Press Release 9 July 2004
In light of today’s historic ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel’s colonial wall built on occupied Palestinian territories to be illegal, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel calls upon people of conscience the world over to participate in diverse forms of boycott against the state of Israel, its institutions and industries, as a minimal show of civil opposition to its persistent violations of international law, its continued military occupation of Palestinian territories, its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens and its denial of Palestinian refugees’ rights. We also call upon world governments to impose sanctions against Israel to pressure it to comply with international law and the pertinent UN Security Council resolutions.
It is no coincidence that a similar advisory opinion by the ICJ, which in 1971 denounced South Africa’s occupation of Namibia, triggered what became the world’s largest and most concerted campaign of sanctions directed against the apartheid regime. Today’s ICJ ruling should equally inspire a comparable reaction.
We are specifically focusing on boycotting Israeli academic institutions -- mostly state controlled -- because they have contributed, directly or indirectly, to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying Israel’s colonial policy, including the construction of its colonial Wall. The Israeli academy’s silence is a telling sign of its complicity in this policy.
Since scholars and intellectuals have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in their struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa, and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and universal resistance to injustice and oppression, we call upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid.
This call for academic and cultural boycott has been endorsed by close to 60 of the most representative academic, cultural, professional and trade unions and associations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees and the umbrella organization of Palestinian NGOs in the occupied West Bank, PNGO.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of
Occupied Palestinian Territories