Indian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Join InCACBI

Click on the 'Join' Button to sign up.

 

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French... What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.

 

Mahatma Gandhi

Editorial, The Harijan, 26-11-1938

Action alert and events

PRESS CONFERENCE: ​India and Palestine come together for theatre of resistance
19 Aug 2015

The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jana Natya Manch invite you to
 

PRESS CONFERENCE: ​India and Palestine come together for theatre of resistance​
Jana Natya Manch and The Freedom Theatre, Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine, collaborate on a theatre jatha in over 12 Indian cities, with support from the Palestine Solidarity Committee in India.
Jana Natya Manch (Janam) is India's leading left​-wing theatre organisation. Founded in 2006, The Freedom Theatre (TFT) trains youth for cultural resistance to the Israeli Occupation. In April 2011, one of the founders of the theatre, Juliano Mer Khamis, was shot dead outside the theatre, just as Janam lost Safdar Hashmi in 1989. Today, TFT runs a professional repertory company, a theatre school, and an audio-visual training centre.
The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India is a broad based body set up to organise activities in solidarity with Palestinians and their resistance to Israeli occupation.  
The press conference will be addressed by: Sharmila Tagore (actor), Feisal Abu-Alheja and Jonatan Stanczak of The Freedom Theatre, Sudhanva Deshpande of Jana Natya Manch. Prabir Purkayastha of the ​Palestine Solidarity Committee in India will chair the Press Conference.
Kindly send your reporter and photographer to cover the Press Conference.
 Date: Thursday, 20 August 2015
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Indian Women's Press Corps, Windsor Place
 

Sd/

Prabir Purkayastha (Palestine Solidarity Committee)
and  Sudhanwa Deshpande (Jana Natya Manch)

EVENT: "Revisiting a Just Peace for Palestine": A discussion with Githa Hariharan
24 Feb 2014

"Revisiting a Just Peace for Palestine": A discussion with Githa Hariharan at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore, Karnataka at 3.30 p.m on March 7, 2014.

 

 
Book Launch "From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity" on Feb 15
04 Feb 2014

 

The Palestine Solidarity Committee in India and LeftWord Books

 

invite you to the launch of  

 

From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity

 

Fourteen new essays on India and Palestine-Israel by writers, scholars and activists

 

Aijaz Ahmad| Meena Alexander| Githa Hariharan| Sunaina Maira| Nivedita Menon|  Ritu Menon| Sukumar Muralidharan| Seema Mustafa| Aditya Nigam| Prabhat Patnaik| Vijay Prashad| Prabir Purkayastha| A.K. Ramakrishnan| Nayantara Sahgal| Achin Vanaik

 

On February 15th, 2014, 6:30 pm

Lecture Room 2, India International Centre Annex

 

Introduction and readings by Githa Hariharan

Talk by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian on Palestine and Settler colonialism: The case of Occupied East Jerusalem, chaired by Nihal Singh

 

*********************

The much neglected, and yet crucial, India’s take on the Palestine question has finally been addressed in this volume. These scholarly and committed essays allow us for the first time to consider the issue of Palestine outside the hopeless western frame of mind. The mutual, and at times troubled, relationship between India and Palestine, offer new, and hopeful, insights about the role both countries play in our  times. 

Ilan Pappe

 

In recent years, the Indian state has reversed a century-long, honourable tradition of support for the great political struggles in the world. These fine essays, focusing in detail and depth on the struggles in Palestine, restore some of that lost honour. They express courage and heart, but there is much more that is invaluable --there is information, there is analysis, and there is constructive direction.  

Akeel Bilgrami

 

In the process of re-examining the Indian position on Palestine, the essays in this volume consider, in different ways, the very real links between India and Palestine that continue to exist on the ground, though they need to be re-affirmed today... Although the main focus is the complex of relations between India and Israel/Palestine, the discussion is within the wider context of the changing role of India in the world...

From the Introduction by Raja Shehadeh

*********************

Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid!
30 Jul 2012

July 29, 2012

INCABI supports the campaign Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid by writing to Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh Festival, protesting against the invitation to the Batsheva Dance Company to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. The letter underlines the use of culture by the Israeli government to spin Israel's image and obscure the brutal reality of the occupation of Palestine.

Dear Mr Mills,

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

The ‘Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid’ campaign protests in the strongest terms about the invitation to Batsheva Dance Company to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival 2012.

You should be aware that the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), have called since 2004, for a boycott of all cultural performers and exhibiters that are institutionally linked to the Israeli state. PACBI is part of a broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that was called in 2005 by nearly 200 Palestinian civil society organisations.

These campaigns allow individuals, organisations and indeed festival directors across the world to make a difference and help bring an end to the regime of occupation, colonisation and apartheid that has been imposed by Israel upon the Palestinian people for 64 years. We all have a duty to act because our governments fail in their obligation to act. There should be no ‘business as usual’ with states that practice apartheid. The tactic of boycott was legitimate and effective in helping to end apartheid in South Africa and it can make a significant contribution in countering the still-existing manifestation in Israel/Palestine.

You should be aware that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs helps to fund international tours for Batsheva and states boldly on its website that Batsheva is ‘the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture.’ Batsheva willingly collaborates with the propaganda exercise known as 'Brand Israel' which was conceived by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). This cynically aims to present positive spin about Israel and whitewash its oppressive regime and human rights abuses. According to Arye Mekel of MFA, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theatre companies, exhibits... This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”

Without question, Batsheva meets the criteria set by PACBI for boycott action and it is for this reason that we are calling on you to withdraw its invitation to perform at this year’s festival. Batsheva was targeted for protest throughout its North American tour earlier this year because of its complicity with the Israeli state and the Brand Israel deception. If their appearances at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival and on tour in the UK in October and November 2012 go ahead, it will be imperative that these occasions are also used for similar protests.

we would always reject any suggestion that culture inhabits a world disconnected from politics. The efforts of ‘Brand Israel’ give incontrovertible evidence of how these matters are inseparable. In some societies cultural activities are provided on a discriminatory basis, promoted and funded for some groups but denied to others.

Hana Awaad, a long-time member of El Funoun, one of Palestine’s premier dance troupes has stated, ‘Whilst Israeli artists and performers have freedom to tour, exhibits and performances by Palestinian artists are systematically banned, sabotaged and closed down by the Israeli occupation. Artists themselves are targets of violence, arbitrary arrests and deportations. Israel’s 3 tiered system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid ruthlessly suffocates the livelihoods of Palestinian communities, including the right to artistic and cultural expression.’

The restrictions faced by Palestinian performers however only mirror the experience endured by all Palestinians. Every aspect of life is affected by Apartheid Israel’s mechanism of control which involves hundreds of checkpoints, permit systems, curfews, closures of roads and villages, the apartheid wall, imprisonment and military force.

The claim that ‘balancing’ appearances of Palestinian and state-sponsored Israeli performers is not acceptable. Apartheid is not about equal forces facing each other; it is an aggravated and state directed form of racial discrimination in which one group dominates and oppresses another. Palestinian performers involved in tours or festivals achieve this in spite of the restrictions and discrimination that they face.

As Bishop Desmond Tutu famously stated, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor…..”

The Edinburgh International Festival is one of the most prestigious arts festivals in the world, and we believe that it should be, unambiguously, on the side of justice and human rights for all. This means opposing Apartheid Israel and those who act as ambassadors for this state.

We ask you to withdraw the invitation to Batsheva Dance Company.

Yours sincerely,
INCABI

INCACBI Appeal to Academics: Boycott Collaboration with Israeli Academic Institutions at the Indo-Global Education Summit & Expo 2012, Hyderabad, September 7-9, 2012
04 Jul 2012

New Delhi,
4 July 2012

Dear Colleague,

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

The Israeli state daily tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of the Palestinian people, and continued association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable. We believe that academic life is rooted in the values of democracy, equality and justice. The pursuit of excellence in the fields we work in has meaning only if imbued with conscience. When Palestinian students and teachers are not allowed to reach their universities because of permit laws and checkpoints, universities and schools are leveled by bombs and tanks, food, textbooks, and medical supplies are prohibited from entering Gaza, and artistic events are closed down in Jerusalem, none of the foundational principles on which academic and cultural contact are based can ever be fulfilled.

Indian academia has historically played a crucial role in the liberation of our people, and to this day supports those who struggle against colonialism and foreign domination. We appeal to you, as Indian academics to join us in firm opposition to India’s strategic, scientific, military, and economic relations with Israel. We appeal to you to speak and act in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination. Please visit www. incacbi.in for further information on how to join and what you can do.

This letter is to bring to your attention to yet another instance of India’s complicity in Israel’s brutal occupation and human rights violations in Palestine. Hyderabad is soon (September 7-9 2012) to host the Indo-Global Education Summit & Expo 2012 at the Taj group of hotels, to which a number of Israeli Universities have been invited. This meeting seeks to facilitate academic partnerships between Indian and foreign Universities towards “collaborative research programs, joint/dual degree programs, twinning and transfer programs, faculty and student exchange programs, study abroad in India programs, distance education programs, and vocational education programs”.

Although ostensibly hosted by a private organization, The Indus Foundation, which purports to be an “American organization of professionals working as authorized representatives and promoters of American universities in the Indian sub-continent”, the mission statement of this organization has been “firmly” endorsed Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development, in the interests of the needs of globalization. The summit itself has been blessed with his good wishes, and MHRD and Ministry of Home Affairs clearance has been given to the event. All this indicates that the Indian state’s recent assurances of commitment to “the restoration of Palestinian land and the assertion of Palestinian sovereignty” (Shri E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, January 28, 2011) are nothing but platitudes. Otherwise the GoI would have been appalled by the track records of Tel Aviv University, Technion, and Hiafa University, the three Israeli Universities invited to participate in the Summit.

All three institutions further the practice of institutional discrimination against Palestinian students (who are citizens of Israel) by severely restricting their freedom of speech and assembly and access to scholarships and student housing

1. Tel Aviv University (TAU):

Israel’s premier academic institution Tel Aviv University (TAU) is deeply invested in the facilitation and prosecution (at both the material and conceptual level) of what amount to war crimes.

  1. It has played the leading role in developing an explicit military doctrine of "disproportionality" calling for the targeting of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructures, and is at the forefront of the development of technological support to the Israeli military and arms industry. Indeed, many of the TAU faculty are also leading officials in these establishments – for example, a lecturer in the Law Faculty at Tel Aviv University, Colonel Sharvit-Baruch was also the former head of the International Law department at the Israeli Military Advocate General’s office. Similarly, another professor, Yitzhak Ben‐Israel, holds the rank of an air force General and is head of Israel’s Space Agency, as well as Chair of the Knesset’s Lobby for the Defense Industries.
  2. TAU’s research Centre, the Institute for National Security Studies, is heavily involved in military planning, and hosts seminar, workshop, and lecture programs jointly with the National Security College, IDF Command, and National Security Council. It is a key venue in advancing what it terms the ‘redesign of the IDF’ into a force capable of achieving ‘the proper balance between the three threat arenas: classic, non-conventional, and low‐intensity.’ In early January 2009, TAU’s quarterly Review offered a special cover story focus on TAU’s ‘major role in enhancing Israel’s security capabilities and military edge.’ It celebrates ongoing high‐level military and surveillance research being ‘conducted in rooms and laboratories protected by barred windows, multiple locks and office safes. Amongst other programs, the Review celebrates:
  3. New explosives research being conducted in the Organic Chemistry Department;
  4. Electro‐optical missile defence research in the Faculty of Engineering (funded by ELBIT);
  5. Laser and radar air defence systems being developed in the Faculty of Exact Sciences;
  6. Electronic eavesdropping and transmission tracking developments in the School of Electronic Engineering;
  7. New algorithmic email surveillance and data‐mining techniques being pioneered in the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering;
  8. Biometric and genomic sorting and surveillance techniques developed in the Chemistry Department;
  9. Aerodynamic and flight control mechanisms for unmanned aerial vehicles being advanced at the School of Mechanical Engineering;

2. Technion

The scientific research institution Technion has long been known to be complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians, specifically by designing military weapons and developing technologies used to drive Palestinians off their land, repress demonstrations for their rights, and carry out attacks against people in Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. Technion’s record of complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights is too long to reproduce here, but here are some highlights:

  1. It has a partnership with Elbit Systems, which is one of Israel’s largest private weapons manufacturers. Elbit manufactured the drones that Israel used in its crimes against civilians in Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2008-09. This partnership has played a leading role not only in the construction and surveillance of the apartheid wall in Palestine, but also along the U.S.-Mexico border through its subsidiary, Kollsman.
  2. Technion trains its engineering students to work with companies dealing “directly in the development of complex weapons in the process of researching their academic theses.” In one example with Elbit Systems, the reward has been the funding of research grants in upwards of half a million dollars to Technion’s students conducting research.
  3. One of the institute’s most notorious projects resulted in the development of a remote-control function on the Caterpillar’s ‘D9’ bulldozer “used by the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian houses and farms and the development of a method for detecting underground tunnels, specifically developed in order to assist the Israeli army in its continued siege on the Gaza Strip.”
  4. Technion has deep relations with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, one of Israel’s largest government-sponsored weapons manufacturers famous for its “advanced hybrid armor protection system” used in Israel’s Merkava tanks. The institute has developed an “MBA program tailored specifically for Rafael managers” which further solidifies its relationship between academia and Israel’s military-industrial complex.

3. Haifa University

  1. Haifa University sponsors scholarships for army veterans and those who took part in the 2008/9 military attack on the Gaza Strip; and, as its former Rector, Professor Yossi Ben Artzi, has remarked through a 2010 press release “is proud to continue being the academic home for the security forces and to teach the IDF leadership a large number of different and diverse perspectives.” Professor Ben Artzi made this announcement following Haifa University’s winning of an Israeli army tender to continue training students at the army’s College for National Security for MA studies in the next five years.
  2. Another prominent professor at the University, Arnon Sofer, the Reuven Chaikin Chair in Geostrategy, in a speech on 15 December 2011, raised the alarm about the supposed invasion by Bedouins and other undesirable non-Jews and urged the government to act, presumably to expel them and retain the land for the exclusive use of Jews.

We hope this brief summary of the role played by these ‘academic’ institutions in the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian lands and people has underlined the need for a complete boycott of any academic relationship between Indian and Israeli Universities. There is no doubt that there may be many right-thinking individuals in these institutions as well; but continued or newly instituted educational ties with Israeli academic institutions, are exploited by the Israeli state as a means to legitimize its occupation. As Judith Butler has written, with regards to her visit to Israel years ago, “the rector of Tel Aviv University said, ‘Look how lucky we are. Judith Butler has come to Tel Aviv University, a sign that she does not accept the boycott,’ I was instrumentalized against my will. And I realized I cannot function in that public space without already being defined in the boycott debate.”

We appeal to you to publicise the information in this letter, as well as the boycott call. We seek your cooperation in exerting pressure on the institutional authorities of your University/institute to boycott any consultations\collaboration with Israeli academic institutions, both at the Summit and outside. In addition, we request you to mobilise your colleagues in our protest to the Indus Foundation (indus@indus.org) and the HRD minister (hrm@nic.in) against the invitation of Israeli academic institutions at the Summit.

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (INCACBI)
Upendra Baxi (Delhi University, INCACBI Patron)
Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
Mohan Rao (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
Githa Hariharan (Writer, Convenor)
Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)
Janaki Abraham (Delhi University)

  1. G. Arunima (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  2. Anand Chakravarthy (Delhi University)
  3. Uma Chakravarthy (Delhi University)
  4. Rupa Chanda (IIM Bangalore)
  5. C.P. Chandrasekhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  6. Roma Chatterji (Delhi University)
  7. Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  8. Kamal Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  9. Satish Deshpande (Delhi University)
  10. Rohan D’Souza (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  11. Vasanthi Devi (Former VC, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tamilnadu)
  12. Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  13. Meena Gopal (SNDT Women’s University)
  14. Mushirul Hasan (Director, National Archives of India)
  15. Zoya Hasan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  16. T. Jayaraman (Tata Institute of Social Studies)
  17. Mary John (Centre for Women’s Development Studies)
  18. Kalpana Kannabiran (Hyderabad University)
  19. Nuzhat Kazmi (Jamia Millia Islamia)
  20. Farida Khan (Jamia Millia Islamia)
  21. Vina Mazumdar (Former director of CWDS)
  22. Nivedita Menon (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  23. Aditya Nigam (Centre for the Study of Developing Studies, Delhi)
  24. Rajni Palriwala (Delhi University)
  25. Prabhat Patnaik (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  26. Prabir Purkayastha (Delhi Science Forum)
  27. Nina Rao (Delhi University)
  28. Kannamma Raman (University of Mumbai)
  29. Rahul Roy (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)
  30. Madhu Sahni (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  31. Sumit Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  32. Tanika Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  33. Nandini Sundar (Delhi University)
  34. Vikram Vyas (Delhi University)

And 100 other INCACBI members

Appeal to Zakir Hussain to cancel a performance in Israel in July 2012
31 May 2012

New Delhi, May 31, 2012
Dear Zakir Hussain,

We, a group of artists, academics and activists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (see www.incacbi.in).

We understand that you are scheduled to perform in Israel in July this year. We appeal to you, as an artist of conscience, to cancel your scheduled performance in Israel.

Doing otherwise would inadvertently lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation. Should Israel be admitted into the global cultural arena when it does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people s right to freedom, equality and justice? At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel’s colonial and racist policies, we urge you to reflect upon the ethical implications of your accepting an invitation to perform in Israel. Your performance in Israel would help whitewash Israel’s practices, making it appear as though business with Israel should go on as usual.

We are aware that in February 2012, the Palestinian Al Mada Association for Arts Based Community Development, in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and UNICEF, hosted you together with the group Remember Shakti in Ramallah. You played free of charge in the knowledge that the event was a solidarity concert and a fundraising event to develop music therapy programs for Palestinian refugee children.  In addition to your music, this is what we admire you for.  So please don’t let your wonderful music be used to legitimize home demolitions, illegal raids, the use of white phosphorous, political and child imprisonments, racist marriage bans, piracy and execution in international waters, collective punishment, Occupation, checkpoints, roadblocks, and the bombing and closing of educational institutions. If you cancel your performance in Israel, you will also be encouraging other artists to follow your lead. And your fans all over the world will know you stand for justice and an end to apartheid.

For INCACBI (The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)

  • Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
  • Dhruv Sangari (Musician)
  • Vidya Rao (Editor, Singer)
  • Saeed Mirza (Filmmaker)
  • Sudanwa Deshpande (Theatreperson)
  • M.K. Raina (Theatre person)
  • N. Pushpamala (Artist)
  • Ram Rahman (Artist)
  • Amar Kanwar (Artist)
  • Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)
  • Saba Hasan (artist)
  • Ayisha Abraham (Artist)
  • Githa Hariharan (Writer)
  • Anand Patwardhan (filmmaker)
  • and 85 others from INCACBI www.incacbi.in
INCACBI Appeal To Red Hot Chili Peppers
18 May 2012

May 18, 2012

INCACBI appeals to Red Hot Chili Peppers to cancel performance in Israel

Dear Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer,


http://www.pacbi.org/newsletter/index.php

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

We understand that you are scheduled to perform in Sun City, Tel Aviv in September this year. As artists with a conscience, we appeal to you to cancel your scheduled performance and join us in the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

The Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) was issued on July 9, 2005, one year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), declared that Israel's Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory was illegal. Palestinian civil society called upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era -- until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination, and complies with international law. BDS has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian parties, organizations, trade unions and movements representing the Palestinian people in the 1967 and 1948 territories and in the diaspora. On July 13, 2005 the UN International Civil Society Conference adopted the Palestinian Call for BDS.

Now we, supporters of the Palestinian struggle in India and South Asia, call upon civil society in our region to support the Palestinian right to resist, without violence, an illegal occupation. The BDS position is a morally sound and effective means of struggle that challenges the world to force Israeli compliance with international law.

Many artists of conscience have cancelled their planned gigs in the apartheid state, chosen not to book concerts when asked, and not rescheduled. They include, in 2011 alone, Jon Bon Jovi, Vanessa Paradis, August Burns Red, Marc Almond, Tuba Skinny, Eddie Palmieri, and more. Some artists have spoken up in public in support of the cultural boycott of Israel, such as musical icon Roger Waters, Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack), Martha Frintzila, Natacha Atlas and Faithless.

One appeal (from Don't Play Apartheid Israel
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1853) cites some of your lyrics and points out that these words could well be sung by the Palestinians who live within Israel and endure discrimination daily:

“...I was born in a land, I don’t think you understand God damn, what I am I’m a native of this place, please don’t kick me in the face My race has been disgraced...”

Last November, you played at a benefit for Palestinian refugee children at Cafe de Paris in London. You must then know of the 64 year plight of Palestinians who have been denied the right to return to their land. Fighting for the implementation of this right is one of the central tenets of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). So please don’t let your band be used to legitimize home demolitions, illegal raids, the use of white phosphorous, political and child imprisonments, racist marriage bans, piracy and execution in international waters, collective punishment, Occupation, checkpoints, roadblocks, and the bombing and closing of educational institutions. If you cancel your gig in Israel, you will also be encouraging other artists to follow your lead. And your fans all over the world will know you stand for justice and an end to apartheid.

For INCACBI (The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)

  • Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
  • Dhruv Sangari (Musician)
  • Vidya Rao (Editor, Singer)
  • Saeed Mirza (Filmmaker)
  • Sudanwa Deshpande (Theatreperson)
  • M.K. Raina (Theatre person)
  • N. Pushpamala (Artist)
  • Ram Rahman (Artist)
  • Amar Kanwar (Artist)
  • Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)
  • Saba Hasan (artist)
  • Ayisha Abraham (Artist)
  • Githa Hariharan (Writer)
  • Anand Patwardhan (filmmaker)
  • and 85 others from INCACBI www.incacbi.in
Appeal to L. Subramaniam to boycott the Tel Aviv White City Music Festival 2012
20 Apr 2012

New Delhi, April 20th, 2012

Dear Dr. L. Subramaniam,

We understand that you are scheduled to participate in the Tel Aviv White City Music Festival, 2012, a festival sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and a company owned by the Tel Aviv municipality

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (see www.incacbi.in).

In response to a recent boycott call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (see appeal to participating writers on www.pacbi.org), the Indian Campaign urges you to withdraw your participation in this music festival. A number of conscientious musicians around the world are participants in this boycott, most recently Pink Floyd.

Doing otherwise would inadvertently lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation.  This is especially given the festival’s ties to the Israeli political and cultural establishment, which uses the festival as an opportunity to rebrand Israel as a normal country by showing its “prettier face”--its vibrant cultural and artistic community. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/world/middleeast/19israel.html). 

Should Israel be admitted into the global cultural arena when it does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people s right to freedom, equality and justice? At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel’s colonial and racist policies, we urge you to reflect upon the ethical implications of your accepting an invitation to take part in such a festival.

Your participation would help whitewash Israel’s practices, making it appear as though business with Israel should go on as usual. We urge you not to lend your name to this propaganda exercise. Jerusalem epitomizes, in the starkest terms, the colonial and apartheid regime now in place in the occupied Palestinian territory.  We need not remind you of the ongoing and deepening Israeli campaign to confiscate Palestinian land and destroy more homes, to expand and build colonies in and around this city, and to block the access of Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza strip from their premier city by means of the apartheid Wall and other barriers to free movement.  In short, Israel is blocking all avenues to self-determination and freedom for Palestinians. Under these circumstances, pressure from the outside is the only viable way to push for change in Israel.

We, supporters of the Palestinian struggle in India and South Asia, call upon civil society in our region to support the Palestinian right to resist, without violence, an illegal occupation. The BDS position is a morally sound and effective means of struggle that challenges the world to force Israeli compliance with international law.

In the spirit of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression, we call upon fellow Indians to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions by applying the following:

  1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions.
  2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions.
  3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions.
  4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations.
  5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.
  6. We urge the Indian government to forthwith cease all trade and military ties with Israel. We also urge all Indian Universities and research institutions to join the boycott.

History shows us that boycotts and sanctions can be effective. The most obvious example of the effectiveness of such campaigns is South Africa. After calling for boycott and sanctions against Israel in 2002, the South African Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, stated: “We in South Africa know about racial oppression. We fought it and defeated it because it was unjust… South Africa is an example of what is possible”.

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

  • Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  • Mohan Rao (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  • Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
  • Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal NehruUniversity)
  • Githa Hariharan (Writer)
  • Ritu Menon (Publisher)
  • Seema Mustafa (Journalist)
  • Pamela Philipose (Journalist)
  • Prabir Purkayastha (Engineer)
  • N. Pushpamala (Artist)
  • Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)
Announcement of Jamia event April 13, 2012
12 Apr 2012

JMI Outreach Programme presents
Seeking Palestine
April 13, 2012, 3 pm at Yaser Arafat Hall, Jamia Millia Islamia

Conversation about and readings from
New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home
by Ritu Menon, Sudhanwa Deshpande and Githa Hariharan

How do Palestinians live, imagine and reflect on home and exile in this period of a stateless and transitory Palestine, a deeply contested and crisis-ridden national project, and a sharp escalation in Israeli state violence and Palestinian oppression? How can exile and home be written? 

A new publication from Women Unlimited edited by Raja Shehadeh and Penny Johnson, Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home takes on these powerful questions. In responses that are poignant, humorous and reflective, but always intensely political, fifteen outstanding Palestinian writers — essayists, poets, novelists, critics, and memoirists -- present their experiences, reflections and polemics on exile and home.

INCACBI Appeal to Vikas Swarup: Boycott the International Writers Festival 2012 in Jerusalem!
29 Feb 2012

New Delhi,
February 29, 2012

Dear Vikas Swarup,
We understand that you are scheduled to participate in the International Writers Festival to be held in Jerusalem (Mishkenot Sha ananim) from May 13-18, 2012.
We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (see www.incacbi.in).
In response to a recent boycott call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (see appeal to participating writers on www.pacbi.org), the Indian Campaign urges you to withdraw your participation in the Writers Festival.

Doing otherwise would inadvertently lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation.  This is especially given the festival’s ties to the Israeli political and cultural establishment, which uses the festival as an opportunity to rebrand Israel as a normal country by showing its “prettier face”--its vibrant cultural and artistic community. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/world/middleeast/19israel.html).

Should Israel be admitted into the global cultural arena when it does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people s right to freedom, equality and justice? At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel s colonial and racist policies, we urge you to reflect upon the ethical implications of your accepting an invitation to take part in such a festival.  Pertinent facts concerning this festival include the announcement that, in accordance with the tradition of previous festivals, the President of the state will preside over the festival’s opening; that it expects to be funded by the Jerusalem Foundation, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Jerusalem Municipality; (see http://www.jerusalemfoundation.org/uploads/%5CProposal%20-%20Third%20Writers%20Festival-%20AB%20Rev.pdf )and that the festival is envisioned by its organizers as a public-relations exercise to “improve the image of Jerusalem”.

The Writers Festival thus makes a direct and meaningful contribution to improving the image of Jerusalem around the world, and at the same time, continuing a most significant tradition of Jerusalem as the centre of creativity, scholarship and spirituality.  These complementary goals can be met with the help of friends around the world who understand that the power of the written word can have an impact on how we all view Jerusalem. Through renewing our commitment to Jerusalem as a creative capital, with Mishkenot Sha ananim as a key player bringing leading minds and creative talent together, it is possible to bring about change for the future of Jerusalem.

Your participation would help whitewash Israel’s practices, making it appear as though business with Israel should go on as usual. We urge you not to lend your name to this propaganda exercise. Jerusalem epitomizes, in the starkest terms, the colonial and apartheid regime now in place in the occupied Palestinian territory.  We need not remind you of the ongoing and deepening Israeli campaign to confiscate Palestinian land and destroy more homes, to expand and build colonies in and around this city, and to block the access of Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza strip from their premier city by means of the apartheid Wall and other barriers to free movement.  In short, Israel is blocking all avenues to self-determination and freedom for Palestinians. Under these circumstances, pressure from the outside is the only viable way to push for change in Israel.

We, supporters of the Palestinian struggle in India and South Asia, call upon civil society in our region to support the Palestinian right to resist, without violence, an illegal occupation. The BDS position is a morally sound and effective means of struggle that challenges the world to force Israeli compliance with international law.

In the spirit of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression, we call upon fellow Indians to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions by applying the following:

    1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
    2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to
        these institutions;
    3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
    4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and 
        organizations;
    5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for
        such support.
    6. We urge the Indian government to forthwith cease all trade and military ties with Israel. We also urge all Indian Universities and research institutions to join
        the boycott.

History shows us that boycotts and sanctions can be effective. The most obvious example of the effectiveness of such campaigns is South Africa. After calling for boycott and sanctions against Israel in 2002, the South African Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, stated: “We in South Africa know about racial oppression. We fought it and defeated it because it was unjust… South Africa is an example of what is possible”.

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

  •     Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  •     Mohan Rao (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convenor)
  •     Gargi Sen (Filmmaker, Convener)
  •     Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  •      Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  •     Githa Hariharan (Writer)
  •     Ritu Menon (Publisher)
  •     Seema Mustafa (Journalist)
  •     Pamela Philipose (Journalist)
  •     Prabir Purkayastha (Engineer)
  •     N. Pushpamala (Artist)
  •     Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)

 

Jamia Outreach Programme presents
11 Oct 2011

Revisiting Palestine 
 

Films, talks and readings
October 19th and 20th 2011
2:30 - 5:30 pm at Jamia Millia Islamia
 

2:30-3:45 pm: Talks and discussion at the Mir Anis Hall
Aijaz Ahmad: “Looking Back at Palestine”
Prabir Purkayastha: “The Way Forward to Palestine”
4:00-5:30 pm: Films at the Ansari Auditorium

Thursday October 20th
2:30-3:45 pm: Talk, readings and discussion at the Mir Anis Hall
Janam: Readings from Hindi and Punjabi translations of Palestinian poetry
Achin Vinaik: “Palestine: An Update"
4:00-5:30 pm: Films at the Ansari Auditorium

Action alert and events

19 Aug 2015

The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jana Natya Manch invite you to
 

PRESS CONFERENCE: ​India...