the scales tipping your way i’m not 45:22 into that 45:23 i have a heart that rots resists and 45:26 hopes 45:27 i have genes like yours that don’t 45:30 subscribe 45:31 to the damaged pyramid 45:34 you who remove me from my house have 45:37 also evicted my parents 45:39 and their parents from theirs 45:43 how is the view from my window 45:47 how does my salt taste 45:51 shall i condemn myself a little for you 45:54 to forgive yourself in my body 45:58 oh how you love my body my body 46:02 my house 46:08 second poem is um gemini 46:11 it’s from my recent book tethered to 46:13 stars and 46:15 obviously named the poem is named after 46:19 the zodiac 46:20 also the idea of the two in one both the 46:22 mystical and the mythical 46:26 and the historical in the sense of uh 46:30 a distant echo of a couple of things 46:32 that might have happened under the 46:34 gemini sign 46:38 after yoga i took my car to the shop 46:43 coils spark plugs computer chips 46:47 and a two mile walk home are fossilized 46:50 public transportation 46:52 elementary school recess hour kids 46:56 whirling joy the all familiar 46:58 neighborhood 47:01 and then another newly demolished house 47:04 how long since i’ve been out walking 47:08 the message appeared on my phone 47:11 an american literary magazine calling 47:14 for a special 47:15 issue on jerusalem deadline approaching 47:19 art and the ashes of light 47:24 the construction site the live oak that 47:26 appeared my age when i became a father 47:29 was now being dismembered the machinery 47:33 and its men almost always men 47:36 poor or cheap labor colored with 47:40 american dreams 47:42 the permit to snuff the tree was legally 47:45 obtained the new house is likely 47:49 destined for a nice 47:50 couple with children their children 47:54 won’t know there was a tree 47:58 i paused to watch the live oak 48:00 brutalized limb by limb 48:02 until its trunk stood hanged and the 48:05 wind 48:06 couldn’t bear the place who loves the 48:09 smell of fresh sap 48:11 in the morning the waft of sos the trees 48:14 been sending 48:16 to other trees how many 48:19 how many feathers will relocate since 48:22 nearby can absorb the birds 48:26 farewell for days on end 48:30 they were digging a hole around the 48:32 tree’s base 48:34 to uproot and chop it then repurpose 48:37 its life 48:41 the last poem is by 48:44 sheikha hilary 48:48 a professor of literature and television 48:51 university in haifa 48:53 [Music] 48:54 she’s a short story writer in arabic and 48:58 also a poet and she comes from a uh 49:02 unrecognized bedouin 49:06 village around haifa 49:10 nakba 49:13 my mother is three years younger than 49:16 mecca 49:18 but she doesn’t believe in great powers 49:21 twice a day she brings god down from his 49:24 throne 49:25 then reconciles with him through the 49:27 mediation of the best 49:28 recorded quranic recitations 49:33 and she can’t bear meek women 49:36 she never once mentioned nakba 49:40 had nakba been her neighbor my mom would 49:42 have shamelessly chided her 49:44 i’m sick of the clothes on my back 49:47 and had nakba been her older sister 49:51 she would have courted her with a dish 49:52 of her basic 49:54 but if her sister whined too much my mom 49:58 would tell her enough your boring holes 50:02 in my brain 50:03 maybe we shouldn’t visit for a while 50:07 and had nakba been an old friend my mom 50:10 would tolerate her idiocy 50:12 until she died then imprisoned her in a 50:14 young picture 50:16 up on the wall of the departed a kind of 50:19 cleansing ritual before she’d sit to 50:22 watch 50:23 dubbed turkish soap operas 50:27 and had nakba been an elderly jewish 50:30 woman that my mom 50:31 had to care for on sabbath my mom would 50:35 teasingly tell her in cute hebrew 50:38 you hussy you still got a feel for it 50:41 don’t you and had nekba 50:44 been younger than my mom she’d spit on 50:47 her face 50:48 and say reign in your kids get him 50:51 inside 50:52 you drift drifter 51:01 thank you 51:05 all right the fatty is not here with us 51:08 to thank him but i will relay 51:10 our thanks and uh with this somber 51:13 but very touching an eloquent recital 51:16 we turn to our uh fourth and esteemed 51:20 speaker 51:21 from india marcy newman and 51:24 [Music] 51:26 sorry i should have also introduced fedi 51:29 for i think most of you know him but 51:30 he’s a houston-based poet he is the 51:32 author of five poetry collections 51:34 the translator of several volumes of 51:36 poetry from arabic 51:37 a practicing physician of internal 51:39 medicine and literary editor 51:41 he’s also has received several literary 51:43 awards 51:44 as for marcy marcy is a former english 51:47 professor an independent scholar 51:49 she is the author of the politics of 51:51 teaching palestine to americans 51:53 and a founding member of the u.s 51:55 campaign for the academic and cultural 51:57 boycott of israel 51:59 and her the title of her presentation 52:01 today is 52:02 what do indians learn about palestine 52:05 mercy we’re excited to have you 52:07 and the floor is yours 52:11 thank you hicham i’m just gonna share my 52:16 screen 52:18 okay can you see the screen yeah 52:21 okay great so uh 52:24 thank you hicham and and thank you 52:26 brismes for 52:28 inviting me to uh speak today and um 52:32 i’m gonna tell you a little bit about 52:35 what i’ve been noticing in 52:36 in india since i’ve been here the last 52:38 few years 52:40 so uh when i moved to india nine years 52:43 ago 52:44 i had assumptions about what indians 52:46 would think about 52:47 palestinian people and their struggle 52:49 and this was shaded by friends and 52:51 writers on the left 52:53 but i soon realized this 52:54 misunderstanding came from my insulated 52:56 bubble 52:58 there were several factors at play not 53:00 all of which i understand or have the 53:02 answers to yet 53:03 this talk is an attempt to piece 53:05 together observations i’ve made 53:07 about what ordinary indians outside that 53:09 bubble learn about palestine 53:15 so after settling in bangalore it struck 53:17 me how often i’d see the word zion 53:20 in the hindu newspaper i’m greeted 53:23 regularly with stories like things to do 53:25 in israel for tourists or kicking it 53:27 with krav maga 53:28 for women who are interested in 53:29 self-defense 53:31 and also articles that are celebrating 53:33 israeli 53:34 culture when i went to dharmashala 53:38 on vacation i found two israeli colonies 53:42 replete with hebrew signage 53:44 and the town is a haven for israelis who 53:46 recently finished their military duties 53:50 in the south indian village of oroville 53:53 there’s 53:53 a community of israeli nationals living 53:57 there and the most famous of whom has 54:00 adventure 54:01 a greenwashing adventure called saldana 54:03 forest 54:06 and during my travels around the country 54:10 from hampi to patankot i’ve encountered 54:13 something called 54:14 israeli cuisine on restaurant menus 54:16 which 54:17 is of course you know palestinian food 54:19 although there’s some weird thing called 54:21 israeli salad which i still can’t figure 54:23 out what it is 54:25 when i was when i was about to begin 54:28 teaching at rishi valley school 54:29 rv a private boarding school in rural 54:33 south india 54:34 i started to understand what 54:36 palestinians did and didn’t 54:38 know about palestine first a little 54:40 context about rv 54:42 it was founded in 1926 by jedu 54:45 krishnamurti 54:46 and under the first headmaster suba rao 54:49 students were only allowed to bring 54:51 indian made items to school 54:53 as it was the height of the movement to 54:54 boycott british goods 54:56 rao also discouraged students from from 54:58 working with the british 55:00 and rv was a place for hindus muslims 55:03 and christians as well as 55:04 indians across the cast spectrum lived 55:06 in an integrated community 55:08 pedagogy was driven by learning through 55:11 inquiry and observation 55:13 and under roused tutelage freedom in 55:15 thinking and reading was the norm 55:17 until the british raided the school 55:19 found marxist literature in his room and 55:21 he was fired 55:23 it was this sensibility that drove that 55:25 drew me to rv 55:26 especially krishnamurthy’s teachings 55:28 which were grounded in rigorous inquiry 55:30 including of authority 55:35 by the time i began my post most of that 55:38 ethos was gone 55:39 rv and other krishnamurthy schools six 55:42 in india one in the us 55:43 one in the uk follow a program that 55:46 starts most mornings with singing 55:48 brahmanical or high cast 55:50 songs while some teachers pushed to 55:53 include adabassi or tribal songs 55:56 they were rarely included holidays we 55:59 celebrated were hindu 56:00 except for christmas and national 56:02 holidays it’s an idyllic place in many 56:05 ways during the day classes are held 56:07 both in traditional classrooms as well 56:09 as outside under banyan trees 56:12 and every evening we’d gather to 56:14 silently observe the sunset 56:16 and sunday nights the seniors assemble 56:18 for folk dancing 56:20 or folky when i first went to folky 56:23 i was astonished to find 14 of the songs 56:27 the 43 songs that they danced to were in 56:30 hebrew 56:33 these are two of the songs um 56:36 and oddly no one 56:40 had any thoughts about where they came 56:42 from or why they were there 56:45 and there was little information about 56:48 that 56:48 so i started investigating first with 56:50 havana gila which was one of the songs 56:53 on this uh on this slide it was composed 56:57 by abraham’s v 56:58 idolson a zionist living in jerusalem 57:01 and he wrote it to commemorate the 57:03 balfour declaration 57:05 it’s a simple song it repeats the words 57:08 let us rejoice during the chorus but 57:10 it’s what the original song celebrated 57:12 the 57:13 british zionist takeover takeover of 57:15 palestine that makes it a lot less 57:17 innocuous 57:19 some of the dances that accompany the 57:21 song like this 57:23 were ashkenazi but when zionists began 57:26 colonizing palestine they wanted to 57:28 distance themselves from european 57:29 cultural roots 57:31 nicholas rose history of dance in 57:33 palestine traces zionist cultural theft 57:35 of palestinian dubka 57:37 quote the actual zionist salvage 57:40 and appropriation of indigenous peasant 57:42 dance can be seen 57:43 as both methodological and politically 57:46 orchestrated 57:47 during the 30s and 40s zionist dancers 57:51 researched the local peasant debka the 57:53 steps were then re-choreographed into 57:55 stage presentations of folk dance by 57:57 zionist youth 57:58 unquote some choreographers like rivka 58:02 stermin 58:03 created and created antagonistic pieces 58:05 glorifying stealing palestinian land 58:08 her choreography of nigun atik is the 58:11 second 58:13 scene on this slide one of the dances 58:16 students flocked to the most 58:18 was called mayam it was a song first 58:21 choreographed in 1937 by elsa dublin to 58:24 commemorate 58:24 quote finding water after a seven year 58:27 search 58:28 and this was near ramla which i find 58:30 very odd 58:31 zionists shared this dance around the 58:33 world and through it the mythology of 58:35 israelis making the deserts bloom 58:38 and that became ingrained in those 58:39 footsteps 58:41 so in this context i want to talk about 58:44 what do children know about palestine 58:47 and this is what i brought to my 58:49 students 58:50 so i started by asking them to write 58:52 about it to see what they would know 58:54 and most of the students had a sense of 58:56 current events 58:57 but only one knew about british 58:59 involvement in the zionist project 59:01 some responses were things like i heard 59:04 people used to throw stones at 59:05 shopkeepers 59:07 there’s a wall built in palestine that 59:08 separates the occupied and unoccupied 59:11 semi apartheid in place against them in 59:14 occupied territory and palestine is 59:18 ruled over by jews who aren’t the 59:19 indigenous settlers of the place 59:23 so i assigned um uh 59:26 susan abu hawa’s mornings in janine and 59:28 supplemented it with films like 59:30 frontiers of dreams and fears 59:32 and aren’t as children and the first 59:34 year culminated with a visit from 59:36 janine’s freedom theater 59:37 and a palestinian feast that they helped 59:41 to cook 59:42 and debka lessons when a dear friend 59:44 visited campus 59:48 these situa these students and the next 59:50 two batches repeated this unit with me 59:52 and then i also began reading their 59:55 history syllabus and textbook to see how 59:57 it represented west asia 59:59 rv uses the indian certificate of 60:02 secondary education board 60:04 and its isc exam which began in 1952 to 60:08 replace the uk 60:09 cambridge exam isd syllabus for 11th and 60:12 12th grade history 60:14 combines indian and world history the 60:17 global half 60:18 of which is limited to the 20th century 60:21 and includes world war ii 60:23 decolonization of asia and africa the 60:25 cold war 60:27 protest movements and the middle east 60:31 these topics were covered uh 60:34 for the 12 standard board exams and at 60:36 rv 60:37 they use norman lowe’s modern world 60:39 history a british textbook 60:41 to supplement the class lectures 60:44 because there’s an exam at the end of 60:46 12th grade 60:47 that determines where students go go to 60:49 college they must memorize 60:51 key events in their syllabus 60:55 on that syllabus um 60:58 isc’s language frames a conflict between 61:01 israeli 61:02 and palestine suggesting it’s about a 61:04 group of people who 61:05 belong to that place and the place 61:08 itself 61:09 palestinians don’t factor into the early 61:11 history at all 61:12 indeed the word palestinian never comes 61:14 up except within the acronym plo 61:18 instead the word arabs stands in for 61:19 palestinian and of course the phrase war 61:22 of liberation 61:23 in relation to the creation of israel 61:25 indicates the isc’s point of view 61:28 it’s ironic then to view the isc’s 61:32 learning objectives in that light which 61:35 privileged reading 61:36 about the latest evidence in the field 61:38 discouraging prejudice and using correct 61:40 terminology 61:42 if those objections were sincere 61:45 the syllabus could have used any number 61:48 of books 61:49 over the last 20 years that incorporated 61:52 new language 61:52 and an unbiased perspective these books 61:56 have been widely available 61:57 if educators wanted to model the type of 61:59 learning they were 62:00 expecting of their students 62:04 those supports isd’s perspective 62:08 for starters aside from photographs of 62:10 world leaders the only image of a 62:12 palestinian 62:13 is of a quote-unquote child soldier and 62:16 jews are figured 62:17 as victims of european anti-semitism 62:22 the format of the book is a broken down 62:26 into questions and statements with 62:28 bullet points and reply 62:30 to open the section on palestine and 62:31 israel he points the question 62:34 he posits this question why did the 62:36 creation of the state of israel lead to 62:38 war 62:39 of course the premise is problematic 62:42 because zionist 62:43 ethnic cleansing operation predates that 62:45 so-called war 62:46 even before the un’s 1947 partition plan 62:50 plannedale was in place and zionist 62:51 operations 62:53 continued through 1951 and the 62:55 destruction of the crete and 62:57 of course is ongoing perhaps what’s more 62:59 troubling is his answer 63:01 quote the origin of the problem went 63:04 back almost 2000 years to the year 63:06 ad71 when most of the jews were driven 63:09 out of palestine 63:10 which was then their homeland by the 63:12 romans unquote 63:14 as we know from scholars like noor 63:16 masalha palestinian roots in the levant 63:19 predate the old testament quote with the 63:21 beginning 63:22 of the middle stone age in about 12 000 63:25 bc 63:26 humans in palestine began to raise 63:28 animals and farm the land 63:30 the neolithic period consolidated 63:32 agricultural practices in palestine 63:34 circa since circa 11 000 to 8800 bc 63:40 similarly sand reveals how 63:43 zionists misused biblical historical 63:45 claims to palestine quote 63:47 jews were not forcibly exiled from judea 63:50 after the destruction of the temple 63:52 faithful jews who adhered to the torah 63:54 of moses had multiplied and spread 63:56 across the hellenistic and mesopotamian 63:58 world 63:58 even before the destruction of the 64:00 temple which is how they disseminated 64:02 their religion with relative success 64:05 the connection of the masses of jewish 64:07 converts to the land of the bible could 64:08 not be based on yearnings of a homeland 64:11 as it did not represent a land of origin 64:14 for them 64:14 or their ancestors unquote 64:18 in other words the evidence-based 64:19 history the kind that isc 64:22 lays out in its learning outcomes is 64:25 ignored 64:26 instead they employ a mythological 64:28 approach to 64:29 palestinian history in one place they 64:32 have one sentence about 64:34 an arab village that’s unnamed probably 64:36 deryastine 64:37 that they depopulate uh and he 64:40 he links it to a casualty of war 64:44 and uh and and ultimately 64:47 by the end of the book you see that it’s 64:49 essentially 64:50 in line with most zionist propaganda but 64:53 these 64:54 topics come into conflict with isd’s 64:56 learning outcomes there’s no new 64:58 evidence such as the 64:59 planned expulsion of palestinian people 65:02 it’s riddled with ethnocentric 65:04 prejudice against arabs and muslims 65:07 correct terminology like a nakba 65:09 to describe the 1947 events 1947 and 65:13 onwards is absent 65:14 and students are not provided with any 65:16 fundamental source material like the 65:18 balfour declaration or u.n resolutions 65:22 so after leaving rv i um 65:25 i decided to survey students uh to see 65:29 what they learned from my class and and 65:31 how it influenced them 65:33 uh and their understanding about what 65:37 uh about palestine and about the region 65:39 so 65:41 uh these are some of their responses the 65:43 first image the first bar 65:45 chart is about um what they how they 65:47 learned about it before 65:49 at my class and the next one is how it’s 65:52 changed their perception 65:53 since then and then these are some of 65:56 their 65:56 responses to uh how it’s affected them 66:01 uh so these so these experiences i’ve 66:04 been thinking about and wondering 66:06 how when and why changes were made to 66:09 the isc syllabus 66:11 because i imagine it hasn’t always been 66:12 like this and i was thinking about prime 66:15 minister narendra modi’s 66:16 altered cbse curriculum which has been 66:20 in the media around the world i imagine 66:23 which has been attributed to his right 66:24 wing agenda but i’m also trying to 66:27 trace the relationship between india’s 66:29 foreign policy 66:31 and its educational uh 66:34 trajectory so here um you can see 66:37 this symbol is for the congress party 66:39 this is when india had independence so 66:42 this first chunk of time if you look at 66:45 these 66:46 um uh moments in history these are all 66:49 moments where 66:50 for the most part uh india is having 66:53 surreptitious uh relations with 66:56 um with israel including intelligence 66:59 starting in 1962 67:01 israel israel is providing weapons for 67:04 for 67:04 india so we can see that it’s you know 67:07 and this is the congress party this is 67:08 the non-alignment 67:09 movement is is in this moment and then 67:14 whoops and then we can see when there 67:16 were started to be a diversity 67:18 of parties but things didn’t really 67:20 change much the plo got to open an 67:22 office in new delhi 67:24 in 1988 but still most of this was about 67:27 intelligence sharing arms gathering 67:30 and more recently it’s been about 67:32 agricultural 67:34 israelis coming to india to do 67:36 agricultural 67:37 uh work and also 67:40 to sign memorandums of uh understanding 67:44 with 67:44 indian universities so my hope is to 67:47 sort of take this research 67:49 and kind of look at how the education 67:53 changes have come out during these 67:55 moments and to see whether or not it 67:57 links up 67:57 with political party changes i don’t 68:00 actually think that’s going to 68:01 make much of a difference because when 68:03 you see all of the 68:05 um political parties and and what 68:07 they’re doing every single one of them 68:09 has been ensconced in 68:11 uh and in bed with israel so i don’t 68:13 know that it’ll 68:14 line up neatly but this is the ultimate 68:17 objective of my work 68:18 so thank you for your time 68:36 muted oh i just said the best sentence 68:40 i’ve ever could have said in my life 68:42 that’s just not true i was just thanking 68:45 mercy 68:45 uh for this window into what’s taking 68:47 place in india i think you reminded us a 68:50 that the um today’s world is is becoming 68:53 more multi-polar and the weight of 68:54 empire is not just in the west and it’s 68:56 very important to think of what israel 68:57 is doing in other parts of the world 68:59 be that britain still has a hand in this 69:01 because the knowledge is being produced 69:03 in britain 69:04 and see the role of politics and 69:05 right-wing uh ultra-nationalist 69:08 movements and their alliances with 69:10 uh with israeli uh government which is 69:13 of course 69:13 uh against the pretension to liberalism 69:16 that often the israeli governments tell 69:19 us in the west 69:20 and actually your your talk segues 69:23 beautifully 69:24 into john’s because john will be 69:25 speaking about also textbooks and how 69:28 uh palestine the struggle over the 69:30 ideological struggle which we’re all 69:31 talking about 69:33 and now it’s expressed in textbooks so 69:35 john i will use my chair powers to urge 69:37 you to be as as 69:38 quick as you can because of time and 69:41 because i hopefully 69:42 i can you want to take it against me 69:45 and please let me just also properly 69:48 introduce 69:48 john john is professor of middle east 69:52 history and politics at the lsc 69:54 his research focuses on history from 69:56 below in gramscian perspective 69:58 his most recent book is popular politics 70:01 in the making of the modern middle east 70:03 he currently serves as treasurer for the 70:05 british committee for the universities 70:06 of palestine 70:07 and as secretary for the for brismes 70:10 john 70:11 the floor is yours thank you so much 70:14 hicham 70:15 uh it’s a really great pleasure to be 70:17 here i’ll i’ll keep it right down to 70:19 maybe six minutes or seven minutes or 70:21 something 70:22 i’m just gonna have more i hope i i know 70:25 it’s fine 70:26 what i’m gonna begin with is uh page 80 70:30 from uh a book which is this book 70:33 which is an edxl gcse history book 70:36 conflict in the middle east 70:38 uh authored by hillary brash published 70:40 by pearson uh published in 2016 70:43 and i’m gonna show you page 70:46 80 if i can manage to share my screen 70:52 and let me just go like that can you see 70:55 sort of page 80 on the left and page 80 70:57 on the right 71:02 can you see both sides of the screen 71:10 if you could speak if you could unmute 71:11 maybe i can see two columns a single 71:13 page with two columns of writing life in 71:15 the 71:15 part territories on the right-hand side 71:17 is that what you’re showing us ketu 71:19 boxes i’m trying to show uh i’m trying 71:22 to show it twice actually 71:23 you can’t you can’t see uh you can’t see 71:26 the 71:26 page 80 duplicated twice 71:30 i can’t i don’t see a duplication to be 71:32 honest i don’t know if anyone else does 71:33 does anyone else see is supposed to have 71:36 life in the occupied terrace maybe you 71:38 can show it to them in sequence john do 71:40 you want to show them in sequence if you 71:41 can’t 71:42 at the same time okay 71:45 okay maybe if i click on share or 71:48 something 71:49 in the meantime james godfrey has kindly 71:52 shared the 71:53 article that was published by fadi judah 71:55 that he referred to 71:57 in his recital in the chat so you can 72:00 also scroll and see that 72:02 and after this we’ll have a brief 72:05 [Music] 72:07 summary of how you can be involved and 72:08 then we’ll open up the 72:10 uh for questions john you ready 72:13 yes don i think i think if you zoom out 72:15 you’re on 140 72:16 of the page so it might be that if you 72:18 zoom out to 60 or 70 72:20 or so we might be able to see the two 72:23 adjacent yeah 72:26 shall i maybe i’ll try and i’ll try and 72:29 do that hang on 72:30 so my apologies for this uh 72:34 your six minutes are up john yeah okay i 72:37 gotta show them 72:38 i jinxed you my fault i’m gonna show 72:41 them 72:42 sequentially just to reveal my 72:45 did you try to zoom in doesn’t work 72:49 okay i’m just sharing this now i 72:52 okay so we’re seeing page 80 of that 72:54 book that i mentioned 72:56 and uh and and if you look under life in 72:59 the occupied territories so this is page 73:01 80 it’s it’s 73:02 it’s about palestinians in the 1970s so 73:05 we have 73:06 uh for ordinary palestinians life in the 73:08 occupied territories was harsh 73:10 living conditions were crowded basic and 73:12 unhygienic to make money many 73:14 palestinians had to work in israel uh 73:18 then it it goes further there’s they 73:20 they have the daily humiliation of being 73:22 under israeli palestinian occupation 73:24 plo uh suspects experienced intimidation 73:28 many endured sudden house searches and 73:31 and 73:32 uh and um by the by the 1980s the 73:35 palestinians 73:36 could take no more and a single incident 73:37 triggered a massive uprising 73:40 so that’s um that’s page 80 73:43 of of this book and if i can just 73:47 show you uh page 80 of the book 73:51 uh it’s the same book but somehow it’s 73:54 different 73:55 it says for many ordinary palestinians 73:58 life is now difficult it’s no longer 74:00 harsh 74:01 and then you’ve got despite major 74:02 improvements in the standard of living 74:04 health and education 74:05 under israeli rule living conditions are 74:08 crowded and basic but the word 74:09 unhygienic has disappeared 74:13 well and then you have a new sentence 74:14 some palestinians benefited from higher 74:17 wages from working in israel 74:18 the older one said palestinians had to 74:21 work in israel 74:22 and then it says about the israeli taxes 74:24 some of those were used 74:26 for public services and then it goes on 74:29 to say 74:29 it was a daily humiliation but then what 74:31 they’ve added is for some 74:33 it used to just be for everybody and 74:36 then 74:36 they remember in the old one they 74:38 endured 74:39 land confiscation and house searches in 74:42 the new one 74:43 uh sudden house searches and land 74:45 confiscation they just happened nobody 74:48 endured them and then at the bottom 74:51 uh instead of palestinians could take no 74:53 more and there was an uprising 74:55 it says as frustration grew among many 74:57 palestinians 74:59 so a kind of a generalized frustration 75:02 if 75:02 if um so this is the but this is a 75:05 slightly peculiar because 75:07 it’s the same page from the same book 75:11 with the same publication details the 75:13 same 75:14 author the same date the same isbn 75:17 number 75:18 and the same edition so we start to 75:21 wonder 75:22 now if you look this we’re back to the 75:24 original version here you see a 75:26 definition of jewish settlers 75:28 uh no though this sorry this is the 75:29 revised version jews returning to 75:32 villages 75:32 they were expelled from in 1948 75:36 that’s the revised version uh 75:39 of this book whereas in the original 75:43 version 75:44 which i’ll now uh share with you 75:47 we have um 75:51 the uh the the original definition 75:54 of jewish settlers here which is jews 75:56 who lived in settlements 75:58 built in the west bank in gaza so change 76:01 to jews returning to villages they were 76:03 expelled from 76:04 and just finally uh over at the bottom 76:07 we have 76:08 a source children crossing overflowing 76:11 raw 76:11 sewage in gaza’s jebelia refugee camp 76:15 in 1988 that’s in the original version 76:19 and then in this other mysterious 76:22 revised version if we scroll down and 76:25 look at the picture 76:26 it just says children in gaza’s 76:28 generally a refugee camp so again the 76:30 reference to palestinians suffering 76:32 i.e wading through sewage disappears so 76:35 this is 76:36 one column on page 80 76:40 of of of a textbook but the mysterious 76:43 thing is 76:44 it’s the same textbook and it’s the same 76:46 page 76:47 and there’s no indication anywhere in 76:50 the book 76:50 that any revision has happened and 76:54 uh you know professor james dickens of 76:57 leeds and myself and a number of other 76:59 people 77:00 from uh brick up british committee of 77:02 universities of palestine we started 77:04 looking into this and we discovered 77:07 uh two books that were rather different 77:10 an original version 77:12 of this gcse textbook and then a revised 77:15 version 77:16 um but none of which was acknowledged it 77:18 was done 77:19 uh covertly we found we counted 77:23 the changes using track changes i just 77:25 showed you one 77:26 column of page 80. but there are two at 77:29 least 294 77:31 uh material changes uh in those 77:35 um you know 80 or 90 pages of text 77:39 uh which make uh quite a significant 77:42 difference 77:43 to the content of the textbook so james 77:46 and i 77:47 dickens and i and brick up we sort of 77:49 looked into this 77:50 and and what we discovered was that 77:52 pearson the publisher 77:54 had engaged in quite a close 77:57 collaboration with uk lawyers for israel 78:01 and the board of deputies for british 78:03 jews and they had over a period of 78:05 months systematically 78:07 worked through the original version of 78:09 the book 78:10 to produce a new version which was as i 78:13 mentioned 78:14 unacknowledged and then those 294 78:16 changes 78:17 were made and what we found and what we 78:19 detailed in a report 78:21 was um basic distortions 78:24 on sort of fundamental issues you saw 78:27 one a definition of jewish settlers 78:29 instead of it being you know those who 78:30 go to live in the west bank and the gaza 78:32 strip 78:32 it had changed to those who were 78:35 returning from villages they were 78:37 expelled from 78:38 in 1948 um and others 78:41 and then the sentence goes on basic 78:44 distortions you know around these kind 78:45 of issues around international law 78:47 so for instance the the original version 78:50 of the book 78:51 says that international law uh 78:54 um prohibits the indefinite occupation 78:59 and annexation of land acquired by force 79:03 so the original version of the textbook 79:04 just repeats the international consensus 79:06 since 1949 79:08 but the revised version of the textbook 79:11 um uh it just adds the word some argue 79:14 at the beginning of that sentence so 79:17 some argue that indefinite occupation 79:19 and annexation is is prohibited under 79:22 international law 79:22 so turning what is you know a 79:24 cornerstone of international law since 79:26 1949 79:27 into a sort of questionable opinion of 79:30 just 79:31 you know a few uh people so really basic 79:34 distortions 79:35 also quite evident double standards 79:39 on very sensitive issues around 79:42 violence and suffering you caught a 79:45 little glimpse of how palestinians 79:47 suffering whether wading through sewage 79:49 or inducing enduring uh house searches 79:53 and confiscations how those 79:55 instances of palestinian suffering get 79:57 subtly edited out 80:00 but there are so many throughout the 80:02 book and but but also a dialing up 80:05 of the suffering endured by israeli jews 80:09 uh and then double standards on issues 80:11 of violence so palestinian violence is 80:14 intensified augmented you know 80:16 paramilitaries become terrorists 80:18 etc and uh and there’s quite you know 80:20 quite numerous instances of that you 80:22 know we counted like 30 or 40 such 80:24 instances you know incremental changes 80:26 that add up to a big 80:27 big change but also explanations for 80:30 palestinian 80:32 violence were dialed away or simply 80:35 removed 80:36 on the other side when it came to 80:38 israeli violence 80:40 uh references were dialed down so 80:42 references to civilian casualties 80:44 literally removed from the text 80:46 and explanations for israeli violence 80:49 were 80:49 uh amplified and increased so double 80:52 standards 80:53 on sensitive issues of violence and 80:56 suffering 80:56 and and third a kind of evident 81:00 cherry-picking around facts and 81:02 interpretations 81:03 so facts which supported 81:06 an exonerated israel were added 81:10 and facts which uh rather painted 81:14 israel in not such a favorable light 81:16 according to the 81:17 people who reviewed the book were 81:19 removed and it’s likewise with 81:21 interpretations 81:22 just one example um avi shlaim’s 81:25 well-known interpretation of netanyahu’s 81:29 role in the oslo process 81:31 it’s you know netanyahu deliberately 81:33 undermined the oslo process that’s 81:35 avi schlem’s interpretation of what 81:38 happened in the 90s 81:39 well for some reason that’s that’s been 81:42 edited away 81:43 from the revised version so a cherry 81:46 picking 81:46 around interpretations that for one 81:48 reason or another 81:50 don’t somehow exonerate israel so there 81:52 are distortions 81:53 there are double standards there is 81:56 cherry-picking effects and 81:57 interpretations 81:58 there’s an extensive and invasive uh 82:01 revision of a book you know 294 changes 82:04 in in 80 odd pages 82:06 and there’s a very one-sided review 82:08 process that’s gone on 82:10 whereby pearson the publisher has sat 82:13 with the lawyer advocates whose 82:17 uh stated mission is to support 82:20 israel and they’ve made a very 82:22 far-reaching revision to a text 82:24 on that basis and and no uh 82:28 you know palestinian groups were invited 82:31 to the table so this is just one tiny 82:34 example uh um 82:37 of a kind of a silencing that goes on i 82:40 mean it’s very interesting 82:42 it links right into the themes that 82:44 we’ve just heard 82:46 from from marcy about textbooks in india 82:50 but this word scholasticide that amar 82:53 morghuti used earlier in the talk 82:56 and this very interesting thing that 82:58 came up 82:59 i mean between the poetry and sarah 83:01 salem’s talk you know 83:03 sarah spoke about collapsing the 83:04 distinction between past present and 83:06 future 83:07 and there’s obviously uh a certain way 83:11 in which the read this reading of the 83:13 past is operative 83:14 in a certain kind of present according 83:16 to a certain kind of agenda 83:18 and we can see how that’s being done but 83:20 we can also see 83:22 uh you know paraphrasing the words of 83:24 fuddy’s 83:25 the poetry we just heard one past is 83:27 bigger than somebody else’s present 83:30 in this rewriting process and that’s a 83:33 past that is designed 83:34 uh uh to exonerate uh israel 83:38 uh interestingly also what sarah said 83:40 about diversity and inclusion 83:42 this revision has been justified on 83:45 public record by the vice 83:47 president for schools of of pearson uh 83:50 um by saying that it was a it was an 83:53 inclusive act 83:54 of engaging with all the communities 83:57 that were affected 83:58 by the history and so the rubric of 84:01 diversity and inclusion was used to 84:03 justify 84:04 uh in public that’s on record uh the 84:07 revis the um 84:09 the the the censorship and and 84:11 distortion 84:12 of a gcac textbook which of course is in 84:15 use 84:16 in schools up and down the country uh 84:19 in britain and and the same operation 84:21 was carried out with an international 84:23 gcse textbook which is in use 84:26 around the world so it’s just to say uh 84:30 an illustration 84:31 uh of why we might need something like 84:33 brisbane’s campaigns this is a tiny 84:35 illustration but 84:36 what you see is uh a war of position it 84:39 goes on in civil society 84:41 of course a civil society freighted with 84:43 politics 84:44 but a a kind of a war of position 84:47 a struggle over the organization of 84:50 culture 84:51 and consent that’s being meticulously 84:53 carried out 84:54 by certain organizations many of them 84:57 pro-israeli 84:58 but there’s also a war of position from 85:01 below 85:01 that’s carried out by others such as uh 85:04 brick up such as the bds movement and 85:07 and also 85:08 uh you know perhaps by groups like 85:11 brismes campaigns which can join 85:13 with many other organizations and it can 85:16 push back 85:17 and it can uh struggle to uh 85:20 for a war of position in the name 85:24 of the palestinian liberation struggle 85:27 and in the name of of of anti-racism 85:31 and liberation more broadly thank you 85:37 thank you john wonderful it’s another 85:39 good reminder 85:40 of the double speak that exists in in 85:43 the uk 85:44 and all this uh fear-mongering about 85:46 palestinians 85:47 the usual trope of their teach their 85:49 children hate 85:50 when this indoctrination is taking place 85:53 at these love at the level of actually 85:54 transforming textbooks to dehumanize 85:57 uh palestinians and erase them in such a 85:59 blatant fashion 86:01 so i think you have there is now 86:03 coverage of this in the media and 86:05 my worry and i will talk about this 86:07 maybe in the q a 86:08 that now the attempt is to balance the 86:10 narrative between what you and 86:12 and james are doing and what they are 86:13 doing the usual idea of let’s just bring 86:15 them together 86:16 and so maybe we can talk about that so 86:18 we can open for questions very soon uh 86:21 jamie i’ll hand it over to jamie to uh 86:24 speaking of you know brismes campaigns 86:26 and you know some form of activism 86:28 beyond also the classroom uh jamie will 86:31 tell us a bit more about 86:33 the campaigns itself and how you can be 86:36 involved 86:37 okay thank you uh hicham and thanks to 86:39 all of the wonderful 86:41 uh speakers for their contributions and 86:43 such is really great 86:45 for this to come off this um launch 86:47 event 86:48 uh of course the purpose of brismes 86:51 campaigns is to campaign 86:53 and we really want not just the people 86:55 who have 86:56 kind of served this event but everyone 86:58 to get involved 86:59 and to create an effective um 87:03 campaigning organization and network and 87:06 i want to say a few words about 87:08 how you can how you can do that how you 87:09 can get involved 87:11 the first thing if i can 87:15 manage to share my screen 87:18 you have to bear with me 87:21 [Music] 87:25 how do i do that actually 87:28 at the bottom there’s a green button 87:30 says share screen if you see 87:32 the bottom of the zoom so click on it 87:34 and then you click on whichever screen 87:36 or windows open 87:37 on your screen that you want to share 87:38 with us 87:40 okay let’s try desktop one 87:45 is that working not yet are you trying 87:49 to share the website uh 87:50 yeah i’m trying to share the brismes 87:52 campaign’s website 87:54 okay let’s try i don’t know if ann is 87:56 always at hand as well 87:58 to put the link in the chat as well 88:01 okay forget this the screen share i’ll 88:03 um 88:04 i’ll just drop the link in the chat and 88:07 people can 88:08 can get it themselves um so we have it’s 88:11 brismes campaigns 88:12 dot 88:17 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
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.
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.
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.
…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
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.
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.
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. ==============================================================================
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)
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 Israel’s 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 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
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.
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
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;
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.
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.
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
Thomas G. Weiss, The CUNY Graduate Center, United States
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.
Sami Hermez, Associate Professor, Northwestern University in Qatar, Qatar
Carlos Herrera, Professor, CY Cergy Paris University, France
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
Hilde Heynen, KU Leuven, Belgium
Solange Hibbs, Universitaire, historienne, France
Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, United Kingdom
Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, University of South Australia, Australia
Joan Hinde, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
CJ Hinke, Thammasat University, Thailand
Wieland Hoban, composer and translator, Germany
Christian Hogsbjerg, University of Brighton, United Kingdom
Ivan Huber, Prof Emeritus, Fairrleigh Dickinson Univ., Madison, NJ, United States
Leila Hudson, University of Arizona, United States
Richard Hudson, University College London, United Kingdom
David Hughes, University College Dublin, Ireland
Anna Kristina Hultgren, Professor of Sociolinguistics, The Open University, United Kingdom
Perrine Humblet, Honorary Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Farrell Hunter, Country Director: Community Adult Education, South Africa
Mary Hurrell, Artist, United Kingdom
Conleth Hussey, University of Limerick, Ireland
Mahmood Ibrahim, Cal Poly Pomona, United States
Philippe Icard, Université de Bourgogne, France
Jeremy Ironside, Independent Researcher, New Zealand
Patrick Italiano, Chercheur – Université de Liège, Belgium
Ferran Izquierdo-Brichs, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
Jean Jackson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
Khader Faiez Jadallah, Universidad de Jaén, España
Na’eem Jeenah, Executive Director, Afro-Middle East Centre, South Africa
Hassan Jijakli, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Abry Jocelyne , Professeur en retraite , France
Jörgen Johansen, Journal of Resistance Studies, Scandinavia
Diana Johnstone, Writer, France
Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Holly Jonas, International lawyer, Canada
Bernt Jonsson, Former Director, Life & Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden
Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
Jeanette Jouili, Syracuse University, United States
Aurélie Journée-Duez, Anthropologist, EHESS / LAS, France
R.A. Judy, Professor of Critical Studies, University of Pittsburgh, United States
Baudouin Jurdant, Université Paris Diderot, Portugal
Rula Jurdi, Professor, Canada
Jon Jureidini, University of Adelaide, Australia
Janeen Kabbara, Conflict Resolution Specialist, United States
Aissa Kadri, Universitaire, France
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Katy Kalemkerian, Champlain College, Canada
Labib Kamhawi, Writer and former Prof. of political science at Jordan University, Jordan
Raphael Kaplinky, Univrsity of Sussex, Emeritus Professor, United Kingdom
Geeta Kapur Kapur, Art Writer, India
Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
Otared Kavian, Professeur, Université de Versailles, France
Habib Kazdaghli, Historien, Université de Manouba, Tunisie
Habib Kazdaghli, Historien, Université de Manouba, Tunisie
Brigid Keenan, Writer, United Kingdom
Robin Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Susan Kelly, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
Martin Kemp, Psychoanalyst, UK-Palestine Mental Health Network, United Kingdom
Mercedes Kemp, Writer, United Kingdom
Marie Kennedy, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
George Kent, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii, United States
Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Gholam Khiabany, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
Ghufran KhirAllah , Professor of Sociolinguistica in Nebrija University & researcher at Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Makram Khoury-Machool, Academic – Cambridge , United Kingdom
Darwis Khudori, Université Le Havre Normandie, France
Azadeh Kian, Professor Université de Paris, France
Rina King, Science Educator, South Africa
John King, Composer, United States
Laurie King, Anthropologist, Georgetown University, United States
Joost Kircz, em. Research professor Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge, United States
Michel Kokoreff, Université Paris 8, France
Avishek Konar, Economist, O.P. Jindal Global University, India
Demir Köse, Teaching assistant at Ghent University, Belgium
Ashish Kothari, Pune, India
Natalie Kouri-Towe, Assistant Professor, Concordia University, Canada
Wayne Kraft, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Washington University, United States
Robert Kriger, Retired, National Research Foundation, South Africa
Hubert Krivine, Physicien, France
Isabelle Krzywkowski, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
Atif Kubursi, Emeritus Professor, MCMaster University, Canada
Urszula Kucharczyk, Playwright, United Kingdom/Poland
Rose Marie Kuhn, Professor Emerita, California State University Fresno, United States
Radha Kumar, Writer, India
Blair Kuntz, University of Toronto, Canada
Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
Emily LaBarge, Writer, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Thierry Madjid Labica, Université Paris Nanterre, France
Poka (Hayden) Laenui (Burgess), Attorney, Hawaii
Nora Lafi, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany
Premesh Lalu, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Bernard Lamizet, Ancien professeur d’université, institut d’Études politiques, Lyon, France
Olfa Lamloum, Chercheuse, Tunisia
Peter Lange, Sculptor, New Zealand
Jacob K. Langford, Artist & researcher, Germany
Marilyn Langlois, Community Organizer, Richmond California, United States
Michelangelo Lanza, SR Study Center (MIR/MN-Turin) member & translator, Italy
Patricia Laranco, Writer and artist, France
Jacques Larrieu, Professor emeritus, Université Toulouse Capitole, France
Dimiti Lascaris, Lawyer, journalist and activist, Canada
Martin Lascoux, Uppsala University, Sweden
Marc Lassonde, Professeur de mathématiques, retraité, Université des Antilles, France
Patrick Le Hyaric, Président du groupe L’Humanité. Député européen 2004 -2014, France
Pierre Le Pillouër, Poète, France
Bernard Le Stum, Université de Rennes 1, France
Pierre LeBlanc, Writer, Canada
Elisabeth Lebovici, Art critic, France
Jean-Louis Leleu, Université Côte d’Azur, France
Gwen Lemey, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Bernard Lemoult, Enseignant chercheur, France
Helen Lenskyj, Professor Emerita University of Toronto, Canada
Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin Ireland (retired associate professor), Ireland
Patricio Lepe-Carrión, Universidad de La Frontera, Chile
Michael Leslie, Concert Pianist, formerly at Richard Strauss Konservatorium, Munich, Australia / Germany
Bruno Levallois, Inspecteur général honoraire de l’Education nationale, France
Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University, United Kingdom
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
Philippe Lewandowski, Retired librarian, University of Strasbourg, France
Cédric Lhoussaine, Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Lille, France
Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois at Chicago, United States
Peter Lipman, Fellow, Cabot Institute, United Kingdom
Yoav Litvin, Writer, United States
David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
Peter Lock, Retired, peace and conflict research & urban environment for our grandchildren, Germany
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
Marie-Nëlle Lombard-Crémieux, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France
Sheila Long, Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland
Arab Loutfi, Adjunct Film maker, and adjunct Faculty at Film department AUC (American university of Cairo), Egypt
Miriam Lowi, Professor, the College of New Jersey, United States
Thomas Luce, Lay leader-Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Licensed theologian, United States
Robin Luckham, Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Mainolfi Luigi, Accademia di belle arti, Italy
Ruth Luschnat, none/ writer sometimes…( HP) against classism, Germany
[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 |
Partager : facebooktwitter 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.
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
In May 2021, the editorial team of eSharp, a student-led scholarly journal of the Glasgow University College of Arts, published a foreword to a 2017 article stating that it promoted an “unfounded anti-Semitic theory regarding the State of Israel and its activity in the United Kingdom.”
The article, written by Jane Jackman, a Ph.D. student at the University of Exeter, employed “some discursive strategies, including a biased selection of sources as well as the misrepresentation of data.”
Titled “Advocating Occupation: Outsourcing Zionist Propaganda in the UK,” the article discussed the rise of grassroots Zionist advocacy since 2000, the beginning of the Second Intifada, which signaled the failure of the Oslo Peace Process that intended to deliver Palestinian self-determination.
Contrary to Jackman’s assertion, as well known, the renewed Palestinian violence undermined the Oslo Peace process and eliminated the hope for Palestinian self-determination.
Jackman explained her article “focuses on Israel’s strategy as it affects the UK, now widely construed by Zionists as a center for anti-Semitic activity and therefore a key battleground over discursive hegemony. More specifically, the paper highlights the efforts of two prominent grassroots advocacy organizations to recruit and coach volunteers in the art of Israeli hasbara,” aiming to “counter the rising tide of pro-Palestinian sympathy in the UK as embodied by Israel’s nemesis, the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign.”
Jackman argued that “by outsourcing Zionist propaganda to grassroots activists, and exploiting their social networks to circulate biased information, Israel is buttressing from below the British government’s customary support for Israel, and perpetuating its inertia over Israeli occupation of land allocated under international law for a future Palestinian state.”
The editorial team of eSharp added that it “recognizes that this article has caused considerable offense… We would like to apologize that our editorial procedures did not identify those failures in scholarship.”
As a university journal, eSharp aims to provide opportunities to researchers with little or no experience in academic publishing and “welcomes discussion and debate across the full range of topics, even those which are controversial. But along with such debate comes the responsibility for articles to be rigorous, well-balanced, and supported by evidence. This article does not meet those standards of scholarship,” the editors added.
Jackman’s Ph.D. is co-supervised by Professor William Gallois, of the University of Exeter and her Ph.D. thesis is titled “Discursive Silencing in Debates on Israel-Palestine.” According to the British blogger David Collier, who first reported on Jackman, her second supervisor is the notorious Prof. Ilan Pappe whose lifelong work was dedicated to tarnishing Israel.
Worth noting that the scholarship of Jackman has been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic for a number of years. She already presented a paper on her doctoral work at the British Society for Middle East Studies (BRISMES) annual meeting in 2015. Jackman was a signatory to a 2013 petition “Jews for Palestinian Right of Return.” In 2015, she donated money to Shabaka, an independent, transnational Palestinian think tank. In 2015 Jackman participated in a SOAS conference where she delivered a paper, “Networking the Occupation: How Israel ‘Mows the Lawn’ in Gaza and Gets Away With It.” She also signed a petition in 2016, an “Urgent appeal of 23,000 citizens from across the world to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for protection of human rights defenders active in the BDS movement.”
Jackman, who is not Jewish, wrote about Israel in 2013: “We do expect more from a people whose roots are geographically and culturally similar to our own, and who choose to be identified with Europe in many ways… to adopt certain norms and adhere to human rights law…to end its occupation. Is it really any wonder that in witnessing the increasingly brutal oppression of the Palestinians, we Europeans recognize actions reminiscent of the oppression meted out on the Jews in wartime Germany?”
Equating Israel to Nazi Germany is anti-Semitic per the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
In a timely manner, the British organization Universities UK (UUK) has recently published a booklet on tackling anti-Semitism. UUK is the collective voice of 140 universities in the UK with a core purpose to maximize their positive impact on students and the public both in the UK and globally. UUK is led by its members and acts on behalf of universities.
The report, “Tackling anti-Semitism: practical guidance for universities,” was published on June 11, 2021. It “outlines how the recommendations in our tackling racial harassment guidance may be applied to anti-Semitic racial harassment.” The guidance states that “Antisemitism – prejudice or hatred towards Jews – is wrong and should not be tolerated at universities or anywhere in society.” UUK believes it is particularly important, given the historically high levels of anti-Semitism in the UK.
Jackman’s Ph.D. should be carefully examined for anti-Semitism and falsifications. Other scholarships in her department should also be examined.
https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/Media_792691_smxx.pdf eSharp Issue 25:1 Rise and Fall The eSharp editorial team recognises that this article has caused considerable offence. eSharp welcomes discussion and debate across the full range of topics, even those which are controversial. But along with such debate comes the responsibility for articles to be rigorous, well-balanced, and supported by evidence. This article does not meet those standards of scholarship. In particular, this article employs some discursive strategies, including a biased selection of sources as well as the misrepresentation of data, which promote an unfounded antisemitic theory regarding the State of Israel and its activity in the United Kingdom. We would like to apologise that our editorial procedures did not identify those failures in scholarship. eSharp is a student-led scholarly journal with the aim of publishing high-quality research produced by post-graduate researchers. eSharp is run entirely by postgraduate researchers from within the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts, with a new editorial team being formed each year. Therefore, while we cannot speak for previous editorial boards, the eSharp team affirms that we strive for the highest standards in academic research and publishing. We would also note that, with the support of the staff at the Graduate School of the College of Arts, new checks and balances have been introduced to the eSharp editorial protocols since the publication of this article, to provide better assurance that the articles featured in future issues of eSharp are of the highest quality. eSharp exists to provide opportunities for publication of researchers with little or no experience in academic publishing in order to educate those researchers in the publishing process as well as to refine their presentation of their work. Therefore, an additional benefit of publishing in eSharp is the pedagogical dynamic between the contributing scholars and the editorial team, by which the journal’s editors can offer more gracious and constructive feedback than one might expect to receive from other academic publications. In recognition of this, the eSharp team affirms our commitment to the highest standards of academic research, the process of peer-review, and the publication of high-quality articles in our current and future publications. The eSharp team is committed to transparently addressing the concerns raised about this article and to the integrity of the journal. There was considerable discussion among the members of the editorial team and College staff on this matter, but ultimately, with the aim of providing maximum transparency, we have decided not to remove the article from the journal, but to leave it as is with this editorial appended. eSharp editorial team May 2021 eSharp Issue 25:1 Rise and Fall 45 Advocating Occupation: Outsourcing Zionist Propaganda in the UK Jane Jackman (University of Exeter) This essay explores the rise of grassroots Zionist advocacy since 2000, when the second Palestinian intifada (lit: uprising) effectively signalled the failure of the Oslo Peace Process to deliver on its promise of Palestinian self-determination. In response, rather than working to end its military occupation of Palestinian territory, Israel set about attempting to reverse the subsequent sharp decline in its international standing, and revised its global communications strategy. Whilst initially strengthening ties with the Jewish diaspora, Israel’s longer-term objective was to conscript and resource a cohort of grassroots Zionist supporters to carry the Israeli narrative into the broader sphere of society. This paper focuses on Israel’s strategy as it affects the UK, now widely construed by Zionists as a centre for anti-Semitic activity and therefore a key battleground over discursive hegemony. More specifically, the paper highlights the efforts of two prominent grassroots advocacy organizations to recruit and coach volunteers in the art of Israeli hasbara (lit: explaining). Their mission is to counter the rising tide of pro-Palestinian sympathy in the UK as embodied by Israel’s nemesis, the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the grassroots pro-Palestinian movement that gained momentum from Israel’s series of military incursions into Gaza (2008-2009, 2012, 2014). The paper argues that by outsourcing Zionist propaganda to grassroots activists, and exploiting their social networks to circulate biased information, Israel is buttressing from below the British government’s customary support for Israel, and perpetuating its inertia over Israeli occupation of land allocated under international law for a future Palestinian state. Key words: Israel, Palestinian, new anti-Semitism, grassroots advocacy, networks A half-truth is the worst of all lies (Solon 550 B.C.) For Israel’s ambassador to the Court of St. James, Mark Regev, 2017 could hardly have begun on a more discordant note. Centenary celebrations marking the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 document legitimizing Zionist immigration to Palestine, had been launched just two months earlier, with the British government endorsing plans for a year of special events. But by the end of 2016, relations between Britain and Israel were in crisis. On the eve of the Jewish feast of Hanukah, two days before Christmas, the UN Security Council had adopted a resolution (2334) condemning Israel’s unabated expansion of Jewish settlements on land that international law identifies as Palestinian. Without warning, America had withheld its customary veto of UN censure of Israel, and abstained; Britain, together with the 13 other states on the Council, voted in favour. Worse still (in diplomatic terms) it was discovered that the British Foreign Office had played a leading role in scripting the offending resolution (Sanchez 2016). Then, with the ink scarcely dry on Resolution 2334, and amid Israeli threats of retaliation, coupled with fear over what might transpire at the Paris Peace Conference in mideSharp Issue 25:1 Rise and Fall 46 January, the Qatari based network, Al Jazeera English broadcast a four-part series of undercover documentaries entitled The Lobby (Al Jazeera 2017). The series was to shatter any illusions about Israel’s capacity to influence British democratic processes. Most controversially, the films exposed an Israeli Embassy official in the act of suggesting to a senior civil servant the ‘take down’ of British politicians, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a known supporter of Palestinian rights, at the top of the list. The embassy official was Shai Masot, a former intelligence officer for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). To Ambassador Regev’s further embarrassment, Masot’s interlocutor, Maria Strizzolo, a former ministerial aide employed in the Education Department, was filmed agreeing: ‘If you look hard enough, I’m sure that there is something that they are trying to hide’ (Al Jazeera 2017). The scandal mongering attempts of the pair were hard to deny in the face of the filmed evidence. Further footage showed Masot boasting about his recent success in influencing British government policy over local council boycotts of Israeli goods and services (Conservative Friends of Israel). Equally damaging, he was seen mobilizing behind-the-scenes support for Israel through his close involvement with Zionist lobbyists amongst the political elite, and covertly fostering the spread of pro-Israel advocacy groups at the grassroots level of British society. By the time the films aired, both Masot and Strizzolo had resigned. Ambassador Regev – well known as the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman during Israel’s 51-day military assault on Gaza in 2014, codenamed Operation Defensive Edge ̶ insisted Masot had acted alone and that his behaviour did not reflect Israeli policy. He apologized to Sir Alan personally, and released a photograph of the two shaking hands. Nevertheless, the documentaries caused outrage on all sides of the Israel-Palestinian debate in Britain. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded an inquiry on grounds of national security. Conservative MP Crispin Blunt told the Independent that Masot’s conduct was an ‘interference in another country’s politics of the murkiest and most discreditable kind’ (Merrick 2017). As they and others argued – with good reason – had Russia, Iran or indeed any other state been caught behaving in a like manner, there would have been a thorough investigation. On the other hand, the Jewish press tended to minimize the importance of the series, scorning them as trivial and out-of-touch with the reality of everyday parliamentary lobbying. Others accused Al Jazeera of importing Middle Eastern anti-Semitism to Britain, or berated the deceitfulness of undercover reporting and complained to the communications regulator Ofcom.1 However, the furore was short-lived. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow made short shrift of MPs’ demands for an inquiry, telling them it would not be ‘helpful to discuss it further’ (Middle East Eye 2017). A public petition collected more than 12,000 signatories demanding an investigation into the embassy’s conduct but it too drew a terse response from the Foreign Office. Stressing Britain’s strong ties with Israel, the response concluded: ‘We consider the matter closed’ (UK Government & Parliament 2017). This paper is less concerned with why the British government appears to favour Israel in this way ̶ bilateral trading figures of £4 billion are undoubtedly a factor ̶ as it is with how 1 At the time of writing the outcome is still pending. 47 this position is maintained. In light of growing public unrest over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza, this question is particularly imperative. According to the UN, Operation Defensive Edge killed more than 2,250 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians ̶ a third of them children (OCHA 2015). In the UK, as elsewhere in Europe, protestors took to the streets in an attempt to press the government to intervene. One of these protests, in central London, attracted 150,000 marchers (Culzac 2014). In Manchester, there were clashes with police as pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated outside city centre shops selling Israeli products (Cox 2014). In Birmingham, the Stop the War Coalition organized a 2000-strong march demanding an end to the bloodshed (Cartledge 2014). Meanwhile, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), a forerunner of BDS, gathered more than 38,000 signatures on an open letter to then prime minister David Cameron, protesting at Israel’s ‘collective punishment of the Palestinian people’ (PSC [Letter] 2014). Since the role of the media and political elites in promoting support for Israel has already been explored and documented (Mearsheimer & Walt 2007; Oborne & Jones 2009; Philo & Berry 2011), these elements of the public debate are not the focus here. Grassroots advocacy, however, is by its nature diffuse and harder to track, and with the exception of a report sponsored by Spinwatch (Mills et al 2013) on one of the newest and most sophisticated organizations, few efforts have been made to map its mechanisms or its effects. While one short paper is unlikely to go far in redressing the balance, its author hopes to encourage further research in this field. The principal contention of this paper is that an Israeli state-sponsored strategy is focused on controlling public opinion in the UK. Israel’s objective is to harness the resources of grassroots Zionist supporters in order to buttress from below the British government’s traditionally staunch support for Israel and to combat increasing public antipathy to Israel, specifically in its military interventions in Gaza, known colloquially to IDF soldiers as ‘mowing the lawn’ (Rabbani 2014). For its conceptual framework, the paper draws on the Foucauldian correlation between knowledge, discourse and power (Foucault 1980). Further, it resonates with the notion that discourse is a contested site of power, and whoever controls the discourse also controls what Teun van Dijk (2008) conceptualizes as ‘the public mind’, and in turn is able to exercise a level of control over people’s actions (Dijk 2008: viii). Dijk claims that such high levels of control equate to an abuse of power that critical discourse scholars have an obligation to expose. Before proceeding, it should be noted that since 1948 when the Israeli state was founded, scholars have fallen roughly into two camps: one engaged in presenting a carefully managed justification for Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the other (after 1967) drawing on revisionist scholarship that continues to challenge the Israeli narrative and its resulting social inequalities. Also, whereas the new anti-Semitism has fomented a great deal of scholarly debate, not least over the conflation of terms such as pro-Israel and pro-Zionist, there is insufficient space here to examine the distinctions. Therefore for the purpose of this essay the terms pro-Israel and pro-Zionist are used interchangeably. Therefore, in the spirit of critical inquiry, and focusing on pro-Israel advocacy in the UK, the paper provides a brief insight into recent developments in Zionist advocacy in the UK, focusing on the activities of one of the newest and most proactive grassroots organizations, We Believe in Israel (WBII). Then, highlighting the expanding network of Friends of Israel (FoI) 48 groups, it touches on the kinds of discourse supporters typically use to promote Israel to the UK public. It concludes that the Israeli narrative of events is being robustly outsourced to grassroots activists for the purpose of circulating Israel’s chosen narratives through the Foucauldian ‘capillaries’ of the social body, through which discourse – and therefore knowledge and power – flows (Foucault 1980: p.96). The aim is to discredit and neutralize pro- Palestinian discourses. In essence this means that British Zionists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are being mobilized to wage a proxy war for Israel via the digital realm. It may be clichéd to think of it as the Clausewitzian ‘war by other means’ but that is precisely what it appears to be. The New Anti-Semitism In September 2007, British politician Denis MacShane wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he warned against a new and virulent form of anti-Semitism; one that he claimed threatened not only Jews and the state of Israel but also ‘all of humanity’ (MacShane 2007). This new type of prejudice, MacShane declared, had emerged to become an ‘officially sanctioned state ideology’, which he said was rife in British institutions, and even more pernicious than the racist version of anti-Semitism that infected Europe in the nineteenth century and paved the way for genocide in the twentieth. Moreover, a ‘crusade’ against Israel had been launched with the avowed intent of eradicating all traces of Jewishness from the Middle East. Unless confronted and contained this crusade would weaken the core values, rights and freedoms of the entire world. As chair of the newly commissioned All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, MacShane was reiterating its first findings, published in 2006. Hyperbolic though his language was, he was not speaking alone or without warrant. Whereas the term new anti-Semitism is hardly new – a booklet bearing the title was published in 1921 – rising levels of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe since 2000 were giving the concept of a new manifestation of ‘the longest hatred’ (Wistrich 1994) greater political traction. With Israel’s construal by Zionists as the world’s ‘collective Jew’ (Klug 2003), and the gradual conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism over the first decade of the twenty-first century, virtually any censure of Israeli policy became open to a racist interpretation; as a result, critics of Israeli policy expose themselves to the possibility, indeed the probability, of being smeared as anti-Semites. As Butler (2004) observes in an essay debating the concept of a new anti-Semitism, fear of stigma has the potential to cause some people to self-silence their views on Israel, whether on policy or conduct, effectively distorting free and open debate (Butler 2004: p.101-127). Others, who refuse to be silenced, including many prominent Jews, risk seeing their characters publicly maligned and their views discredited. Since the inception of Israel as the Jewish State, successive international governments and institutions have struggled to establish a workable definition of anti-Semitism. The most problematic aspect of defining contemporary anti-Semitism is the conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. In 2013, the European agency responsible for protecting fundamental human rights (FRA) cited this difficulty when it abandoned attempts to formulate its own working definition. Nevertheless, in December 2016 – prior to relations with Israel turning sour over Resolution 2334 – UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Britain was to become one of the first countries to adopt a similar formulation as put forward by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (Walker 2016). 49 This matters for three main reasons. Firstly, the new interpretation of anti-Semitism sets limits on free speech where Israel is concerned, entrenching its current immunity to international censure. Secondly, debates over the new definition distract attention from Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, either as Israeli citizens or under occupation in the West Bank, or under sanctions in Gaza. And thirdly, there is a real danger of the new definition resulting in unintended consequences for Jewish communities, not just in Britain but also around the world. This is because over-zealous use of the charge of anti-Semitism ‘radically dilute[s]’ it (Butler 2004: p.109-110), making genuine cases of anti-Semitism harder to identify and challenge. By this logic, and contrary to MacShane’s warnings, prohibition on criticizing Israel renders Jews more, rather than less, vulnerable to racist abuse. Pro-Israel Advocacy: A Changing Landscape During the years leading up to the new formulation of anti-Semitism, Israel’s international image had already been in steady decline. This was partly due to the failure of the Oslo Peace Process to deliver on its promises, specifically to the Palestinians. For example, despite Israel agreeing to withdraw from 90% of the occupied Palestinian territories, by 2000 it had only withdrawn from 18% (Mills et al 2013: p.24). At the same time, other events were being broadcast around the globe. These included the onset of a second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, one that was to last for five years – the first having ended in 1993 with the signing of the Oslo Accords – and secondly, a highly publicized fiasco involving the Israeli delegation at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001. The conference ended in turmoil after the Israeli and their American counterparts staged a walkout in protest of a draft proposal equating Zionism with racism. Despite the offending motion being rejected, the spectacle tarnished Israel’s image and served to further polarize debate over its policies, now gaining widespread publicity due to the Palestinian uprising (Swarns 2001). Meanwhile, rather than fixing the main cause of its unpopularity – the military occupation of territory assigned to the Palestinians under international law – Israeli policy makers blamed ‘viral anti-Semitism’ together with an ineffectual communications strategy (Schleifer & Snapper 2015). All Israel required, or so they thought, was a radical overhauling of its hasbara (lit: explanation), and a more proactive approach to communicating with the international community. The Institute of Jewish Policy Research (IJPR) had already commissioned a report recommending how best to serve the interests of the Jewish diaspora in Britain, and how to communicate Jewish issues to the wider public. Published in March 2000 the report, A Community of Communities (IJPR 2000), was to become a blueprint for the eventual formation of an Israeli-sponsored network of advocacy groups aimed at combatting perceived attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state overseas. The report recommended the development of a coordinated network of key agencies to lead quickly on issues affecting the Jewish community in the UK, feeding information into a network of ‘targeted coalitions of Jewish organizations and agencies in order to formulate a strategic response’ (IJPR 2000). Basically, the idea was to form a series of interconnected hubs tasked with the coordination and dissemination of facts, not only to political and media elites but also to smaller, satellite groups and then on through grassroots volunteer networks to a wider public – in the Foucauldian analogy, to ‘the point where power reaches into the very grain of individuals’ (Foucault 1980: p.39). 50 It was out of this broader initiative that the ad hoc Cross Community Emergency Coordinating Group (CCECG) emerged in 2002, instigated by then Israeli Ambassador Dror Zeigerman in association with a group of leading UK businessmen. One of the group’s first initiatives was to commission top public relations experts Frank Luntz and Stan Greenberg to research public attitudes to Israel in the UK (Mills et al 2013). On their advice, the CCECG began sponsoring trips to Israel for British journalists, the first led by then Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Its information centre was referred to as the war room. A rebuttal desk was set up to combat negative media reports and brief opinion-formers, framing the ties between the UK Jewish community and Israel as more solid than in reality they were. Having emerged as a contingency measure, the group was soon able to establish a more permanent footing as the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) whose objective was (and still is) ‘to cultivate a policymaking environment in Britain that is favourable to Israel’ (Mills et al: p.40). From Israel’s perspective, any investment in these efforts – both from the Israeli state and private individuals – was well spent, as subsequent events proved. The infamous Jenin massacre of 2002 was followed in 2003 by the death of a young American activist, Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as she resisted house demolitions at Rafah, on the Gaza border. In 2006, Israel’s devastating invasion of Lebanon coincided with the publication of former American President Jimmy Carter’s book, Peace Not Apartheid, for which he was ostracized by much of the American political establishment. The publicity surrounding both events – the tragedy of one, and the furore over the other – attracted public attention to the Palestinian plight and cast doubt on Israel’s true intentions in the peace process. Meanwhile, the so-called separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank, justified on grounds of Palestinian terrorism during the second intifada, was taking shape largely on Palestinian land, in defiance of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) opinion in 2004 that it was illegal. Elsewhere, the transnational BDS movement – established in 2005 on the anniversary of the ICJ opinion – was making advances in further galvanizing British public opinion (Hitchcock 2016). The task for Zionist strategists was now one of explaining and justifying Israel’s actions, not just to the political and media elites, but also to the public at large. Outsourcing To The Grassroots In December 2009 the Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism, convened by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for the fight against BDS to be taken to the grassroots of Jewish diaspora host countries (Innovative Minds 2010). The Working Group on Delegitimization, co-chaired by Canadian Professor Gil Troy, listed 12 steps in a five-year plan to combat BDS. The first step is headed Let’s Reframe to Name and Shame, while the second is Dig Deep to Undermine. Further steps included engaging bloggers ‘to target BDSers and delegitimizers, exposing their tactics’, and ‘pursuing a strategy of ridicule and satire – especially on the internet’ (Innovative Minds 2010). Troy later claimed the document was ‘the start of a conversation’ and the launch of ‘a grassroots movement against a well-organized but ultimately failing and marginalized effort’ (Jerusalem Post 11 March 2010). Then in January 2010, a major theme at the 10th Herzliya Conference, Israel’s main policy-making forum, was Winning the Battle of the Narrative. The emphasis was on the same 51 networking model recommended a decade earlier in the Community of Communities report. Policy advisors presented papers in Herzliya listing ways to outsource political messages via NGOs, academic institutions, and advocacy organizations, as well as ways to coach grassroots activists in the use of digital platforms to ‘get the message out’. For example, one Working Paper urged advocates to develop ‘an online personality’ to create a ‘positive resonance’ with western audiences, and to use only language that works culturally and politically with them (Michlin 2010). Further emphasis was on strengthening diaspora identity with Israel, and outsourcing its messages to grassroots activists whereby Israel would gain maximum spread of pro-Israel discourse at minimum cost. A document issued by the Reut Institute, Building a Political Firewall Against Israel’s Delegitimization (Reut 2010), set out a detailed strategy of grassroots engagement in the diaspora to mobilize support from the bottom up, as a supplement to Israel’s top down pressure on political and business elites (Reut 2010: p.14). It then offered extensive advice on ways to ‘delegitimize the delegitimizing networks’. Besides formulating a coordinated response to events in Israel, the larger hub organizations would be tasked with marshaling background information for feeding to the smaller, satellite groups. These would recruit and train volunteer advocates to disseminate selective messages, using both traditional methods – street stalls, letters to MPs, complaints to the media – as well as digital, with an emphasis on social media networking. The idea was to achieve a united front at the grassroots of British society, based on discourse originating in Israel itself. The following year (2011), BICOM launched its satellite organization, We Believe in Israel (WBII) with the explicit purpose of mobilizing and resourcing an army of loyalists to challenge detractors, promote Israel and defend its actions. Its purpose according to its website is to foster a ‘broad-based and inclusive coalition’ and to: ‘create a fair and balanced political environment for Israel in the UK’, as well as to ‘broaden active support for Israel beyond existing advocates to include a wide range of Jewish and non-Jewish voices’; and to ‘ensure support for Israel is heard in debates whether online, in the traditional media or at public events’ (WBII website). By operating largely in the virtual realm as a resource centre and capacitybuilding network, the WBII brand benefits from the kind of fluidity that is unavailable to the longer-established organizations representing Jews in Britain like The Board of Deputies, and the Zionist Federation. Proving that WBII has become a significant force in building Zionist support, the organization staged its second major conference in 2015 under the banner, Winning the Communications Battle for Israel. Opening the event, WBII’s director Luke Akehurst told more than 1,000 delegates there were more than 7,500 people on the organization’s mailing list, 45% of them non-Jews, and that the support of 450 councillors had been secured in 200 local authorities across the UK (WBII [Online Video] 2015). He warned, ‘We’re up against a new scale of anti-Israel activity, and at the edges of that activity we’re seeing a merging between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, a kind of new anti-Semitism dressed up as anti- Zionism’. WBII would equip those willing to counter this movement with the knowledge and skills to become ‘allies in the battle for Israel’s reputation’ (WBII [Online Video] 2015). Part of the organization’s success is due to Akehurst himself. He runs regular pro-Israel workshops for trade unions, church groups, schools, and FoI groups – the kind of groups that 52 Shai Masot had a covert hand in spreading, and at which a representative of the Israeli Embassy is normally present. In addition, WBII regularly promotes campaigns and petitions on Facebook and Twitter. These include calls for the banning of Hezbollah flags on British streets; an end to British aid ‘being used to educate children to hate’; and for government legislation against local council boycotts of Israeli goods and services – the policy issue Shai Masot claimed he influenced (Al Jazeera 2017). Supporters are encouraged to write to their MPs as issues arise, for which templates are provided. As a result of these efforts, Akehurst was able to announce in March 2017 that WBII’s list of activists had doubled to 15,000 (WBII [website]). These now include 650 local councilors from all parties. It was an important milestone, he said, ‘sealing [WBII’s] reputation as the UK’s fastest growing pro-Israel campaign’ (WBII [website]). Singing From The Same Hymn Sheet Since the emergence of WBII, small local FoI groups have been springing up in an ad hoc manner across the UK, affiliated to a web of other campaigning groups such as Stand With Us, Christians United for Israel, and the Israel-Britain Alliance. Two of the most active, the North West FoI and Sussex FoI were launched in 2014, the former in response to boycotts of Israeli goods, the latter responding to clashes outside during the protests against Operation Defensive Edge. In Scotland, 12 groups have emerged in the last two years, together forming the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (COFIS). Others are planned. Their shared approach is to challenge criticism of Israel both online and in conversation on the streets. Advice on how best to do this, using the most effective discourses, is readily available on the WBII website. Whilst the various FoI groups are free to establish their own constitutions and act accordingly, their common enemy – according to social media posts – is the BDS movement, which they claim is a broad anti-Semitic alliance comprised of left and right wing extremists in coalition with Islamic fundamentalists (APPIA 2006). The groups are open to all regardless of religious beliefs though some, like the one based in Manchester, attract members from local Jewish communities, whereas others like the Morecambe Bay FoI are largely Christian in character. However, they all share the same corporate image and express similar viewpoints, recycling a high proportion of the same information from the same sources in the form of video clips, articles and blogposts. These include messages from Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Ambassador Regev, and former Chief Rabbi Sacks, all of whom make claims that distort the pro-Palestinian narrative, or omit it altogether. Rabbi Sacks demonstrates this well in his voiceover of an animated clip discrediting the BDS movement, posted on the COFIS Facebook page and widely circulated elsewhere. He begins by stating that the BDS campaign is ‘dangerously wrong because beneath its surface is an attempt to delegitimize Israel, as a prelude to its elimination’ (Sacks [Online Video] 2017). This is problematic in two key ways: firstly in its assumption that to oppose Israeli policy is tantamount to seeking Israel’s destruction. Secondly, and equally important, is the normative value with which he, as an authority figure, imbues his assertion. As Butler (2004) argues in a different but related case, such utterances carry weight by virtue of the speakers’ status, thereby influencing how their hearers understand issues and potentially ‘setting a norm for legitimate interpretation’ (Butler 2004: p.108). Moreover, where charges of anti-Semitism are leveled 53 against critics of Israel, authority figures have the power to ‘exercise a chilling effect on political discourse, stoking the fear that to criticize Israel […] is to expose oneself to the charge of anti-Semitism’ (Butler 2004: p.102). They affect the conditions of audibility and set limits on what one is willing to say out loud’ (Butler 2004: p.127). The omission of alternative narratives and possibilities further serves to foreclose debate (Butler 2004: p.110). To advance the FoI mission, the Israeli Embassy annually invites representatives of the newest groups to London for a day’s advocacy training. In November 2016, there were more than 100 representatives from new groups across the UK, the highest number to date. Besides Ambassador Regev, speakers included Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and David Collier, a blogger under the banner heading Beyond the Great Divide. Given that his posts are frequently recycled and applauded on Facebook and Twitter, he is highly regarded among grassroots Zionist supporters. His writing, however, is peppered with inflammatory language. For example in January 2017 he referred to UNSC Resolution 2334 as ‘[f]odder for the anti-Israel lynch mob’ and the UN itself as ‘a rabid Jew-hating forum’ (Collier 2017). Collier’s self-appointed mission is to attend and report on pro-Palestinian events and academic conferences. He refers to these as ‘hate-fests’. He told his embassy audience in November that ‘BDS is an umbrella group under which all Israel haters unite’ to ‘smear Zionists as bullies and Nazis’. 2 His posts frequently single out prominent supporters of Palestinian rights such as Ilan Pappe and Ghada Karmi to name-and-shame. Overall, Collier’s blogposts exemplify the discursive categories typical of an extreme ideological perspective. These include outright denials of Israel’s human rights violations beginning with the displacement in 1948 of the indigenous Palestinian population (Pappe 2006); the shifting of blame for the conflict through discourses that claim (for Israel) the right to self-defense, and which imply that Palestinian violence is a random expression of Arab anti-Semitism rather than resistance to decades of dispossession, discrimination and humiliation; dehumanization of Palestinians as a people who routinely sacrifice their children in order to kill Jews; a strong antipathy for anyone supporting Palestinian human rights; and frequent resort to ridicule. When the Al Jazeera documentaries aired, Collier was quick to deride the series, downplaying the seriousness of Israel’s tampering with British public opinion, and citing Marcus Dysch, Political Editor at the Jewish Chronicle, who on 12 January attacked the series as ‘harassment of Jews dressed up as entertainment’ (Collier 2017b). Similarly, Collier reproduced the remarks of fellow blogger Jonathan Hoffman, whose piece on the Zionist website Harry’s Place summed the films as ‘voyeurism for anti-Semites’ (Collier 2017b). It would be easy to dismiss such social media exchanges as inconsequential hot air. But propaganda thrives on the repetition of catchy slogans such as these, and the constant exchange and recirculation of misleading information – Collier’s comments reappear across a range of social media – arguably spreads and entrenches already strongly held Zionist beliefs, inflaming antagonism towards pro-Palestinian supporters and muting their messages. The possibility of free and fair debate is severely limited. The dissident journalist Chris Hedges highlights this well when he draws on George Orwell (and Adolf Hitler) to observe that states wielding ‘the Big Lie’ – as he claims Israel does to maintain its hold on Palestine – do so not just at the expense of the truth, but also of 2 Excerpted from notes made by a Morecambe Bay FoI attendee, supplied with permission for research purposes. 54 reality (Hedges 2014). Hedges offers a striking example from his own experience of how language can be made to promulgate the Big Lie. More than once, he writes, whilst reporting from Khan Younis during the bombing of Gaza, he witnessed Israeli soldiers baiting small boys, swearing at them through loudspeakers mounted on armored vehicles; then, when the boys responded by throwing stones at the jeeps, the soldiers opened fire, with devastating results. ‘Such incidents, in the Israeli lexicon, become children caught in crossfire’ (Hedges 2014 (emphasis in original)). Similarly, the carnage following the bombing by F16 jets of ‘overcrowded hovels in Gaza city’ becomes ‘a surgical strike on a bomb-making factory’; and the demolition of Palestinian homes to create a buffer zone around Gaza becomes ‘the demolition of the homes of terrorists’. Meanwhile, he adds, Israel lays claim to being ‘the most moral army in the world’ that never attacks civilians (Hedges 2014). Be that as it may, it is by means of language that binary terms are forced on events, thus disallowing ‘the nuances and contradictions that plague the conscience’, which is why, Hedges suggests, Israelis and supporters of Israel are able to maintain their cognitive dissonance over the occupation and its consequences. ‘And when facts no longer matter’, he says, and there is ‘no shared history grounded in truth, when people foolishly believe their own lies, there can be no useful exchange of information’ (Hedges 2014). Capitalizing On Celebrity Finally, in addition to grassroots social media interventions, there are a number of well-known public figures willing to use their celebrity to repeat selective discourses in order to reinforce the Israeli narrative. One such celebrity is the British comedienne Maureen Lipman, who won widespread affection in the 1980s for her portrayal of a Jewish mother in a series of British Telecom advertisements. In 2014 she publicly tore up her Labour Party membership card in protest at the then party leader Ed Miliband’s backing of a Commons motion to recognize a future Palestinian state. In a syndicated newspaper interview she railed colourfully at supporters of the motion, characterizing them as ‘footling backbenchers in this ludicrous piece of [anti-Israel] propaganda’ (Press Association 2014). Many followed her example, deserting Labour in droves (Hodges 2014). Lipman came to the fore again in February 2017 when the Israel Britain Alliance scripted an appeal in protest of the annual Israel Apartheid Week events on university campuses (Lipman [Online Video] 2017). According to Lipman, Apartheid Week ‘creates an atmosphere of intimidation and prejudice’ that contravenes the 2010 Equality Act under which universities are legally bound to foster good relations between students regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religious beliefs. Universities allowing their premises to be used for Apartheid Week events were failing in their duty of care, specifically to Jewish students. However, Lipman’s script contains a number of half-truths and red herrings. For example, within the first 20 seconds of speaking to the camera, she claims that, ‘All people in Israel have equal rights and 1.6 million Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as 6.8 million Jewish Israelis’. This is only half the truth. While Israel’s Declaration of Independence affirmed social and political equality for all its citizens, in reality there are now more than 50 laws discriminating against Palestinians, ranging from legislation barring their return after 1948, to laws restricting land and planning rights. One law bans married couples from living together where one spouse is an Israeli citizen and the other a resident of the occupied territories 55 (Adalah). Yet Lipman closes her video by demanding (without irony) that ‘universities must refuse to allow university property to display false and inflammatory propaganda, including the phrase Israel Apartheid Week’. The video quickly went viral across Zionist social platforms. At the same time, FoI groups were running a letter-writing campaign to UK university chancellors, urging them to ban the event. One such letter, to the vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), was posted on Facebook as an exemplar. Its writer, Nigel Goodrich on behalf of COFIS, decried ‘this shameful and discredited hate-fest’ and focused, as had Lipman, on the university’s legal duty of care for all students regardless of race, nationality or ethnicity. Its core demand appears in bold type: ‘To comply with this important duty, universities must refuse to allow university property to display false and inflammatory (emphases in original) propaganda that includes the phrase Israel “Apartheid Week” ’. The writer goes on to argue that to allow the event would make the university ‘complicit in encouraging racist propaganda’ and ‘[t]he hostile, aggressive and untruthful rhetoric likely to be inflicted upon your students will, in our view, cross the line into hate incidents, hate crimes or even anti-Semitism’ (Goodrich 2017). It took UCLAN just 24 hours to consider the warning and ban Apartheid Week on campus (Doherty 2017). Emboldened by the outcome, campaigners went on to flood other institutions with similar messages. As a result, a number of other universities, including Exeter and Central London, outlawed a number of student demonstrations on campus, including the setting up of mock checkpoints, citing the racist nature of the events and security concerns. Summary In 1983, the year before his death, Foucault wrote that his life’s work had been ‘to create a history of the different modes by which […] human beings are made subjects […] of power’ (Dreyfus & Rabinow 1982: p.208-209). His strategy was to seek out the practices and micropractices that constitute and pervade everyday life and within which knowledge accrues. Despite Foucault’s flaws – and there are many – perhaps his greatest legacy was to show how the discourse-knowledge paradigm is intrinsic to what is deemed to be true. Therefore, discourse constitutes an important weapon in the struggle for power. The issues raised in this paper concern discursive practices aimed at spreading the state of Israel’s preferred meta-discourses beyond its own borders as means of gaining hegemony in the public sphere, and power to influence the political and media elite. Grassroots Zionist advocacy organizations have been identified as increasingly vital conduits for selective pro- Israel discourses with the aim of combatting criticism of Israel over the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory – which Israel disputes – and justifying its treatment of the Palestinians. This paper has demonstrated the outworking of Israel’s policy since 2000 to sponsor and resource the growth of grassroots advocacy in the UK, and to coordinate a hegemonic discourse across a range of social platforms. It has endeavoured to show how Zionist organizations in the UK are engaged in a determined strategy to reinforce from below the British government’s long-standing support for Israel, dating back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917. These contentions are based on three key observations: firstly, that the definition of anti-Semitism has been extended in such a way as to make critics of Israeli policy and 56 behaviour susceptible to spurious charges of anti-Semitic racism and the stigma to which that charge exposes them. Secondly, it has been observed that since the start of the Palestinian intifada in 2000, and particularly following public demonstrations over Israel’s series of military interventions in Gaza, Israeli efforts to strengthen diaspora ties to the Jewish homeland have intensified. The discourse of existential threats to Israel, including regular reminders of the Nazi Holocaust, have further energized efforts to recruit grassroots advocates to discredit pro-Palestinian activists, particularly those promoting boycotts of Israel. Thirdly, the disconnection between public outrage and UK policy on Israel has never been starker. Notwithstanding the street protests of 2014 – and the raft of official reports condemning Israel’s human rights violations – the British government’s allegiance to Israel remains staunch. Even the debacle over Resolution 2334 caused no more than a brief pause in the relationship, and the Al Jazeera exposé scarcely even that. In conclusion, it should not be forgotten that the Israel-Palestinian conflict involves complex issues and strongly held beliefs. This paper has merely highlighted one aspect of Britain’s part in perpetuating what continues to be an intractable and bloody conflict in the Middle East. As yet, these processes and mechanisms are under-researched but if human rights mean anything at all – and even Rabbi Sacks admits that ‘human rights are universal or they are nothing’ (Sacks [Online Video] 2017) – they surely demand scrutiny. Equally, the negative consequences for free speech in the UK of applying the concept of a new anti-Semitism have yet to be fully comprehended. To understand these processes more fully, and to expose the hidden power structures underpinning them – as Foucault urged – there is a need for further scholarly attention and empirical studies, not least as prerequisite to a more meaningful international response to ending the conflict. The alternative to such a response is bleak indeed. Bibliography Adalah. 2012. Discriminatory Laws Database: https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771 [Accessed 17 February 2017]. Al Jazeera. 2017. The Lobby [Online Video series]. Al Jazeera Investigations: http://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/ [Accessed 20 February 2017]. APPIA. 2006. Report of the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism. September 2006. London: The Stationery Office. Butler, Judith. 2004. Precarious Life: the Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso. Cartledge, James. 2014. Hundreds in Birmingham city centre demand an end to Middle East bloodshed. Birmingham Mail. 11 July 2014. Collier, David. 2017a. UN resolution 2334, British Jews and Yachad. Beyond the Great Divide: The truth matters. 5 January 2017: http://david-collier.com/un-resolution-2334-yachad/ [Accessed 21 April 2017]. Collier, David. 2017b. Al Jazeera brings Middle Eastern antisemitism to the UK. Beyond the Great Divide. 14 January 2017: http://david-collier.com/al-jazeera-brings-middle-easternantisemitism- uk/ [Accessed 30 March 2017]. 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Why Israel Lies. Truthdig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/why_israel_lies_20140803 [Accessed 21 February 2017]. Hitchcock, Jennifer. 2016. Social Media Rhetoric of the Transnational Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement. Social Media + Society 24 February 2016. Hodges, Dan 2014. Labour’s first Jewish leader is losing the Jewish vote. The Telegraph. 30 October 2014. IJPR. 2000. A Community of Communities: Report of the Commission on Representation of the Interests of the British Jewish Community. London: Institute for Jewish Policy Research. Innovative Minds [n.a.] 2010. Zionist strategy report on combatting Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions. 14 March 2010: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10304 [Accessed 1 May 2017]. Klug, Brian 2003. The Collective Jew: Israel and the New Anti-Semitism. Patterns of Prejudice (37): p.117-138. Lipman, Maureen [Online Video]. 2017. Maureen Lipman dismantles Israel Apartheid Week. February 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zq1_CBq-uA [Accessed 16 February 2017]. MacShane, Denis. 2007. The New Anti-Semitism. Washington Post. 29 September 2007. Middle East Eye [n.a.] 2017. UK parliament speaker rules out Israeli diplomat investigation. Middle East Eye. 9 January 2017. Merrick, Rob. 2017. Labour Calls for Parliamentary Investigation. The Independent. 12 January 2017. Michlin, Vera. 2010. Working Paper: Winning the Battle of the Narrative for the 2010 Herzliya Conference, 31 Jan–3 February 2010 [excerpts]. Journal of Palestine Studies 39 (3): p.211-214. Mills, Tom, David Miller, Tom Griffin & Hilary Aked. 2013. The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre: Giving peace a chance? Glasgow: Public Interest Investigations. Munayyer, Yousef 2017. The Reasons for Israel’s Hysterical response to the UN Security Council Resolution. The Nation. 28 December 2016. OCHA. 2015. Gaza One Year On: Figures on the 2014 hostilities. June 2015: http://gaza.ochaopt.org/2015/06/key-figures-on-the-2014-hostilities/ [Accessed 24 February 2017]. Pappe, Ilan. 2006. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. Philo, Greg & Mike Berry. 2011. More Bad News from Israel. Glasgow University Media Group. London: Pluto. 58 Press Association 2014. Maureen Lipman drops long-standing support for Labour Party. The Guardian. 29 October 2014. PSC [Letter] 2014. Palestine Solidarity Campaign: http://act.palestinecampaign.org/petition/camerongaza [Accessed 29 April 2017]. Rabbani, Mouin. 2014. Israel Mows the Lawn. London Review of Books 36 (15) 31 July 2014. REUT 2010. Building a Political Firewall. REUT Institute: http://reutinstitute. org/Data/Uploads/PDFVer/20100310%20Delegitimacy%20Eng.pdf [Accessed 17 February 2017]. Sacks, Rabbi Jonathan [Online Video] 2017. Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. YouTube. 27 February 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_pQfsi437A [Accessed 29 April 2017]. Sanchez, Raf. 2016. Israel accuses Britain of secretly playing lead role in UN resolution on settlements. The Telegraph. 28 December 2016. Schleifer, Ron & Jessica Snapper. 2015. Advocating Propaganda: Viewpoints from Israel. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press. Swarns, Rachel. The Racism Walkout. New York Times. 4 September 2001. Troy, Gil 2009. Delegitimizing the Delegitimizers. Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. 14 November 2009: http://spme.org/spme-research/analysis/gil-troy- [Accessed 29 April 2017]. UK Government & Parliament 2017. Petition: Inquiry into Israel influencing British political democracy: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177407?reveal_response=yes [Accessed 13 February 2017]. Walker, Peter. 2016. UK adopts antisemitism definition to combat hate crime against Jews. The Guardian. 12 December 2016. WBII [website]. http://www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk [Accessed 6 February 2017]. WBII [Online Video] 2015. Winning the Communications Battle for Israel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmVpT9oIwwc&feature=youtu.be [Accessed 21 February 2017]. White, Ben. 2010. Behind Brand Israel. Ben White [website] 23 February 2010: https://benwhite.org.uk/ [Accessed 29 April 2017]. Wistrich, Robert. 1994. Antisemitism: the Longest Hatred. New York: Pantheon.
Thank you ‘happyhenry’ for this interesting and for me enlightening observation. I’m not Jewish but I do appreciate what you’re saying. However, I suggest your argument falls too easily into the well-worn defence: ‘it’s only the Jews who get treated like this’, and ‘what about the other human rights abusers?’ In other words, if I’m understand you aright, you’re saying that David Ward’s argument is anti-Semitic on grounds that Israel is singled out for criticism, an argument that rings hollow, relying primarily on the perception of Jews as perpetual victims. Also, just because we notice the abuses going on in Israel-Palestine, it doesn’t automatically follow that (because we’re non-Jewish) we don’t also object to what’s going on elsewhere. To the contrary, you’ll probably find that many of those raising their voices over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians are similarly engaged with combating other abuses. The difference is that when they do, they don’t tend to be accused of being anti-African/Rwanda/Nigerian…etc. Someone has said (I think it was Michael Neumann) that when people make this argument, they don’t mean they wish people would care as much about the other victims, but that they would care less about the Palestinians. Further to this though, it can’t be ignored that in any case, the state Israel singles itself out as an ‘exceptional nation’, which can flout international law with impunity. In one sense, Israel certainly is exceptional, or at least unique, having emerged as a settler-colonial state at a time of global decolonisation (what the late Tony Judt calls ‘the twilight of the continental empires’) when driving out an indigenous population and settling another was beginning to be outlawed. Judt puts it well: ‘The problem with Israel, in short, is not – as is sometimes suggested – that it is a European “enclave” in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a “Jewish state” – a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded – is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.’ Actually, contra Judt, I think the fact that it is also an outpost of Europe is relevant. We do expect more from a people whose roots are geographically and culturally similar to our own, and who choose to be identified with Europe in many ways – why else would it enter the European Song Contest?! We do expect a nation that relies on American and European money to adopt certain norms and adhere to human rights law…to end its occupation. Is it really any wonder that in witnessing the increasingly brutal oppression of the Palestinians, we Europeans recognise actions reminiscent of the oppression meted out on the Jews in wartime Germany? Instead of (over)reacting to people like David Ward, who may need to learn a thing or two about Jewish sensibilities, perhaps we’d do better trying to show Jewish Israelis what is being done in their name – because I believe many are kept in the dark about this – and by implication what is being done (whether they like it or not) in the name of Jews worldwide. And that really is dangerous. I thought that’s what IJV was all about…? Jane Jackman
Thanks for the discussion happyhenry but I’m still not convinced that what David Ward said should be interpreted as you suggest… that ‘Jews should be better people because of the Holocaust’. I don’t think he meant that at all. As I understand it, he meant that ‘because the Jews suffered the horrors of the Holocaust, one would think they would choose to avoid inflicting suffering on others…because they (of all people) know what it’s like.’ That doesn’t mean they should be better people because of the atrocity they suffered; it simply means we would expect them to act more justly than their tormenters did. If you were beaten up by a street gang because say they didn’t like the way you look/talk etc, I’d expect you to be traumatised. But I’d trust you wouldn’t go out and beat someone else up and take their property, then expect the community or magistrates to accept your behaviour (albeit understandable) as reasonable. Of course, we all realise Israel isn’t perpetrating a holocaust in Palestine – nobody is suggesting that – but the expropriation and occupation of Palestinian land bears certain hallmarks that unmistakably resonate with the lead-up to the Shoah eg exclusion and humiliation, walling in, confiscation of land and property, impoverishment, restrictions of movement and destruction of livelihoods. Maybe the problem begins with the way we use the word ‘Holocaust’ as a catch-all for the suppression of Jews in Nazi Germany to pave the way for the Shoah. Anyway, since David Ward uttered those words, we have another problem to think about…the Times cartoon…
Glasgow University publishes antisemitic conspiracy theory
December 11, 2020 David CollierGlasgow University is ranked as a top UK university. The University is a member of the Russell Group. It runs a platform called esharp which is an ‘international online journal for postgraduate research.’ The University is very proud of the outlet. It states that all the paper are ‘double blind peer reviewed’. The university claims that the ‘rigorous and constructive process is designed to enhance the worth of postgraduate and postdoctoral work.’
A paper on the ‘Israel lobby’ appeared in issue 25 volume 1 (June 2017). It was written by Jane Jackman, an academic product of the universities of Durham and Exeter. There isn’t much to be found about Jackman online. She spoke at events in Exeter and SOAS and was an active member of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). In 2017 Jackman was being supervised by Willaim Gallois at Exeter. Unsurprisingly, the conspiracy theorist and ‘liar’ Ilan Pappe was a co-supervisor.
There is almost no sign of public activity from Jackman on social media. There is an inactive Twitter account in her name, which only follows accounts linked to Israeli advocacy or the fight against antisemitism. Given her academic focus on the ‘Israel lobby’, it is a safe bet to assume it is hers. She did spend some considerable time commenting on blogs and articles, including mine.
Glasgow University and the Jackman paper
Jackman’s paper was titled ‘Advocating Occupation: Outsourcing Zionist Propaganda in the UK‘. The key thrust of the argument is that people like myself (I feature prominently) have been recruited by Israel to spread disinformation. I have studied the entire article. My key questions would be –
How did Glasgow University ever permit this to appear in their journal?
How is it possible that this was peer reviewed?
The paper isn’t just laden with conspiracy, antisemitism and errors – much of the time the reference material does not even support what the article is suggesting. The work is beyond shoddy. Jackman makes unsupportable outlandish statements, that are far more fitting for gutter press journalism such as the Independent than an academic journal. The paper frequently contradicts its own logic. This is in no way an academic piece of work. It should be hung on the walls at Glasgow university as a reminder of the shame that they ever allowed this to be published. The only justification for ‘peer reviewers’ to have accepted this piece is that they agreed with its content and wanted it published. The entire process is rife with heavy antisemitism. Who were the editors that sat around a table and accepted this submission?
The shame of Glasgow University
The paper is so bad and the errors so numerous, that it would need a book to address them all. I did not want to burden this blog with a long rebuttal, so I created a simple PDF that highlights *some* of the *academic* issues I found with this shoddy piece of work. You can download the PDF and see for yourself. However bad you think it could be – it is worse. Unforgivably, Jackman even refers to ‘the infamous Jenin massacre‘:
Any student of the conflict knows that there was no massacre in Jenin and the misreporting of the incident in 2002 swiftly brought shame to much of the British press. Which academic outlet in the world today supports the notion that there was a massacre in Jenin in 2002 and how is an outrageously unreferenced (unsupported) statement such as this acceptable in a peer reviewed article?
How is it possible that this was ‘peer reviewed’? Are the ‘peers’ all this unprofessional? The entire piece describes how British Jews are directed (and funded) by Israel to manipulate opinion and lie to the British public. How was antisemitic conspiracy ever published and uploaded on the Glasgow University website? Glasgow University – shame, shame, shame!
Glasgow University makes a great show of talking up the professionalism of their esharp platform. Which means this article is used to support antisemitic conspiracy in academic circles. The article has an ‘.ac.uk’ website address. It is available on ‘Google Scholar’. How is this not Glasgow University’s fault?
Once green-lighted by Glasgow University, the paper can be referenced by others who assume it has passed through some type of rigorous peer review. For example it appears as a reference in the International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives Vol. 17, No. 1, 2018, pp. 7-2. In an paper written by Lou Dear, who ‘coincidentally’ has a PhD from Glasgow University. How is a Russell Group University awarding PhD’s to ‘academics’ that can read Jackman’s article and consider it worthy of reference. How?
The paper was presented at the BRISMES annual conference. BRISMES is the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. The Vice-Chair is Nicola Pratt from Warwick University, an anti-Israel academic with whom readers of this research should be familiar. This is evidence of the enormity and dangers of the problem. Once you let unprofessional, sloppy, bias enter academia – other academics follow suit. Each climbing on the shoulder of the one before them. They create a network and spread out like a cancer. In the end, truth becomes lost.
A long road back
For so long we ignored what was happening on campus or casually dismissed it as irrelevant. We only woke up after antisemitism had become normative. It is astonishing that this type of antisemitic discourse was not immediately identified. If Jackman had been writing about any other minority group, this paper would have immediately been rejected as blatantly racist. Instead Jackman finds herself published in a postgraduate journal and proudly hosted on university websites. This is also our fault for being so passive for so long. It took the advent of Corbyn to wake most our community up and it is going to be a long struggle to reclaim the lost ground.
Please contact the Principal of Glasgow University Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ask him how the University ever felt this paper was worthy of academic publication. Make sure you attach the PDF.
The Gaza Strip: History, Future and New Directions for Research It has been almost eight years since Israel’s military blockade of the Gaza Strip began in mid-2007. During this time, repeated aerial and ground invasions have killed thousands of Palestinians – including over 2100 people in the latest onslaught of July/August 2014. These assaults, and the ongoing closure of the Strip, have generated a humanitarian disaster on a scale unprecedented since Israel’s occupation began in 1967. Nonetheless, despite these enormous difficulties, Gaza remains an inseparable part of Palestine. Saturday 31 October 2015 9.00 Registration 9.30 – 9.40 Welcoming Remarks (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) Adam Hanieh, SOAS 9.40 – 10.00 Keynote Speaker (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) Sara Roy, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University 10.00 – 12.00 Panel Sessions 1 & 2 Panel 1: Food and Health (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) ‘We Didn’t Want to Hear the Word Calories’: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, and Food Sovereignty – Lessons from the Gaza Closure Aeyal Gross, Tel Aviv University/SOAS and Tamar Feldman, Assiciation for Civil Rights Israel How Does Israeli Settler Colonialism Subjugate Palestinians? A Closer Look at Starvation as a Tool of Dispossession Hanine Hassan, Columbia University Rights not Privileges—The Human Right to Water and the Politics of Access under Occupation: Water Access and Water Quality in the Gaza Strip Carly Krakow, New York University Panel 2: Hidden Aggression against Gaza (MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room) Political Economy of Siege and War Toufic Haddad, SOAS PhD Graduate Networking the Occupation: How Israel ‘Mows the Lawn’ in Gaza and Gets Away With It Jane Jackman, Exeter University Funding Gaza’s Rehabilitation: Can the Donors be Trusted? Jeremy Wildeman, Exeter University 12.00 – 13.00 Lunch (Staff Common Room – SOAS Main Building) 13.00 – 15.00 Panel Session 3 Panel 3: Representations and Contestations of Gaza (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) Proposals on Legal Harmonisation between Gaza and the West Bank Mia Swart, University of Johanesburg Unmapping the Gaza Strip: Towards a Deterritorializing Anthropology of Palestine (and Self-Determination) Hadeel Assali, Columbia University The Palestinian Ruin as an Israeli Architectural Project Léopold Lambert, The Funambulist Magazine The Armature of Sumud: Gaza’s Networks of Resilience Bruce Stanley, Richmond University 15.00 – 15.30 Break 15.30 – 17.30 Panel Sessions 4 & 5 Panel 4: Media and Cultural Production (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) Visual Arts in Gaza : a New Form of Resistance? Marion Slitine, EHESS (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) in Paris Conditions of (Im)possibility: Echoes of Van Gogh’s Shoes in Modern Palestinian Art Ziad Suidan In the Shadow of the ‘Other’: The British Broadsheets’ Coverage of the First Gaza War David Kaposi BICOM’s Narrative Battle: the Fight for British Public Opinion during Operation Protective Edge Loreley Hahn Herrera, SOAS Panel 5: Politics Old and New (MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room) Social Structures and Factional Politics in Gaza Yaser Alashqar, Trinity College Dublin Hamas Crisis: Resistance, Governance and Transformation (2006-2015) Ibrahim Natil, University College Dublin (UCD) Gaza Revisited: New Readings in the Social and Political History of Gaza Jehad Abusalim, New York University 18.00 – 20.00 Post-Conference Public Panel Discussion (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre) Gaza: Strangulation and Resilience The Gaza Strip came under Israeli occupation 48 years ago, in 1967. It has been the target of several Israeli wars of increasing violence, the latest — in the summer of 2014 — being the most destructive of all. Three renowned experts on Gaza will assess the Strip’s recent history and its present political, social and economic conditions, and discuss its future. Ghazi Sourani, Palestinian National Council and Al-Aqsa University Jean-Pierre Filiu, Sciences-Po and the Paris School of International Affairs Sara Roy, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University
Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, is in the midst of a battle over BDS.
Rutgers faculty associations have been pushing for divestment from Israel. A number of petitions have been circulating recently, claiming that Israel has been abusing the Palestinians.
The Rutgers American Association of University Professors, and the Rutgers American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), approved a resolution, requesting, “be it resolved, that Rutgers AAUP-AFT expresses our solidarity with the Palestinian people and calls for Israel to end bombardment of Gaza and stop displacement at Sheikh Jarrah, Therefore, be it further resolved, that Rutgers AAUP-AFT calls on the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to stop all aid funding human rights violations and an occupation that is illegal under international law.”
In May, the Executive Board of the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter of Rutgers AAUP-AFT expressed support with Palestinian trade unions which stated that “Israel’s settler mobs and occupation forces continue a campaign of violence and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, Lydd and Haifa – Palestinian workers bare the brunt of this violence.” The petition listed over 130 names of faculty members supporting the Palestinians.
Worth noting that the charges against Israel are based on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published in April 2021, written by Omar Shakir. Shakir is the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, who was deported from Israel in 2019 for making statements in support of the boycott of Israel. His report was based on the work of the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, with 42 references to the B’Tselem website and the B’Tselem report, co-written by BGU Geography Prof. Oren Yiftachel in January 2021. As IAM reported in April, Yiftachel is a long-time political activist who understood since 2002 that if he wanted a successful academic career, he should accuse Israel of apartheid, as reported by the British Guardiannewspaper in December 2002.
All the Rutgers petitioners ignore the fact that some Gazan academics are actively fighting against Israel. Earlier this month, Nasr Fahajan, a Gazan Professor of Islamic Studies, stated in public that once Palestine is liberated, not all Jews will be annihilated, as some will be allowed to escape abroad.
Another Gazan academic collaborated with Hamas. On May 12, 2021, when the IDF attacked a location in the western part of Gaza City where senior Hamas figures had gathered, fourteen Hamas operatives were killed. One of them was Dr. Jamal al-Zebda, who held a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in the United States and was a senior lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza engineering faculty. He had developed weapons for Hamas and headed the rocket development program.
Earlier this year, another Rutgers group, the Endowment Justice Collective, demanded that the “university divest from Israeli apartheid” and the “Israeli apartheid-supporting telecommunications company Motorola Solutions,” noting that Greg Brown, a member of Rutgers’ Board of Governors is the chairman and chief economic officer of Motorola.
Rutgers was involved in several anti-Semitic cases in the last decade, including in 2017, when Michael Chikindas, a professor in the food science department, reportedly posted dozens of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments on his Facebook page during several months, such as claiming that the Armenian genocide was orchestrated by Jews. After investigation, he was dismissed from teaching.
Anti-Semitic concerns prompted the administration of Rutgers to step in to denounce anti-Semitism. On May 26, 2021, Christopher J. Molloy, the Rutgers Chancellor, and Francine Conway, the Rutgers Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs wrote a letter that was posted on the Rutgers website condemning anti-Semitism. However, they took it down after receiving complaints from Palestinians.
The group Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers University wrote a letter to the Chancellor and Provost opposing the fact that the statement exclusively addressed anti-Semitism while ignoring “the extent to which Palestinians have been brutalized by Israel’s occupation and bombing of Gaza.” That the Chancellor and Provost’s statement comes during “global protests and critiques against Israel’s occupation of Palestine.” That publishing the Chancellor and Provost’s statement is a “decision that cannot be separated from widespread attempts to conflate antizionism with antisemitism and derail Palestinian voices and activism. The statement released by Chancellor Molloy and Provost Conway thus cannot be interpreted as anything other than a deflection from Rutgers University’s role in financially supporting the Israeli state, and thus its human rights abuses and occupation of Palestine.”
Feeling the heat, the leadership of Rutgers produced an apology which was also taken down, then provided a final statement titled “On Hatred and Bigotry,” on May 29, 2021, stating that “Rutgers deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism. Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur.”
At the same time, Jewish groups raise their concerns with the Rutgers University Board of Trustees, noting that “anti-Semitism at Rutgers from faculty is at very high, unacceptable levels.”
It looks pretty obvious that the battle in Rutgers will continue where Palestinian and pro-Palestinian faculty will justify Palestinian attacks on Israel while opposing measures against anti-Semitism on the Rutgers campuses.
PTLFC-AAUP-AFT Executive Board Statement in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
June 12, 2021
Whereas, over 1,500 Palestinians from neighborhoods in Jerusalem are facing the threat of forced displacement and home demolitions by Israeli authorities, and children make up a large percentage of the families threatened with homelessness,
Whereas, this pattern and practice of dispossession and expansion of settlements has been found to be illegal under international law,
Whereas, many reputable international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the Israel-based B’tselem have designated these practices of Israel as “apartheid” and a regime of legalized racial discrimination perpetrated against the Palestinian people, and the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into these practices,
Whereas, in response to Palestinian demonstrations against these illegal practices and the forcible displacement of families in Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli police attacked demonstrations in many instances, injuring hundreds, including a raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a place of worship,
Whereas, since May 10 the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have begun an intense campaign of bombing and mortar fire on the territory of Gaza. At the time of writing, nearly 277 people, more than a quarter of them children, have been killed. Over 1,300 have been wounded, and 52,000 Gazans have lost their homes,
Whereas, as a Higher Ed union, we strongly support the right of our members to defend Palestinians since we are committed to the principles of academic freedom. We deplore the attacks on media offices that serve to threaten a free press,
Whereas, we also stand in solidarity with Palestinians participating in a general strike to demand their rights and condemn employers who retaliate against them,
Whereas, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians and their Jewish Israeli allies, understanding that their struggles are fundamentally entwined with many other movements for equality, justice, and liberation, both within the United States and around the world. We join together in rededicating ourselves to working against all forms of racism, colonialism, and injustice at Rutgers, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond,
Therefore, be it resolved, that Rutgers AAUP-AFT expresses our solidarity with the Palestinian people and calls for Israel to end bombardment of Gaza and stop displacement at Sheikh Jarrah,
Therefore, be it further resolved, that Rutgers AAUP-AFT calls on the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to stop all aid funding human rights violations and an occupation that is illegal under international law.
Executive Council Resolution in Solidarity with Palestine
May 28, 2021
In response to the urgent call from Palestinian trade unions, we, the undersigned members of the Executive Board of the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter of Rutgers AAUP-AFT (Local 6324), call on the American Federation of Teachers to divest itself of all Israeli bonds and for the United States government to cease all financial support to Israel at once.
As teachers and union members, we can no longer allow ourselves to be complicit in the illegal acts of the Israeli government that have driven Palestinians from their homes or with military actions that have targeted, killed and maimed civilian populations of Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and that have destroyed vital infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.
We support the position of Trade Union Action for Justice in Palestine and international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and the Israel-based B’Tselem, who have designated these practices of Israel as “apartheid” and a regime of legalized racial discrimination perpetrated against the Palestinian people. We note that the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into these practices.
We join with the Executive Council of our sister union, Rutgers AAUP-AFT (representing full-time faculty and grad employees), to condemn these crimes in the strongest possible terms, and we urge others in the global labor movement for freedom, justice, dignity, and equality to similarly answer the call made by Palestinian trade unions and workers’ organizations.
Signed, Ann Ilan Alter, Representative, New Brunswick Frank Bridges, Representative, New Brunswick Bruce Garrity, Representative, Camden Roseli Golfetti, Newark Vice President Amy Higer, President Kevin Keogan, Representative, Newark David Letwin, Representative, New Brunswick James Robinson, Representative, New Brunswick Bryan Sacks, Treasurer Dan Sidorick, Representative, New Brunswick Howie Swerdloff, Secretary Karen Thompson, Representative, New Brunswick
Click here to read and sign the Rutgers University Faculty Stand in Solidarity with the Palestinian People statement.
Rutgers University Faculty Stand in Solidarity with the Palestinian PeopleWe stand in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Rutgers University faculty condemn Israel’s military assault against the Palestinian people across all Palestinian geographies. We join and welcome the endorsement of all colleagues committed to combatting racism, colonialism, and settler colonialism.
A ceasefire does not end the colonial conditions of structural violence and inequality that Palestinians live under. The fifteen year siege of and systemic war on Gaza are part of a long-standing effort to isolate, dehumanize, and punish Palestinians for resisting decades of occupation and what UN ESCWA, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, have called an Israeli Apartheid regime.
The forced displacement of Palestinian families from occupied East Jerusalem, including Sheikh Jarrah, takes legal, bureaucratic, and military forms. Zionist settler colonial expansion marks Palestinian homes and neighborhoods for removal, destruction, and replacement while military and settler infrastructure limits Palestinian mobility and segregates them into Bantustans. Critical resources such as water and land are expropriated by the Israeli state. These tactics are part of a broader effort to deny the possibility of Palestinian self-determination in Palestine.
The Palestinian rights to freedom, security in their homes, to return, self-determination, and to be free of violent occupation are well established under international law. The language of both-sidedness, of timeless or religious ‘conflict’ with moments of ‘escalation’ erases the military, economic, media, and diplomatic power that Israel, as an occupying force has over Palestine. While we mourn the loss of civilian life in Israel, we also refuse to engage narratives that demand an ‘equal sides’ approach to a fundamentally unequal reality.
The demand to center Israel’s right to ‘self-defense’ erases the colonial context and delegitimizes the Palestinian right to resistance and to self-defense, both principles enshrined in international law. It also neglects non-violent tactics and campaigns, such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), and civil disobedience that Palestinians have used for decades to dismantle the system around them. We stand in solidarity with a growing chorus of voices in the US media, in universities, activists and social movements, and with progressive political leaders in the US government. With them, we demand an end to US’ long-standing military, economic, and diplomatic support for unchecked Israeli anti-Palestinian violence.
We are in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure, and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism. As faculty at an institution committed to the principles of social justice and academic excellence, particularly those of us who study and teach about the Middle East or Racism, we endorse the Palestine and Praxis call to action. We affirm our own commitments to speaking out in defense of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people as well as foundational principles of scholarly integrity and academic freedom. We recognize our role and responsibility as scholars to theorize, read, teach and write about the very issues unfolding in Palestine. Not doing so means we fail to provide our undergraduate and graduate students, including Palestinian and Israeli students, with the critical tools and information they need to understand and engage the subjects of Palestine and Israel, colonialism, US empire, and anti-racism. Those who do not study these issues can be involved in study groups, teach-ins, and other such educational activities as faculty and students were during other moments of international protest and solidarity, like protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid South Africa.
Therefore, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians and their Jewish as well as non-Jewish allies around the world, understanding that their struggle is inseparable from other movements for equality, justice and liberation both within the United States and globally. We join together in rededicating ourselves to working against all forms of racism, imperialism, colonialism, settler colonialism and injustice at Rutgers, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.
Asher Ghertner, Geography Laura Schneider, Geography Mary Rizzo, History Asli Zengin, Women’s and Gender Studies Jawid Mojaddedi, Religion Yesenia Barragan, History Mark Bray, History Marisa J. Fuentes, History and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Judith Surkis, History Elaine LaFay, History James Livingston, History Jackson Lears, History Belinda Davis, History Xun Liu, History Sean T. Mitchell, Sociology and Anthropology Arthur B. Powell, Urban Education Camilla Townsend, History Barbara Foley, English Donna Murch, History Tamara Sears, Art History Salam Al Kuntar, Classics Popy Begum, School of Criminal Justice Aldo Lauria Santiago, History, Latino and Caribbean Studies Kenneth Sebastián León, Latino and Caribbean Studies Kevon Rhiney, Geography Hanan Kashou, African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures Samah Selim, African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures Atiya Aftab, Middle Eastern Studies Karishma Desai, Education Carlos Ulises Decena, Latino and Caribbean Studies Jon Cowans, History Jamie Pietruska, History Charles Payne, African and African American Studies Radhika Balakrishnan, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Latino and Caribbean Studies, and Program in Comparative Literature Zakia Salime, WGSS & Sociology Ousseina D. Alidou, African, Middle Eastern, South Asian Languages and Literatures Akissi Britton, Africana Studies Zeynep Gürsel, Anthropology Amir Moosavi, English Becky Schulthies, Anthropology Ethel Brooks, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Alamin Mazrui, African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures Kyla Schuller, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Tim Raphael, Arts, Culture and Media Nate Gabriel, Geography Jasbir Puar, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Michael Adas, History Carter Mathes, English John Keene, English/AAAS Evie Shockley, English Sarada Balagopalan, Childhood Studies Kate Cairns, Childhood Studies Erica R. Edwards, English Stéphane Robolin, Literatures in English Anjali Nerlekar, African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL) Lauren Silver, Childhood Studies Andrea Marston, Geography Preetha Mani, African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures Charles I. Auffant, Law Jamal Ali, AMESALL Shaheen Parveen, AMESALL Belinda Edmondson, English/AAAS Beth Rubin, Education Edwin Bryant, Religion David D. Troutt, Law Todd Wolfson, Journalism and Media Studies Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Latino & Caribbean Studies David Lopez, Law Trinidad Rico, Art History Krista White, Rutgers Libraries Diane Fruchtman, Religion Dennis C. Prieto, Law Mark Krasovic, History Debra Scoggins Ballentine, Religion Itzel Corona Aguilar, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Kayo Denda, Rutgers U. Libraries – NB Meredeth Turshen, Bloustein School Sara Perryman, Writing Program, English Chrystin Ondersma, Law Mich Ling, WGSS Adnan Zulfiqar, Law Jillian Salazar, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Brittney Cooper, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies/Africana Studies Chenjerai Kumanyika, Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies Hamid Abdeljaber, CMES Carolyn A. Brown, History Karen Caplan, History Shantee Rosado, Africana Studies and Latino and Caribbean Studies Thayane Brêtas, Global Urban Studies Andrew Goldstone, English Melissa De Fino, Rutgers University Libraries Troy Shinbrot, Biomedical Engineering James Brown, English and Communications Lilia Fernandez, Latino and Caribbean Studies Julien Corbo, Neurosciences Rebecca Kunkel, Law Library Jeffrey Dowd, Sociology Ana Pairet, French O. Batuhan Erkat, Neuroscience Hussein Khdour, Neuroscience Paul Boxer, Psychology Rob Scott, Anthropology Fernanda Perrone, Rutgers University Libraries Audrey Truschke, History Toby C. Jones, History Maya Mikdashi, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Noura Erakat, Africana Studies and Criminal Justice Deepa Kumar, Journalism and Media Studies Zahra Ali, Sociology and Anthropology Yasmine Khayyat, African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures Omar Dewachi, Anthropology Melissa M. Valle, Sociology and Anthropology & African American and African Studies Sahar Aziz, Law Johan Mathew, History Christien Tompkins, Anthropology Mayte Green-Mercado, History Nukhet Varlik, History Nermin Allam, Political Science Sylvia Chan Malik, American Studies Domingo Morel, Political Science Leyla Amzi-Erdogdular, History Sadia Abbas, English Laura Lomas, American Studies Manu Samriti Chander, English Wendell Hassan Marsh, African American Studies and African Studies Charles G. Häberl, African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures, and Religion Kathleen C. Riley, Anthropology Asli Zengin, Women’s and Gender Studies Paul O’Keefe, Geography Lyra Monteiro, History David Fogelsong, History Ousseina Alidou, African, Middle Eastern, South Asian Languages and Literatures Bridget Purcell, Anthropology Alison Howell, Political Science Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo, Political Science Gabriela Kuetting, Political Science Carlos Ulises Decana, Latino Studies, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Atif Akin, Art & Design Meril Antony , Public Administration Genese Sodikoff, Sociology and Anthropology Karen Caplan, History Shantee Rosado, Africana Studies and Latino and Caribbean Studies Thayane Brêtas, Global Urban Studies David Hughes, Anthropology Meril Antony, Public Administration Icnelia Huerta Ocampo, CMBN Dana Luciano, English, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Elizabeth Surles, Rutgers Libraries, Institute of Jazz Studies David Winters, Journalism and Media Studies Mukti Mangharam, English Terry Matilsky, Physics and Astronomy Sara Elnakib, Family and Community Health Services Meheli Sen, African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures David Kurnick, English Jawad Irshad, OIT Beyza Guven, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Andrew T. Urban, American Studies and History JB Brager, Douglass College Howard Swerdloff, English Juan Lazaga, History Benjamin Koerber, African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures Janice Fine, School of Management and Labor Relations Hebtalla Elkhateeb, English Dan Battey, Education James WJ Robinson, School of Management and Labor Relations James Jones, African American and African Studies Parvis Ghassen-Fachandi, Socio-Cultural Anthropology Saladin Ambar, Political Science Karen Thompson, English Timothy Eatman, Urban Studies Lina Saud, Psychology Frank Edwards, School of Criminal Justice Julia Bowling, School of Criminal Justice Andres Rengifo, School of Criminal Justice Bryan Sacks, Journalism and Media Studies David Letwin, Rutgers Arts Online Jody Miller, School of Criminal Justice Joel Miller, School of Criminal Justice Englebert Santana, Honors Learning and Living Community Sununda Gaur, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Political Science Sandra Russell Jones, History and Religions Caroline Key, Digital Filmmaking Deniz Turker, Art History Park McArthur, Art and Design Laurent Reyes, Social Work
Palestinian Trade Unions call for immediate and urgent action from international Trade Unions
Palestinian trade unions and workers’ organisations across historic Palestine are calling on our brothers and sisters in the global trade union movement to take immediate action in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.
May 22, 2021
Call to action
As Israel’s settler mobs and occupation forces continue a campaign of violence and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, Lydd and Haifa – Palestinian workers bare the brunt of this violence and we are at the forefront of the struggle for our liberation.
This week, Palestinian activists and trade unions held a General Strike across historic Palestine. This is the first strike in recent history to bring together Palestinians no matter where we are located.
In order to achieve our liberation, however, we require the solidarity of our comrades and friends in the trade union movement internationally. As Israel escalates its attacks and brutality we need this solidarity more than ever, and we need it urgently in order to restrain Israel’s war machine from continuing its massacres even further.
We call on you to stand with us, to speak out, to take action. As trade unions internationally we have a proud tradition of standing up against oppression. We have the power to halt support for racist regimes. The global trade union movement has always played a key and inspiring role in its courageous commitment to human rights and adoption of concrete, ground-breaking, labor-led sanctions against oppressive regimes. The trade union boycott of apartheid South Africa stands out as a bright example of this tradition of effective solidarity.
In the spirit of internationalism and solidarity, we are calling on trade unions to:
issue clear public statements of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and express support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel to bring it inline with its obligations under international law.
Participate in future general strikes called by Palestinian popular organisations and trade unions by holding protests and vigils on these dates.
Take immediate and concrete steps to ensure that unions themselves are not complicit in supporting and sustaining Israeli oppression, e.g. by divesting pension funds from firms complicit in the Israeli occupation, encouraging workers to refuse to handle Israeli goods and/or supporting members refusing to build Israeli weapons.
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Women
Professional Associations Federation including:
Palestine Dental Association
Palestinian Bar Association
Palestine Doctors Association
Palestinian Pharmacists Syndicate
Agricultural Engineers Association
General Union of Health Service Workers
General Union of Agricultural and Food Industries Workers
General Union of Service and Private Business Workers
General Union of Construction Workers
General Union of Textile and Garment Workers
Syndicate of Workers in Popular and Civil Organisations
Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions
General Federation of Independent Trade Unions
Trade Union Action for Justice in Palestine: sample motion, graphics and more
Workers in Palestine
The Citizens’ Press is a network of non-sectarian socialist student, labour and community organizers based in Canada.
The Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience supports and echoes the below statement of Rutgers University-New Brunswick leadership, which condemned recent acts of hate and prejudice directed against Jewish members of our community. The Miller Center condemns all acts of hate and prejudice against targeted and oppressed groups on our campus, in our state, in our country, and abroad.
Dear Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
We are saddened by and greatly concerned about the sharp rise in hostile sentiments and anti-Semitic violence in the United States. Recent incidents of hate directed toward Jewish members of our community again remind us of what history has to teach us. Tragically, in the last century alone, acts of prejudice and hatred left unaddressed have served as the foundation for many atrocities against targeted groups around the world.
Last year’s murder of George Floyd brought into sharp focus the racial injustices that continue to plague our country, and over the past year there has been attacks on our Asian American Pacific Islander citizens, the spaces of Indigenous peoples defiled, and targeted oppression and other assaults against Hindus and Muslims.
Although it has been nearly two decades since the U.S. Congress approved the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, the upward trend of anti-Semitism continues. We have also been witnesses to the increasing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Middle East leading to the deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region and the loss of lives in Israel.
At a time when the ravages of the pandemic and the proliferation of global conflict are leading to death, destruction, and ethnic strife, the university stands as a beacon of hope for our community. We have the opportunity amidst the turmoil to serve as a model for institutions that respect and value the dignity of every human being.
This recent resurgence of anti-Semitism demands that we again call out and denounce acts of hate and prejudice against members of the Jewish community and any other targeted and oppressed groups on our campus and in our community.
Our commitment to creating a safe learning environment that is inclusive of difference requires that we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our behaviors.
We call out all forms of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, xenophobia, and oppression, in whatever ways they may be expressed.
We condemn any vile acts of hate against members of our community designed to generate fear, devalue, demonize, or dehumanize.
We embrace and affirm the value and dignity of each member of our Rutgers community regardless of religion, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, and ability.
If you have been adversely impacted by anti-Semitic or any other discriminatory incidents in our community, please do not hesitate to reach out to our counseling and other support services on campus. Our behavioral health team stands ready to support you through these challenging times. In addition, our Student Affairs Office is already working in close partnership with leaders of the Rutgers Jewish community, and meetings have been held with students to assess and respond to their needs. If you are aware of hate incidents on campuses or places that have been made unsafe due to expressed bigotry and other unacceptable and insensitive acts, please report them using the bias reporting system.
Although we face many challenges and may have differing perspectives, we must condemn acts of violence and all forms of bigotry. We will continually strive to realize the aspiration embodied in President Holloway’s articulation of a vision for Rutgers as a ‘beloved community’—a community where we welcome and affirm humanity and find strength in our diversity.
Christopher J. Molloy
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs
Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
We are writing today as a follow-up to the message sent on Wednesday, May 26th to the university community. We understand that intent and impact are two different things, and while the intent of our message was to affirm that Rutgers–New Brunswick is a place where all identities can feel validated and supported, the impact of the message fell short of that intention. In hindsight, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused.
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is a community that is enriched by our vibrant diversity. However, our diversity must be supported by equity, inclusion, antiracism, and the condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. As we grow in our personal and intuitional understanding, we will take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better. We will work to regain your trust, and make sure that our communications going forward are much more sensitive and balanced.
Our goal of creating a beloved community will not be easy, and while we may make mistakes along the way; we hope we can all learn from them as we continue this vital work together.
Christopher J. Molloy Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Rutgers deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism.
Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur.
Jonathan Holloway President and University Professor
Response to Chancellor Molloy’s Recent Statement Excluding Palestinian Distress in “Racial Injustice” And Acknowledgment of Anti-Semitism On behalf of the Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers University, New Brunswick campus:
We are deeply concerned by the statement released from the desks of Chancellor Christopher Molloy and Provost Francine Conway yesterday evening. The Chancellor and Provost’s statement exclusively addressing antisemitism comes during a time when Israel’s occupation of Palestine is finally receiving widespread criticism, and despite mentioning the “deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region,” conveniently ignores the extent to which Palestinians have been brutalized by Israel’s occupation and bombing of Gaza.
Since the already addressed antisemitic attack on the Alpha Epsilon Pi house during Yom HaShoah, which occurred prior to global attention on the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, there have been no publicly reported acts of antisemitism against members of the Rutgers community as the Chancellor and Provost claim. This statement from the Chancellor and Provost is then unprecedented, and the fact that it comes at such a critical time involving global protests and critiques against Israel’s occupation of Palestine is a decision that cannot be separated from widespread attempts to conflate antizionism with antisemitism and derail Palestinian voices and activism. The statement released by Chancellor Molloy and Provost Conway thus cannot be interpreted as anything other than a deflection from Rutgers University’s role in financially supporting the Israeli state, and thus its human rights abuses and occupation of Palestine, by direct or indirect means.
Chancellor Molloy and Provost Conway proceed to refer to “increasing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Middle East.” By choosing to center the crossfire between Israeli Occupation Forces and Hamas, rather than Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine, the Chancellor and Provost minimize the impact of settler-colonialism on Palestinians and attempt to portray the violence as an equal conflict, which we know it not to be in the slightest.
In addition, we have deep concerns about the Chancellor and Provost’s decision to lump the murder of George Floyd and attacks against the AAPI community, Indigenous persons, Hindus, and Muslims. By attempting to combine each of these significant issues for the purpose of making a blanket statement decreeing that “racism is bad,” Chancellor Molloy and Provost Conway trivialize these issues and the experiences of their students who are impacted by them on a consistent basis.
Most importantly, the Chancellor and Provost notably neglected to use the words “Palestine” or “Palestinian” in their statement, instead opting to use phrases such as “the Middle East” and “the Gaza region.” This refusal to acknowledge and affirm the existence of Palestine, and thus the Palestinian faculty and students at Rutgers University, reveals the administration’s inability to stand in genuine solidarity with the Palestinian members of its University, a community that is grieving the death of over 200 Palestinians including many women and children. It isolates them and shows that Rutgers does not stand with or support them in their struggle for freedom and liberation, and contributes to the racist efforts of zionists to erase Palestinian identity and existence. If the Chancellor and Provost were truly committed to creating “a safe learning environment that is inclusive of difference” as claimed in their statement, they would stand in active support of the Rutgers New Brunswick Palestinian population as well as its Jewish population, instead of regurgitating empty platitudes via email every few months.
We therefore demand an apology from Chancellor Molloy and Provost Conway for dismissing the voices and visibility of Palestinians and allies, as well as demand an acknowledgement and explanation of why they did so. We demand that the Rutgers administration call out and expose any and all ties to Israeli apartheid and commit to action that reflects a global call to uplift the humanity of Palestinians, to recognize their violent displacement by the state of Israel, and acknowledge the gross mass murders occurrings at the hands of the Israeli Defense Forces, adjacent to the American police violence condemned by the University.
Rutgers’ Statements on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Derided by Local Leaders on Both Sides By CHUCK O’DONNELL Published May 31, 2021 at 7:31 PM Last UpdatedMay 31, 2021 at 7:31 PM
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A 62-word statement from the Rutgers president attempted to re-enforce the university’s stance against hatred and bigotry, while seemingly seeking to defuse a potential political powder keg.
Instead, local leaders who stand on opposing sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict are united in their disappointment in Jonathan Holloway’s comments and other comments made by Rutgers administrators last week.
On one side, leaders at the Chabad House – a center for Jewish life at Rutgers for 43 years – provided TAPinto New Brunswick with a statement in which they demand that the university respond to recent acts of campus anti-Semitism with “a clear and unambiguous statement of condemnation.” They are also seeking a sit-down discussion with the school’s leaders.
On the other side, the co-chair of the Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America – which helped organize the May 22 March for Palestine in New Brunswick – told TAPinto New Brunswick that she is disappointed that the school didn’t take a public stance against Israel while its military was “literally murdering people in Gaza” before last week’s ceasefire.
A ceasefire was declared on May 21 after 11 days of fighting, with Hamas firing long-range rockets at Israeli cities and Israel retaliating with airstrikes that targeted buildings in Gaza, according to a USA Today report.
The gunfire and bloodshed from the Middle East may have ceased for now, but their ramifications were felt right here at Rutgers last week.
On May 26, Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Molloy and Provost Francine Conway issued a statement on the school’s website condemning the nationwide spate of anti-Semitic incidents, including the one at Rutgers where the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house was vandalized as its members observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust remembrance day.
The statement referenced George Floyd’s murder, attacks on Asians and other groups and even touched on the fighting between Israel and Hamas by acknowledging the “deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region and the loss of lives in Israel.”
The statement did not contain the words “Palestine” and “Palestinian,” the Students for Justice in Palestine pointed out. According to a letter released by the New Brunswick group on May 27, the omission was proof “that Rutgers does not stand with or support them in their struggle for freedom and liberation, and contributes to the racist efforts of zionists to erase Palestinian identity and existence.”
On May 28, a response from Conway and Molloy titled “An Apology” was posted on Rutgers’ website.
“In hindsight, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused,” according to the statement.
“Rutgers deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism.
Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur.”
The statement has served as a source of irritation for local leaders on both sides.
The leaders at the Chabad House have issued an invitation to the school’s administration to meet and “discuss the future of Jewish life on Rutgers campuses, with responsible Jewish leadership.”
According to the statement, “These meetings may discuss implementing a task force that can identify negative campus issues, and possible remedies.”
The Students for Justice in Palestine have launched an online petition titled, “Tell the Rutgers Administration: Take Accountability.” According to the petition, Molloy and Conway’s apology “persists on the nonnecessity of actually supporting Palestinian students, faculty and allies as we grieve, organize, and resist the Zionist occupation of Palestine.”
Ayesha Mughal, the co-chair for the Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America, renewed the oft-repeated call for Rutgers to divest itself of financial partnerships with Israeli companies and other companies that make weapons or other materials that are used against Palestinians.
In February, Rutgers University Endowment Justice Collective submitted a letter to the Joint Committee on Investments to urge the university to divest from companies that were, among other things, ecologically unfriendly, exploiting workers and “perpetrating an apartheid system against the Palestinian people” via their involvement in the military-industrial complex. Among those companies singled out was Motorola Solutions.
Greg Brown, the longtime chairman and chief economic officer at Motorola, is a member of Rutgers’ Board of Governors.
Gottheimer wades into fight with Rutgers part-time lecturers’ union over Israel-Palestine conflict
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) waded into a fight over Rutgers University’s part-time lecturers’ union call for the school to divest from Israeli bonds over the nation’s treatment of Palestinians Tuesday.
“To be sure, Rutgers’ part-time lecturers are entitled to hold their own opinions, even those which may be disagreeable. However, it is important to recognize that invective which singles out, disparages, delegitimizes, or demonizes Israel can and in many cases does fall outside of bounds,” Gottheimer said in a letter to university President Jonathan Holloway.
PTLFC-AAUP-AFT Local 6324, the part-time lecturers’ union, earlier this month called on the university to pull its money out of Israeli bonds over Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank considered illegal by the international community and the United Nations.
They also took issue with other alleged human rights abuses.
“As teachers and union members, we can no longer allow ourselves to be complicit in the illegal acts of the Israeli government that have driven Palestinians from their homes or with military actions that have targeted, killed and maimed civilian populations of Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and that have destroyed vital infrastructure, including schools and hospitals,” the union said earlier this month.
Israel and Palestinian groups rekindled a long-standing conflict earlier this year that saw the two exchange volleys of artillery and rocket fire, killing at least 256 in Palestine and 13 in Israel and injuring more than 2,000 others.
The fighting paused when the two sides reached a ceasefire in late May, but the fighting resumed earlier this month after Hamas, the ruling militant organization in Gaza, launched incendiary balloons into Israel.
“Considering recent events, it is important to send a clear message that all Rutgers students and community members, including those who identify as being Jewish or pro-Israel, will not be singled out, penalized, or made to feel unwelcome at our state’s flagship university,” Gottheimer said in the letter. “I would ask you to please speak out clearly and quickly against this hate-filled misinformation campaign and rhetoric.”
The congressman did not say which portions of the union’s statement were inaccurate.
The part-time lecturers’ union’s call for divestment follows a similar call from the broader Rutgers faculty union, which in May called for President Joe Biden to stop all aid to Israel over the alleged human rights violations.
Gaza Professor Of Islamic Studies Nasr Fahajan: When Palestine Is Liberated, The Jews Will Not Be Annihilated; Some Will Be Allowed To Escape Abroad
#8970 | 02:07 Source: Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza)
Palestinian professor of Islamic studies Nasr Fahajan said that according to the Quran, Allah will “show His mercy” to the Jews by allowing some of them to escape when Israel is destroyed and Palestine is liberated. He made his remarks on a show that aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas – Gaza) on July 2, 2021. Fahajan said that Allah will not completely annihilate the Jews. He went on to describe the events heralding Judgment Day, when 70,000 Jews will accompany the Antichrist to Palestine, where Jesus will kill him at the eastern gates of Lod.
Nasr Fahajan: “We will liberate Palestine, Israel will be destroyed, and we will establish the Islamic state. The Caliphate will be established in Jerusalem. Israel will be destroyed, and we will establish [the Islamic] state, Allah willing. This is our right, and there is a lot of evidence to support it. The Day of Judgment will arrive after Palestine is liberated, and after the Islamic state is established, with Jerusalem as its capital.
“How is Allah going to show mercy to them? By allowing them to escape. The state [of Israel] will be destroyed, but there will be no annihilation of the Jews. So what will happen to them? The same thing that happens in wars. Some of them will be killed, some will be taken captive, and others will escape. But [as it says in the Quran:] ‘Your Lord may show mercy to you,’ This mercy will be manifest by avoiding their complete annihilation.
“The liberation of Palestine may take place a lot sooner than we think, a lot sooner than anyone thinks. This will happen in the very near future. Afterwards, [the Quran says:] ‘If you return, We will return.’ This means that if [the Jews] sow corruption again, we will punish and annihilate them again. [The Jews] will return with the Antichrist. The Antichrist will set out from Isfahan, accompanied by 70,000 angels… sorry, Jews.
Interviewer: “From among the Jews of Isfahan.”
Nasr Fahajan: “Yes. They will go to Palestine, because the Islamic state will be there. Jesus will fight the Antichrist and his soldiers, and he will kill the Antichrist at the eastern gate of Lod. As a military power, the Jews renamed the airport there: ‘Ben Gurion Airport.’ But no. It is the Lydia Airport. Maybe the Antichrist and his Jewish followers will try to flee in airplanes.”
A U.S. national and his father who were working for Hamas as engineers, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza earlier this month, a source from the group confirmed to ABC News.
Osama al-Zebda, 33, was born in the U.S. while his father, Jamal al-Zebda, 64, studied at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, according to the Hamas source. Osama lived in the U.S. for five years, his wife told ABC News. The father and son moved back to Gaza after living for a few years in the United Arab Emirates.
“We are aware of reports of a U.S. citizen killed in Gaza,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson told ABC News. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
The news was first reported by Joe Truzman of FDD’s Long War Journal on Sunday, adding that Osama al-Zebda had been on a U.S. terror watch list. The State Department did not respond to ABC’s request for comment on whether or not that was the case.
Both were killed in an Israeli airstrike during the military’s Operation Guardian of the Walls, launched in response to Hamas rockets fired from Gaza earlier this month which saw 253 Palestinians killed — including 66 children — over 11 days of airstrikes and shelling, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
During that period, over 4,500 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, killing 13 and injuring 100s more.
The elder al-Zebda returned to Gaza in 1994 to help the armed wing of Hamas develop its arsenal of rockets. Jamal al-Zebda was the head of the department in the non-military wing of Hamas which develops their rockets and his son, Osama, served as a more junior engineer. Neither were active fighters, the Hamas source said.
The Palestinian Information Center (PIC), a Hamas-affiliated website, said Jamal had joined the al-Qassam Brigades in 2006 and played an instrumental role in introducing more powerful warheads, using basic materials drawn locally from the narrow enclave of Gaza, which is trapped by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. The PIC said Hamas’ improved weapons arsenal was evident in the recent conflict and that Jamal had survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 2012, though they did not offer any details.
A senior Israeli military official told ABC News that Jamal al-Zebda has technological training and served as a source of knowledge at the organization’s production center. As a senior member of Hamas’ research and development division, the official said he has promoted key projects in the organization’s intensification of weapons developments, “developed and intended to harm Israeli citizens.”
“My husband, who is of American nationality, knew that the shortest way to God is to sacrifice his spirit, mind, time and money for the sake of him and his religion, so he preferred it over any other thing,” Osama’s wife, Yosra Aklouk, 29, wrote on the Facebook profile of her deceased husband.
Aklouk told ABC News that she was unsure of his exact role in Hamas, and that her husband was a “genius engineer” and she was “proud” of him.
“I’m shocked by what happened,” she said. “It was hard to go back home but I’m consoled by visits from the hundreds of people who are helping me.”
Asked if her husband had been responsible for developing rockets aimed at Israeli civilians, Aklouk said: “We have no problem with the Jews. We are refugees from Jaffa (a port city in Israel) and they have stolen our land and our house. We don’t want to kill anyone, we just want to return to our home.”
Osama’s father, Jamal, was an important target for Israel due to his scientific expertise, Wasef Eriqat, a Palestinian military expert and analyst, told ABC News.
“Jamal al-Zebda is credited with guiding and training an entire generation of engineers at the Islamic University who were up to the task of facing up to Israeli scientists,” he told ABC News. “His achievements also came amid very difficult circumstances, such as the scarcity of materials and resources because of the blockade on Gaza.”
ABC News’ Cindy Smith and Jordana Miller contributed to this report
The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is currently holding its’ annual conference. BRISMES was founded in 1973 to provide a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies.
The annual conference is taking place between 5-9 July 2021 on Zoom. One person who helped the organizers is Prof. Neve Gordon, a former Ben Gurion University scholar who called for the boycott of Israel on the pages of the Los Angeles Times in 2009, currently at Queen Mary University of London. BRISMES, as can be seen from its homepage, is mainly concerned with Israel/Palestine.
There are several sessions at the current BRISMES annual conference dealing with Israel and Palestine: “Settler colonialism, power and resistance in Israel-Palestine”; “The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel”; “Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel-Palestine.” And then, session 11 on July 7, is titled “BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education,” with one speaker, Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and another speaker is Marcy Newman from the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Neve Gordon chairs a session titled “Geographies of war-care.” Gordon also presents a paper, “Legal Exceptions and the Killability of the Wounded Body.” Revital Madar presenting a paper titled “Repression and Repetition: The Construction of Palestinian Death(s) as an Exceptional Repetition in Israeli Military Courts.”
BRISMES is also highly active in PR. Three notices on its front page are indicative in this respect.
The first notice states that on June 9, 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Professor Daniel Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University, expressing deep concerns about the events on May 11, 2021, on and near the University campus in Beer Sheva. These events, as detailed in the letter, “appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students, and that on May 11, the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security.” As proof of their allegations, the BRISMES letter cited a Haaretz article on this topic.
However, BRISMES neglected to include the Ben Gurion University response in the Haaretz article, stating: “The incident described occurred outside the university and the dorms. We regret the incident deteriorated into violence, due to people who are not part of the university community, on both sides.” A review of guards’ conduct did not find any suspicion of misdeeds. ‘The security staff of the university acted, while putting themselves at risk, to protect the students by bringing them into the dormitory compound. Everyone who identified as a student was let in, and non-students were prevented from entering,’ said the university. As for the student arrested at the protest, he was brought onto campus by security staff for his own protection. The police later instructed he be released. ‘The university has acted tirelessly to preserve students’ safety and sense of security. We are now in difficult times in all of Israel, but there is zero tolerance for violence, from any side, while we allow for opinions to be exchanged openly and safely.’ The university said it will hold activities to help heal the rifts.”
The second notice states that on May 26, 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Michelle Donelan MP, the UK Minister of State for Universities, to express deep concerns about the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. Their letter urged the Minister to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism onto universities. BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom demands “full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities.” In other words, anti-Semitic behavior should be considered part of academic freedom, according to the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom.
The third notice stated that the BRISMES Council published a statement on the latest escalation in Israel/Palestine viewing with grave concern the latest escalation, noting that yet again, “Palestinians are paying a disproportionate price.” As educators, we are acutely aware of the “long history of Palestinian dispossession.” BRISMES added a link to the online petition “Palestine and Praxis: Open Letter and Call to Action,” which begins by expressing support for the Palestinians by stating:
“As scholars, we affirm the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state. The pitched battle in Sheikh Jarrah is the most recent flashpoint in the ongoing Nakba that is the Palestinian condition. Israel has expanded and entrenched its settler sovereignty through warfare, expulsion, tenuous residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies. The ostensible peace process has perpetuated its land grabs and violent displacement under the fictions of temporality and military necessity. Together these policies constitute apartheid, bolstered by a brute force that enshrines territorial theft and the racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals. And now, as has been the case for over a century, Palestinians continue to resist their removal and erasure.”
As for the last escalation between Israel and Gaza on May 10-21, 2021, BRISMES does not mention that during the Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip launched 4,360 rockets at Israel. Some 680 of the rockets fell inside the Gaza Strip, killing Gazans. An analysis report published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center on June 22, 2021, found that of the 236 published names of Palestinian killed in the attacks, at least 114 of them belonged to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mujahedeen Brigades and Popular Resistance Committees.
BRISMES then moves on to remind its members that a resolution passed at the BRISMES Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2019, which “expressed support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in occupation and settler colonialism.”
BRISMES also notes that the 2020 BRISMES AGM resolved to establish the “BRISMES Campaigns Limited” advocating for the “boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” This Campaign is being held during the BRISMES Annual Conference on July 7, 2021.
Clearly, the BRISMES organization has been hijacked by Palestinians and their supporters. This position reflects a more general trend in Middle East Studies, singularly focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a pro-Palestinian perspective. For instance, the American-based Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has hosted endless panels on the subject.
The study of the Middle East is highly complex and essential. The Middle East is the home to repressive regimes and hosts brutal Islamist terror groups. Scholars and students should profit from BRISMES research into these and other urgent issues.
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. …Read more
NewsProgramme for 2021 BRISMES Annual ConferenceWe are delighted to share the programme for the upcoming BRISMES Annual ConferenceKnowledge, Power and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to eminent keynote speakers Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University, Ankara), Caroline Rooney (University of Kent, Canterbury) and amina wadud (National Islamic University in Jogjakarta), the conference programme includes a plenary roundtable addressing the conference theme, a graduate section event and over 80 sessions. Registration will be open until midnight on 20 June 2021. For more information about the conference and how to register, please visit the conference website. – 20 April 2021Letter to Ben-Gurion University of the NegevOn 9 June 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Aacdemic Freedom sent a letter to Professor Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, expressing our deep concerns about the events that took place on 11 May 2021 on and near the University campus in Beer Shava. These events, as detailed in the letter, appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students, and that on 11th May the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security. – 9 June 2021Letter to the UK Minister of State for UniversitiesOn 26 May 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Michelle Donelan MP, the Minister of State for Univesties, to express deep concerns about comments that were made during the Education Select Committee on 27 April 2021, regarding the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the autonomy of universities. The letter urges the Minister to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism onto universities and to make clear their full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities. – 27 May 2021Statement from BRISMES Council on the latest escalation in Israel/PalestineBRISMES views with grave concern the latest escalation in Israel/Palestine, noting that yet again Palestinians are paying a disproportionate price. As educators, we are acutely aware of the long history of Palestinian dispossession, and of the ways in which rounds of violence are predictable without a just and comprehensive peace. We would like to:Offer our solidarity to all members who are directly or indirectly affected by what is happening;Circulate this collective letter, in support of the dignity of Palestinians as a foundational principle of academic integrity, in case members would like to sign: https://palestineandpraxis.weebly.com/;Remind members of the resolution passed at the BRISMES AGM of 2019, which expressed support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in occupation and settler colonialism: Read the resolution;Remind members that the 2020 BRISMES AGM resolved to establish BRISMES Campaigns Limited to advocate for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The public launch of BRISMES Campaigns will be held during the forthcoming BRISMES Annual Conference (7 July 2021, 3.15 – 5.15 pm). If you would like to be involved with BRISMES Campaigns, please email the Secretary, Dr Jamie Allinson, at email@example.com.– BRISMES Council, 20 May 2021 ContactIf you need to contact BRISMES, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As advised by the government, we are currently working from home and are unable to pick up any post. The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Department of Politics & International Studies University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7ALadministrator@brismes.org
The Programme Keynote Speakers Publishers’ Exhibition Registration 2021 About Kent Solidarity Fund
2020 Call for Papers Submissions Instructions FAQs Contact Us
Please find the final programme here:
BRISMES 2021 Conference Download
Minor changes may be made to the programme – for example we will be announcing several exciting events hosted by publishers over the coming weeks!
BRISMES expresses its huge gratitude to the following individuals for their service to the Conference Programme Committee for the 2021 conference: 1. Reem Abou-El-Fadl 2. Mo Afshary 3. Nadje Al-Ali 4. Feras Alkabani 5. Orit Bashkin 6. Kirsty Bennett 7. Marianna Charountaki 8. Katerina Dalacoura 9. James Dickins 10. Hoda Elsadda 11. Pascale Ghazaleh 12. Neve Gordon 13. Anthony Gorman 14. Sarah Irving 15. Islah Jad 16. Laleh Khalili 17. Diane King 18. Nesreen Hussein 19. Michelle Obeid 20. Nicola Pratt 21. Dina Rezk 22. Sophie Richter-Devroe 23. Sara Salem 24. Afshin Shahi 25. Nimer Sultany 26. Adam Talib 27. Zahra Tizro 28. Yaniv Voller 29. Rafeef Ziadah
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KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES BRISMES CONFERENCE 2021 5 JULY – 9 JULY 2021 BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS WELCOME 3 ABOUT BRISMES 4 KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES 6 LIST OF PANELS 7 DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY 7 DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY 8 DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY 10 DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY 12 DAY 5, FRIDAY, 9TH JULY 13 PANEL DETAILS 16 DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY 16 DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY 25 DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY 37 DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY 48 DAY 5, FRIDAY, 9TH JULY 55 BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 3 WELCOME The 2021 BRISMES Annual Conference: Knowledge, Power and Middle Eastern Studies With great pleasure, BRISMES warmly welcomes you to the annual conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), which, for the first time, is being held on-line due to COVID-19 restrictions. The annual BRISMES conference is the largest and most prestigious annual UK gathering of scholars and practitioners focussed on the Middle East and North Africa region. We are grateful to the University of Kent for cohosting this virtual conference and to Ms Louisa Harvey (Senior Events Coordinator), Dr Yaniv Voller (School of Politics and International Relations) and Dr Mohammad Afshary (Law School) for their assistance in organising the event. With this change of setting in mind, we have created an expansive programme containing speakers situated across the world. This year’s conference theme encourages participants to engage with the implications of global calls for decolonizing academia, including the field of Middle East studies. In addition, we have dozens of panels and presentations representing the full range of subjects and disciplines making up the field. We are also honoured to welcome eminent keynote speakers, Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University, Ankara), Caroline Rooney (University of Kent, Canterbury) and amina wadud (National Islamic University in Jogjakarta), a plenary roundtable addressing the conference theme and a graduate section mentoring event. With events hosted by the newly-launched BRISMES Campaigns and the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom, we also invite you to see behind the scenes at some of the projects BRISMES teams are working on and encourage you to get more involved. As well as attending some book launches, be sure to visit the curated exhibition hall to discover more about some of the leading publishers across academic fields. Finally, and particularly in these challenging times, we thank all participants for contributing and for making the BRISMES conference the stimulating event that it always is. Enjoy! Nicola Pratt, BRISMES Vice President Bronwen Mehta, BRISMES Conference Coordinator Kirsty Bennett, BRISMES Conference Coordinator On behalf of the BRISMES Council BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 4 ABOUT BRISMES 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 currently have more than 400 members drawn from all over the world and are governed by a Council of trustees elected from the membership. 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 Eastern 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 Eastern 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. Database of Academic Expertise We are continuing to expand our interactive database of academic expertise worldwide. Our aim is to offer a one-stop shop for access to other sites of interest, information on courses, job opportunities, new publications and forthcoming events. Publications Since 1974, we have published the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies – now issuing 5 editions a year through Taylor and Francis – which is free to members. Scholarships and Awards We offer a number of funding opportunities and prizes to support and recognize the best research, to which all BRISMES members are eligible to apply. Events We also organise public annual lectures and the BRISMES Annual Conference, which draws participants from all over the world and attracts the latest research on all aspects of Middle East Studies in Britain and beyond. Members enjoy a reduced attendance rate here, too. BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 5 ABOUT BRISMES (CONT) Graduate Section The BRISMES Graduate Section is a hub for students and early career researchers to have an active voice in the organisation. The BRISMES Graduate Section provides support and advice to current and prospective graduate students; hosts events and workshops; raises awareness of academic resources, funding opportunities and career opportunities; and plays a vital role in making BRISMES more representative and better equipped to promote Middle Eastern studies. BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 6 KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES The colonial origins of the term Middle East and the historical imbrications of area studies with the exercise of colonial and imperialist power were highlighted many decades ago in the work of Edward Said, amongst others. More recently, the Arab uprisings provoked calls among some scholars and activists to fundamentally rethink prevalent approaches, derived from so-called universal paradigms, particularly in the social sciences. We have asked participants to reflect on the concept of decoloniality and practice of decolonization of knowledge and pedagogy in relation to the study and teaching of the Middle East. Within this conference, we are particularly interested in providing space for scholars to reflect on their experiences and challenges of writing about the Middle East while adhering to the disciplinary/academic/institutional requirements of their universities. The movement to decolonize academia also raises questions around the boundaries between activism and scholarship. Hence, BRISMES 2021 provides an opportunity to discuss the ethics and practicalities of professional and political solidarity and activism and their relevance to academic work. In this light, we ask: • In what ways can activism inform the study and teaching of the Middle East and vice versa? • What are the relationships between decolonization as a political project and as an intellectual project? • What are the possible dangers of linking activism and scholarship? BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 7 DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 1A) Decolonising Methodology: Rethinking Approach, Tools and Technique 1B) Theological institutions and actors: Roles and Reforms 1C) The British Influence in the Gulf: Production, Protection, Partnership 1D) Narrating Upheaval in North Africa 1E) Roundtable: The city and al madina: A bilingual conversation SESSION 1 10am – 12pm 2A) Plenary Keynote – Professor Caroline Rooney: ‘The Revolution is a Woman’: From Woke Culture to the Arab Awakening SESSION 2 1pm – 3pm 3A) The role of Academia in Activism and Critical Pedagogy 3B) Exclusion, Sectarianism and Marginalisation 3C) Settler colonialism, power and resistance in Israel-Palestine 3D) Decolonizing Middle Eastern Film and Media Studies 3E) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 1: Revolutionary Pasts and Revolutionary Presents SESSION 3 3:15pm – 5:15pm 4A) Cultural Imaginings: Narrating through novels 4B) BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom 4C) Islam Calling: Muslim minorities and da’wa 4D) Reflecting on constitution-making: Looking at North Africa after 2011 SESSION 4 5:30pm – 7:30pm BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 8 DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 5A) Statelessness, self-determination and the struggle for sovereignty 5B) Islamic networks and Islamist movements 5C) The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: To thrive, or merely survive, that is the question 5D) Memory and National(ist) Pasts in Turkey: Reflections Through Oral History 5E) Roundtable: Unlearning/Re-learning Middle East Studies: Challenging Exclusions Through Ally-ship, Connection and Collaboration SESSION 5 10am-12pm SESSION 6 1pm – 3pm 6A) Creating dissenting narratives through Film and Art 6B) Colonial legacies: Borders and Institutions 6C) Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Comparative Perspectives from the Arab World 6D) On Arab Urbanism Session 1 6E) Book Launch: The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus. Art, Faith and Empire in Early Islam by Alain George SESSION 7 3:15pm-5:15pm 7A) Plenary Roundtable: Disrupting, Refusing and Transgressing Knowledge Production in Middle East Studies BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 9 DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY (CONTINUED) LIST OF PANELS SESSION 8 5:30pm-7:30pm 8A) Questioning the Decolonisation of Middle Eastern Studies 8B) New Frontiers of Political Struggle: Popular Culture and Media 8C) Challenging the domestic/international dichotomy 8D) In the shadow of border control. Reconsidering humanitarianism as containment in the Middle East and North Africa 8E) Feminist politics in revolutionary times: past struggles and radical futurities 8F) The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel 8G) Roundtable: Perils of our field: discrimination, censorship, and intimidation BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 10 DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 9A) Plenary Keynote – Dr amina wadud: Islamic Feminism: What’s in a Name? SESSION 9 10am-12pm SESSION 10 1pm – 3pm 10A) Exploring Memory through Art and Popular Culture 10B) Conceptualising Revolution 10C) Colonial legacies in education: historic and present 10D) Cultural Interactions in Arab Diasporic and Globalized Spaces 10E) Roundtable: Decolonising heritage in the Middle East SESSION 11 3:15pm-5:15pm 11A) Decolonizing Feminism: Knowledge and Activism 11B) Rethinking militaries, militias and non-state armed actors in politics 11C) “The Century of Camps” – Imagining Encampment and Containment in the Middle East 11D) Historiography and the Politics of Memory: Jews from the Muslim World between Assimilation and Self-determination 11E) BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 11 DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY (CONTINUED) LIST OF PANELS SESSION 12 5:30pm-7:30pm 12A) Academic Freedom and Knowledge Production: The relationship between state and scholarship 12B) Identities and narratives of the displaced and the diaspora 12C) New Perspectives on an Elusive Conflict: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Conflict in Yemen 12D) Sufism and Modernity: Alternative Takes on the 19th and 20th Century in Muslim Thought 12E) Geographies of war-care BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 12 DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 13A) Rethinking Gender and Islam: Comparative Perspectives 13B) Conserving heritage and constructing histories 13C) Decolonial critique and the limits of international law 13D) How to get published panel 13E) Roundtable: Decolonizing Islamicate Manuscript Studies SESSION 13 10am-12pm 14A) Plenary Student Section Session: Writing within and beyond academia SESSION 14 1pm-3pm 15A) Modes, considerations and consequences of International Intervention 15B) “What is to be done?”: The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 1: Counter-hegemony and Legacies for a radical critique of the present 15C) On Arab Urbanism Session 2 15D) Analysing activism, resistance and resilience in the everyday 15E) Roundtable: Innovating and decolonising Arabic language teaching the UK higher education sector SESSION 15 3:15pm – 5:15pm 16A) Deconstructing orientalism through Queer and Feminist theories 16B) The Politics of Economic Reform, Resource Management and Financial Governance 16C) Mechanics of Authoritarian Coercion 16D) Matters of space in the Middle East 16E) Roundtable: Decolonising Arabic Literary Studies SESSION 16 5:30pm – 7:30pm BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 13 DAY 5, FRIDAY 9TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 17A) Self-determination and the (re)formation of national identity 17B) Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel-Palestine 17C) Beyond oil fields and the desert: orientalism, decoloniality and the Gulf 17D) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 2: Radical Knowledge Cultivation across Space and Time 17E: Balancing power: challenges to the Middle East regional system past and present SESSION 17 10am-12pm 18A) Diversifying Research on the Arab World: Multi-local Perspectives on Twelver Shi’ism in Iraq 18B) The Politics of Translation: Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Arabicspeaking Countries – Language, Power and Hegemony (Session conducted in Arabic) 18C) Reinterpretations of the Gulf: Time for a decolonization of Gulf studies? 18D) Challenging Western-Centrism, Orientalism and Colonial Narratives SESSION 18 1pm – 3pm SESSION 19 3:15pm – 5:15pm 19A) Plenary Keynote – Professor Pinar Bilgin: Nowhere to run? Decolonising the study of the Middle East between Area Studies and International Relations BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 14 DAY 5, FRIDAY 9TH JULY LIST OF PANELS 20A) A journey through literary history 20B) Women’s movements and agency across time and space 20C) Critical perspectives on Palestine, Western Sahara and the International Community 20D) Palestine through the lens of decolonial epistemologies 20E) Power, Knowledge and “Oriental” Studies in Europe. Interrogating National Traditions of Middle East Studies 20F) “What is to be done?” – The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 2: Investigating Transnational Entanglements SESSION 20 5:30pm-7:30pm End of Conference Order at Eurospanbookstore.com “The writing is beautiful, playful, and at times subversive, as the chapters weave back and forth through history, ethnography, and theory. It is a must-read for scholars of gender, refugees, youth cultures, and Middle East anthropology.” —Marcia C. Inhorn, Yale University Paper $39.95s 9780815637233 eBook 9780815655244 “Very interesting and valuable to students of Turkey. The book does a great job of explaining a change in civil and military bureaucracy and how the AKP was able to manage to hold to power despite so many challenges.” —Ekrem Karakoc, Binghamton University, SUNY Paper $19.95s 9780815637349 eBook 9780815655350 Syracuse University Press “Indispensable to anyone wishing to study not only Hezbollah, but also the Shii’tes in Lebanon and, and history of Lebanon over the last half century. Furthermore, the methodology underlying this research can and should be used to study other case studies in the Middle East and beyond.” —Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv University Paper $29.95s 9780815637165 eBook 9780815655213 “This remarkably original book unearths the untold story of the Jewish and Arab citrus industry in the last hundred years from bilateral relations to Israeli memory appropriation. A must read for all scholars of Israel and Palestine!” —Alon Confino, author of A World Without Jews Paper $29.95s 9780815636809 eBook 9780815654957 Browse all books on the Middle East at press.syr.edu BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 16 SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 1A) Decolonising Methodology: Rethinking Approach, Tools and Technique Chaired by Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers – Newark Interviewing outside the “interview-society”. Limits and challenges of the Westernborn qualitative approach – Odetta Pizzingrilli, Luiss Guido Carli Knowledge production about Iran and Iranians: beyond inclusion as exclusion – M. Stella Morgana, Leiden University Co-production and co-analysis: the value of academic-artistic collaboration with young people in Lebanon and Jordan – Zoe Jordan, Oxford Brookes; Alexandra Kassir, Centre for Lebanese Studies; Oroub El-Abed, Centre for Lebanese Studies, Jordan Decolonising Inquiry: Knowledge Production and the Pursuit of “Arab Public Opinion” – Kiran Phull, King’s College London Radical pedagogy and transformative tools for researchers and educators – Kanwal Tareq Hameed Abdulhameed, Exeter University; Amal Khalaf, Serpentine Gallery; Katie Natanel, Exeter University 1B) Theological institutions and actors: Roles and Reforms Chaired by Irwan Saidin, National University of Malaysia Brothers Behind Bars: Examining the History of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Prison Ordeals, 1948-75 – Mathias Ghyoot, University of Copenhagen An Informal Political Actor: The Influence of Ayatollah Sistani In Contemporary Iraq – Yousif Al-Hilli, University of Birmingham The Battle of the Grand Imam and the President: The Right to Islamic Legitimacy in Contemporary Egypt – Andreas Nabil Younan, University of Copenhagen The Islamic Face of a Pro-western Arab Monarchy, Jordan: An Analysis of Works of Its Royal Hashemite Family – Fukiko Ikehata, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Al-Shawkānī debates on Christian-Muslim relationships: Accounts, interfaith dialogue and lawful existence of Christians – Awad Nahee, Najran University – Saudi Arabia BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 17 SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 1D) Narrating Upheaval in North Africa Chaired by Hana Natour, Freie Universität Berlin Romancing Autocracy: Tunisian Women Writers Yearning for the Dictator – Douja Mamelouk, Le Moyne College On the Vernacular (Re)turn: The Poetics and Politics of Writing al-Dārija in Tunisia, 2010-2020 – Ben Koerber, Rutgers University Narrating the Past: Tunisian Prose and the Uprisings of 2010/11 – Hanan Natour, Freie Universität Berlin Upheavals of Self and Centre: Rethinking Animal Studies through Libya, and World Literature through Animals – Charis Olszok, University of Cambridge Renewing the Left’s project through Culture: Leftist Poetics, Memory and Mobilisation in Moroccan literature – Karima Laachir, Australian National University 1C) The British Influence in the Gulf: Production, Protection, Partnership Chaired by Abdullah Baabood, Waseda University Gulf History and Colonial Archives: The Case of Britain and India – James Onley, Qatar National Library The British, the Advisers and the Institutional Foundations of the State of Kuwait – Claire Beaugrand, University of Exeter The ‘Scripts’ of the British Diplomat in the Gulf: Human Agency and National Interests – Clemens Chay Orientalism and The Myth of the Reforming Monarch – David Wearing, SOAS BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 18 SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 1E) Roundtable: The city and al madina: A bilingual conversation Chaired by Aya Nassar, Durham University Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge Omar Jabary Salamanca, Ghent University Deen Sharp, London School of Economics BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 19 SESSION 2 (MON 5TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 2A) Plenary Keynote: Professor Caroline Rooney ‘The Revolution is a Woman’: From Woke Culture to the Arab Wakening This presentation will begin with a consideration of the manifesto launched last year by French scholars that makes the case that woke culture is responsible for extremist terror and that postcolonial studies is responsible for this in its promotion of identity politics. What will be maintained is that extremism and revolutionary radicalism are different formations, and the presentation will further clarify key differences between woke culture and the awakening of the Arab uprisings, particularly with respect to how women were at the forefront of these uprisings, hence the slogan: ‘The revolution is a woman.’ Biography Caroline Rooney is Professor of African and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Kent. She was born in Zimbabwe and studied at the University of Cape Town before taking up a Beit Fellowship to undertake doctoral research at the University of Oxford. She works and publishes mainly in the areas of postcolonial studies and Arab cultural studies, focusing on the cultural expression of liberation struggles and their aftermaths in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. She is the author of African Literature, Animism and Politics (2000), Decolonising Gender: Literature and a Poetics of the Real (2007), and Creative Radicalism in the Middle East: Culture and the Arab Left After the Uprisings (2020). Her co-edited publications include: ‘Egyptian Literary Culture and Egyptian Modernity’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 7:4 (2011) and The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut (2013). Her research by practice includes theatre productions and documentary films. From 2009-12 she was a Global Uncertainties Fellow with a programme entitled ‘Radical Distrust: A Cultural Analysis of the Emotional, Psychological and Linguistic Formations of Political and Religious Extremism.’ From 2012-2015, she held a PaCCS Leadership Fellowship with a programme entitled ‘Imagining the Common Ground: Utopian Thinking and the Overcoming of Resentment and Distrust’. She acted as UK PI of ‘Egypt’s Living Heritage’ (Newton, 2016), and is currently the Co-I of ‘The Crime-Terror Nexus from Below: Criminal and Extremist Practices, Networks and Narratives in Deprived Neighbourhoods of Tripoli’ (ESRC). BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 20 SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 3A) The role of Academia in Activism and Critical Pedagogy Chaired by Denis V. Volkov, National Research University Higher School of Economics Reflections on conducting research with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon – Perla Issa, Institute for Palestine studies Are there boundaries between academia and activism in the Arab region? – Sara Jeffar, University of Milan; Amel Hammami, College of Europe-Natolin; Malaka Shwaikh, University of St Andrews Public Pedagogy in Egypt as Postcolonial Practice – Alaa Badr, European University Institute Mizrahi Scholar Activism and the Global Middle East: An Asian Americanist Critique – Nancy Ko, Columbia University 3B) Exclusion, Sectarianism and Marginalisation Chaired by M. Stella Morgana, Leiden University Football and the Contestation of Iranian Identity – Ehsan Kashfi, University of Alberta Hezbollah’s challenged Leadership over Baalbek: Independents’ Political Contest facing the ‘Resistance’ since the 2016 Municipal Elections – Jean-Baptiste Allegrini, University College London Itineraries of Opposition. The National Pact and Maronite Opinion in Lebanon (1943- 1976) – Borja Wladimiro González Fernández, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid How are the young voting in Tunisia? An approach to the electoral disaffection of the youth in the 2018 Municipal elections – Bosco Govante Pablo de Olavide University; Miguel Hernando de Larramendi, Castilla La Mancha University Security Vetting and Disposable Citizenship in Turkey – Seckin Sertdemir Ozdemir, University of Turku BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 21 SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 3C) Settler Colonialism, power and resistance in Israel- Palestine Chaired by Alice Panepinto, Queen’s University BelfastEconomics The Functioning of Law in Israeli Settler Colonialism – Michael Samuel, Emory University Narratives of Human Rights in Israel Palestine: The Construction of Truth – Ibrahim Saïd, Centre on Conflict Development and Peace-building, the Graduate Institute, Geneva Bringing Class into Indigeneity: Palestine, Rawabi, and the Politics of Recognition – Francesco Amoruso, University of Exeter The Long 1960s and the Contemporary Palestinian Discourse: The Local versus the Global – Manar Makhoul, Tel-Aviv University Under Ah Al Ard eyes[i]: settler colonialism and decolonisation in Palestine – Maisa Shquier 3D) Decolonizing Middle Eastern Film and Media Studies Chaired by Terri Ginsberg, The American University in Cairo Governing through Documentary in the Middle East: Binational University & USIA Contracts during the Early Cold War: The Case of Syracuse Audio-Visual Center – Hadi Gharabaghi, Drew University Legacies of USIA Information Centers within Contemporary Spaces for Cultural Diplomacy in the Middle East – Bret Vukoder, University of Delaware Towards a Petro-economy of Arab Film Studies – Terri Ginsberg, The American University in Cairo BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 22 SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 3E) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 1: Revolutionary Pasts and Revolutionary Presents Chaired by Sara Salem, London School of Economics ‘Impossible People’ in an Impossible Revolution: When Nonviolent and Radical Politics Is Met with Violence – Birgit Poopuu, Aberystwyth University Decolonial memories, colonial circulations? – Omar Al-Ghazzi, London School of Economics Cuban-Palestinian Women’s Entanglements – Sorcha Thomson, Roskilde University Anticolonialism, Third Worldism, and the Cold War: Writing Transnational Decolonial Histories from Dhufar to Tehran – Marral Shamshiri-Fard, London School of Economics BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 23 SESSION 4 (MON 5TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 4A) Cultural Imaginings: Narrating through novels Chaired by Feras Alkabani, University of Sussex Islamism in modern Arabic literature: a neglected history – Alessandro Columbu, The University of Westminster Unsettling Stories: The Worldiness of Horror in Post-2003 Iraqi Fiction – Tasnim Qutait, SOAS Amman in the “post-Arab spring” novel in Jordan – Ismael Abder-rahman Gil, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice Female Narratives and (Im)mobilities in English – Modern Literature from the Arab Gulf – Alice Königstetter, University of Vienna The Complexity of Arab Identity in Fiction and Theory: A look through the Lens of Immigrants’ Education and Activism – Eman Alamri, University of Manchester 4B) BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick Lewis Turner, Newcastle University John Chalcraft, London School of Economics Matthew Hedges, Durham University Zahra Tizro, University of East London Stephen Wordsworth, Cara (Council for At-Risk Academics) BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 24 SESSION 4 (MON 5TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 4C) Islam Calling – Muslim minorities and da’wa Chaired by Antonella Straface, University of Naples “L’Orientale” When the minority is responsible for the majority: the duty of da’wa in Europe – Chiara Anna Cascino, University of Naples “L’Orientale” Migration Aimed at da’wa in Salafi Juridical Thought – Carlo De Angelo, University of Naples “L’Orientale” Da’wa as Contention. The Islamic Invitation among the Moroccans Abroad – Nicola Di Mauro, University of Naples “L’Orientale” Proselytism and caution: the da’wa in the Ismaili context – Antonella Straface, University of Naples “L’Orientale” 4D) Reflecting on constitution-making: Looking at North Africa after 2011 Chaired by Tereza Jermanová, Charles University The constitution as the battleground for Sudan’s unfinished revolution – Sara Abbas, Freie Universität Berlin The Constitutional Question at the Heart of Algeria’s Political Crisis – Rayane Anser, University of Warwick There was no alternative: Explaining the cross-partisan constitutional agreement in Tunisia after the 2010/11 uprising – Tereza Jermanová, Charles University Democracy by ‘undemocratic’ means? Assessing the role of guiding principles in Tunisia’s and Egypt’s constitutional processes – Nedra Cherif, European University Institute Is constitution-making necessarily about regime change? Egypt 2012 Constitution and alternatives to democratization theory – Alexis Blouët, University of Edinburgh BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 25 SESSION 5 (TUE 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 5A) Statelessness, self-determination and the struggle for sovereignty Chaired by Irene Fernandez-Molina, University of Exeter A Tale of Two Regions: What explains the great divergence between Iraq and the KRG? – Shwan Azeez, University of Kent; Josh P Hill, Montana State University Billings Bargaining Statehood: Unrecognised States and The Question of Sovereignty – Dilara Ozbek, University of Kent Syria’s Changing Statelessness Landscape: From Protracted Situations to “Ticking time bombs” – Thomas McGee, University of Melbourne “Decontestation of the essentially contestable”: Biopolitics, Ideology and Fantasy in Kurdish Conflict – Recep Onursal, University of Kent Syria’s Assyrian Identity and the Political Discourse of Constructing ‘Rojava’ – Madonna Kalousian, Lancaster University 5B) Islamic networks and Islamist movements Chaired by Zeina Dowidar, University of Cambridge The Arab Uprisings and Malaysia’s Islamist Movements: Influence, Impact and Lesson – Irwan Saidin, National University of Malaysia British Salafism and the Middle Eastern Connection: Past, Present, and Future – Iman Dawood, London School of Economics and Political Science Framing Identities, Shifting the Tactics: Exploring shared perceptions and tactical decisions by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine during the Second Intifada (2000-2005) – Antonella Acinapura, Queen’s University of Belfast Sufi orders and their political commitment in contemporary Turkey – Angelo Francesco Carlucci, İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 26 SESSION 5 (TUES 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 5C) The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: To thrive, or merely survive, that is the question Chaired by Rana Sweis, Wishbox Media Missed Opportunities for Reform and Development in Jordan – Rana Sweis, Wishbox Media Jordan’s Decentralization After 2015: Central control under weak intermediaries – Shun Watanabe, University of Oxford The Limits of Selective Reformism: Economic neoliberalism and public dissent in Jordan – Imad El-Anis, Nottingham Trent University Moral Economy, Social Control and Popular Protest in Modern Jordan – Tariq Tell, American University of Beirut 5D) Memory and National(ist) Pasts in Turkey: Reflections Through Oral History Chaired by Roger Deal, University of South Carolina Aiken Menemen, 1930: Event, History, Memory – Hale Yilmaz, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Thinking about the Past, Belonging, and the Armenian Citizens of Turkey – Yesim Bayar, St. Lawrence University Taş Plak Memories: Reconsidering Social His tory in a Turkish Jewish Community – Maureen Barbara Jackson, Independent scholar Oral History as a Way of Understanding Reactions to the Reforms in Hatay – Esra Demirci, Bilkent University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 27 SESSION 5 (TUE 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 5E) Roundtable: Unlearning/Re-learning Middle East Studies: Challenging Exclusions Through Ally-ship, Connection and Collaboration Chaired by: Lewis Turner, Newcastle University Sharri Plonski, Queen Mary, University of London Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths, University of London Elian Weizman, London South Bank University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 28 SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 6A) Creating dissenting narratives through Film and Art Chaired by Thomas Richard, ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille The City in Alternative Arab Film – Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Nationalism after Decolonization in Egyptian Cinema – Mariam Waheed, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University Queer Heavens: Articulating Gender Fluidity Through Garden Imagery in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art – Charlotte Bank, Independent scholar Queer Cinema in the Arab World-Changing Trends – Iris Fruchter-Ronen, University of Haifa Resisting (neo)colonialism in Egyptian cinema – Claire Begbie, AUC 6B) Colonial legacies: Borders and Institutions Chaired by Yasmine Zarhloule, University of Oxford The construction of smallness in the British discourse regarding the Gulf region and its effects on state identity – Máté Szalai, Corvinus University of Budapest Towards a Decolonial History of Islamic Law in the Arabian Peninsula – Alexandre Caeiro, Hamad Bin Khalifa University “No Mines, No Borders”: The Experience of the Nakba in South Lebanese Frontier Communities – Susann Kassem, University of Oxford BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 29 SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 6C) Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Comparative Perspectives from the Arab World Chaired by Thomas Demmelhuber, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen- Nürnberg Formal participation vs informal leverage? Situating institutional petitions in the politics of local Morocco – Francesco Colin, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Conceptual Reflections – Thomas Demmelhuber, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, (Co-authored by Roland Strum) The role of elite networks in decentralization: a comparative perspective – Miriam Bohn, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg Decentralization and fiscal policy: a comparative perspective – Erik Vollmann, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg Discussant: Irene Fernandez-Molina, University of Exeter 6D) On Arab Urbanism Session 1 Chaired by: Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge Architecture, the State and the Capital City: Investigating the Muqata’a and Arafat’s memorial site in Ramallah, Palestine – Anwar Jaber, University of Waterloo Reasserting Regionalism: The Arab Exhibition in Mandate Jerusalem, 1931- 33 – Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge An ‘Arab Urbanism’? On regional categories and the articulation of Local Knowledge – Ibrahim Abdou, University of Cambridge The Increasing Urbanization of Egypt’s Nile Delta villages and the Shifting Social Value of Land – Nada El-Kouny, Rutgers University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 30 SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 6E) Book Launch: The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus. Art, Faith and Empire in Early Islam by Alain George Author Alain George in conversation with Series Editor Melanie Gibson BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 31 SESSION 7 (TUE 6TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 7A) Plenary Roundtable: Disrupting, Refusing and Transgressing Knowledge Production in Middle East Studies Chaired by Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) As scholars of the ‘Middle East,’ living in a colonial metropole, working in neoliberalised universities, we must confront difficult, challenging, and oftentimes personal questions about our responsibilities and positionalities as producers and disseminators of knowledge. How do we produce scholarship that is neither extractive, nor ordered or disciplined by colonial concepts and categories (including the concept of ‘the Middle East’)? How do we produce knowledge that is faithful, relevant and accountable to lived experiences of people in the region and to all those we teach? How do we navigate neoliberalised structures of research funding, fieldwork, and academic hierarchies to produce knowledge that is relevant for struggles for liberation and justice? And how do we mobilise and be(come) political – in our classrooms, our universities, our ‘field sites’, and the wider world. Building on Steven Salaita, how then do we research, write, and teach in these conditions of exploitation? This roundtable will ask participants to critically reflect on their scholarship and professional practice, as shaped by global and political forces, and to do so in conversation with, and learning from, experts in other disciplines and fields. Aimed at a radical rethinking/redoing of knowledge production in our field(s), it poses questions and challenges for BRISMES members, and BRISMES as an institution. How can we learn and improve when we think through coloniality, racialised capitalisms and other structures and practices of domination, as well as the struggles that challenge the silencing, erasure and replacement of indigenous and racialised others. Kelly-Jo Bluen, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Jasmine Gani, University of St Andrews Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action Olivia U. Rutazibwa, University of Portsmouth Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 32 SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 8A) Questioning the Decolonisation of Middle Eastern Studies Chaired by Kiran Phull, LSE Decolonising the library, its implications and the role of Middle East librarians – Waseem Farooq, Aga Khan Library The Rise of the “Global” and Return of Eurocentrism – Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, New Jersey Institute of Technology/ Rutgers – Newark Knowledge Production and International Relations in the Arab Middle East – Mekia Nedjar, Mohamed Benahmed Oran 2 University Knowledge Decolonization or Critical Epistemology: A Comparative Perspective between Development Studies in the Middle East and Latin America – Shimaa Hatab, Cairo University Pious Agency: Post-Secularist Approaches to Decolonising Middle Eastern Studies – Suraina Pasha, University of Sydney 8B) New Frontiers of Political Struggle: Popular Culture and Media Chaired by Claire Begbie, AUC Hegemonic Masculinities and Political Authoritarianism in Turkish Popular Culture – Deniz Zorlu, Izmir University of Economics Al-Akhbar as a Platform for Interaction between Secularity and Religion: The Resistance as a Synthesis – Abed Kanaaneh, Tel Aviv University Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse – Joel W. Abdelmoez, Stockholm University The female gaze in Syrian Documentary – Josepha Wessels, Malmö University Sweden BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 33 SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 8C) Challenging the domestic/international dichotomy Chaired by Sam Mace, University of Leeds Transnational Communist Networks in the Post-WWI Middle East: Anti-colonialism, internationalism and itinerant militancy – Burak Sayim, Graduate Institute Geneva Border-Crossing Collective Action Repertoires: Palestine Activism in a Global Justice Context – Suzanne Morrison, Zayed University Development: Examining Tunisia’s Multiple Horizontalities – Matt Gordner, University of Toronto Revisiting Khatami’s Dialogue among Civilisations: domestic and international political order – Shabnam Holliday, University of Plymouth; Edward Wastnidge, Open University The State between the Domestic and the External: Algeria, Syria, and Yemen – Francesco Belcastro, University of Derby 8D) In the shadow of border control. Reconsidering humanitarianism as containment in the Middle East and North Africa Chaired by Elisa Pascucci, University of Helsinki Humanitarian aspirations “stuck between two chairs”: Managing migration on behalf of the EU in south-east Tunisia – Valentina Zagaria, LSE Resettlement as Containment. Iraqi and Syrian Refugees and the Politics of Accountability – Giulia El Dardiry, Beirut School of Critical Security Studies, Arab Council for the Social Sciences Vulnerable or Resilient?: Care, control, & containment in Jordan’s Syrian refugee camps – Melissa Gatter, University of Sheffield The left hand of the border. Death, humanitarianism and exception in the North- East Moroccan borderlands – Lorena Gazzotti, Lucy Cavendish College and CRASSH, University of Cambridge BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 34 SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 8E) Feminist politics in revolutionary times: past struggles and radical futurities Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick Radical Futures, Haunted Pasts: A Reading of Arwa Salih’s The Stillborn – Sara Salem, LSE What Can Queer and Feminist IR Tell us about the Syrian War? – Razan Ghazzawi, University of Sussex Right Wing Sisterhood: The everyday politics of Hindu Nationalist women in India – Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths 8F) The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel Chaired by James Eastwood, Queen Mary, University of London Childhood, Race, and Medicine in the Forced Removal of Mizrahi Children from their Families in Israel – James Eastwood, Queen Mary, University of London Child Rights in the Service of State Violence: Lessons from Israel/Palestine – Hedi Viterbo, Queen Mary, University of London Archival Irretrievabilities: Childhood in Exile, Jordan 1948 -1967 – Mezna Qato, University of Cambridge Childbearing and raising children in the context of military occupation: experiences of Palestinians living on the margins of Jerusalem – Doaa Hammoudeh, University of Oxford BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 35 SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 8G) Roundtable: Perils of our field: discrimination, censorship, and intimidation Chaired by Miriyam Aouragh, University of Westminster Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge Ray Bush, University of Leeds Neve Gordon, QMUL Ala’a Shehabi, UCL Mandy Turner, University of Manchester Lena Salaymeh, University of Oxford Established in 2002 and based in London, AKU-ISMC promotes scholarship that opens new perspectives on Muslim heritage, modernity, culture, religion, and society. With a focus on research, outreach, education and publications, AKU-ISMC’s scholarship is interdisciplinary and diverse and includes anthropology, archaeology, economics, history, law, literary studies, sociology, international relations and political sciences. Our popular MA in Muslim Cultures is also offered as a dual degree with Columbia University. 10 Handyside Street, London, N1C 4DN BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 37 SESSION 9 (WED 7TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 9A) Plenary Session: Keynote Speaker – Dr amina wadud: Islamic Feminism: What’s in a Name? This presentation will provide a overview of the historical development of a hybrid Islam combined with an intersectional feminism: Islamic Feminism. Islamic Feminism is a conflation of several factors impacting discourse, research and activism by and about Muslim women. Islamic Feminism is distinct from Muslim Feminism as a critical hermeneutical approach to texts in deference to contexts. It creates alternative readings to those canonized throughout Muslim history in order to remove Islam from the centuries long privileging of patriarchy. Biography Dr amina wadud is a world renown scholar and activist with a focus on Islam, justice, gender, and sexuality. After achieving Full Professor, she retired from US academia— except as Visiting Researcher to the Starr King School for the Ministry, California, USA. After 15 years in retirement, she has recently returned as Visiting Professor at the National Islamic University in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. She migrated to Indonesia in 2018 to avoid the chaos of US politics and ethics first-hand. Author of Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective (1999), a classic that helped towards the development of epistemology and methodology in Islamic feminism, which is the most dynamic outcome of Islamic reform today. It is 3 decades old and translated over 10 times, most recently into French. Her second manuscript, Inside the Gender Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam (2006), then moved the discussion further and aligned with the mandate for ethics and activism to be in collaboration. After completing a 3-year research grant investigating 500 years of Islamic classical discourse on sexual diversity and human dignity, funded by the Arcus Foundation, she is organizing an International Center for Queer Islamic Theology: the first in the world. Mother of five and Nana to six, she is best known as The Lady Imam. BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 38 SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 10A) Exploring Memory through Art and Popular Culture Chaired by Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill From Mass Media to Social Media: Exploring the multiple co-productions of the nation and its pasts Egyptian Facebook – Nermin Elsherif, University of Amsterdam The chanted memory of the Tunisian Left: protest songs as a dissenting archive – Alessia Carnevale, La Sapienza University, Rome Memory Activism in Palestinian Performative Arts and Scholarship – Farah Aboubakr, The University of Edinburgh Redrawing Palestine: Visibility, Humanity, and Counter-Narratives in Joe Sacco’s Graphic Novel. – Holly May Treadwell, University of Kent Colonial imagery and Middle Eastern visual culture: Napoleon in Egyptian eyes – Thomas Richard, ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille 10B) Conceptualising Revolution Chaired by Recep Onursal, University of Kent Decolonising revolutions after the Arab Uprisings – Sandra Pogodda, University of Manchester Throwing the touchstone into the Nile: Reflections on Reorienting and Decolonising the Study of the Revolution in Egypt – Mohammad Afshary, University of Kent Gramsci in Palebystine: Reflections on beginnings, and theorizing counterhegemony through the praxis of the single democratic state intellectual in Palestine – Cherine Hussein, The Institute of International Relations in Prague Re-visiting Palestinian Revolutionary Knowledge – Klaudia Wieser, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna; Noura Salah Aldeen, Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Science BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 39 SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 10C) Colonial legacies in education: historic and present Chaired by Alessandro Columbu, The University of Westminster International Law and the Middle East: The Challenge of Decolonization – Dina Hadad, Kuwait International Law School British Women and the Agency of Children in Mandate Palestine – Charlotte Kelsted, European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter Do we only have a history as long as we are colonised? The History/Memory Nexus and the challenges of uncovering the postcolonial state in Morocco. – Yasmine Zarhloule, University of Oxford Authenticity and Exceptionalism in Teaching Middle Eastern Languages – Jona Fras, The University of Edinburgh 10D) Cultural Interactions in Arab Diasporic and Globalized Spaces Chaired by Ala Al-Hamarneh, Orient Institute Beirut (OIB) Multilingualism in “The Bullet Collection”: Contact Zones, Checkpoints, and Liminal Points – Syrine Hout, American University in Beirut Glocalized linguistic landscapes: (In)visible linguistic borders and identities within institutions of higher education in the UAE – Afaf Bataineh, Zayed University Arab Refugee Aid: What divides Diaspora donors and diminishes the dividend? – Shelley Deane, Brehon Advisory Lost Compatriots? “Western” Diasporic Spaces in Egyptian Cinema – Ala Al- Hamarneh, Orient Institute Beirut BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 40 SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 10E) Roundtable: Decolonising heritage in the Middle East Chaired by Eleanor Robson, UCL & Nahrein Network Lina Tahan, Nahrein Network Bijan Rouhani, Oxford University Isber Sabrine, Heritage for Peace Mehiyar Kathem, UCL & Nahrein Network BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 41 SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 11A) Decolonizing Feminism: Knowledge and Activism Chaired by Sara Tafakori, London School of Economics Decolonizing feminism? A transnational feminist analysis of Jineolojî – Nadje Al-Ali, Brown University; Isabel Käser, SOAS & University of Bern Decolonial Feminism and Internationalization of Gender Injustices in the Middle East – Jihan Zakarriya, AIAS “No Free Homeland Without Free Women” The case of Tali’at – Federica Stagni, Scuola Normale Superiore Majnūna: Women’s Madness and the Professionalization of Psychiatry in Egypt Under British Rule – Yasmin Shafei, American University of Beirut Reproductive Governance & The Migrant Subject: An Ethnographic Critique – Morgen Chalmiers, University of California San Diego 11B) Rethinking militaries, militias and non-state armed actors in politics Chaired by Burak Sayim, Graduate Institute Geneva The rise of militiatocracies in the Middle East – Yaniv Voller, University of Kent What is the role conscription played in producing sustained systematic violence and its employment to support authoritarianism and conflict in post-colonial Egypt? A Case study of conscription of the Central Security Forces (CSF) at the Egyptian Police. – Hussein Salahaldin, University of Bradford EU diplomacy and the 2013 military coup in Egypt – Ragnar Weilandt, KU Leuven International Relations and Foreign Policy of State-like Actors (SLA) in the Middle East: PLO and Hezbollah – Zakia Aqra, University of Peloponnese BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 42 SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 11C) “The Century of Camps” – Imagining Encampment and Containment in the Middle East Chaired by Are John Knudsen, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) Aerial photography and the image of the refugee camp in the Middle East from Baquba to Zaatari, 1918-2018 – Benjamin Thomas White, University of Glasgow UNRWA, the Refugee and the Camp: Imageries, Representations and Practice – Kjersti Berg, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) The Ghettoization and Densification of Beddawi Refugee camp, Lebanon – Ismail Cheikh Hassan, Independent Researcher Visualizing the Evolution of Refugees’ Housing in the Zaatari Camp, Jordan – Kamel Doraï, Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo-Beirut) Gaza Buildings: Spatial Archives of Displacement in Sabra, Beirut – Are John Knudsen, Chr. Michelsen Insitute (CMI) 11D) Historiography and the Politics of Memory: Jews from the Muslim World between Assimilation and Selfdetermination Chaired by Neophytos Loizides, University of Kent Iranian Jewish emigration to Israel: an experience between the “East” and the “West” – Alessandra Cecolin, University of Aberdeen Oriental Jews – European Religiosity? Religious Orthodoxy among Iranian Jewish Communities – Ariane Sadjed, Austrian Academy of Science, Institute for Iranian Studies Different Perspectives on Jewish and Muslim Relations in Yemen: Between the Jews of Yemen and the Yemenite Diaspora in Israel – Menashe Anzi, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Remembering Jews in Post-Authoritarian Tunisia – Achim Rohde, Free University of Berlin BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 43 SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 11E) BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education Chaired by Hicham Safieddine, King’s College London; Jamie Allinson, University of Edinburgh Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Sara Salem, LSE John Chalcraft, LSE Marcy Newman, Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 44 SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 12A) Academic Freedom and Knowledge Production: The relationship between state and scholarship Chaired by Matthew Hedges, Durham University Dancing in the Minefield: Feminism and Critical Pedagogy in Jordanian Academia – Amani Al-Serhan, University of Jordan/Center for Women’s Studies The Death of Critical Pedagogy in Jordanian Universities – Tayseer Abu Odeh, Al- Ahliyya Amman University Power/Knowledge, the Habitus and the Field: Russian Emigré Orientalists during the Interwar Period – Denis V. Volkov, National Research University Higher School of Economics State-sponsored academic narratives on Muslims and migration in Hungary – Daniel Vekony, Corvinus University of Budapest BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 45 SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 12B) Identities and narratives of the displaced and the diaspora Chaired by Syrine Hout, American University in Beirut Diasporic identity and religion: the case of second generation Iraqi youth in London and their transnational spaces of belonging – Oula Kadhum, University of Birmingham Continuum of forced displacement narratives among Palestinian refugees from Syria in Germany – Isis Nusair, Denison University Remembering the Syrian civil war through the lens of motherhood – Magdalena Suerbaum, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity Societal changes in the Syrian national identity during conflict and displacement – Kathrin Bachleitner, University of Oxford Cypriots in the island and abroad: reunification attitudes and peace prospects – Neophytos Loizides, University of Kent; Isik Kuscu, METU Disqualified Knowledges in the Refugee and Humanitarian Regimes: War, Displacement and Relief through the Narratives of Syrian Aid Workers – Nadine Hassouneh, Centre for British Research in the Levant; Elisa Pascucci, University of Helsinki BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 46 SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 12C) New Perspectives on an Elusive Conflict: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Conflict in Yemen Chaired by Alexander Weissenburger, Austrian Academy of Sciences From Periphery to the Core: an analysis of the Huthi local governance system – Luca Nevola, University of Sussex An ‘Empty’ Battle Zone: Insights from the Yemeni-Saudi Border – Lisa Lenz-Ayoob, Austrian Academy of Sciences The Hustle of Yemeni State Diplomacy: Material Constraint and Austerity in a Moment of Crisis – Judit Kuschnitzki, University of Cambridge Between Alignment, Imitation and Autonomy: The Huthi Movement’s Ambiguous Relationship with Iran from an Ideological Angle – Alexander Weissenburger, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Social Anthropology 12D) Sufism and Modernity: Alternative Takes on the 19th and 20th Century in Muslim Thought Chaired by Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen Bosnian Hajj and Political Propaganda – Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen Reading Rumi at the University: Abdülbaki Gölpinarlı and the Transformation of Sufi Literature – Micah Hughes, UNC Chapel Hill The Hikam in 1970s Syria: a Call to Political Action – Nadirah Mansour, Princeton University Mawlids in 19th Century Egypt – Ida Nitter, University of Pennsylvania BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 47 SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 12E) Geographies of war-care Chaired by Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London The meaning of death: ballistic science and search for ‘militarily acceptable wounds’ – Nisha Shah, University of Ottawa Legal Exceptions and the Killability of the Wounded Body – Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London Revealed in the Wound – Omar Dewachi, Rutgers University Repression and Repetition: The Construction of Palestinian Death(s) as an Exceptional Repetition in Israeli Military Courts – Revital Madar Decolonizing Humanitarian Medicine – a Gazan Perspective – Osama Tanous, Emory University Key Titles in Middle Eastern Studies Visit eurospanbookstore.com/brismes2021 to browse more Middle Eastern Studies titles, and use the code BRISMES21 at checkout for a 20% discount and free shipping. Brookings Institution Press The Iranian Revolution at Forty Edited by Suzanne Maloney 2020 200pp 9780815737933 Hardback £29.50 / €33.00 Re-Engaging the Middle East Edited by Dafna H. Rand & Andrew P. Miller 2020 330pp 9780815737407 Paperback £33.95 / €39.00 Lynne Rienner Publishers Understanding the Contemporary Middle East, Fifth Edition Edited by Jillian Schwedler 2019 461pp 9781626378414 Paperback £22.50 / €28.00 University of Michigan Press Fragile but Resilient? Ali Çarkoğlu & Ersin Kalaycıoğlu Apr 2021 360pp 9780472132430 Hardback £62.95 / €70.00 The University of North Carolina Press Realizing Islam Zachary Valentine Wright 2020 326pp 9781469660820 Paperback £29.95 / €33.00 University of Oklahoma Press The Campaigns of Sargon II Sarah C. Melville Jul 2021 320pp 9780806169071 Paperback £17.50 / €20.00 Syracuse University Press Readings in Syrian Prison Literature R. Shareah Taleghani Apr 2021 296pp 9780815637158 Paperback £27.50 / €31.00 Solitaire Hassouna Mosbahi Sep 2021 256pp 9780815611431 Paperback £19.95 / €23.00 BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 48 SESSION 13 (THUR 8TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 13A) Rethinking Gender and Islam: Comparative Perspectives Chaired by Demet Gülçiçek, University of Warwick Grounding Saudi women’s rights in local terms of reference: Islamic feminism as a tool for reform – Nora Jaber, King’s College London Self-appointed Saviors: Post-9/11 Muslim Women Memoirs – Sepideh Sami, Macquarie University Post-Islamist Young Women and the Reconfiguration of the Public Sphere – Dina Hosni, Frankfurt University Goethe The Postcolonial Assemblage of ISIS Brides: The Case of Shamima Begum – Shehnoor Khurram, York University; Fardosa Warsame, York University 13B) Conserving heritage and constructing histories Chaired by Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester The use of past as part of Colonial discourse – a case study of the Jerusalem Archaeological Museum. – Chloe Emmott, University of Greenwich Historian’s Craft Between Empire and Nation: The Emergence of Historical Professionalism in the Ottoman Realm between the 1910s and 1920s – Yeliz Cavus, The Ohio State University Amplifying Local voices: narrating hidden pasts through museums in Jordan – Maria Elena Ronza, Sela for Vocational Training and Protection of Cultural Heritage; Arwa Badran, Independent consultant and researcher Imagining the Past in the Age of Reform: Ottoman Historical Writing in the Nineteenth Century – Erdem Sönmez, Social Sciences University of Ankara The Legacy of Enslavement: Representations and Discussions on Slavery and Racism in Qatar – Ameen Omar, Hamad Bin Khalifa University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 49 SESSION 13 (THUR 8TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 13C) Decolonial critique and the limits of international law Chaired by Teodora Todorova, University of Warwick The Question of Indigeneity in Israel-Palestine – Lana Tatour, Columbia University Theorizing the “Force of Law” in Palestine/Israel – Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal University Civilians and victims in Palestine: legal terminology shaping realities – Maayan Geva, University of Roehampton, London ‘Un-lawyering’ international law to see its role in settler-colonialism in Israel- Palestine – Alice Panepinto, Queen’s University Belfast 13D) How to get published panel Chaired by Giulia Guariento, Taylor & Francis Group Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen Nora Parr, Freie Universitat Berlin 13E) Roundtable: Decolonizing Islamicate Manuscript Studies Chaired by Davidson MacLaren, The Islamic Manuscript Association Sumayya Ahmed, Simmons University Alya Karame, American University of Beirut Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen N.A. Mansour, Princeton University Torsten Wollina, Trinity College Dublin BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 50 SESSION 14 (THUR 8TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 14A) Plenary Student Section Session – Writing within and beyond academia Chaired by Zahra Tizro, University of East London Have you thought about writing beyond the dissertation and academic audiences? In this event, we bring together a number of academics from an array of disciplines who use their academic research and expertise to engage with public and wider audiences. The event offers an opportunity for graduate students and ECRs interested in pursuing an academic or related career in Middle East studies to engage with established scholars and learn about different writing practices for multiple and varied audiences: engagements with the media; writing in more than one language; accountability to the communities we write for or about; and ethics in writing practices. We invite students to come with questions relating to writing practices beyond academia. Each panellist will speak for 7-10 minutes on their experiences and expertise. The event will touch upon on a range of themes, including: (1) how to make your research accessible for different audiences; (2) writing in more than one language (3) accountability and ethics in writing for the communities we research; and (4) writing practices broadly. Dina Rezk, University of Reading Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut Adam Hanieh, University of Exeter BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 51 SESSION 15 (THUR 8TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 15A) Modes, considerations and consequences of International Intervention Chaired by Kathrin Bachleitner, University of Oxford When the wrong side wins: What history tells us about the prospect of a US-Syrian reconciliation after civil war – Christopher Phillips, Queen Mary, University of London No Engagement without Recognition? Forms, Causal Mechanisms and Dilemmas of Transnational Recognition in the Libyan Civil War – Irene Fernandez-Molina, University of Exeter State, Capital and Class in Iran: An Appraisal of Nuclear Sanctions and Their Impact – Gulriz Sen, TOBB University of Economics and Technology The US Responsiveness towards the Kurdish Strategic Framing of fighting ISIS in Syria during the Obama Administration – Turgay Demir, University of Leeds, School of Politics and International Studies 15B) “What is to be done?”: The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 1: Counter-hegemony and Legacies for a radical critique of the present Chaired by Rossana Tufaro, Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, and Lebanon Support, Civil Society Knowledge Center (Beirut) An Egyptian 1968? The Season of Students’ Discontent – Gennaro Gervasio, University Roma Tre Plural Perspectives on Revolutionary Hopes: the Multiple Lives of the 1977 Uprising in Egypt – Mélanie Henry-Morin, IIAC & EHESS and member of the ERC-DREAM The “Che Guevara of the Middle East”: The Remembrance of Khalid Ahmad Zaki’s failed uprising in Southern Iraq – Philipp Winkler, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg Strangers on the Only Road: Epistemological Hegemony from Egypt’s Long 1960s to the Neoliberal Present – Walter Armbrust, University of Oxford BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 52 SESSION 15 (THUR 8TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 15C) On Arab Urbanism Session 2 Chaired by Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge Beyond Quiet Encroachment: Politicising Informality and Infrastructure in Cairo’s Districts – Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge Tafseela: Building in the Arab Region – Wesam Al Asali, University of Cambridge Political Economy of Light in fin-de-siecle Beirut – Ayse Polat, University of Cambridge Rewiring Sovereignty – Omar Jabary Salamanca, Ghent University 15D) Analysing activism, resistance and resilience in the everyday Chaired by Borja Wladimiro González Fernández, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Activism in Dead Time: Politics and the Anticipation of Failure in Lebanon – Sophie Chamas, SOAS, Centre for Gender Studies Law, settlements and Palestinian resilience in East Jerusalem – Sonia Najjar, Queens University Belfast “Resilience through place-making” as a model for decolonization: The West Bank case of Battir – Elisa Ferrato, School of Architecture Oxford Brookes University Resilience in Greater Khartoum and the Sudanese Revolution of 2019 – Josepha Wessels, Schools of Arts and Communication On Indigenous Resistance against Western-Imposed Models in Historic Palestine – Itxaso Domínguez de Olazábal, Fundación Alternativas 15E) Roundtable: Innovating and decolonising Arabic language teaching the UK higher education sector Chaired by: Alessandro Columbu, The University of Westminster Rasha Soliman, University of Leeds Safaa Radoan, The University of Exeter BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 53 SESSION 16 (THUR 8TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 16A) Deconstructing orientalism through Queer and Feminist theories Chaired by Tayseer Abu Odeh, Al-Ahliyya Amman University Decolonial Feminist Possibilities and Responsibilities in Teaching and Learning – Nadine El-Nabli, Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo The Queer State in the Middle East: Using Queer Theory to Understand Post- Colonial Statehood – Andrew Delatolla, University of Leeds Decolonial Orientations in Research: Thinking Palestine – Hazal Dolek, University of Sheffield The State’s “Attention to Motherhood” in Twentieth-Century Egypt – Marianne Dhenin, The American University in Cairo The political economy of research on women and media in Saudi Arabia – Naomi Sakr, University of Westminster 16B) The Politics of Economic Reform, Resource Management and Financial Governance Chaired by Imad El-Anis, Nottingham Trent University Algeria’s Liberalizing Decade: Debtor-Creditors Relations Reassessed. – Francesco Saverio Leopardi, University of Bologna The City also Vanishes? Climate Politics & Engaged Scholarship in Alexandria – Dina Zayed, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex Oman’s Experience of Islamic Banking – A Juristic Approach to Tackling the Crisis of Miscommunication – Al Muatasim Al Maawali, Sultan Qaboos University Redefining Natural Resources in the Context of the MENA Region – Ahmed Badreldin, University of Marburg BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 54 SESSION 16 (THUR 8TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 16C) Mechanics of Authoritarian Coercion Chaired by Hussein Salahaldin, University of Bradford The Justification of Punishment in Authoritarian States – Hend Hanafy, University of Cambridge ‘Refolutionary’ Resistance and Regime Response in a Transitioning Tunisia: The Case of Jendouba’s Agrarian Protests – Matt Gordner, University of Toronto It’s not postcolonial, stupid! Genealogy of State Aggression, Counterterrorism and Human Rights violations in Egypt – Ahmed Abozaid, University of St Andrews The friend enemy distinction in coup proofing – Sam Mace, University of Leeds In Search of “Effective” Elections: The Establishment of the Electoral Amendment 1925 in Iran – Yoshiaki Tokunaga, The University of Tokyo 16D) Matters of space in the Middle East Chaired by Deen Sharp, LSE Rethinking place, movement and lines through a walk on the Jordan Trail – Olivia Mason, Newcastle University Searching for a Place in a Map: War, Urban Space, and the Postcolonial Syrian State – Gabriel Garroum Pla, King’s College London A History of Cairo’s Rubbish Hills – Shehab Ismail, Max Planck Material Geographies, Geopoetic Entanglements and the Space of the Middle East – Aya Nassar, Durham University 16E) Roundtable: Decolonising Arabic Literary Studies Chaired by Nora Parr, Freie Universitat Berlin Tasnim Qutait, SOAS Ruth Abou Rached, University of Southampton Annie Webster, SOAS Ouissal Harize, Durham University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 55 SESSION 17 (FRI 9TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 17A) Self-determination and the (re)formation of national identity Chaired by Dilara Ozbek, University of Kent An Egyptian Victory: Ottoman-Greek War of 1897 and “Ottoman Consciousness” in Egypt – Doğa Öztürk, Ohio State University State Policies, Minorities and Nationalism: Armenian Citizens of Turkey – Yesim Bayar, St. Lawrence University ‘Arabisation’ in Morocco: the myth(s) of origins – Kaoutar Ghilani, University of Oxford Dis-claiming the Orient? Imagined Geographies of cultural Identities between Taha Hussein and Carl Heinrich Becker – Abdalla Iskandar, FU Berlin 17B) Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel- Palestine Chaired by Michael Samuel, Emory University Israeli Blockade, Hamas and International Dimensions: Deconstructing Gaza’s Politics – Yaser Alashqar, Trinity College Dublin-Ireland Israeli Green Colonialism and the Path to Environmental Justice – Ghada Sasa, McMaster University Securitization and Victimhood: Israeli Identity in the Shadow of the Second Intifada – Esther Garcia Monreal, Durham University Revisiting the Conflict over Sacred Places from Social and Economic Perspectives: What Does al-Haram al-Sharif Mean to Palestinians? – Kensuke Yamamoto, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Football, politics and identity. The case of Israel and Palestine – Francesco Belcastro, University of Derby BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 56 SESSION 17 (FRI 9TH JULY: 10AM-12PM) PANEL DETAILS 17C) Beyond oil fields and the desert: orientalism, decoloniality and the Gulf Chaired by Ahmed Dailami, University of Exeter Let a thousand consultants bloom: neoliberalism and stagist economic theory in the Arab Gulf states – Ashraf El-Taher, SOAS Kuwait’s Anticolonial and Progressive Agenda in the Gulf: The Case of Bahrain (1960s-1970s) – Wafa Alsayed, Gulf University for Science and Technology Between postcolonialism and decoloniality in the Khaleeji cultural sphere – Maia Holtermann Entwistle, SOAS 17D) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 2: Radical Knowledge Cultivation across Space and Time Chaired by Omar Al-Ghazzi, London School of Economics The Arab Apocalypse: a queer feminist critique of masculinized politics and disaster – Andrew Delatolla, University of Leeds Radical understandings of past, present and future: Imagination and anticolonialism in the Islamicate – Jasmine Gani, University of St Andrews Centering the “south” in “decolonizing the university” debates – Aya Musmar, University of Sheffield 17E) Balancing power: challenges to the Middle East regional system past and present Chaired by Yaniv Voller, University of Kent Sectarianism vs pragmatism and interest: Turkey and Iran’s foreign policy during the Qatar crisis – Olivia Glombitza, Autonomous University of Barcelona Onward to Jerusalem?: Iran’s Decision to Continue the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) – Annie Tracy Samuel, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Federalism in the Middle East: Past Failures and Prospects – Neophytos Loizides, University of Kent BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 57 SESSION 18 (FRI 9TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 18A) Diversifying Research on the Arab World: Multi-local Perspectives on Twelver Shi’ism in Iraq Chaired by TBC The Genesis and Influence of Shi’a Islamism within Transnational Networks of Political Islam: Clerical Activism and Ideological Discourses in Republican Iraq (1958-1979) – Oliver Scharbrodt, University of Birmingham Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr on Islam and Social Justic – Chris Razavian, University of Birmingham The International Community in the Eyes of Ayatollah Sistani: Attitudes towards the United Nations and the USA Post-2003 – Yousif Al-Hilli, University of Birmingham Unpacking the Role of Religion in Political Transnationalism: The Case of the Shi’a Iraqi Diaspora Post-2003 – Oula Kadhum, University of Birmingham 18B) The Politics of Translation: Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Arabic-speaking Countries – Language, Power and Hegemony (Session conducted in Arabic) Chaired by Nof Nasser-Eddin, Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration Translating Queer: Colonial Histories and Discourse Creation – Nour Abu-Assab, Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration Queer Reading of Fuṣḥā: A Case for Decolonising Language Practices in Knowledge Production – Musa al-Shadeedi, Masaha (Accessible Feminist Knowledge) Escaping NGOization through Queering Language – Roula Seghaier, Masaha- Accessible Feminist Knowledge Centralising Kuwaiti-Arabic Articulations of Queerness: Towards Decolonizing Epistemologies – Nour al-Mazidi, London School of Economics BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 58 SESSION 18 (FRI 9TH JULY: 1PM-3PM) PANEL DETAILS 18C) Reinterpretations of the Gulf: Time for a decolonization of Gulf studies? Chaired by Marc Owen Jones, Hamad bin Khalifa University An Empirical Survey of the State of Gulf Studies – Marc Owen Jones, Hamad bin Khalifa University Rentier State Resilience: What the Qatar Crisis Can Teach Us About Rentierism – Hend Al Sulaiti, University of Southern Denmark Visa to the world: Egyptian expatriate workers in Qatar and second passports – Mari Norbakk, Chr. Michelsen Institute Are there really no refugees in Saudi Arabia? A history of refugees in a state not party to the Refugee Convention – Charlotte Lysa, University of Oslo 18D) Challenging Western-Centrism, Orientalism and Colonial Narratives Chaired by Erdem Sönmez, Social Sciences University of Ankara Narratives of Ottoman anti-colonialism and imperialism in Southeast Asia – Michael Talbot, University of Greenwich Decolonizing Middle East Economic History – Ryan Smith, Independent Scholar Decolonising Lebanon’s History – Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester Professionalized Remedies of Early Orientalist Middle Eastern Studies: Colonialist, Patriotic, and Historians’ Images of Egypt’s Nationalist Party – Ahmed Ali Salem, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates The Spirit of the Revolt against the West: Anti-Western Political Thought in Turkey – Oguzhan Goksel, Istanbul 29 Mayis University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 59 SESSION 19 (FRI 9TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM) PANEL DETAILS 19A) Plenary Keynote: Professor Pinar Bilgin: Nowhere to run? Decolonising the study of the Middle East between Area Studies and International Relations For years, we have come to think of the knowledge/power relationship in Middle East Studies in terms of the ways in which knowledge has served power via Oriental or Area Studies. More recently, we have come to understand the ways in which International Relations, too, has been shaped by concerns with ordering the world not only in terms of policy advice but also the shaping of concepts and theories. What does it take to decolonise the study of the Middle East when we are caught between two fields that are deeply implicated in concerns with ordering the world? Biography Pinar Bilgin is Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, and an Associate Member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. She has held visiting positions at the Woodrow Wilson International Center (Washington, DC), King’s College London, Centre for the Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen, Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, Amsterdam Centre for European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). She is the author of many journal articles and books in the field of Critical Security Studies, including Regional Security in the Middle East: A Critical Perspective (2005; 2nd ed. 2019), The International in Security, Security in the International (2016) and is co-editor of Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology (with Xavier Guillaume, 2017), and Asia in International Relations: Unthinking Imperial Power Relations (with L.H.M. Ling, 2017). She is an Associate Editor of International Studies Quarterly (2019- ) and previously served as Associate Editor of Security Dialogue (2008-2013) and of International Political Sociology (2012-2017), an editorial board member of the journals ID:International Dialogue, Global Discourse, Security Dialogue, Contexto Internacional, International Studies Quarterly, Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Political Sociology and Geopolitics, and an international editorial advisory board member of the journals Millennium: Journal of International Relations, Perceptions, and Uluslararasi Lliskiler. She is the co-editor (with Monica Herz) of the Palgrave book series, Critical Security Studies in the Global South. BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 60 SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 20A) A journey through literary history Chaired by Tasnim Qutait, SOAS Adab and Formation of Canon in Modern Arabic Societies – Nuha Alshaar, The American University of Sharjah/the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London Immoral Polemics and Moral Politics: Clashing Politico-Moral Visions of the Late Ottoman Period – Melis Hafez, Virginia Commonwealth University The Reconfiguration of the Arabic Literary Canon at the Fin de siècle: Orientalism, Sexuality and the Nahda – Feras Alkabani, University of Sussex De-colonizing Travel Narratives – Sally Abed, Alexandria University (Egypt) Cultural Decolonization: The Case of Egyptian Nubia – Faten Morsy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt 20B) Women’s movements and agency across time and space Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick Decolonizing Geographies of Affect: Iranian women’s rights and the politics of solidarity – Sara Tafakori, London School of Economics ‘Mood of Commitment’: Strategic Discourses of Motherhood in Ottoman Muslim Women’s Movements – Demet Gülçiçek, University of Warwick Women, Agency, and the Muslim Brotherhood: Dissecting Dichotomies of Dissent and Delusion – Zeina Dowidar, University of Cambridge Threads of Resistance and Preservation: Embroidery and the Making of Informal Politics in Women’s Spaces – Rasmieyh Abdelnabi, George Mason University Whose Issues? The Jordanian Women’s Movement, Intersectionality, and the Battle over Defining Women’s Issues in Jordan – Sara Ababneh, Jordan University BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 61 SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 20C) Critical perspectives on Palestine, Western Sahara and the International Community Chaired by Suzanne Morrison, Zayed University The European Parliament and the Western Sahara conflict – Ragnar Weilandt, KU Leuven “Can Palestinian Non-Violence Win Over the International Community?”: The Case of Britain and the First Intifada – Colter Louwerse, University of Exeter The European Union, Morocco and the Western Sahara Natural Resources – Ángela Suarez-Collado, University of Salamanca; Raquel Ojeda-García, University of Granada 20D) Palestine through the lens of decolonial epistemologies Chaired by Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal University Toward a decolonial approach in researching human suffering: On hunger strike in Israeli Prisons – Ashjan Ajour, Leicester University “Freedom or Death”: Hunger Striking through Necroresistance – Malaka Shwaikh, University of St Andrews Land, Dispossession, and Rights – Heba Youssef, University of Brighton BDS as decolonial praxis – Teodora Todorova, University of Warwick BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PAGE 62 SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM) PANEL DETAILS 20E) Power, Knowledge and “Oriental” Studies in Europe. Interrogating National Traditions of Middle East Studies Chaired by Paola Rivetti, Dublin City University Spanish North Africa and Middle East Studies: An analysis of top-ranked publications in Spain and by Spanish scholars (1998-2018) – Beatriz Tomé-Alonso, Universidad Loyola Andalucía Between Orientalism and Security Studies: the struggle for the development of contemporary North Africa and Middle East studies in Spain – Ana Planet Contreras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Alfonso Casani Herranz, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Being a Swedish female dissident voice in a male-Finnish dominated academia: The case of Hilma Granqvist (1890-1972) – Rosanna Sirignano, University of Heidelberg 20F) “What is to be done?” – The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 2: Investigating Transnational Entanglements Chaired by Gennaro Gervasio, University Roma Tre Entangled Histories of the Cuban and Palestinian Revolutions: Trajectories of Transnational Revolutionaries – Sorcha Thomson, Roskilde University Scandinavian Entanglement in the Palestinian Revolution – Sune Haugbølle, Roskilde University Towards a New Political Geography of the Global 1960s: Algeria, France, Italy, 1957-1975 – Andrea Brazzoduro, University of Oxford Local Magazines/Global Cultures: Internationalism, Third Worldism and Solidarity in 1960’s Journals of the Arab World – Chana Morgenstern, University of Cambridge, CRASSH The “paper comrade”: Nidal al-‘Ummal and the making of new radical subjectivities in Lebanon’s long-1960s (1970-1975) – Rossana Tufaro, Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, and Lebanon Support, Civil Society Knowledge Center (Beirut)
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.brismes.ac.ukBRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7ALRegistered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer AdministratorBaroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill Professor Daniel Chamovitz President Ben-Gurion University of the Negev P.O.B. 653 Beer-Sheva 8410501 Israel By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 9 June 2021 Dear Professor Chamovitz, I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) to express our deep concerns about the events that took place on 11th May 2021 on and near your campus in Beer Sheva. These events, as we detail below, appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for your Palestinian and Arab students, and that on 11th May the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security. Founded in 1973, BRISMES aims to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East region, and to provide a forum for educators and researchers working in Middle East Studies. As part of our remit, we are committed to supporting academic freedom in the Middle East, for scholars and students alike. It is precisely in relation to our remit that we write to express our grave concerns about your University’s treatment of its students who were exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. According to footage that is available online,1 and according to reports in Haaretz,2 students from your University gathered in Beer Sheva for a protest against Israeli government policies and practices in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The students report that they 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&fbclid=IwAR0Q2Bud9YjguO2yOunvm-s-kWYgFb6YuXdnSLfU-yGoFIPSAbUgVTvInyw&v=GMPCO5RgaBY&feature=youtu.be&has_verified=1 2 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-facing-attacks-and-incitement-arab-students-flee-israeli-campuses-1.9823987 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.brismes.ac.uk BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90 President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill had in advance sought and received a permit from the relevant authorities for their protest. Despite the presence of police officers, the students were subject to racist and violent behaviours, and the police did not assist them. Reports indicate that numerous students were arrested and continue to be detained. Furthermore, we are gravely concerned that the students involved have reported that they were subject to police brutality and beatings, and that they received no assistance from the University’s security officers who were present. Students who had not been arrested at the demonstration went to University Dormitory D and were followed by counter-protesters who clearly sought to harm and abuse them, yet the University security did not allow the students to enter the accommodation. Subsequently, a group of students attempted to return to their accommodation in Dormitory C. There they found the presence of those who had harassed and threatened them at the protest, as well as police officers and the University’s security units. As the aforementioned online footage appears to show with some clarity, they were subject to beatings and violence from the police, and were attacked with sound bombs and tear gas while on University accommodation premises. The reported treatment of these students, who were exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and in particular the University’s failure to protect or assist them, is chilling. Such events create a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students at your University. They indicate that the University is not able and/or willing to create an environment where Palestinian and Arab students receive equal treatment, nor at which they can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. As Haaretz reported,3 many Palestinian and Arab students have fled Israeli campuses – including yours – because of the violence and discrimination they have faced in the past weeks. We call upon you to investigate thoroughly and impartially the events that took place on 11th May 2021, to hold accountable those university employees who failed to act to protect your students, to support any students who have been detained (including those released under draconian conditions), and to ensure that you uphold the rights of all your students to freedom of expression and assembly on campus. Furthermore, we call upon you to work actively to combat racism against Palestinian and Arab students in your University and to ensure that 3 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-facing-attacks-and-incitement-arab-students-flee-israeli-campuses-1.9823987 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90 President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill those students who have left are safe to return to campus. We believe that you have a responsibility to guarantee their security, safety and rights on your campus. Yours sincerely, Professor The Baroness Afshar OBE President, BRISMES On behalf of the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.brismes.ac.ukBRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7ALRegistered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer AdministratorBaroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy BrickhillMichelle Donelan MP Minister of State for Universities Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street Westminster London SW1P 3BT By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 26 May 2021 Dear Ms Donelan, Minister of State for Universities, I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) to express our deep concerns about comments that were made during the Education Select Committee on 27 April 2021, regarding the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the autonomy of universities. Founded in 1973, BRISMES aims to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East region, and to provide a forum for educators and researchers working in Middle East Studies. As part of our remit, we are committed to supporting academic freedom, particularly in relation to issues involving discussions of the region. It is precisely in relation to our remit that we write to express grave concerns about the ongoing pressure being exerted on universities to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as evidenced in the Education Select Committee meeting of 27 April 2021. With respect to our mission, we condemn without reservation antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism and support UK universities’ efforts in this regard. At the same time, we wish to bring to your attention the concerns of our members that the IHRA definition (specifically its examples) is undermining the ability of academics to pursue legitimate academic activities, including research, teaching and wider public discussion of the history and current situation in occupied Palestine and Israel as well as the nature of Zionism, without fear of being accused of antisemitism. In reaching our stance on the IHRA definition, we have given due regard to the views of legal experts. For instance, Geoffrey Robertson QC issued an opinion on 31 August 2017 stating that ‘the definition does not cover the most insidious forms of hostility to Jewish people and the looseness of the definition is liable to chill legitimate criticisms of the state of Israel and coverage of human rights abuses against Palestinians’.1 1 https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/ihra-definition-antisemitism-not-fit-purpose E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.brismes.ac.uk BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90 President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill Our view is also informed by widely-recognised authorities on antisemitism. For example, Kenneth Stern, the lead drafter of the IHRA definition and the Director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, has made clear that the definition was “never intended to be a campus hate speech code.” The definition, he explained, was “created primarily so that European data collectors could know what to include and exclude,” but political groups have “weaponized” the definition in ways that threaten freedom of speech.2 More recently, in March, hundreds of scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies and Middle East studies wrote that the IHRA working definition is not fit for purpose and, instead, proposed the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism as a more precise definition that provides more helpful guidance for combatting antisemitism.3 Meanwhile, the adoption of the IHRA definition does not add any substantive content that might help reduce racist speech and hate crimes on campuses. As the UCL’s Academic Board Working Group on Racism and Prejudice report found, “The IHRA working definition is unhelpful in identifying cases of harassment … the core definition itself is too vague and narrow, and the 11 examples often do not match experience.”4 Based on this report, the university’s academic board recommended retracting the adoption of the definition and replacing it with one “fit for purpose.” We are above all concerned that the IHRA definition is creating a chilling atmosphere for many of our members who teach and research on matters concerning Israel and Palestine, as well as their students, and that this will have a negative impact on pedagogy and knowledge production. Academics employed on temporary contracts (who constitute a significant proportion of university teaching staff), as well as students, are particularly susceptible to self-censorship out of fear that any sort of accusations, even if not upheld, could jeopardize their future ability to obtain permanent employment. In some cases, there is evidence that the IHRA definition is being deployed to suppress lawful speech that is critical of Israel, its actions and its supporters. Furthermore, we are alarmed that in the course of discussions of the IHRA definition at the Education Select Committee meeting, MP Jonathan Gullis called for the summary dismissal of Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and two other academics at the same university, in relation to unsubstantiated allegations of antisemitism. Whilst you explained to Mr Gullis that it is not possible for government ministers to “sack” VCs or academics, you then went on to say, “I agree with you, certain universities do need to go further on this area”, while Robert Halfon suggested that universities were “hiding behind employment law” in failing to sack academics. 2 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/antisemitism-executive-order-trump-chilling-effect 3 https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/ 4 https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucu/sites/ucu/files/wg-racism-and-prejudice-report.pdf , p. 4. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90 President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill Academic freedom and freedom of speech are essential pillars of democracy. A cornerstone of academic freedom is the independence of universities and the freedom of academics to research and teach free from government interference. This is underlined in a 2018 report on Freedom of Speech in Universities by the House of Commons-House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights. It states: Everyone has the right to free speech within the law. This can include the right to say things which, though lawful, others may find disturbing, upsetting or offensive. This right is a foundation for democracy. It is important in all settings, but especially in universities, where education and learning are advanced through dialogue and debate. It underpins academic freedom. This right extends to all forms of expression.5 (Our emphasis). We urge you, as Minister for Universities, to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism onto universities and to make clear your full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities. Yours sincerely, Professor The Baroness Afshar OBE President, BRISMES on behalf of the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom CC: Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President, Universities UK Dr Vicky Blake, President, UCU Mr Matt Western, Shadow Universities Minister 5 House of Commons-House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights report on Freedom of Speech in Universities (HC 859/HL PAPER 111) (2018) https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201719/jtselect/jtrights/589/589.pdf, p. 48.
Stuart Laing President, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Cc. Vice President, Zahia Smail Salhi; Executive Director, Robert Lowe; Secretary, Louise Haysey 4 June 2019 Dear Stuart, We, the undersigned BRISMES members, believe that it is time for our Society to resolve to endorse the long-standing call to boycott Israeli academic institutions. We wish therefore to bring a resolution to this effect to the Society’s Annual General Meeting of 24 June 2019. In accordance with BRISMES’ procedure, we hereby submit the below resolution at least 14 days in advance of the AGM for inclusion on the agenda. The resolution is proposed by Professor John Chalcraft (LSE) and seconded by Dr Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS). The text of the resolution is as follows: Resolution to Endorse the Call to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions Whereas, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is committed to encouraging and promoting the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom and, specifically, to bring together teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East; Whereas, in the occupied West Bank, the continued construction of the Wall, illegal settlement enterprise and a network of military checkpoints are creating an irreversible reality of permanent military occupation, while Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its inhabitants, who live in a vast open air prison, to poverty and the constant threat of military force; Whereas, Israel has obstructed Palestinians’ right to education by destroying Palestinian universities and schools, arresting students, raiding and forcing Palestinian universities to close, and restricting Palestinians’ movement; Whereas, Israel has restricted international academics from accessing Palestinian universities, including long-term travel bans to the occupied Palestinian territories; Whereas, Israeli universities are playing a key role in planning, implementing and justifying Israel’s illegal military occupation and are maintaining a close and supportive relationship with the Israeli military, including involvement in developing weapon systems, providing justification for military actions and extra-judicial killings, rewarding students serving in the occupation forces, designing and delivering special programmes for soldiers and officers, building on occupied land, and systematically discriminating against non-Jewish students; Whereas, Palestinian civil society, including the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, has called on people of conscience around the world to join them in carrying out campaigns of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law. Be it resolved that: BRISMES will show solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues living under military occupation and siege by endorsing the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions publicly end their support and complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law; BRISMES will facilitate educational events, discussions and debates among its membership on the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, including through its publications, conferences and relevant events; BRISMES will educate its members about ways to apply the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in their own professional practice, and encourage them to do so. This boycott pertains to Israeli academic institutions only and not to individual scholars. BRISMES will support the rights of scholars to engage in research about, to publish work about, and to speak publicly in support of, the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Maha Abdelrahman, Reader in Development Studies and Middle East Politics, University of Cambridge Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East, SOAS, University of London Marta Agosti Pinilla, PhD, SOAS, University of London Sabrien Amrov, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Geography, University of Toronto Raymond Bush, Professor of African Studies, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds John Chalcraft, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Fabio Cristiano, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Political Science, Lund University Marwan Darweish, Principal lecturer in Peace Studies, Coventry University James Dickins, Professor of Arabic, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds Sai Englert, Visiting Lecturer in Politics & International Relations, New College of the Humanities, London Khaled Fahmy, Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa’id Professor of Modern Arabic Studies, University of Cambridge Neve Gordon, Marie Curie Fellow and Professor of International Law, Queen Mary, University of London Adam Hanieh, Reader in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London Aula Hariri, Research Officer, Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Tim Jacoby, Professor, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester Laleh Khalili, Professor in Middle Eastern Politics, SOAS, University of London Dina Matar, Reader in Arab Media and Political Communication, SOAS, University of London Vivienne Matthies-Boon, Assistant Professor in the International Relations of the Middle East, Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam Martha Mundy, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Jacob Norris, Senior Lecturer in Middle East History, University of Sussex Hussein Omar, Lecturer in Modern Global History, University College Dublin Nicola Perugini, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh Sharri Plonski, Lecturer in International Politics, Queen Mary, University of London Nicola Pratt, Reader in International Politics of the Middle East, University of Warwick Mezna Qato, Junior Research Fellow, King’s College, University of Cambridge Ruba Salih, Reader in Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London David Seddon, Professor, Department of Geography, University College London Patricia Sellick, Associate Professor, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University Andrea Teti, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Aberdeen Teodora Todorova, Teaching Fellow in Sociology, University of Warwick Lewis Turner, Postdoctoral Researcher, Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, University of Freiburg Elian Weizman, Lecturer in Middle East Politics, SOAS, University of London Mark Zeitoun, Professor of Water Security and Policy, School of International Development, University of East Anglia Rafeef Ziadah, Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East, SOAS, University of London Signatures of BRISMES Members added since 4 June 2019 Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs Erika Biagini, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dublin City University Marilyn Booth, Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, University of Oxford Catherine Cobham, Lecturer, Head of Department of Arabic and Persian, University of St Andrews José Ciro Martínez, Research Fellow, Trinity College, University of Cambridge John Moreton, Part-Time Tutor, Arabic and Turkish, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds Dalia Mostafa, Lecturer in Arabic and Comparative Literature, University of Manchester Bill V. Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University Aya Nassar, Teaching Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Sussex Katie Natanel, Lecturer in Gender Studies, University of Exeter Paola Rivetti, Assistant Professor in the Politics of the Middle East and International Relations, Dublin City University Janet Watson, Professor, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds Endorsements by Potential Members of BRISMES since 4 June 2019 Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, SOAS, University of London Jamie Allinson, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh Omar Al-Shehabi, Director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies, Associate Professor in Political Economy at the Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait Mona Baker, Professor Emerita of Translation Studies, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester Luke Bhatia, Lecturer in International Politics, University of Manchester Haim Bresheeth, Professor, SOAS, University of London Stephanie Cronin, Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford Fawaz Gerges, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Vahideh Golzard, Lecturer in Persian Language and Audio-Visual Culture, University of Leeds Rebecca Ruth Gould, Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, University of Birmingham Tajul Islam, Lecturer in Islamic Studies, University of Leeds Ruba Khamam, Lecturer in Arabic, University of Leeds Nur Masalha, Professor, Centre of Palestine Studies, SOAS, University of London Mazen Masri, Senior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London Professor Ilan Pappé, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies Hicham Safieddine, Lecturer in the History of the Modern Middle East, King’s College, London Myriam Salama-Carr, Honorary Research Fellow, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester John Sidel, Sir Patrick Gillam Chair in International and Comparative Politics, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Rasha Soliman, Lecturer in Arabic Language, University of Leeds Lucia Sorbrera, Senior Lecturer, Chair of Arabic Studies Department, University of Sydney