Indian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

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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

BRICUP Appeals to Namita Gokhale and Amish Tripathi to Boycott Celebrating India in Israel Festival at University of Haifa

Following InCACBI's appeal to Namita Gokhale and Amish Triapthi to boycott the "Celebrating India in Israel' festival at University of Haifa on May 9, 2013, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) have followed suit with their own appeal to the writers. Following is their letter to the authors sent on Friday May 3rd.

***

Dear Namita Gokhale and Amish Tripathi,

An Appeal to Boycott the 'Celebrating India in Israel' Festival at the University of Haifa

We have seen the InCACBI message appealing to you to cancel your participation in the 'Celebrating India in Israel' festival event at the University of Haifa (http://www.celebratingindiaisrael.com/about_us.html <https://legacy.lse.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.celebratingindiaisrael.com/about_us.html>  and www.haifa.ac.il <https://legacy.lse.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.haifa.ac.il/> ).

BRICUP, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, has over the past 9 years campaigned to bring to the attention of academics and cultural workers not only in Britain but round the world, the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions (see www.pacbi.org <https://legacy.lse.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.pacbi.org/> ).

This call is a general one, but the fact that your cultural event is going to take place at the University of Haifa is particularly relevant. Like other universities it collaborates with the Israeli military firms that devise and construct the technology that secures the oppression of the Palestinian people. Like other universities it runs courses specially targeted at the requirements of the military. Like other universities it discriminates against Palestinians.

However the University of Haifa has some special claims to infamy. When a masters student uncovered evidence of the killing of 200 unarmed Palestinians by an Israeli unit in 1948, veterans of that unit protested. The outcome? The student thesis, initially given an exceptionally high mark, was recalled and re-graded as a fail. When the celebrated historian Ilan Pappe defended the student publicly he was hounded from the university.

But consider another academic at Haifa. Professor Arnon Sofer developed the idea of the 'separation' wall, and persuaded the Israeli government to adopt it. Sofer also campaigned on the danger of the Palestinian 'demographic time-bomb' which unless dealt with would result in Israelis having to "kill and kill and kill. All day, every day". Professor Sofer was not hounded out of the University.

We join InCACBI (Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) (www.incacbi.in <https://legacy.lse.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.incacbi.in/> ) in urging you to reflect upon the ethical implications of your accepting an invitation to participate in an event at the University of Haifa.

The list of Israel's violations of human rights and international law is long and grotesque: home demolitions, 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.

Your participation would, whatever your good intentions, help to whitewash Israel, making it seem as if despite all this, they can continue with business as usual. That is what the 'Brand Israel' project funded by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is all about.

By cancelling your event at the University of Haifa, you will be encouraging other writers, artists and academics around the world to follow your lead, and take a stand for justice and an end to apartheid.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Rosenhead  (Chair, BRICUP)

http://www.bricup.org.uk/

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