#ReinstateSalaita at #UIUC

I’ve been meaning to write about this for over a month now, but a variety of circumstances has made it impossible for me to find the time. For those who don’t know, a friend and colleague, Steven Salaita, has been fired (by the Chancellor, not the faculty) from a tenure-track position in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign because of a few tweets that he wrote expressing the rage that he felt at Israel for the genocidal rampage it unleashed on Gaza over the past couple of months. This is, of course, goes against the norms of how universities operate and the freedoms they are supposed to uphold (namely the freedom of speech).

Tomorrow the trustees will be meeting to discuss this once more so the university has an opportunity to do the right thing. I sent them the following letter today:

10 September 2014

Dear Chancellor Wise and the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois:

For the past month I’ve been following the news about Professor Steven Salaita with great interest. He is a tremendous colleague and scholar, one who I feel fortunate enough to have worked with in various academic contexts over the past several years—from American Studies to organising with the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Although I am no longer an academic, I want to lend my support to Professor Salaita’s case because I think that the teachers and students alike will suffer without his presence on campus. His congenial and collegial nature—which only a brief meeting can reveal—make him an important asset to any academic institution. Moreover, Professor Salaita an invaluable scholar—indeed he single-handedly created this subfield of indigenous studies in which he compares Palestinian and American Indian histories and cultures.

When I did teach and conduct research I found his scholarship to be quite influential, especially The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan, which I taught in my American Zionism course at the American University of Beirut. His work was deeply appreciated by my students and they certainly gained a new framework for understanding the dual contexts of colonialism in West Asia and North America.

As a public intellectual, I find his writing deeply moving and significant. He’s one public intellectual I continue to read and follow in my post-academic life. From his online presence on Twitter to his active life as a voracious book reader and reviewer on Goodreads, he helps spread knowledge and ideas in a variety of venues. It is refreshing to see an academic speaking freely about issues affecting real people’s lives, whether in Palestine or in the U.S., in ways that illuminate the nuances and contextual aspects of whatever issue he lends his pen to. How ironic that Professor Salaita’s fearless behaviour led to his firing from an institution that is obligated to uphold the values of free speech.

I urge you to reconsider your decision to fire Professor Salaita. At this juncture maintaining your stance will only harm your institution, as you must be aware of the petitions and boycott campaigns already receiving tremendous support. But as Professor Salaita stated so eloquently in his address at UIUC yesterday, the issue is far larger than him if you proceed down this path. You are sending a dangerous precedent for academia as a whole. Please do the right thing and reinstate Professor Salaita.

Yours truly,

Dr. Marcy Jane Knopf-Newman

This case is significant for a number of reasons–not the least of which is the type of precedent it could be setting for how universities act not only in relation to the subject of Palestine, but in terms of free speech more generally. Here are a number of excellent articles on the subject that can give some terrific background and insight, including Steven’s appearance at the university for a press conference today along with his attorneys from the Centre for Constitutional Rights (their letter to Phyllis Wise may be read here). There are also links to a site to show you what you can do to support Steven from sending funds for his legal fees to boycotting UIUC until it reinstates him. Also, there is a petition at Change.org that, as of today, has over 18,000 signatures! Click here to add your name to it.

Jakeet Singh’s “Why aren’t we talking about racism and colonialism in the Salaita affair?” (Electronic Intifada)

Christine Des Garennes and Julie Wurth’s Who is Steven Salaita? (The News Gazette)

Marjorie Heins’ “Untangling the Steven Salaita Case” (Academe)

Corey Robins’ “Academic Mores and Manners in the Salaita Affair” 

Corey Robins’ “Chancellor Wise Speaks”

“The Racist Professor at the University of Illinois” (Academe)

American Historical Association’s “Letter of Concern to University of Illinois Chancellor Regarding Salaita Case”

Mark LeVine’s “Dehiring at University of Illinois threatens tomorrow’s scholars” (Al Jazeera)

Corey Robin’s “More Votes of No Confidence, a Weird Ad, and a Declaration of a Non-Emergency”

Breaking Through to the Hindu and other recent developments

I was a bit surprised to learn that The Hindu newspaper carried coverage of the American Studies Association boycott resolution in its pages. It hardly seemed like international news to me. But what was more surprising is that it came in the form of Zionist articles by American columnists David Brooks (New York Times) and Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post). Both articles repeat stale propaganda about Israel and the boycott movement, which if they had been even fact checked some of that could have been reduced. In any case, I wrote my own response to them, which was published in today’s paper, although it was edited so I’ll post the original version below:

In the print edition of The Hindu on 11 January 2014, a column by Charles Karauthammer appeared from the newswire about the American Studies Association’s (ASA) recent resolution to boycott Israel. As a member of the ASA for almost twenty years, and as the person who initiated this move towards boycott in the spring of 2005, I find it a bit odd that such an article (the second, actually, as The Hindu published a wire piece by David Brooks a couple of weeks ago arguing more or less the same point) would appear in the pages of an Indian newspaper given that the bone of contention is from quite an American point of view. Moreover, Indians know from experience what the power of boycott can do when fighting a foreign colonial power on one’s land.

Brooks and Krauthammer may offer readers many opinions, but there is very little grounded in facts, which a quick perusal of the ASA’s website would reveal. For example, Brooks, for example, thinks that the problem is only the Israeli occupation of the West Bank; curiously Gaza doesn’t come into his frame. Both writers paint a portrait of an Israel that looks like it’s a beautiful, democratic society with just a few minor flaws that need to be worked out. Let me offer your readers a different American viewpoint, and one that comes from an American Jew who has spent several years teaching at Palestinian universities in the West Bank cities of Jerusalem and Nablus; there I had a front-row seat to the myriad ways that Israel actively interfered with the lives of Palestinian scholars and students, making teaching, conducting research, or merely going to school next to impossible.

Any way one examines the conditions of Palestinians, including access to education, there are problems whether in the West Bank, Gaza, or Israel itself. Israel has a segregated school system (similar to the “separate but equal” system the U.S. created for African Americans) as detailed in a recent Human Rights Watch report. Israel routinely targets schools in its invasions of Palestine (and Lebanon); during its 2008 war against Gaza, Israel targeted a United Nations school and the Islamic University of Gaza. In the West Bank, where I spent most of my time, students were routinely kept from attending university and school because of the checkpoint and Jewish-only road system. Last summer the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report detailing the extent to which Palestinian children between the ages of twelve and seventeen are kidnapped from their homes at night, detained in military prisons where they are tortured, often until they agree to become informants on their family and community. If I had more space to write, I could produce a dissertation on the ways in which Palestinian youth are singled out by Israeli soldiers, abused, and prevented from pursuing their education.

Instead of exploring the reality of Palestinians, Krauthammer and Brooks deflect attention by either asking why Israel is “singled out” (answer: because as a state it singles itself out out as in its special relationship with the U.S., for which it is handsomely rewarded financially, militarily, and through UN vetoes). Those who pay taxes in the U.S. and who are part of the boycott movement do not want our tax dollars to continue funding these activities. In Israel, as in South Africa under its apartheid regime, universities are state-run and help produce the knowledge that undergirds the practices and policies that further the occupation and colonization of Palestinians.

But Brooks and Krauthammer would have it that the ASA operated out of either anti-Semitism or discrimination against Israeli scholars. In fact, the resolution, in keeping with the Palestinian call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, calls for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions only. Neither the movement in Palestine nor the West nor in India targets any individual on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or nationality. In fact, the ASA resolution also acknowledges the fact that Israeli scholars are a part of this movement as well.

The false claim of “anti-Semitism” is often trotted out by Zionists—Christian and Jewish alike—who wish to remind their audience of violence perpetuated by Europeans against European Jews. But in the history of West Asia this charge is ironic given the fact that Arabs are far more Semitic than European Jews like me and given the fact that the people living under a brutal colonial regime are Palestinians, Syrians (in the Occupied Golan Heights), and Lebanese in the remaining five villages that Israel continues to illegally occupy.

Those of us active in the boycott movement around the globe do so out of a desire to see Palestinian people achieve justice meaning the right of return for Palestinian refugees and compensation as per UN Resolution 194. We believe that there shouldn’t be any nation with special status. We believe that when the UN makes a resolution all nations must abide by them not just countries bullied by the powers governing the Security Council and their allies.

Marcy Newman is an independent scholar and author of The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans and a founding member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

There have been some more terrific pieces about the boycott in the press in the last couple of weeks, including the Modern Language Association (MLA) resolution, which doesn’t go as far as the ASA, but at lest it is taking the correct steps in that direction.

First, here is a terrific action alert from Adalah New York for people who want to respond and support the ASA. There is also a petition to sign to support the ASA, but you must be a member. This is especially essential since yesterday Forbes had the audacity to publish an openly ad hominem attack by Richard Behar about several of my colleagues and friends in the ASA who have been working tirelessly over the last several years to make this resolution happen.

Steven Salaita has a brilliant piece in Electronic Intifada called “Ten Things We’ve Learned About Opposition to Academic Boycott,” which pretty much responds to Behar and whatever other Zionist hack wants to do to try to belittle our work. Also, USACBI posted a brilliant piece this week called “This is What an Academic Boycott Looks Like” for people who are sincerely interested in understanding our work. Also here is the Indian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) statement of solidarity with the ASA.

Second, the U.S. Green Party issued a press release supporting the ASA’s resolution.

Then there are a couple of great pieces in university newspapers from Bowdoin, Syracuse, and Tufts. Bill Mullen did a radio interview about the resolution and Democracy Now! hosted a debate, although the choice of debaters isn’t great.

Meanwhile at the MLA annual meeting, another one of my former academic homes, a resolution was passed, although it focused on the lack of human rights and academic freedom. A petition is here for people who want to sign it (you don’t need to be a member to do so). Here are some articles covering the MLA resolution and what transpired at the various panels there:

Liz Schulman’s “Boycott Panel at MLA Draws Applause and Fearful Questions”

Alex Kane’s “MLA Delegates Pass Measure Against Israel Denying Entry to Academics”

Bruce Robbins’ “‘Common Sense Has Moved On’: Report from MLA Debate on Israel”

David Palumbo-Liu’s “Modern Language Association Prepared to Talk Seriously About Palestine”

Finally, in the midst of all this, Ariel “the butcher” Sharon died. But instead of publishing an article from an Indian point of view, once again The Hindu resorted to a Zionist writer, Ethan Bronner, from the news wire. Many people have torn this and other whitewashed obituaries to shreds already, but today The Hindu also published a terrific, contextually rich piece by Vijay Prashad that highlights the damaging work that Sharon did, along with the BJP, to erode a history of solidarity between Palestinians and Indians:

In 2003, Sharon became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. He had been invited by the BJP-led government to cement the newfound ties between India and Israel. At that time, The Hindu wrote, “New Delhi has sent out wrong signals by playing host to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at this particular juncture… Even if it was possible to set aside [Sharon’s] appalling personal history, his apparent distaste for a just and permanent settlement with the Palestinians cannot be ignored. Even moderate constituencies in Arab countries are convinced that Mr. Sharon was largely responsible for scuttling the Oslo process. The policies Israel has implemented under his stewardship have aggravated the violent confrontation with the Palestinians.” Nonetheless, the Bharatiya Janata Party and later the Congress endorsed Israeli policy by its new attachment to Tel Aviv. India quickly became the largest importer of Israeli arms, unwittingly helping the Israeli economy in its principal task — to pursue the occupation of the Palestinians.

Not all of India embraced its leaders’ camaraderie with Sharon. “Katil Sharon se yaari, sharam karo Atal Bihari [shame on you, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for befriending the murderous Sharon],” and similar slogans echoed across the country at Sharon’s death, despite the warm condolence message crafted by the Prime Minister’s Office. India’s government, which once led the Non-Aligned world to defend the rights of the Palestinians, is now reticent to be critical of Israel and allows itself to celebrate the life of a man whose day in court was postponed because of his Western allies.

For other excellent coverage, which doesn’t include much of Al Jazeera’s shameful, borderline hagiographic tributes, see these pieces:

Democracy Now!’s interviews with Rashid Khalidi, Noam Chomsky, and Avi Shlaim

As’ad AbuKhalil’s “Ariel Sharon: International War Criminal Remembered”

Jonathan Cook’s “The Legacy of Ariel ‘the bulldozer’ Sharon”

Max Blumenthal’s “How Ariel Sharon Shaped Israel’s Destiny”

Ahmed Moor’s “Ariel Sharon: The Architect of Terror”

David Samel’s “Bronner Whitewashes Sharon’s Atrocities”

Peter Hart’s “How the Big Papers Remember Ariel Sharon”

Support the American Studies Association #ASA2013 #BDS

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Zionists have come out in full force to attack the American Studies Association that courageously voted to support an academic boycott of Israel. In the past few days American-Zionist-cum-colonists like Martin Kramer have written articles like “Boycott. Me. Please.” Ali Abunmiah reported the source of this pressure:

Last week anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs, which works closely with the Israeli government, sent out an email blast calling on its followers to “Urge university presidents, donors and government to denounce the ASA and sever ties with the organization.”

The ASA has five thousand individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.

Under such pressure two universities, Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg,have canceled their institutional memberships of the ASA.

Some university presidents are allowing faculty to form their own opinions, although others are cracking down as institutions. But as would be expected, most American academic institutions are towing the political party line and distorting the issue by trying to pretend it’s about academic freedom when it’s not.

As a result of blurring the issue and starting some hysterical Zionist hasbara, it is necessary to show one’s support for the ASA now. To do so, please follow the following cues (though if you are interested in becoming a member don’t do it until January 1st if you want a full year’s membership for your fees):

Renew your membership in ASA, especially institutional members of the organization, and encourage other programs to become institutional members. (ONLY 83 schools are institutional members.)

To renew Institutional Memberships: http://www.theasa.net/pages/institutional_membership_invitation/

To renew Individual Memberships: http://www.theasa.net/pages/membership_invitation/

Announce your support of the ASA and the right of the association to act according to the will of the membership. Academic freedom guarantees not only the individual right of faculty members to express their views, but also the autonomy of professional associations.

Support ASA-related activities.  The ASA remains at the forefront of critical scholarship in many areas crucial to the study and teaching of labor relations, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, popular culture and technology, political organizing and social movements. ASA scholars’ interdisciplinary work addresses US history, politics, and culture, both within and beyond its borders. Over the last two decades, American Studies has internationalized, responding to the global conditions of the present. And asRichard Falk, the international legal theorist, has noted: “The ASA outcome is part of a campaign to construct a new subjectivity surrounding the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is the sort of act that lends credibility to claims that a momentum is transforming the climate of opinion surrounding a conflict situation. Such a momentum is capable of breaking down a structure of oppression at any moment.

Defend the right of the ASA to develop independent political positions based on the scholarship and research of its members. The resolution is based on documented history of Israeli human rights abuse and violations of international law, which are acknowledged in the Israeli press and by scholars.  For example, Professor Henry Siegman, the well-known scholar of Mid-East politics and former National Director of the American Jewish Congress, has written in an article titled “There is no Bigotry in the Boycott,” (Haaretz Dec 20, 2013): “As to Israel’s democratic credentials, there is no more egregious violation of elementary democratic norms than a predatory occupation that denies an entire people all individual and national rights, confiscates their properties, bulldozes their homes and dispossesses them from their internationally recognized patrimony east of the 1967-border.”

Denounce the campaign of intimidation against the ASA.  The ASA is a small academic professional association, but because it dared to express criticism of Israel, powerful and well-funded academic and non-academic organizations have mounted a public campaign aimed at destroying the Association. These organizations falsely accuse the ASA membership of being anti-semitic, bent on the destruction of Israel.  But the goal of the boycott is to show solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinians, who have been subject to decades of occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many Jewish members of ASA support the resolution. These include Eric Cheyfitz, who posted this comment to the ASA website: “I am a Jew with a daughter and three grandchildren who are citizens of Israel. I am a scholar of American Indian and Indigenous studies, who has in published word and action opposed settler colonialism wherever it exists, including of course the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.” Seehttp://www.theasa.net/from_the_editors/item/asa_members_vote_to_endorse_academic_boycott/

Write to your congressional and state representatives and urge them to do the following:

  • Defend the academic freedom of the ASA and its membership.  The campaign against the ASA as an organization and the attacks against the national leadership and harassment of individual members, some of whom are graduate students or junior faculty, is an assault on academic freedom in the US and violates the basic principle that the American education system should not be held hostage to foreign interests.
  • Ensure that ASA activities are not subject to discriminatory practices.  All university programs receive federal and/or state funding.  Government officials should not discriminate in the allocating of public funds simply because they disagree with the positions of a professional association.
  • Encourage and facilitate more critical discussions of the US-Israeli relationship.  See for example Sarah Roberts’s recently published essay in support of the boycott resolution.

For more information or to report intimidation:

Contact the ASA Activism and Community Caucus (asaactcaucus@gmail.com)

Some great new articles to read on the ASA boycott this week:

Noura Erakat, Alex Lubin, Steven Salaita, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, and Jasbir Puar’s “Substantive Erasures: Essays on Academic Boycott and the American Studies Association”

Samuel Nelson Gilbert’s “Calls to Boycott Israel Grow on U.S. Campuses”

Sarah Roberts’s “The Turning Tide: The ASA, Scholarly Responsibility and the Call for Academic Boycott of Israel”

Noura Erakat’s “Demanding Equality: Interview with Steven Salaita on the ASA Academic Boycott”

Omar Barghouti’s “Is BDS’ Campaign Against Israel Reaching a Turning Point?”

NSJP Statement of Thanks and Solidarity with the American Studies Association”

 

Thank you, American Studies Association #BDS #ASA2013

On 28 May 2006, I sent the following email to the American Studies Association ASA listserv:
Dear Colleagues
As many of you may be aware, there has been a Palestinian campaign for an academic boycott of Israel for a few years now. I would like to suggest that ASA support this boycott, which many Israeli professors support.
My concern about what it would mean for Israeli institutions to be included in such an organization stems from my own sense of how things are for my friends who teach at Birzeit University, Bethlehem University, and Al Quds University. By making a clear statement that supports Palestinian professors and institutions as an organization, I think, will send a vital message. For those who are interested, here is the precise text of the call to boycott, which you can find on Birzeit’s website:

We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, 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, 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.Exclude from the above actions against Israeli institutions any conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their stateÂ’s colonial and racist policies;

5.Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;

6.Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

I hope that the American Studies Association will consider engaging with these issues, especially in light of the recent email from the AJS.

I’m sure I was not the first person to suggest such an act of solidarity in that forum. Regardless, the ASA listserv received a flurry of emails in response to mine. The majority of these emails were strongly against my proposal and several executive committee members threatened to quit the ASA if this boycott moved forward. My memory was that this correspondence began during the July war that year, but clearly it began a short while before. 

But not everyone was so closed off. Many people engaged with me privately and publicly and with others. Many of us organized to form panels about Palestine in relation to the U.S., educating our peers about the necessity of solidarity and about educating oneself on the subject. While I was still an academic I participated in these forums. Many of us went on to create the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) which persevered with respect to pushing the ASA to take a stand. 

And all that effort has paid off!

It’s been hard to watch from afar, but so wonderful to see that they achieved success and the after effect of it in academia and in the media. I don’t have the time to share all the details of this historic moment, but I will share links and quotes below for those who would like to read more and who feel inspired to take the ball and run with it in their organization. I never imagined this would be any kind of turning point in the BDS movement, but it certainly seems to be that way given the flood of press from around the world.

First, here is USACBI’s official statement:

December 16, 2013 – The  US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) congratulates the American Studies Association following today’s announcement that its membership has endorsed the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In an election that attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in such a referendum in the history of the organization, 66.05 percent of voters endorsed the resolution, while 30.5 percent of voters voted no, and 3.43 percent abstained.

Nada Elia, professor and USACBI organizing committee member noted, “This is not only a victory for Palestinians.  It is a victory for all who believe in justice for an indigenous people who have faced ongoing dispossession. It is a victory for global justice, for academic freedom, for freedom of expression, for believing in the power of the people to bring about the much-needed changes that politicians refuse to consider. Through the grassroots organizing efforts of many, we are building a more just world.”

The original resolution, which the ASA Activism Caucus proposed a year ago, was discussed at the 2013 ASA convention in Washington D.C, and modified in response to ongoing discussions. In turn, the ASA National Council adopted it. The National Council opened the question to the entire membership to ensure that the adoption of the resolution adequately represented the association. During the voting process, many academics and groups demonstrated support for the adoption of the resolution through articles and statements, including the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors, and Students for Justice in Palestine – National and local chapters.

Sunaina Maira, ASA Activism Caucus member, added, “Today, we are grateful not just for the ASA membership’s decision to endorse BDS, but also for the process that the ASA National Council chose to adopt, as it created the space and time to learn about the conditions Palestinian students and academics face as a result of Israeli policies and to engage with the serious questions about our responsibilities and methods for bringing about change.”

In response to the Palestinian call for the international community to engage in and utilize the tactics of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, US-based academics and student organizers have brought critical discussions on Palestine, Israel and US complicity to campuses across the country through boycott and divestment resolutions.

This historic vote follows the Association of Asian American Studies endorsement of a boycott resolution in May and numerous student divestment resolution endorsed by student senates in California.

The US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)has organized to challenge growing ties between Israeli and US academic institutions and to challenge the Brand Israel project of normalizing Israel through cultural events.

Second, here is the ASA’s official statement about supporting the academic boycott of Israel:

Council Statement on the Academic Boycott of Israel

ASA National Council Votes Unanimously To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

One year ago, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus of the American Studies Association (ASA) asked the Executive Committee (EC) to consider a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to support the academic boycott of Israel. The EC forwarded the resolution to the National Council. Following the deliberative procedures detailed below, the Council unanimously decided to issue a revised version of the resolution, which we now recommend to members of the ASA.  Please follow this link to read the resolution.

The Council voted for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions as an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.

We believe that the ASA’s endorsement of a boycott is warranted given U.S. military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many members of the ASA.

Our resolution understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the Association in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions, or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.

The resolution does not apply to individual Israeli scholars engaged in ordinary forms of academic exchange, including conference presentations, public lectures at campuses, or collaboration on research and publication. The Council also recognizes that individual members will act according to their convictions on these complex matters.

The ASA is a large organization that represents divergent opinions. Anticipating strong and potentially divided feelings on this question, the Council unanimously decided to ask ASA members to endorse the resolution by a vote.

Background on the Resolution

The resolution is the culmination of a long history of discussion and debate in the ASA. In 2006, in response to Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, the ASA International Committee (IC), including a former ASA President, discussed the possibility of endorsing a boycott. In 2009, in the wake of Israel’s military assault on Gaza and in response to requests from ASA members, several bodies in the Association again took up the question of a boycott: the IC, the Program Committee for the 2009 convention, and the Executive Committee, which included the current ASA President. The consensus then was that members needed more opportunities to learn about and discuss the issues and so the Program Committee organized two featured panels: “Palestine in Crisis” and “Academic Freedom and the Right to Education: The Question of Palestine.” Scheduled in prime times on Friday and Saturday of the convention, the panels addressed the plight of Palestinian universities and academics and the profound pressures on teaching and research contexts in the U.S. and Palestine where education and intellectual freedom were under attack. The second panel focused in particular on the boycott movement.

In the wake of such discussions, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus (ACAC) met at the 2012 ASA convention to consider a resolution and gather signatures. This resolution was then submitted to the Executive Committee and, in December, posted on the Caucus’ page on the ASA web site. Information about the resolution was also included in the December 2012 ASA Newsletter distributed to all ASA members.

In March of 2013, the Program Committee for the 2013 ASA convention met and discussed ways to create opportunities at the meeting to discuss issues related to calls for boycott. The resulting program included 8 sessions on “Middle East American Studies,” with four focused specifically on United States/Israel/Palestine. At the same time the Ethnic Studies Committee organized two panels about settler colonialism that discussed the Israeli occupation of Palestine, while the ACAC organized a panel called “Boycott as a Non-Violent Strategy of Collective Dissent.”

In May 2013 the Executive Committee met and discussed the proposed resolution submitted by the ACAC at great length. It agreed that it would be in the best interest of the organization to solicit from the membership as many perspectives as possible on the proposed resolution to aid the National Council in its discussions and decision-making. With the past President and a prominent, senior member of the Association serving as moderators, it held an open session during the November National Convention at which the National Council was present to hear directly from the membership. Members were notified of the open discussion well in advance of the convention and it was highlighted as a featured event in both online and print versions of the program. Additionally, members who could not attend the session or the convention were encouraged to contact the EC directly via email, and many did so.  

The Saturday November 23rd open discussion was attended by approximately 745 ASA members. Members distributed information about the boycott in advance, and the hall was filled with leaflets representing different views. The moderators carefully and clearly articulated the different actions that could be taken and the process for deliberation. To guarantee an orderly and fair discussion members who wished to speak put their name in a box from which speakers were randomly selected. Speakers were limited to 2 minutes, providing the opportunity to hear from forty-four different speakers during the time allotted for the special session. The discussion was passionate but respectful.  Speakers included students, faculty, past Presidents, former members of the National Council, former and current members of the AQ editorial staff, American Studies department chairs, and an ASA member also representing the organization Jewish Voice for Peace. While different opinions were articulated, the overwhelming majority spoke in support of the ASA endorsing an academic boycott.

Remaining in session over the course of 8 days after the open session, Council members spoke and wrote from different perspectives, debated different possibilities, and critically yet generously engaged each other. The resulting resolution reflects, we think, the history and present state of conversations within the ASA, offering a principled position for the Association’s participation in the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions while respecting the unique conditions and diverse positions of our membership on this issue.

In the last several decades, the ASA has welcomed scholarship that critically analyzes the U.S. state, its role domestically and abroad, and that reaches out beyond U.S. borders. Our commitment to cutting-edge and transnational scholarship has been accompanied by the comparative study of borders, migration, and citizenship. The ASA also has a history of critical engagement with the field of Native American and Indigenous studies that has increasingly come to shape and influence the field and the Association, and the Council acknowledged the force of Israeli and U.S. settler colonialism throughout our deliberations. Finally, the resolution is in keeping with the ASA’s continuing commitment to ethical research and the right of scholars to dissent and to take public positions.

The Council believes that the resolution is of particular significance to scholars of American Studies. Together, we endorse it, and recommend that ASA members endorse it as well.

The ASA National Council

Jennifer Devere Brody, Stanford University 
Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin 
Jeremy Dean. University of Texas, Austin 
Lisa Duggan, New York University 
Avery Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara 
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University 
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University 
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University 
Marisol LeBrón, New York University 
Karen Leong, Arizona State University 
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis 
Martin F. Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego 
Roya Rastegar, Bryn Mawr College 
Chandan Reddy, University of Washington, Seattle 
Juana María Rodríguez, University of California, Berkeley 
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University 
Nikhil Pal Singh, New York University

Due to a family emergency, Juri Abe, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan, was not present for the National Council meeting where the resolution was passed. 

Follow the American Studies Association on Facebook

Here are a number of links that have come out about the resolution thus far:

Steven Salaita’s “Why the ASA’s Israel Boycott Won”

Alex Lubin’s “Breaking ‘America’s Last Taboo'”

Benjamin Doherty’s “In a Surprise Move, Opponent Votes to Endorse ASA’s Israel Boycott”

Philip Weiss’s “ASA’s Members Vote 2-1 for Academic Boycott of Israel”

Omar Barghouti’s “On Academic Freedom and the BDS Movement”

Alex Kane’s “American Studies Association National Council Endorses Boycott of Israel”

Lena Ibrahim’s “What Happened There Was Historic: A Report from the American Studies Association Boycott Debate”

Adam Horowitz’s “In Response to ASA Boycott Vote, Lawrence Summers Calls Boycotts ‘Abhorrent’ and then Calls for Boycott of ASA”

Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine’s “Students Support the American Studies Association Boycott Resolution”

Judith Butler’s “Academic Freedom and the ASA’s Boycott of Israel: A Response to Michelle Goldberg”

Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s “Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions”

Keith Feldman’s “Fragments from the Breach: On Anti-Racism, American Studies, and the Question of Palestine”

Philip Weiss’s “Butler: ASA Boycott Resolution Pressures Israeli and U.S. Institutions Supporting Occupation”

Alex Kane’s “Former Israeli Ambassador Calls for Legislation to Impose ‘Penalties’ on Promoters of Academic Boycott”

Harriet Sherwood’s “Major U.S. Academic Body Backs Boycott of Israeli Educational Institutions”

Nora Barrows-Friedman’s “Steven Saialta on How the ASA Boycott Vote Shifts the Rules for Engaging on Palestine”

Steven Salaita’s “Why Logical People Should Oppose the ASA Israel Boycott”

Eric Cheyfitz’s “Why I Support the Academic Boycott of Israel”

Toshio Meronek’s “Palestinian Activism Grows at U.S. Universities”

Eliza Collins’s “U.S. Professors Vote to Endorse Israeli Academic Boycott”

Elizabeth Redden’s “Backing the Israel Boycott”

Richard Pérez-Peña’s “Scholars’ Group to Disclose Result of Vote on an Academic Boycott of Israel”

Yousef Munayyer’s “Boycott a Sting to Israeli Apartheid”

on visas

so i have been getting settled in amman. i have moved yet again. hopefully this will be the last time for a while. it was a very difficult decision for me to leave palestine, though it is one i made some time ago. ultimately, one of my prime motivations for leaving the u.s. was not not be a taxpayer there any longer so as not to contribute to the u.s. machine of death, theft, destruction in palestine, iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, we can add honduras now, who knows where we’ll have to add next. ultimately i knew that i could not stay in palestine forever given that foreigners (i.e., not palestinians; read: zionist colonist terrorists) control the borders and they get to play a game with the lives of all people who cross over into palestine whether they are originally palestinian or not. i’ve long heard stories and received emails–some from friends and comrades, others from complete strangers–about being denied entry. about being allowed limited entry, in terms of time. about three weeks before i left a friend of mine left for amman to renew her visa. she’s finishing up research for her dissertation and living in ramallah. she came back and said she had only a few days and she had to leave again. not only could she only stay one week (in lieu of the normal three month visa granted to foreigners at the malak hussein bridge), but she was granted a west bank only visa. this was the first time i had heard of such a thing. but it turns out that it was quickly becoming a phenomenon. and there have been a number of articles written about it since:

new west bank-only visa stamp from the zionist terrorist colonists
new west bank-only visa stamp from the zionist terrorist colonists

first there was an article by toufic haddad laying out this issue in the faster times:

“Palestinian Authority only” greatly restricts this freedom of movement, and thus undoes the former arrangement. It essentially precludes travel to areas of pre-1967 Israel, as well as to Israeli controlled areas in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem….

Israel exercises full control over 59 percent of the West Bank – areas known as “Area C.”

It further exercises security control over an additional 24 percent of the West Bank (Area B) with the Palestinian Authority [PA] in control of civil affairs there.

The only area which the PA nominally controls in full, and which a holder of this stamp is thus presumably eligible to travel to, is Area A. The latter comprises the remaining 17 percent of the West Bank.

Area A however is not composed of one territorial unit, but is divided into thirteen non-contiguous areas….

Israel’s travel restrictions to PA areas are somewhat contradictory. Visitors can seemingly travel to Area As but must do so by crossing Israeli controlled areas (Area C). This means that visitors have the right to hop between different Area A ‘islands’, but can’t be caught in between.

Moreover, the very restriction on travel is equivalent to a country issuing a visa to a specific area of its country, but not to the whole country. A parallel might be the U.S. issuing a visa only to majority-black Harlem in Manhattan, or the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in Connecticut.

This happens to violate the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (also known as “Oslo II” or “Taba”) which states that “Tourists to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from countries having diplomatic relations with Israel, who have passed through an international crossing, will not be required to pass any additional entry control before entry into Israel.” (Annex 1, Article IX “Movement Into, Within and Outside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” 2 (e))

later the palestine chronicle reported that an official decision had been made about these new visa rules:

Israel’s tourism ministry on Monday slammed the interior ministry for enacting new restrictions that would prevent foreigners from visiting both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The measure, which was quietly enacted earlier this year, forces arriving visitors to choose between a visa for Israel and one for the Palestinian territories, potentially preventing them from traveling to both.

“This decision taken by the interior ministry causes significant damage to Israel’s image and to incoming tourism for those tourists who visit the holy sites in the Palestinian Authority,” the tourism ministry said in a statement.

It demanded that the matter be discussed in the Knesset, or parliament, which is currently on summer recess.

A spokeswoman for the interior ministry would not immediately comment.

The U.S. consulate in Jerusalem has posted a message on its website informing travelers of the new visa stamp being issued at Ben Gurion Airport and the Allenby crossing with Jordan that permits travel only in the West Bank.

“Anyone indicating that they either have connections to the West Bank or are planning to travel to the West Bank may get this stamp, which does not permit them to enter into (or, in the case of Ben Gurion, return to) green-line Israel,” it says.

in most countries, like here in jordan, when you are hired as a foreigner they don’t make you live as a tourist leaving the country every three months as the foreign zionist terrorist colonists do. people who work in palestine–some of whom are palestinian with foreign passports–have to do that. they have to leave every three months. i got lucky in that an najah university was able to get me a six month visa for my last semester. but that is also at the whim of what the zionists decide and completely random. there was no telling if i’d ever be able to get one again. and as the piece above makes clear it is possible that if i received a visa i’d have to decide which side of the zionist drawn green line would i be on. of course it would be on the side with the west bank. that would mean i would not be able to visit the u.s. consulate if i needed anything, nor would i be able to go to the zionist terrorist colonist interior ministry if i wanted to challenge such a thing because all such offices are in al quds, which has been annexed and stolen by them. but i also experienced this sort of visa issue this summer. i was having coffee with a friend in al quds and her friend called from qalandia checkpoint. he was palestinian canadian, originally from yaffa, visiting palestine for the first time. the zionist terrorist colonists at the checkpoint tore up his visa, which was on a separate paper inside his passport, because since he flew into their airport on the occupied land of lydd, he could no go back to “israel.” they said he left and went to another country so he could not return. we went to qalandia to pick him up and smuggle him out so he could challenge this, get a new visa, and report it to the canadian embassy (though unlike the americans, the canadians have offices in the west bank).

then last week a european woman (she did not identify herself exactly, but i have a feeling she is irish and that i have seen her before) emailed me to tell me that she could not get back into palestine at all. she said she was also a professor, although at bethlehem university, and that she was denied entry altogether. the chronicle of higher education ran a piece last week documenting the effect of the visa situation in palestine on academics by matthew kalman (thanks aneil) and i think the irish woman in the piece is the one who emailed me:

Israel has clamped down on the movement of foreign academics teaching at Palestinian universities in the West Bank, barring some from entering the region altogether or stamping “Palestinian Authority only” in the passports of others, preventing them from entering Israel.

An English-language instructor from Ireland who taught for several years at the Arab American University, in Jenin, was refused entry on August 23 when she returned to the West Bank to take up a new position at Bethlehem University and is now unable to teach. A Canadian instructor of Iranian descent was given the “Palestinian Authority only” stamp when he arrived on Sunday to teach at the Arab American University’s English Language Center. A British lecturer in Middle East politics had to cancel a planned lecture at Birzeit University this year after she was denied entry by Israeli immigration officials.

The Irish instructor, who asked not to be named, said she had been teaching English at the Arab American University since 2007. Although the Israeli authorities refused to issue her a work permit, in the past they had always accepted her employment contract and extended her tourist visa to the contract’s end date.

She left the West Bank for Jordan on August 20 and returned via the Allenby Bridge, which connects the West Bank with Jordan, on August 23, with 11 days left on her visa.

“I was due to take up a new position at Bethlehem University on August 24. I had a letter from the university on official paper, but it was all very different this time,” she told The Chronicle from Jordan, where she was stranded. “I was kept waiting for four hours and then the immigration officer started screaming at me about a lack of work permit.”

After lengthy interrogation by a plainclothes security officer and an Israeli Ministry of the Interior official, she was photographed, fingerprinted, and told her request to enter was denied.

“It is greatly to be regretted, she was a valued employee,” said Graham Stott, chair of the department of modern languages at the Arab American University.

Mr. Stott said several lecturers who were allowed in were issued visas restricting them to the Palestinian Authority areas only.

“For some the restrictive visa is not problematic because they are here to work in Jenin, and they are quite happy to leave via Jordan and so it doesn’t really affect them. For others who had planned to visit Israel it seriously compromises their position and their ability to do research,” Mr. Stott said.

Information for travelers posted on the Web site of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem confirms the recent change in policy.

“Anyone indicating that they either have connections to the West Bank or are planning to travel to the West Bank, may get this stamp,” which does not permit them to enter into or return to Israel. “The Consulate can do nothing to assist in getting this visa status changed,” the Web site states. It is not clear when or why the new visas were introduced. The Israeli Defense Ministry directed all inquiries to the coordinator of Israeli government activities in the territories. A spokesman for the coordinator directed inquiries to the country’s Interior Ministry, where a spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment.

The new visa being stamped in tourists’ passports has been criticized for unfairly limiting the movements of visitors with Palestinian relatives or friends, whose first stop may be the West Bank but who intend to visit Israel as well. Many Americans of Palestinian origin but who lack Palestinian passports have been turned back on arrival at Ben Gurion Airport and told they can enter only from Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.

Hanadi Abu-Taha, administrative assistant at the Arabic-language-teaching program at Birzeit University, told The Chronicle that two American students and one Japanese student were turned back at the Jordanian-Israeli border at the end of August.

“None of them is from a Palestinian background. Students who came through Ben Gurion Airport managed to enter, but those who came through the land crossing from Jordan were refused. We don’t know why,” Miss Taha said.

“Because of the visa problems we have shortened the semester from four to three months, which is the length of the Israeli tourist visa. It is causing major disruption,” she said.

Toufic Haddad, a Palestinian-American activist who revealed the new policy on his blog in early August said the new visa was a violation of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Agreement (known as the Oslo II Accords), which allows for most foreign tourists to pass from the West Bank and Gaza Strip into Israel.

“Most visiting faculty have been granted a one-year single-entry visa if they are associated with an educational institution, but some haven’t,” said Salwa Duaibis, coordinator of the Right to Enter Campaign, a group advocating unfettered access to the Palestinian Authority areas. “I have a feeling there isn’t much effort put into making sure the regulations are understood by the police at the border.”

Ms. Duaibis said that foreign students enter on tourist visas and can be forced to leave after three months. “Universities cannot plan their academic year properly and neither students nor professors can rely on the arrangement 100 percent,” she said.

here is also a report by sherine tadros on al jazeera about this growing problem in palestine, especially for people who are palestinian foreign passport holders or who have familial ties to palestinians in the west bank:

i haven’t tried to go back yet since i left a month and a half ago. but i hope that i can at least get in so i can go to deheishe. for those who are already dealing with being denied a visa by the foreign occupier, i strongly recommend you check out the right to enter campaign’s website, as mentioned above in the chronicle article. they are very helpful and they have a lot of new resources on their website about this new way of the zionist terrorist colonists creating new facts on the ground. and these facts, jonathan cook reminds us in electronic intifada, are a kind of gazification of visa rules in the west bank:

In an echo of restrictions already firmly in place in Gaza, Israel has begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents.

The new policy is designed to force foreign citizens, mainly from North America and Europe, to choose between visiting Israel — including East Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed illegally — and the West Bank.

The new regulation is in breach of Israel’s commitments under the Oslo accords to Western governments that their citizens would be given continued access to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel has not suggested there are any security justifications for the new restriction.

Palestinian activists point out that the rule is being enforced selectively by Israel, which is barring foreign citizens of Palestinian origin from access to Israel and East Jerusalem while actively encouraging European and American Jews to settle in the West Bank.

US diplomats, who are aware of the policy, have raised no objections.

Additionally, human rights groups complain that the rule change will further separate East Jerusalem, the planned capital of a Palestinian state, from the West Bank. It is also expected to increase the pressures on families where one member holds a foreign passport to leave the region and to disrupt the assistance aid organizations are able to give Palestinians.

According to observers, the regulation was introduced quietly three months ago at the Allenby Bridge terminal on the border with Jordan, the only international crossing point for Palestinians in the West Bank. Israeli officials, who control the border, now issue foreign visitors with a visa for the “Palestinian Authority only,” preventing them from entering Israel and East Jerusalem.

Interior ministry officials say a similar policy is being adopted at Ben Gurion, Israel’s international airport near Tel Aviv, to bar holders of foreign passports who arrive via this route from reaching the West Bank. Foreign citizens, especially those with Palestinian ancestry, are being turned away and told to seek entry via the Allenby Bridge.

Gaza has long been off-limits to any Palestinian who is not resident there and has been effectively closed to Israelis and most foreigners since early 2006, when Israel began its blockade.

and that is what an apartheid visa system looks like.

no, i don’t support “academic freedom” for colonists in the zionist entity

the whole point of the academic boycott of “israel” is that palestinians have no rights to education (not to mention the right of palestinian refugees to return to their land among a whole host of other daily violations they endure every day). but critics of the academic boycott always love to shout how much more important academic freedom for zionist terrorist colonists who teach in zionist universities is than palestinians having the right to not be murdered, imprisoned, tortured, thrown off their land while their land is stolen (i could go on and on). they forget that academic freedom is a privilege, not a right. (you can click on the selected publications link at the top of the page and read my article from the new centennial review on the subject.) people i have been after for years now to join the academic boycott, who have never been moved by mass murder in lebanon or palestine, but who are now moved by neve gordon’s supposed persecution (in re: his article in the los angeles times last week supporting the boycott, though not, of course, supporting palestinians’ right to return to their land) to both boycott the zionist entity, but who also want to defend academic freedom in the zionist entity.

so imagine my surprise when i found that this piece on the muzzle watch website has moved some colleagues of mine to email me saying they now support bds:

What happens when an Israeli professor speaks his mind about the Israeli occupation? Let’s find out.

Take a look at Ben Gurion University Prof. Neve Gordon, who by the way, is a member of the Committee to Support Ezra Nawi.

He published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, titled Boycott Israel: An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.

It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.

I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country’s future.

His opinion supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005 and the 2008 10-point Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign has been met with the kinds of criticism that test the boundaries of freedom of expression and academic freedom in Israel.

Prof. Gordon’s piece offers what Naomi Klein termed the most effective tools in the nonviolent arsenal to address the Israeli occupation. If anything, the issues he brings up in his piece need to be urgently discussed in Israel and elsewhere.

In Israel they are discussed indeed. This is how…

Israeli Education Minister Education Gideon Sa’ar called the piece “repugnant and deplorable.”

Ben Gurion University President Dr. Rivka Carmi expressed shock at the lecturer’s comments and added the university may no longer be interested in his services.

It seems that Ben Gurion University’s interest in academic freedom is limited.

Carmi’s words:

“Ben-Gurion is a Zionist establishment which fulfills the vision of David Ben-Gurion on a daily basis… Statements such as this, which level blunt and inciting criticism at the state of Israel, hurt the excellent work that is being carried out at Ben-Gurion University and all universities in Israel.”

Academics who feel this way about their country are welcome to search for a personal and professional home elsewhere.”

In a letter to Ben Gurion University, she insinuated that Prof. Gordon’s words may amount to treason. That letter (in Hebrew) offers the most candid explanation of what is really going on here:

The attack this time is unprecedented in its scope and severity, both because of the extreme line that defines the writing, that is seen by many readers as an act of treason against the State of Israel, and also because the piece was published in a newspaper with a large circulation, including in the Jewish community. I have concrete and truthful reasons to believe that above anything else, this piece may lead to a destructive hit in the raising of funds for the university, and the piece’s potential damages to the university’s budget in this hard period of its history, and maybe in the future, is great.

BDS activists worldwide are paying close attention to the economic dimension of a single, well-placed article. In fact, the Magnes Zionist has already noted with irony that,

Some Los Angeles Jews have responded by threatening to cut-off donations to Ben-Gurion University, which is, of course, what Gordon was calling for!

So maybe this should now be the tactic of supporters of BDS in Israel: Get leftwing academics from all the universities to call for boycotts, and then angry Jews will response by cutting off funds from their university.

In fact, Richard Silverstein adds to the irony, when commenting on the position of Israel’s Consul-General in Los Angeles, Yaakov (Yaki) Dayan on this matter:

What interesting about this story is that an Israeli diplomat, whose job, one supposes is to promote Israel, including its universities, is calling publicly for a financial boycott of Ben Gurion.

The last word goes to Prof. Gordon:

From the responses to the article it seems most people don’t have the courage to discuss the main issues: Is Israel an apartheid state? How can the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved? Is the settlement project good for Israel or will it cause the state’s destruction? It’s easy to criticize me while evading the tough and important questions.

We could not agree more, Professor. We need less hysteria and more open discussions on these issues.

it gets worse. some of these colleagues are asking me to sign a petition supporting gordon. it seems that jewish voice for peace thinks that the appropriate response to gordon’s article is to support gordon, not the palestinians being murdered. not the palestinians whose land is stolen every day. not the palestinians whose right of return is being denied for colonists living on palestinian land: including gordon himself! instead, here is what they have to say:

On Thursday, August 20 the LA Times published an op-ed in which Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon wrote that the question that kept him up at night, both as a parent and as an Israeli citizen, was how to ensure that his two children as well as the children of his Palestinian neighbors do not grow up in an apartheid regime. He concluded that the only thing that the only workable solution would be “massive international pressure.” (1) Following the publication of the article there has been such a vehement and aggressive attack against Gordon in Israel (2), that we believe “massive international pressure” will be needed to keep him from being fired from his job.

We are protecting here more than one person and one job. Help us protect the ability to talk openly about the Israeli occupation and about nonviolent options to address it, such a boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

When you sign this email, we will send copies to the Israeli Minister of Education, the leadership of Ben Gurion University, and to Neve Gordon himself.

if jewish voice for peace were really all about so-called “peace” they’d be fighting to dismantle the jewish state and fight for the right of return for palestinian refugees. but that, of course, would mean they cared about justice, too, which they so obviously do not.

the real response would be for academics to line up and support the academic and cultural boycott of “israel.”

the state of the university in california

last week i was at ucsb (university of california at santa barbara) and there was a protest against the california budget cuts affecting education in the state. one of my favorite scholars, lisa hajjar, a professor at ucsb, and author of courting conflict, explains some of these issues here in this short clip from a recent press conference:

part of the issue is related to salaries. the fact that all employees–except for those highest up on the ladder–are receiving a 10% cut in salary. here are some of the main points from the protest, but there are more on the posters i photographed below from the protest:

University of California faculty, staff, and students are mobilizing in response to recent decisions made by the UC Regents and UC President Mark Yudof. We span the 10 campuses of the UC system, with affiliates throughout the CSU, Community College and K-12 systems. We support top-quality public education for our state. We urge Californians to take back their schools and end the incompetent stewardship of the UC Office of the President (UCOP), the UC Board of Regents, and the Schwarzenegger administration, before it is too late.

• The UCSB CC4O4 rejects the Regents’ decisions (1) to ratify Yudof’s requests for emergency powers, and (2) to cut faculty and staff salaries and essential programs and services. We also repudiate the justifications for these decisions and the process leading up to them. Prior to the Regents’ meeting, Yudof asked for the UC community’s responses to only three options: salary cuts, furloughs, or both. The University can overcome the challenges it faces in other ways. We demand Option 4: no salary cuts, no furloughs, and the pursuit of alternative budgetary avenues.

• We demand transparency and democratic participation in financial planning and the budget process at all individual campuses and at UCOP. We call upon Chancellor Henry Yang to permit the full participation of the entire UCSB community in all determinations of our campus’s response to the Regents’ vote.

• The only vision of the University’s future acceptable to our coalition gives first priority to the needs of all of our students. We ask that Yudof redesign the Commission on the Future of UC to represent a real variety of viewpoints and student concerns. We ask that the Commission’s first actions be directed toward immediate redress of recent budget cuts, and general reform of education funding and the state budget process.

this protest was outside of a swanky hotel in santa barbara where the university of california president mark yudof was speaking.

DSC00066

DSC00067

DSC00068

DSC00083

DSC00084

DSC00085

DSC00096

DSC00097

the protest was disappointing. first of all, it was small. there were people from ucla and ucsb there. but most of the people there were not faculty. they were workers at the university. members of the union. i had been on ucsb’s campus prior to the protest and there were definitely faculty members around. but as is par for the course faculty often let the struggle fall on the shoulders of those lower down on the ladder, including students–and there were students there too as their fees will be going up about 30%. but i also started wondering about american labor organizing in general. while i think that labor organizing is important–and those wanting a good analysis should check out bill fletcher’s recent book on the subject–it always seems very individualistic in the u.s. it always seems to me like this sort of organizing only emerges when one’s personal salary, well being, livelihood is threatened. this is not true with respect to labor organizing historically in the u.s. nor is it true with respect to labor organizing globally. but the problem is that organizing more generally is not proactive. it is not global. and it is not thinking in terms of solidarity actions around the world. at least not from what i can glean in the u.s.

i also found it striking that the protest stayed outside on the street corner the entire time. i’ve written about this before, and posted a video of naomi wolf on the subject, but i find it troubling when protesters play it safe. this small protest would have had far more publicity if there had been arrests. if people had stormed the hotel and brought the protest inside. but people were afraid of arrests and so they stayed outside on the street corner. at the same time i don’t think that the workers should be the ones who get arrested. i think those with the most privilege–the professors–should be those who get thrown in jail for protesting the salary cuts and tuition hikes. but, of course, without a significant number of professors present this was not possible.

for instance the union organizing for california state university employees has not endorsed or signed on to any solidarity statement supporting the boycott of the zionist entity. compare this to south african dock workers who organized in solidarity with palestinians and who later influenced american dockworkers to do the same a couple of months ago:

2009 Convention Resolution–Commend South African Dockers adopted at the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) – Longshore Caucus June 2009

Whereas, the South African dockworkers union in the port of Durban organized a heroic action against the ZIM Lines ship Joannna Russ, on February 5, 2009 protesting the Israeli massacre in the Gaza War and in solidarity with the plight of the Palestinian people, and

Whereas, a report entitled “Victory for Worker Solidarity—Durban Dockers Refuse to Offload Israeli Goods” issued February 6, 2009 by Randall Howard, General Secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and Patrick Craven of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) stated “Israel’s terror included flagrant breaches of international law, the bombing of densely populated neighbourhoods, the illegal deployment of chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities and places of worship.” and,

Whereas, the Durban dockworkers announced that their action was inspired by the ILWU’s 1984 anti-apartheid action in the port of San Francisco against the ship Nedlloyd Kimberly from South Africa, and

Whereas, unions around the world have lauded the SATAWU for their action,

Therefore Be It Resolved that this Convention direct the Titled Officers to send a solidarity message commending our brothers and sisters in the South African dockworkers’ union (SATAWU) for their exemplary action.

Note: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has approximately 42,000 members in over 60 local unions in the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. An additional 3,500 members belong to the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, which constitutes the Union’s Marine Division. Another 14,000 members belong to the autonomous ILWU Canada.

there are so many reasons why such solidarity actions are important, and indeed relevant. at ucsb, for instance, professor william robinson was recently exonerated after having come under attack by zionist nimrods in the area for having sent around an email about gaza:

On Wednesday, he was notified that a faculty committee had found no “probable cause” to undertake a full investigation of complaints filed against him related to e-mail messages he sent to his students in which he compared Israelis and Nazis. Further, he was notified that the administration at the University of California at Santa Barbara had accepted the faculty members’ analysis, and that the case was over — without his ever having faced formal charges before a disciplinary committee.

Supporters of Robinson, a tenured professor of sociology, agreed with those findings. But they said that grievances filed over e-mail messages sent in January should have been seen immediately as baseless, and that allowing the case to linger for months endangered the academic freedom of Robinson and others.

“We’re pleased, but this decision is too late,” said Yousef K. Baker, a graduate student and one of the organizers of the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB. “I don’t think it is enough for the university just to say that this case is terminated. The university needs to be held accountable for the chilling effect that their tardiness in doing what they have done now has created.”

In a statement, Robinson said that he is waiting for “a public apology from the university as a first step in clearing my name after it has smeared my reputation and undermined my professional integrity.” He added that he plans to file a grievance over how he was treated in the case.

The case has attracted attention far beyond Santa Barbara, with the American Association of University Professors last month calling on the university to “pause” its inquiries because of the academic freedom issues involved. Cary Nelson, national president of the AAUP, said Wednesday night that “although I am pleased that the Robinson case has been closed, I am also concerned that unnecessary investigations of faculty exercising their academic freedom are having a serious chilling effect on our more vulnerable or less courageous colleagues.”

The dispute dates to an e-mail message that Robinson sent to the approximately 80 students in January in a course about sociology and globalization. The e-mail contained an article criticizing the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza. Part of the e-mail was an assemblage of photos from Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews and from Israel’s actions in Gaza. Students were invited to look at the “parallel images.” A message from Robinson argued that Gaza would be like “Israel’s Warsaw.”

In February, the Anti-Defamation League’s Santa Barbara office wrote to Robinson to protest the e-mail and to urge him to repudiate it. “While your writings are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, we rely upon our rights to say that your comparisons of Nazis and Israelis were offensive, ahistorical and have crossed the line well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel,” the letter said. It went on to say that the “tone and extreme views” in his e-mail were “intimidating to students,” and that using his university e-mail to send “material that appears unrelated to” his course violated university standards for faculty members.

Following that letter, two students in the course dropped the class and filed complaints against Robinson. One student wrote that she felt “nauseous” upon reading the e-mail, and felt it was inappropriate. A second student complaint accusing Robinson of being unprofessional — also from a student who dropped the course after receiving the e-mail — said that Robinson has “clearly stated his anti-Semitic political views in this e-mail.”

Under Santa Barbara’s faculty governance system, such complaints go to a “charges officer” and then — if they are serious — a committee may be formed, somewhat like a grand jury, to determine whether formal charges should be brought against the professor. Robinson and his supporters have maintained that the e-mail was so clearly covered by academic freedom that the faculty charges officer should have dropped the matter. Instead, a committee was formed to determine whether the charges merited consideration by the standing committee that considers such allegations and can recommend sanctions against a professor. It was that non-standing committee that determined that there was no need to bring charges for a full investigation. Under the university’s rules, no official statement is released about why charges were not brought. But earlier memos suggested that the two rules Robinson was accused of violating were measures that bar faculty members from “significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course” and “use of the position or powers of a faculty member to coerce the judgment or conscience of a student or to cause harm to a student for arbitrary or personal reasons.” (Many of the documents related to the student complaints and various university communications about the situation may be found on the Web site of the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB.)

The position of Robinson and his supporters has been that Israel’s conduct in Gaza was in every way appropriate as a topic for discussion in a class on global issues, and that the complaints filed against him were a simple case of students (and some pro-Israel groups) disagreeing with Robinson’s analysis. Robinson could not be reached Wednesday, but last month he told Inside Higher Ed that the charges against him were “absolutely absurd.” He noted that he is Jewish and said that he abhors anti-Semitism, and that his academic freedom is being violated by the university taking seriously charges that link his e-mail criticisms of Israel’s government with anti-Semitism. “This is all because I have criticized the policies of the State of Israel.”

Stand With Us, a pro-Israel group that has been organizing petition drives to back the idea of a full investigation of Robinson, issued a statement Wednesday night questioning the university’s decision. “We are surprised and disappointed that UCSB chose not to uphold their standards for professional conduct, and that it has blurred the lines between responsible education and the peddling of propaganda. It is unfortunate that students will continue to be victims of partisan indoctrination and misinformation,” said the statement, from Roz Rothstein, international director of the organization.

on a larger scale, yudof, one of the very men we were protesting last week, is an unabashed supporter of the zionist entity:

The new president of the University of California’s 10 campuses and 220,000 students keeps a kosher home, lectures on Maimonides for intellectual stimulation and is an unabashed Israel supporter.

“I am what I am,” Mark Yudof says. “What I’ve found works best for me is transparency, being direct and being honest.”

As he takes the helm of one of the world’s leading public research universities with an $18 billion budget, Yudof, a former chancellor of the University of Texas and president of the University of Minnesota, has his work cut out for him. Over the past five years, Jewish students and some observers have charged repeatedly that the administration at the UC Irvine campus, now headed by Chancellor Michael Drake, has failed to protect Jewish students against hate speech and intimidation by outside speakers and Muslim student groups. Yudof, a veteran law professor and expert on constitutional law and freedom of expression, says the issue presents him with something of a dilemma.

“It is an excruciating conflict when people demean everything that Judaism stands for. Some of these speakers and what they say drive me to distraction and I hate it,” Yudof says. “On the other hand, I teach constitutional law and I have a deep commitment to the First Amendment, which has served us well over time. How do you reconcile that as a Jewish man? It is horrendously difficult.”

Yudof defended Drake, who has been criticized by some Jews for not taking a sufficiently firm stand against hate speech.

“I’ve had several conversations with the chancellor, and he has a great heart and enormous sympathy for the Jewish people. He is a mensch,” Yudof is in Israel this week with Drake as the co-leader of the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange trip for American university presidents and chancellors. Yudof, who had invited Drake on the trip before he became the University of California president, says he thinks the trip will be beneficial for both he and Drake. Yudof says he will discuss the problems at Irvine when he addresses the Hadassah national convention in Los Angeles on July 14.

Born in Philadelphia to descendents of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, Yudof, 63, is the son of an electrician. He credits his wife, Judy, with intensifying his Jewish observance inside and outside the house. She is the immediate past international president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the first woman to hold the post in the organization’s 93-year history. Judy Yudof currently serves on the council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and on the international board of Hillel.

“Judy went to Israel quite often, and I went along as the bozo on her arm,” Yudof recalls. “I am a very strong advocate of Israel,” he says. “I just am. I’m there for Israel. I may at times disagree with Israeli policy, but when they suffer, I suffer and my wife suffers.”

as part of his support for the zionist entity, he reinstated a study abroad program at the zionist entity’s universities last year:

The University of California, one of America’s largest public higher education systems, will soon allow students to return to studying abroad in Israel.

The school announced November 25 that it intends to reopen its Education Abroad Program with the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The U.C. system was among scores of American universities that suspended their Israel study-abroad programs in 2002 after the United States State Department placed Israel on its travel advisory list for safety reasons. Israel remains on the list.

As a matter of policy, the U.C. system does not offer study-abroad programs in countries that are on the State Department’s travel warning list.

But university spokesman Chris Harrington said December 4 that the school “is firmly committed to re-establishing its program in Israel.”

According to a U.C. statement, the university is in discussions with the Rothberg International School to reopen the program in Israel in fall 2009 after reviewing safety issues. The school cited a heightened ability to “to monitor and mitigate security risks.”

American access to study-abroad programs in Israel has emerged as a hot-button issue over the last six years, as pro-Israel activists have battled to have them reinstated. They argue that Israel is safer than countries such as Egypt, where students are often allowed to study with their university’s official stamp of approval. Students at local Hillels have gathered signatures and lobbied university leaders, while the Washington D.C.-based Israel on Campus Coalition assembled a task force to take on the issue nationwide.

While students from campuses that no longer offer Israel study-abroad programs have continued to study in the Jewish state, finding ways to circumvent the programs’ closures, pro-Israel campus activists say that the U.C.’s decision should have a marked impact on the number of California students taking a semester in Israel.

“This makes it more accessible, and that’s the most important thing,” said Gordon Gladstone, executive director of Berkeley Hillel at the University of California, Berkeley. “Spending long periods of time in Israel allows you to contemplate your Jewish identity in a way that few other things can.”

The announcement comes less than a year after the U.C. Board of Regents tapped Mark Yudof, the former chancellor of the University of Texas, to lead California’s extensive 10-campus system. Yudof, who keeps a kosher home, is only the second Jewish president in U.C.’s history. Yudof has visited Israel at least six times, and is married to Judy Yudof, a board member of Hillel International and a former president of the Conservative movement’s congregational arm, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

While the movement toward reinstating U.C.’s Israel study-aboard program has been in the works for several years, some pro-Israel activists said they saw Yudof’s interest in the issue as the tipping point. Upon his return from a nine-day trip to Israel in early July  just two weeks after he assumed the presidency June 16  Yudof was quoted in the Bay Area’s Jewish weekly, the San Francisco J, saying, “I told Hebrew University that it’s no secret – I’m going to take another look” at the policy.

U.C.’s program with Hebrew University once ran seamlessly. U.C. students received school credit for Hebrew University classes; they paid U.C. tuition, and had a U.C. professor on hand to administer the program. According to Chaim Seidler-Feller, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Hillel, at its peak, some 20 students from UCLA alone participated in the program.

UCLA Hillel estimates that about three to five UCLA students per year have chosen to study at Israeli universities in the years since the program was shuttered. But, said Seidler-Feller, the process has been far more complicated, requiring students to withdraw from the school. “During the last few years it’s been cumbersome and burdensome to assume the personal responsibility of enrolling in the year abroad at Hebrew University,” said Seidler-Feller. “In particular, it’s been cumbersome regarding the transfer of credits.”

Now, say Hillel leaders, students will once again be able to study in Israel without having to navigate institutional roadblocks.

One student, 21-year-old Ilana Nankin, said that while she experienced no financial hardship from spending last spring at Hebrew University, she has come up against bureaucratic pitfalls trying to get her Hebrew University credits approved at U.C. Berkeley. Nankin, a U.C. Berkeley senior who is majoring in psychology, said that she finally got her credits from Hebrew University approved just last week, some six months after she finished her studies there. “That’s been really difficult because I don’t know what I’m going to need to do to graduate,” she said.

The program’s reinstatement is the result of intensive lobbying by pro-Israel activists. Last winter, student activists redoubled their efforts when they took their case to the California state legislature. In January, former Democratic state senator Carole Migden introduced Senate Resolution 18, which cited the added burdens of studying in Israel without the program, and called for its reinstatement. That resolution passed unanimously.

Then, in August, the U.C. provost requested that an ad hoc working group advise whether the university should, as an exception to its policy, re-establish the program in Israel.

perhaps this is why, in part, the us campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of israel participated in a guerrilla ad to correct the university of california’s study abroad posters (click link here to see before and after versions of the posters).

on education as liberation

israeli terrorists outside al quds university yesterday
israeli terrorists outside al quds university yesterday

friday morning a friend of mine had to make a delivery to nablus for work and offered to drive me down to beit lahem afterward so i decided to go back with him. my friend who i went to visit is a graduate student at al quds university in the european studies program. she has been complaining about the program all year, partially because the master’s program is a normalization program with an israeli terrorist university in herzliya. this means that the professors in her institution, who teach her classes, also teach in the same program there. ultimately the israeli terrorist students and the palestinian students are supposed to study jointly in germany, something my friend has already decided she would not participate in. but all year long she has had suspicions that her professors were not european or american, as her program coordinator munther dajani unequivocally stated, but rather she had strong suspicions that they were israelis.

of course those of you who follow anti-normalization and boycott news will recall that al quds university’s president sari nusseibeh–famous for his unabashed normalization with israeli terrorists–recently stated that al quds university would phase out its normalization projects (i blogged about this a few months ago). clearly, they are not only continuing these projects, but lying about them as well. the other day my friend saw an israeli terrorist id fall out of her professor’s pocket in class. the professor, aharon yair mcclanahan, does not seem to yield any results in english on google or in any of the major academic search engines. but here was a tell-tale sign of his real, hidden identity. in class the other day he was speaking about british decolonization in general. he decided to offer a specific example as professors should, of course, do. what was his example? the british decolonization of “israel.” i kid you not. he used this as an example to a classroom filled with palestinian master’s degree-seeking students. this is why when i took the photograph above saturday morning my friend said: which is scarier those israeli terrorists in uniform or those trying to hide themselves among us? indeed.

the other professor–one tal sadeh–lives in the colony of pisgat ze’ev on stolen palestinian land (as every israeli terrorist does regardless of where they live). apparently this professor didn’t hide his identity and told the students that he is a colonist occupying their land and their classroom. this second professor is not so difficult to find dirt on. in academic search premier he has a couple of articles about the zionist entity and economic trade with the european union. and he has a book on the eu on amazon.com. his articles on the zionist entity and the eu may seem banal to the uniformed reader. but of course none of these articles mention the way that all of these things that they export–such as agriculture–are entirely stolen from palestinians, from palestinian land. when he mentions tourism he fails to mention that they make it completely impossible for foreigners to tour palestine and actively work to keep tourists from spending money in cities like beit lahem. he is not innocent as with all zionist colonist terrorists he actively works to cover up the crimes of his usurping entity. i also found a letter he posted to the american zionist terrorist front page magazine in which he forwards the usual zionist propaganda. here is but one example of his deceitful propaganda:

The same goes for the Church of Nativity: It was the armed Palestinians who either forced the monks to give them shelter (which suggests that the monks are hostages), or the church who willingly let them in (which means it sided with the Palestinians in this war). Israel never wanted the violence to reach that church. The Palestinians use the church to fire at Israelis, which are morally prevented from firing back. And what about the poor children that get hurt? Indeed it is terrible. But rarely do western journalists take care to report how the Palestinians themselves are careless with their children, firing at IDF soldiers from within a crowd of kids. That poor Palestinian kid who was shot at the beginning of the Intifada – Mohammad Dura – There’s no proof at all that the IDF shot him. A recent German TV show found mixed evidence. Anyway, he was caught in the firing zone, nobody tried to purposely kill him. But like in many libels, the “sorry, we were wrong” part comes in ! small print and not in the front page.

of course, the zionist entity admitted that they murdered mohammad al durra and then later took it back. you can watch the episode of “focus on gaza” that i posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago for an entire episode about al durra and what actually happened.

when my friend went to her peers with her complaint–a complaint that clearly their director, munther dajani was unwilling to engage with since he covered up the fact that he hired israeli terrorists to teach palestinian students–there were some very odd responses. one student argued that they must keep things professional and academic and somehow academia is not the place for politics. but is not political to talk about selling palestinian orange juice that is squeezed from palestinian yaffa oranges, stolen by zionists, and sold to the european union as sadeh does in his scholarship? is this truthful, academic honesty? or for mcclanahan to suggest that the british decolonized palestine for the zionist colonists (who, of course, were not characterized as colonists by him)? these are distortions of the truth and palestinians deserve better.

but this situation is about more than this for me. as one who got her foundation about pedagogy from paolo freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed, as well as many others who followed his path, i understood pedagogy to be a form of resistance and liberation from my first days of graduate school. (interestingly, my friend who brought this all to my attention recently found freire and began reading him and saw quite clearly his theories as applicable to her situation.) i do not see how pedagogy can be connected to liberation in the least bit when the oppressor is teaching your classes. how can a student feel safe in such a class? how can students trust that the material they are being given is truthful? how can students challenge the teacher and the material being presented?

mcgill university in montreal, canada has an institute called the freire project where they carry on the theories of freire’s work. here is a video that encapsulates some of what they are all about. in the video that follows you will hear and read peter mclaren’s words that best describes this spirit:

Revolutionary critical pedagogy operates from an understanding that the basis of education is political, and that spaces need to be created where students can imagine a different world outside of capitalism’s law of value…where patriarchal hierarchies of oppression can be ended.

i wish i had my freire books here with me, but alas they are in amman. but some of the key concepts of critical pedagogy, depends upon key concepts that teach students to think critically. this involves giving students the tools with which to educate themselves, to inspire students to read, to learn, to know, and, perhaps most importantly to question. the freire project has an interesting four-part interview with christopher stonebanks and tariq ali that gets at many of these issues and themes. it starts with a discussion of ali’s novels to consider fiction as a tool to get people to think about history, given that his novels are historical inquiries into various periods of history in the arab world. but in part three he also addresses this need to teach students to think critically and its relationship between this and getting students to read. and in part four he addresses the need to teach students to doubt. this is what is sorely lacking in the educational system in many parts of the world, including here in palestine.

of course, the united states is also a country where teaching students to think critically is threatening. this is why professors like ward churchill and norman finkelstein have been under attack and fired from their institutions–cases that ali addresses in the above videos. another professor is currently under the same sort of scrutiny. this time it is william robinson at the university of california at santa barbara. he did a great interview with dennis bernstein on flashpoints the other day in which he specifically addressed the fact that an email he sent out comparing images of nazi germany to the israeli savagery in gaza was meant to teach students to question–an academic activity. here is the text of robinson’s original email, but if you click on the link you can get to the original images in question as well as to some context for them:

If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.

Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.

The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the U.S., a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest, and today arms, trains, and advises military and paramilitary forces in Colombia, one of the world’s worst human rights violators.

there is a petition to sign for robinson, which you can get to by clicking this link.

education must be about encouraging students to think, to see things from a different point of view. it must also be about learning and reading–and encouraging students to do this. it is always so difficult to find students who are invested in their own learning process, who want these tools, who seek them out. this is why i was quite disturbed when i learned that a friend and student at my university has been blocked by her british teacher yet again from such learning in two ways. first, this student gave the professor money to buy her a copy of ilan pappe’s the ethnic cleansing of palestine. after quite a long wait the teacher gave the student back the money saying that the bookstore was not open when she went to al quds. as someone who goes to the two english-language bookshops on salah el din street almost every weekend–at various times of the day and evening–i found this to be quite shocking. indeed, i happened to go there on friday afternoon at the moment when everyone was rushing to the old city for friday prayer and it was open. i also know from experience that the bookshop is open in the evenings as well throughout the weekend. but this same student, who wants to do research comparing israeli terrorist policies in 1948 palestine with its terrorist ethnic cleansing policies in the west bank was told: no. why was she told no? because she was told that if she presented such research to a foreign, western audience they wouldn’t understand because they only see the west bank and gaza as occupied. thankfully, this student knows better.

but this is precisely my point: education should encourage students to sort such things out. a professor or teacher might mention that such biases exist, but show that student those biases and encourage the student to figure out ways to challenge those biases through his/her research. but this foreign teacher silenced this student (though thankfully she refuses to be silenced). but any other student might submit.

education must be about liberation. about resistance. why else would anyone teach?

on the justice of ward churchill (and the chickens that will continue to come home to roost)

churchillpriceless11 i haven’t been following ward churchill’s trial as closely as i would have liked to, but i am so happy to know that justice was finally served in the case of churchill v. colorado university. there were a few issues at stake in the trial, but one of the most significant ones was in relation to academic freedom. specifically it was in relation to ward churchill’s essay, which he wrote after 9/11 entitled “some people push back: on the justice of roosting chickens.” here is how it begins:

When queried by reporters concerning his views on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Malcolm X famously – and quite charitably, all things considered – replied that it was merely a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”

On the morning of September 11, 2001, a few more chickens – along with some half-million dead Iraqi children – came home to roost in a very big way at the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Well, actually, a few of them seem to have nestled in at the Pentagon as well.

The Iraqi youngsters, all of them under 12, died as a predictable – in fact, widely predicted – result of the 1991 US “surgical” bombing of their country’s water purification and sewage facilities, as well as other “infrastructural” targets upon which Iraq’s civilian population depends for its very survival.

If the nature of the bombing were not already bad enough – and it should be noted that this sort of “aerial warfare” constitutes a Class I Crime Against humanity, entailing myriad gross violations of international law, as well as every conceivable standard of “civilized” behavior – the death toll has been steadily ratcheted up by US-imposed sanctions for a full decade now. Enforced all the while by a massive military presence and periodic bombing raids, the embargo has greatly impaired the victims’ ability to import the nutrients, medicines and other materials necessary to saving the lives of even their toddlers.

All told, Iraq has a population of about 18 million. The 500,000 kids lost to date thus represent something on the order of 25 percent of their age group. Indisputably, the rest have suffered – are still suffering – a combination of physical debilitation and psychological trauma severe enough to prevent their ever fully recovering. In effect, an entire generation has been obliterated.

for those of you who read my post earlier today you already know what i think about such propositions. and we can look at any place or time in history to see this same phenomenon repeat itself. the website following the trial reported this upon hearing learning of his victory:

A jury found on Thursday that the University of Colorado had wrongfully dismissed a professor who drew national attention for an essay in which he called some victims of the Sept. 11 attacks “little Eichmanns.”

There’s some inside scuttlebutt here. David Lane got to talk to the jurors after the case, and word has it they had the following couple of salient points to offer:

1. Up until the reading of the final instructions by the judge, the jurors thought they were to be deliberating on whether or not Ward had committed academic fraud, pure and simple. It’s an understandable error, given the nature of the witnesses. Their unanimous finding was that Ward hadn’t committed any fraud worthy of the name.

2. The jurors were disgusted by the repetition of Ward’s protected speech by O’Rourke, including the quotes from the audio that Craig Silverman kept pushing at O’Rourke; they felt this clearly showed the nature of CU’s witchhunt.

As to the award, Ward Churchill never asked for money. In fact he told the jury repeatedly he didn’t want a cent. What he does want is his job back. And given the nature of this verdict, one has to ask how justice could be served if he doesn’t get it. More to come.

max forte’s open anthropology blog has been covering the trial regularly, too, and there are great detailed reports there. here is what he posted about the meaning of this victory:

It is not at all a situation where a lawyer lost the case for CU: all of the Big Eichmanns who ran the university, and the Little Eichmanns who served on the faculty committees, paraded through the court, are the ones who lost the case for CU, because it never had more than a political case to begin with. Their statements were weak, contradictory, often mendacious, and most importantly, validations of Churchill’s case. As the news reports below said:

1. Were Ward Churchill’s freedom of speech rights violated and did the University act inappropriately? YES.

2. Was Ward Churchill wrongfully fired? YES.

3. Did the University have enough reason [i.e., “research misconduct”] to fire Churchill otherwise? NO.

What Ward Churchill has done for all of us is to send a powerful message to each and every university: You are not entitled to determine what is acceptable expression on the part of faculty, thereby curtailing their rights as public citizens who are free to engage in dissent and opposition. Ward Churchill, thanks to his relentless pursuit of what is right and just, thanks to his sheer stamina and courage, has smashed a gigantic hole in the Wall of Silence, that national security wall of the militarized state, where power is abused in order to enforce the orthodox doctrines of the Western “master race.”

Churchill’s resistance was successful and efficacious resistance. He forced his many persecutors to face their own lies, their violations of the truth, their own fraud in misappropriating academic values in order to further sinister, extremist political goals. The result is that CU is rendered, in public, and as a matter of judicial fact, a fraud: an academic fraud that will prostitute the academy for the sake of the pet political projects of bankrupt neo-conservatives, and a political fraud whose actions speak volumes of the real nature of freedom in a so-called “liberal democracy.” Churchill has fought the neo-fascist, fear-based political order, and recuperated his dignity and integrity, and not just in his name. And so we are left to tally the ruins of the system that he, along with many others, has challenged so tenaciously:

* A failed ideology of neo-conservativism and of the New American Century (which lasted for less than a decade);

* Failed imperial wars of conquest;

* A broken-down and failed capitalist economic system.

there are a number of news clips max has posted as well, but here are two worth watching. the first is of churchill’s own testimony and the second is a report on justice being served from local colorado television news:

justice has been served, but only in some small way. but the core of what churchill argued in that original essay still seems to fall upon deaf ears. having a new administration is no help, either. the obama administration is continuing with the empire that bush began. for instance, what of the u.s. military installations in iraq and afghanistan (and is suspect we’ll be seeing some in pakistan soon). jeremy scahill reports on this as well as other issues addressed in a gao report released this week. tellingly, the issue of water that churchill addressed in his essay is still an issue in iraq:

Perhaps the saddest portion of the GAO report relates to what should be done to address the massive suffering in Iraq and what the U.S. responsibility should be for paying for the tremendous devastation of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure over the past 20 years.

Just take the issue of water. As of now, according to the report, “many Iraqis are without water or have access to water that puts them at risk of diseases such as cholera and dysentery, as evidenced by outbreaks in 2007 and 2008. According to the United Nations, only 40 percent of children have reliable access to safe drinking water; with water-treatment plants operating at only 17 percent capacity, large volumes of untreated waste are discharged into Iraq’s waterways. The health risks associated with a lack of access to potable water and proper sewage treatment are compounded by the shortage of medical professionals in Iraq’s health care system.”

According to the World Bank, it would cost $14.4 billion to rebuild the Iraqi public works and water system. In other words, about five weeks of the overall cost of the U.S. occupation.

Instead of discussing U.S. reparations or restitution, as groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War have demanded, the report asks the Obama administration what more the Iraqi government can do to fund reconstruction projects. “We’ve just spent $700 billion to bail out Wall Street,” says IPS’ Erik Leaver. “While the report notes that the U.S. spent $9.5 billion and Iraq budgeted for $17.2 billion for reconstruction of a war torn society. The scale of what we’ve done on the civilian end is absurd.”

Before one more cent is spent on bailing out corrupt corporations that destroyed the U.S. economy, Iraqis should have clean drinking water. After all, it was the illegal U.S. wars that took it from them in the first place. And that is not logic based on lies.

scahill was also on democracy now! yesterday and offered some important and interesting analysis on the american mercenaries working in iraq and who their war crimes partners are:

AMY GOODMAN: Who heads up Triple Canopy?

JEREMY SCAHILL: It was founded by former Special Forces operatives from the US Army. They were minor contributors to the Bush/Cheney campaign, but not real big political players. They clearly started the company as a result of the US invasion in Iraq. They started it in 2003. By 2004, they got one of the primary contracts in Iraq.

An interesting fact about Triple Canopy is that it was one of the big three US companies. Triple Canopy, DynCorp, and Blackwater shared this mother contract. Blackwater had the biggest share of it, to guard US officials in the Baghdad area. DynCorp had the north of Iraq. Triple Canopy had the south of Iraq.

Triple Canopy also, though, did a very lucrative business servicing other war contractors like KBR, and Triple Canopy was also known for being the company that brought in the largest number of so-called third country nationals, non-Iraqis, non-Americans. They hired, for instance, former Salvadoran commandos who were veterans of the bloody counterinsurgency war in El Salvador that took the lives of 75,000 Salvadorans, minimum. Chileans—they used the same recruiter, Jose Miguel Pizarro Ovalle, that Blackwater used when they hired Chileans. This was a former Pinochet military officer.

And this company has been around, you know, for five or six years. The Obama administration has hired them in Iraq, and many of the Blackwater guys are believed to be jumping over to Triple Canopy to continue working on in Iraq. Obama, though, is keeping Blackwater on, and the State Department has not ruled out that they’re going to stay on for much longer, the aviation division of Blackwater in Iraq, and also Blackwater is on the US government payroll in Afghanistan, also working for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The news that I’m breaking on Triple Canopy, though, is that I obtained federal contracts that were signed in February and March by the Obama administration with Triple Canopy to act as a private paramilitary force operating out of Jerusalem. And this is also part of a very secretive State Department program called the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which was started under the Clinton administration as a privatized wing of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security division. Triple Canopy was paid $5 million in February, March by the Obama administration to provide, quote, “security services” in Israel.

In congressional testimony in 2007, Ambassador David Satterfield, who was an Under Secretary of State, said that he had been guarded by private security companies when he traveled in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Triple Canopy had the contract, has had this contract since 2005, the Obama administration continuing it.

I think that the Obama administration should be required to explain to US taxpayers, particularly with the atrocious human rights abuses that we’ve been seeing in Israel, why he’s using a US mercenary company to protect US officials when they potentially come in contact with civilians. And we’ve seen how deadly that’s been in Iraq. And before May 7th, his administration should be required to explain to the American people why he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are continuing the Bush administration’s policy of using deadly paramilitary forces in Iraq.

you can watch his interview with amy goodman here:

clearly, we have not learned our lessons. expect even more chickens coming home to roost.

resisting american zionism

there are so many fronts on which to fight american zionists even within american universities. for instance, angry arab reported some of the backlash american professors active in the academic boycott of israel have been targeted of late:

A colleague, Lara, sent me this (I cite with her permission): “A friend of mine who signed onto the U.S. call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel is listed on that website received a package today from the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. It included a letter suggesting to her that her support of the boycott was misguided and could easily be corrected through proper information and that Israel is a democracy that celebrates its diversity in every possible way. It also included a number of glossy Israeli government propaganda brochures and pamphlets, and a book called “The Israelis” by Donna Rosenthal …that includes chapters with titles like “Dating and Mating Israeli Style” “Oy! Gay?” and “Hookers and Hash in the Holy Land,” alongside chapters like “The Bedouin: Tribes, Tents and Satellite Dishes” and “Out of Africa: Ethiopian Israelis in the Promised Land.” In all, the package seemed to be cast towards a stereotyped view of a “liberal academic” (as opposed to their propaganda for born-again Christians) who is assumed to know extremely little about the Middle East and who is assumed to be stupid enough to believe this s*&^.”

meanwhile, professors at university of california campuses have launched a new campaign to resist study abroad programs in the zionist entity. here is their letter and their signatories are below:

March 31, 2009

Michael Cowan, Acting Executive Director
University of California Education Abroad Program
Universitywide Office of EAP
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823

RE: Plan to Reopen UC EAP in Israel

Dear Dr. Cowan:

We, the undersigned, are faculty of the University of California and supporters of 
the Education Abroad Program (EAP). We write to express serious concerns about the
plan to restart the UC EAP in Israel at a time when Palestinian education in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been disrupted or made impossible as a result of Israeli policies. If the reopening goes forward, the likelihood that some UC students will face discriminatory treatment if they seek to partake in this program raises additional and separate concerns.

To restart EAP in Israel at this time would not reflect well on the UC’s commitment to the universal right to education. Israel has persistently violated its obligation under Article 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which requires the Occupying Power to facilitate the proper functioning of educational institutions in occupied territories. Israel remains the Occupying Power because it retains effective control in all these areas, and exercises this control by making education difficult or impossible for Palestinians in a variety of ways: blockading, besieging and bombing schools and universities; suspending delivery of books and educational supplies; restricting or barring the movement of students, teachers and researchers to their institutions of learning, as well as to travel abroad for educational purposes. Because of these actions, Israel has deprived hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their right to education.

We are also deeply concerned that Arab-American (and especially Palestinian-American) and Muslim-American UC students who might want to participate in a UC EAP in Israel would encounter disabling forms of discrimination and a generally hostile anti-Arab and 
anti-Muslim environment in Israel. This concern is supported by the US government, as reflected in the State Department website warning that “American citizens whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab or Muslim origin are likely to face additional, often time-consuming, and probing questioning by immigration and border authorities, or may even be denied entry into Israel. If they are determined by Israeli authorities to have a claim to residency status in the West Bank or Gaza, or to have a claim to a Palestinian identification number, such American citizens may be required by the Government of Israel to use a Palestinian Authority travel document to transit Israel to enter the West Bank or Gaza. Such a determination could be made for American citizens if they or their immediate family members or grandparents were born in the West Bank or Gaza, currently reside there, or have lived there for any appreciable amount of time.”
If such a determination were made in the case of Palestinian-American UC students, they would be subject to the travel restrictions that Israel imposes on Palestinians from the occupied territories; at a minimum, they would be subject to harassment and humiliation at Israeli army checkpoints and would, in all likelihood, be denied entry to Jerusalem which is off limits to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

The designated site of UC’s EAP, Hebrew University (HU), has a longstanding and documented record of discriminating against Palestinian students, even those who are citizens of Israel. Palestinian students have been barred from using athletic facilities, for example, and the university has on at least one occasion removed Palestinian students from campus housing to make room for Jewish American students, partly in order to prevent the mixture of Jews and Arabs. This record, coupled with the US government’s warning, presents a constitutive likelihood that restarting EAP in Israel will involve discrimination against some UC students, potentially in contravention of UC regulations and California law. This places the onus on the University either not to pursue such a program or to put in place from the outset guarantees that such discrimination would not occur.

We request that you release existing documentation of EAP’s review of Israel and HU. If such documentation is not available, given the high probability of discrimination, we request a formal re-review of the HU proposal by the University Committee on International Education, a process that would include experts on HU’s record on discrimination. Following such a review, we request that a report be made public with information about (1) the formal criteria UC EAP has created to determine whether HU meets UC and US criteria for nondiscrimination under the various statutes that govern public higher education; (2) formal measures that UC EAP will take to guarantee non-discrimination at the new center; and (3) the formal procedures for redressing and possibly closing EAP in Israel if the program is restarted but fails to meet non-discrimination criteria.

The University’s failure to address all of the concerns raised in this letter, we think, would constitute an unacceptable disregard for liability risk and abrogation of its commitment to provide a non-discriminatory educational environment for all of its students. 

Sincerely,

Edward A. Alpers, UCLA
Nazar AlSayyad, UCB
Anjali Arondekar, UCSC
Paola Bacchetta, UCB
Etienne Balibar, UCI
Ali Behdad, UCLA
George Bisharat, UC Hastings School of Law
Jody Blanco, UCSD
Daniel Boyarin, UCB
Karl Britto, UCSC
Karen Brodkin, UCLA
Wendy Brown, UCB
Carole Browner, UCLA
Edmund Burke III, UCSC
Judith Butler, UCB
Magda Campo, UCSB
Richard Candidas, UCB
Michael Cassidy, UCB
Ignacio Chapela, UCB
Piya Chatterjee, UCR
Joshua Clover, UCD
Michael Cooperson, UCLA
Lara Deeb, UCI
Elizabeth DeLoughrey, UCLA
Gina Dent, UCSC
Gregory Dobbins, UCD
Beshara Doumani, UCB
Lan Duong, UCR
Omnia el Shakry, UCD
Fatima El-Tayeb, UCSD
Julia Elyachar, UCI
Samera Esmeir, UCB
Yen Le Espiritu, UCSD
Richard Falk, UCSB
Margaret W. Ferguson, UCD
Aisha Finch, UCLA
Claudio Fogu, UCSB
John Foran, UCSB
Carla Freccero, UCSC
Takashi Fujitani, UCSD
Nancy Gallagher, UCSB
Rosemary George, UCSD
Jess Ghannam, UCSF
Evelyn Glenn, UCB
David Theo Goldberg, UCI
Bluma Goldstein, UCB
Bishnupriya Ghosh , UCSB
Avery Gordon, UCSB
Emily Gottreich, UCB
Inderpal Grewal, UCI
Ramon Grosfoguel, UCB
Nandini Gunewardena, UCLA
Elizabeth M. Guthrie, UCI
Christian Haesemeyer, UCLA
Lisa Hajjar, UCSB
Gerry Hale, UCLA
Sondra Hale, UCLA
Jonathan Hall, UCI
Gillian Hart, UCB
Charles Henry, UCB
Charles Hirschkind, UCB
Gil Hochberg, UCLA
Jerome Hoffman, UCLA
Grace Hong, UCLA
Donna Jones, UCB
Suad Joseph, UCD
Caren Kaplan, UCD
Marie Kennedy, UCLA
Elaine Kim, UCB
Katherine King, UCLA
Jake Kosek, UCB
Mariam B. Lam, UCR
Jin-Kyung Lee, UCSD
Leon Letwin, UCLA
Mark LeVine, UCI
Esther Lezra, UCSB
Margaret Loose, UCSD
Lisa Lowe, UCSD
Paul Lubeck, UCSC
Samer Madanat, UCB
Saba Mahmood, UCB
Sunaina Maira, UCD
Saree Makdisi, UCLA
Nelson Maldonado-Torres, UCB
Waldo Martin, UCB
Bill Maurer, UCI
Toby Miller, UCR
Minoo Moallem, UCB
Kathleen Moore, UCSB
Michael Morony, UCLA
Ramona Naddaf, UCB
Mary King Norseng, UCLA
Alice O’Connor, UCSB
Michael Omi, UCB
Mary Lovelace O’Neal, UCB
Stefania Pandolfo, UCB
Constance Penley, UCSB
Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA
Ismail Poonawala, UCLA
Michael Provence, UCSD
Leigh Raiford, UCB
Kaushik Sunder Rajan, UCI
Richard Randolph, UCSC
Raka Ray, UCB
Lisa Rofel, UCSC
Frank Ross, UCSD
Ananya Roy, UCB
Parama Roy, UCD
Rosaura Sanchez, UCSD
Alex Saragosa, UCB
Bhasker Sarkar, UCSB
Sue Schweik, UCB
Kathryn Shevelow, UCSD
Sonia Shiri, UCB
David Simpson, UCD
Susan Slyomovics, UCLA
Eric Smoodin, UCD
Ula Taylor, UCB
Charis Thompson, UCB
Barrie Thorne, UCB
Anne Wagner, UCB
Richard Walker, UCB
L. Ling-chi Wang, UCB
Evan Watkins, UCD
Michael Watts, UCB
Devra Weber, UCR
Hayden White, UCSC
Leon Wofsy, UCB
Victor Wolfenstein, UCLA
Salim Yaqub, UCSB
Lisa Yoneyama, UCSD

Contact Information: Prof. Sondra Hale sonhale [at] ucla.edu and Prof. Kathleen Moore kmoore [at] lawso.ucsb.edu

and, finally, you know you are doing something right when the zionist thugs like the simon wiesenthal center are on your ass (recall they are the ones destroying a palestinian cemetery in al quds in order to build some sort of museum claiming their suffering all the while they victimize palestinians daily):

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE – EUROPE
Tel. +33-147237637 – Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

Wiesenthal Centre-Backed French National Bureau Against Antisemitism Takes Legal Action against Anti-Israel Boycotters

Paris, 23 March 2009

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre-backed National Bureau Against Antisemitism (BNVCA), together with the French Association for Assistance to Israel (SFSI) and the Jewish Communities Council of Seine-Saint Denis (CCJ 93), on 20 March, took legal action against “persons instigating, promoting, or complicit, in the boycott of Israeli manufactured products.”

Registering with the Public Prosecutor of the Bobigny district, their complaint noted:

– “Numerous calls from our members and the general public, regarding the invasion of Paris suburban supermarkets by anti-Israel boycotters.”

– “The language of this campaign of incitement to hatred against Israel, in the short or mid-term, leads to anti-Jewish acts in the country.

Example: “The Israelis sell baby diapers [here], while they kill Palestinian children.”

– “Videos available on EUROPALESTINE.COM, YOUTUBE.COM and DAILYMOTION.COM (see web links below) present these boycott operations in “Carrefour” supermarkets around Paris. We urge the management of these stores not to succumb to delinquent intimidation and to continue offering their clientele products, including from Israel, without discrimination.”

– “This boycott campaign should be viewed as a discriminatory and punishable crime, inasmuch as many of the targeted products serve the kosher dietary needs of Jewish citizens [of France].”

– “All persons responsible for provocation to these crimes and delicts are charged under ‘Article 23 of the Law of 29 July 1881, Appendix 47 of the Criminal Code’, and for delicts against the Public Good under “Article 27 of the same law’.”

Flyers, stickers and a list of products to be boycotted were also submitted to the Prosecutor.

“The threatening nature of the boycotters’ occupation in each supermarket, and their manipulation of the public, is too reminiscent of the Nazi ‘Kristallnacht’ (‘Night of Broken Glass’) of 9 November 1938, under the slogan ‘Kauft nicht bei Juden!’ (Do Not buy Jewish products),” commented Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

“We all know where ‘Kristallnacht’ ended: at Auschwitz and the destruction of Europe”, concluded Samuels.

______________________

Web links of boycott actions:

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3908
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/boycot+israel+/video/x8nocz_action-boycott-israel_news
(Aulnay-sous-Bois, 7 March 2009)

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3814
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/boycot+israel+/video/x8jj7c_operation-de-boycot-2_news
(Genevilliers, 21 February 2009)

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3846
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGKifWrNoOk
(Saint Denis, 14 February 2009)