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Jake Lynch wins key legal battle but not yet the war

Australian academic boycott campaigner has won an important legal victory in his struggle against harrassment by Zionist lawfare organisation Shurat HaDin. Jake's legal team has released this statement.

In Federal Court today (24 April), Judge Alan Robertson struck out those parts of the claim that seek to underpin the factual basis of the allegations that Prof Jake Lynch has breached the Racial Discrimination Act.

He gave the applicants permission to re-cast those and any other paragraphs of the claim to rectify the defects of their case.

He ordered the applicants to pay Prof Lynch’s costs of the application brought to Strike Out the Claim and has given permission for those costs to be recovered now rather than at the conclusion of the proceedings.

He also ordered that Mr Hamilton and the other applicants undertake to the court within 21 days to not dispose of or encumber his Australian assets without notifying Prof Lynch (within 21 days). He will not require the applicants to establish a fund to secure any cost orders that may be made against them in the future. However, if that undertaking is not given he will make orders requiring the applications to give security for costs.

He has also ordered that the maximum costs, as they occur after 21 February 2014, payable to the successful party will be $300,000, subject to further order".

So - the issue has not gone away yet, but on several important legal points, the day went strongly in our favour. We are pleased and relieved!

It also alters slightly the gradient I am having to tread, in my effort to keep up with my legal bills – but only slightly. I still need your support! Any donation you can afford to give would be enormously helpful.

#Mass pressure reinstates Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine

Northeastern SJP have sent out this message to supporters:

'Thanks to the absolutely relentless support we have received from around the world, Northeastern University has backed down on the suspension of Students for Justice in Palestine! We are reinstated and will be fully functional for the fall semester. This is a huge victory for free speech on campus, but also for the entire Palestine solidarity movement in the US. Our fight demonstrates that we will no longer tolerate discussions of Palestine and Israeli crimes being marginalized because some may disagree with us and use their power to try and silence us. Our message was heard at Northeastern loud and clear, so now let's spread it around the country. Viva Palestine!'

Irish students pass BDS resolution

Students at the National University of Ireland Galway voted by nearly 2 to 1 in a vote of over 3000 to actively participate in the BDS campaign until Israel ends the occupation of Palestine and complies with its obligations under international law.

Scottish students pass BDS resolutions

Dundee University Student Association endorsed BDS in a referendum by almost 3 to 1. As well as a general call to support BDS the vote called for a ban on selling any goods produced in settlements or by companies complicit in settlement activity. This follows an earlier vote by Dundee students to cut ties with G4S and an almost unanimous vote at the National Union of Students (Scotland) congress to affiliate to the Right To Education campaign, run by students at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank.

Right wing students force Tel Aviv University to cancel talk by Israeli Arab

A Land Day lecture by Mohammed Kena’ana at Tel Aviv University was cancelled after protests by student members of Right Wing and far Right parties. They forced the university administrators to retreat from their earlier commitment to free speech in a move praised by censorship promoting group, Im Tirzu.

Kena'ana had served a prison sentence for passing information to Hezbollah. Solidarity Against Fascism at TAU said, “It is a call against freedom of expression and pluralism, some of the most important values of a democratic society,...Kena’ana is a free Israeli citizen who has already served his sentence.”

Tel Aviv University cancels talk by Israeli Arab who served time for aiding Hezbollah - Ha'aretz

Update on action on North American campuses

North American students continue to campaign to support Palestinian rights and promote BDS despite constant sniping from Zionists.

Call to create divestment committee passes at University of Michigan-Dearborn
Northeastern students rally against censorship and racism
Ryerson College, Toronto students vote for Israel divestment
DePaul University, Chicago students take a different approach to divestment
Anti-Boycott Resolution Rejected in Illinois State Senate Committee
Wesleyan Jewish students announce support for Open Hillel
Divestment bid at University of New Mexico fails by 12-7
Washington University, Missouri censors Palestinian poet and bans campus meeting on BDS

Haifa University sets up for-credit course in lying

Hasbara courses are not unusual in Israeli universities but previously they have been short courses outside the main programme. Now Haifa University has launched as a four credit course, ‘Ambassadors Online: Volunteering, Zionism, Digital Diplomacy’, to be offered by the University’s Department of Multi-Disciplinary Studies to prepare students to be unofficial “ambassadors” for Israel on the Internet.
The lack of the critical approach to be expected of any legitimate university programme is apparent from the endorsements on the programme’s home page which include such propaganda organisations as StandWithUs and Birthright Israel and also the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Diplomacy & Diaspora Affairs.
In mounting this programme Haifa University further undermines those arguments against the Academic Boycott based on the claims that Israeli universities are independent of the state.

University of Haifa’s ‘Cyber Warriors’ will help fight the delegitimization of Israel using new media - Haifa Press Release
Haifa University launches course in pro-Israel propaganda - Ben White

American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call

The ASA has flourished since its historic decision to support the academic boycott. Despite fierce attempts by Israel's supporters to demonise the ASA, attempts to encourage disaffiliations and legal threats membership is growing fast and membership revenue is at a 25 year high.

ASA's press release on its growth

Academics for Palestine publish 'Academia Against Apartheid – The case for an academic boycott of Israel'

The Irish academic boycott campaign, Academics for Palestine, have published a new booklet 'Academia Against Apartheid – The case for an academic boycott of Israel'. This booklet provides an up to date case for the academic boycott and provides effective rebuttals to the arguments made against the boycott.
This booklet demonstrates the growing impact of the Irish campaign

Academia Against Apartheid cover

Download the booklet

BRICUP sends open letter to RIBA

BRICUP organised an open letter to RIBA to express support for their decision to call for the bar on the Israeli architects' association.

In just a couple of days 77 signatures were collected including MPs; Peers; architects; academics; authors; musicians; actors and more.

Read the open letter and view signatories
Report of camapagn in BRICUP Newsletter 75
Independent reports BRICUP letter
Israeli Architect defends RIBA's stance

King’s College London Students' Union endorses BDS

The students' union of King's College London voted to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign at its Student General Meeting on 25 March by 348 votes to 252 The motion recalls how KCLSU took a stand against South African Apartheid in the 1980s. The motin calls for an invstigation of KCL's links with Israel and for the College "Israel and from companies directly or indirectly supporting the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies"

Text of the KCLSU motion
Report of the debate in KCLSU news; Alternative Information Center News

BRICUP speakers win BDS debate at Leeds University

Jonathan Rosenhead and Sue Blackwell of BRICUP debated BDS at Leeds University on 19 March against Hugh Hubbard (Leeds UNiversity) and Robert Fine (Warwick University). The motion "This house believes that UK academics should join the movement for academic boycott by refusing to engage with any Israeli academic institutions until Israel ends the occupation and abides by international law.” was supported 53:37 before the speeches and by 68:23 after the debate. Over a third of the opponents of BDS changed their minds after hearing the arguments.

Read Jonathan Rosenhead's speech
Report on organising the debate

UCU Scotland tells Home Secretary to bar Tsipi Livni

The 2014 Annual Congress of the University and College Union Scotland Congress (UCU Scotland) unanimouslyvoted on 28 March to condemn the planned visit by Israeli war criminal Tzipi Livni.  The Israeli politician was given a rare diplomatic passport by the UK Government in 2011 specifically to protect her from the risk of arrest and prosecution for complicity in Israeli war crimes.  Livni is planning to speak at a provocative Nakba Day meeting of the JNF (Jewish National Fund) at a secret central London venue on Thursday 15th May.  UCU Scotland Congress called on Theresa May to refuse Livni entry to the UK. The JNF purchases land which it will then not allow Palestinians to purchase or live on. They are heavily involved in current efforts to dispossess the Bedouin of the Negev.

Add your name to the call to Theresa May

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) votes to seek suspension of Israeli association

RIBA is the national professional organisation of British architects. Its council met on 19 March and passed a motion proposed by Angela Brady, former president of RIBA and backed by Architects and Planners for Justice for Palestinians (APJP). The motion was agreed by 23 to 16 with 10 abstentions after a heated debate. RIBA is the first UK professional association ot take action against Israel for its breaches of international law.

Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13 of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13. 

Resolution 13 stated:

The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention.

Abe Hayeem, Chair of APJP, presentation to RIBA council
APJP Press Release
Israeli architecture association faces ban from international forum - Guardian

US campus BDS activity continues to spread

American students are responding to threats to activists by intensifying BDS campaigns on more campuses.

On 18 March students at Loyola, a Jesuit University in Chicago, agreed to divest from companies complicit in aiding the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. They identified Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlitt-Packard, G4S, Raytheon, Elbit Systems, SodaStream, and Veolia. The vote at the student senate was passed nem con with 26 votes in favour and 2 abstentions; it followed a year long campaign by Loyola SJP and a petition signed by over 800 students.

On the same day students at the University of Michigan started an indefinite occupation in protest at the student government’s refusal to hold a vote on divestment.

Read about the Loyola action on Mondoweiss
Read about the Michigan action in the student newspaper
Zionists play Whack-a-Mole; but the moles keep digging

University of Windsor, Canada, faces donor threats and Islamophobic backlash after BDS vote

Students at the University of Windsor (UW) in Ontario, Canada passed a motion to support BDS by 798 to 585 votes. Like most student moves to support Palestinina rights this provoked threats and reprisals. The backlash this time had an extreme islamophobic flavour.

Richard Spenser, a major donor to the university not only promised ot withdraw his funding but did so saying, ' I am reasonably certain that the majority, if not all, of this small percentage of the student body are of the Muslim faith, which promotes violence and hatred toward the Jews in the middle east.' This prompts the questin of why the univesrity was prepared to accept donations from someone who so easily uses racist slurs and whether they apply due diligence before acepting donations.

Read full report in Electronic Intifada

Barnard College Censors Students for Justice in Palestine

On Monday 10 March, to kick off End Israeli Apartheid Week, the Barnard-Columbia chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine hung up a banner in front of Barnard Hall, featuring a map of historical Palestine. In response, students and parents from campus organizations like Lion PAC and Columbia Barnard Hillel immediately began a concerted email campaign, demanding the sign be removed because of its “anti-Semitic” content. And so, despite the fact that SJP obtained official permission to put up the banner, even explaining the message of their sign beforehand, Barnard President Debora Spar made the decision to tear down the banner the next morning.

Read full report in Youngist

Haim Brasheeth and Ghada Kharmi speak on the academic boycott on Irish radio

Haim Brasheeth and Ghada Kharmi of BRICUP were interviewed on Irish radio about the academic boycott.

Listen to a recording of the broadcast

Boston students fighting back against ban on campus Palestine group

Boston’s Northeastern University has suspended the on-campus Students for Justice in Palestine and launched police investigations into students. The administration also threatened two students with suspension or expulsion for distributing mock eviction leaflets on campus, a popular direct action many Palestine solidarity groups undertake during the annual Israeli Apartheid Week of events. The two SJP members who were threatened with expulsion-level charges are the only women of color in the group that distributed the leaflets.

Students say the explicit threats of expulsion of the two women has apparently been rescinded due to the outpouring of pressure by SJP activists and supporters of free speech around the country.

Read report in Electronic Intifada
Sign petition in support of the students

National University of Galway (Ireland) Students’ Union votes to support BDS

A powerful BDS motion has been passed by NUI Galway Students’ Union by a 2:1 majority in a poll which recorded over 3000 votes.

Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird, Auditor of the NUIG PSS, said in a statement: “This is a landmark victory in Ireland for the growing international campaign to boycott Israel until it complies with international law and ends its illegal occupation of Palestine, and no doubt NUIG SU is just the first of many SUs in Ireland to endorse such a campaign.”

Read report from Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Leading US Scholars condemn censorship and intimidation of Israel critics

Professors Judith Butler and Rashid Khalidi co-authored a statement objecting to increased incidents of censorship and intimidation in academic and cultural institutions for the purposes of imposing illegitimate limitations on freedom of expression relating to Israel and Palestine.  Subsequently their statement has bene endorsed by over 150 academics from many countries.

Read the statement

Appeal to support Jake Lynch's defence against Shurat HaDin

BRICUP has offered its full support to Australian Academic Jake Lynch who is under attack from aggressive Israeli lawyers Shurat HaDin who have also been targetting Oxfam.

Jake has issued an appeal to help with his mounting legal costs.

Donate to Jake Lynch's defence fund
Court told Dan Avnon not hurt by Jake Lynch’s BDS campaign

Kent University Students Union kicks out G4S

The student union at the University of Kent at Canterbury is to terminate its contract with G4S following an “outcry” over its role in human rights abuses in Palestine, South Africa, the UK and other countries.
G4S provides security and incarceration “services” to Israeli military bases, checkpoints, illegal settlements and prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to abuse and torture.

Read report in Electronic Intifada

Israelis 'not Zionist enough' for Oxford Israel Society

The university's Israeli students have left the Israel Society in the hands of a group of determined British Jews, saying the organization doesn't realize that not every Israeli supports the Israeli government. They suggest the society rename itself the 'Netanyahu Support Society'.

Read the article in Haaretz: - link for non-subscribers

New York State Senate launches attack on ASA over boycott

The orchestrated attack on the American Studies Association following its boycott decision has intensified. NY State Senate voted by 56-4 to bar spending taxpayer funds on academic groups that support boycotting Israel.

The move is likely to be ineffective. It is opoen to challenge on Fist Ammendment free speech grounds. Further it exempts boycotts that target “unlawful discriminatory practices” - exactly the focus of ASA's action.

New York Senate passes bill punishing ASA over Israel boycott - Mondoweiss

US Native American and Indigenous Studies Association joins academic boycott

The council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) declares its support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions...NAISA is dedicated to free academic inquiry about, with, and by Indigenous communities. The NAISA Council protests the infringement of the academic freedom of Indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression, and assembly, which we uphold.

Read the NAISA statement

Academic delegation to Palestine interrogated for 10 hours at Allenby Bridge

On January 12, 2014, a delegation of six academics and a labor activist traveled from Jordan to Palestine through the Israeli checkpoint. The delegation is led by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University and is meeting with Palestinian academics to better understand conditions on the ground and to facilitate future collaborations. Four members of the delegation, including Abdulhadi and Professor Junaid Rana of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, were held at the checkpoint and interrogated by Israeli security, the Ministry of the Interior, and the military, for over ten hours.

Read report from USABI

NYU academic trade union backs free debate on academic boycott

NYU chapter of American Association of University Professors has denounced the McCarthy like attacks on ASA decison on academic boycott.

The members of the AAUP chapter at NYU hold a variety of views about the efficacy of academic boycotts. In recognition of that range of opinion, we do not support President Sexton’s condemnation of the American Studies Association’s resolution to boycott Israeli universities. Faculty have a right to express their own opinions, in whatever form, about the suppression of freedoms among academics overseas, and a boycott of institutions is a legitimate exercise of that right. University presidents who unilaterally issue statements that do not reflect the diversity of opinion among their faculty are overstepping their office.

However, we do agree with the NYU administration’s response to the proposed legislation in the New York State Assembly. The bill (A.8392) is a clear and present threat to basic academic freedoms, not in the Middle East but here in New York State. Elected officials are seeking to use their fiscal powers to limit the range of academic expression simply because they disagree with its content. Passing this legislation would set a very dangerous precedent, reminiscent, for many of us, of the loyalty oaths of the McCarthy era.

US Modern Languages Association condemns restrictions on Palestinian academics' travel

The Modern Language Association's Delegate Assembly approved a resolution on 11 Jnauary urging the U.S. State Department to express concern over what the measure calls restrictions on scholars' ability to travel to Israel and the West Bank to work at Palestinian universities.

Israel Academic Monitor, a leading anti-BDS group commented, "Whatever the final outcome, the academic boycott has achieved its main goal, to keep the Palestinian issue in the headlines."

Inside Higher Ed: Taking Israel to Task
New York Times: Another Academic Group Considers Israel Censure
Israel Academic Monitor: The Modern Language Association - The Future of Academic Boycott Is Here?

Call to Boycott Israeli Cinema and TV Studies Conference at Tel Aviv University

BRICUP along with our colleagues in the USA (USACBI) and France (AURDIP) have issued a call to boycott the Cinema and TV conference planned for June 2014 at TAU.

This boycott call follows on recent decisions by a growing number of international scholars and academic organizations and institutions to boycott Israeli institutions in protest of the US-supported Israeli occupation of Palestine, settlement expansion, the Israeli Wall, and other violations of international law. Nearly 40 international film/media scholars, practitioners, and professionals as well as other noted intellectuals, artists, and activists have signed a letter endorsing a boycott of an Assistant Professor position opening in Cinema/Visual Culture at Hebrew University.

Read the call
Add your name to the boycott call

Take action: End EU support for Israel’s arms companies

The EU's research programme does not only support Israel's arms industry indirectly by funding military and security related projects at  Israeli universities. It also directly funds Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries and other leading Israeli weapons manufacturers.

War on Want is seeking signatures to an open leter to EU commissioners Catherine Ashton and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn demanding that Israeli arms companies be excluded from Horizon 2020, the next round of EU research funding.

Sign the War on Want letter

American Studies Association members vote 2 to 1 to support the academic boycott

The members of the American Studies Association have 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 the organization’s history, 66.05% of voters endorsed the resolution, while 30.5% of voters voted no and 3.43% abstained.

The resolution is in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and it aspires to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians. The ASA’s endorsement of the academic boycott emerges from the context of US 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 finally, the support of such a resolution by a majority of ASA members.

Read the full ASA statement
Why the ASA’s Israel boycott won - Electronic Intifada
BRICUP welcomes the ASA decision
‘Jews For Palestinian Right of Return’ endorse ASA boycott
     Add your name

The American Studies Association National Council votes unanimously to endorse academic boycott of Israel

In an unprecedented step a major US academic institution has voted to support the academic boycott. One year ago, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus of the 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 extensive deliberative procedures the Council unanimously decided to issue and recommend to a boycott motion to its members. 

The American Studies Association is the oldest and largest USA association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history; it has 5,000 individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.

Read the statement from the ASA
Sign the petition in support of the ASA's move

BRICUP criticises German TU leader's false association of BDS with Nazi boycotts

Michael Sommer, head of the Confederation of German Trade Unions, used his speech acceptig the first Arno Lustiger Award to launch an attack on BDS which falsely associated the campaign with Nazi boycotts of Jews.

BRICUP was invited to respond by the German news magazine Hintergrund.

Read BRICUP's response
Background to the Hintegrund article and quoted British statements

2 Keynotes pull out of Hebrew University Oral History Conference

The camapign against the Oral History Conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has recevied a major boost.

We are pleased to announce that the planned June 2014 “International Oral History Conference” being organized by Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been dealt a double blow with the cancellation of their two international keynote speakers: Alessandro Portelli (Italy) and Mary Marshall Clark (USA).  The university’s claim to be hosting the “first international oral history conference” was unfounded when they made it; it is even less true now.

Read the statement from the campaign organisers

Update on Shurat HaDin lawfare attack on Professor Jake Lynch

BRICUP has offered its full support to professor Jake Lynch and his colleagues in resisting the legal assault on them in Australia.

Shurat HaDin, an Israel based 'law' camapigning group has now filed a case in the Australian courts.

Australians for BDS statement on the case
To support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is not antisemitic by Antony Lowenstein: The Guardian
Boycott movement under attack in Australia by Jake Lynch: Bricup Newsleter 70

Right-wing Christian Zionists back US plan to take over the Nazareth Academic Institute

Texas A&M University is planning to take over the Nazareth Academic Institute, Nazareth is the Israel cit ywith the larget number of Palestinian inhabitants. The take-over is backed by Christian Zionist Texas Governor Rick Perry "[Christians] have a clear directive to support Israel, so from my perspective it’s pretty easy. Both as an American and as a Christian, I am going to stand with Israel”. It is also backed by John Hagee, leader of the lobby group Christians United for Israel,

Planting this zioinst backed project in Nazareth undermines efforts to develop a Palestinian University in Israel, a long held aspiration to build highrer education independent of the Israeli state.

US Christian Zionists plan to take over Palestinian university in Israel - Electronic Intifada

Academic demand for 'no watering down of bar on EU funding to settlements'

The EU is threatening to water down its guidelines on Israeli eligibility for EU funding to the point where they would become meaningless despite calls from leading academics to maintain its stance.

Following the earlier call, prominent professors, including five Fellows of the Royal Society as well as a member of the French Académie des Sciences, have written to Catherine Ashton, the EU's head of Foreign Policy, expressing their dismay at these reports.

Letter to Catherine Ashton
Press Release from BRICUP and Aurdip (our French counterparts) English French

Over 400 European Academics tell EU 'don't soften setlement guidelines'

BRICUP and our French counterparts AURDIP have sent a letter to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, demanding that the EU does not soften or postpone the implementation of the EU Guidelines on Israeli Settlements.

The letter gathered more that 450 signatures from Academics across the EU and are supported by almost 100 from elsewhere. The signatures were gathered in just two daysand the non-EU signatures were not sought but came from Academics outraged thet the EU might buckle to US and Israeli pressure to abandon even this mild action against illegal settlement activity.

Read the letter and signatures
BRICUP's press release on the letter

Urgent: sign letter to tell EU to resist Israel and US pressure to drop research boycott

Sign by 11 September

The European Union recently announced new guidelines that should prevent Israeli universities, companies and projects based in settlements from receiving EU funding. This important policy change is the result of grassroots campaigning across Europe, including a letter to the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signed by 250 academics from across Europe last year.

Israel and the US are applying pressure on the EU to drop the new guidelines, or water them down to the point where they become meaningless. ahead of negotiations on Israel's participation in the upcoming Horizon 2020 EU research funding program starting on Thursday. John Kerry has called for the new guidelines to be dropped and a US official has claimed that there is an "openness" to this request among EU officials. The intensive round of talks between the EU and the Israeli’s about the latter’s participation in the Horizon 2020 programme opens this Thursday September 12th.

The British Committee for Universities in Palestine and the Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine are organising a joint letter to be signed by academics from across Europe urging the EU to maintain its current stance.

Tell the University of Manchester to abandon its partnership with Technion

The University of Manchester has signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Technion- Israel Institute of Technology to facilitate joint research between the two institutions. Technion is heavily implicated in researching technology for home demolitions including developing the notorious D-9 bulldozers.

Read more about the partnership and draft letters of protest

Campaign to Boycott the Oral History Conference at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Oral historians and other academics from Palestine, Israel and elsewhere have issued a call to boycott the June 2014 ‘International Conference on Oral History’ organised by the Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The call has been signed by over 350 academics including over 70 involved in Oral History.

Read the call with signatures at 15 November 2013
Add your name to the call
On the Fallacy of ‘Engaging’ with the Israeli Academy: Haim Brasheef and Sherna Berger Gluck - Counterpunch
The Hebrew University and ‘Hasbara’: Rosemary Sayigh

Defend Australian supporters of BDS from Israeli legal attack

The Israeli Law Centre (Shurat HaDin) is taking legal action against Professors Lynch and Rees but has instead lodged a complaint against Prof Jake Lynch with the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging racial discrimination and racial hatred under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 for his support of the academic boycott.

BDS supporters are being invited to show their support for Jake Lynch by offering to be named as co-defendants.

Sign the pledge to support Jake Lynch

Academia Undermined: Israeli restrictions on foreign academics in Palestinian Higher Education Institutions

This report from the Right to Education Campaign focuses on the implications of Israeli restrictions on entry and residency for foreign academics wishing to serve at institutes of higher education operating in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is important to note that the term “foreign” is something of a misnomer: Israel treats all individuals without an Israeli-issued identity card [“hawiyya”] as a foreigner even if they are of Palestinian origin and even if they and/or their parents are born in Palestine. Thus “foreign” academics refers to anyone who does not hold a Palestinian identity card and must therefore enter the oPt on a foreign passport regardless of whether or not they are of Palestinian origin. “Foreign” academics or “foreign” nationals could therefore be of Palestinian origin (as is frequently the case) or have no Palestinian roots.

The Report
Executive Summary

Stephen Hawking declines invitation to attend Israeli conference

We understand that Professor Stephen Hawking has declined his invitation to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2013, due to take place in Jerusalem on 18-20 June. This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.

UPDATE 8 May 1600 BDT: The statement above has been issued with the specific endorsement of Professor Hawking's office. His staff sent us the following message on 7 May "Just spoken to Tim [Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications for Cambridge University] and we are both in agreement with the quote - and as you say - sensible to get this out rather than a lot of differing opinions." We have seen the letter that Professor Hawking sent to the Jerusalem organisers giving his clear reasons for not attending and are seeking his permission to release the letter but will not do so until we have his approval. We regret the misinformation being circulated about this matter.

UPDATE 8 May 1900 BDT: Cambridge University re-flip flops and confirms what BRICUP has been saying is true:

“We have now received confirmation from Professor Hawking’s office that a letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli President’s office regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.

“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly.”

They always had that knowledge (see 1600 update). We await apologies from the participants in the Hasbara storm who accused us of lying.

Professor Hawking's letter on 3 May to the conference organisers said, "I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster."

A brief history of Stephen Hawking's boycott - The Daily Beast The story of how BRICUP got accused of lying but was later vindicated.
Stephen Hawking's message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price Noam Sheifaz 972 Magazine
The Denigration of Stephen Hawking Reveals the Intense Dishonesty of Current Zionism Edward Teller MyFireDogLake
Shir Hever interviews Mike Cushman Real News Network
A Brief History of Stephn Hawking's Hypocrisy Eli Valley The Forward

Teachers Union of Ireland calls for Academic Boycott of Israel in unanimous vote; first academic union in Europe to do so

At its Annual Congress, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) became the first academic union in Europe to endorse the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel. The motion, which refers to Israel as an “apartheid state”, calls for “all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes” was passed by a unanimous vote.

Press release from Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Employment Tribunal rejects antisemitism case aganst UCU as misuse of legal process

Ronnie Fraser, a Zionist member of UCU (University and College Union), with the support of leaders of the UK Jewish establishment attempted to sue his Union for antisemitism.

In an unusually robust judgement the tribunal found the case “an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means” and a case which showed a “worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression”. The points made by leading lawyer Anthony Julius were dismissed as “palpably groundless”, “obviously hopeless” and “devoid of any merit”.

This is another example of the use of the courts in a lawfare campaign to silence criticism of the policies of Israel and support for Palestinian Rights.

BRICUP Newsletter 63 special issue on Fraser v UCU
BRICUP's press release on the findings
UCU press release
The judgement in full (pdf)
The judgement scanned as searchable document not 100% accurate check against pdf
Tribunal slams academic for bringing anti-Semitism case: Times Higher Education
UCU cleared of antisemitism - Anthony Julius charged with ‘being rubbish’: New Left Project
Top Israeli official claims "Over the last six months Israel has taken on two (court) cases in partnership with UK Jewry"
Debating BDS: Fraser v UCU A legal analysis by Brenna Bhandar
It's about the Palestinians, stupid Comment by Mike Cushman
A Devastating Defeat for Academic Opponents of the Boycott of Israeli Universities Comment by Tony Greenstein
Anti-Israel union case was ‘act of epic folly’ Simon Rocker The Jewish Chronicle

Netanyahu attacks academic freedom - again

Following on the Israeli Government's attempt to close down the politics department at Ben Gurion University because its research does not follow the Government line Netanyahu bars distinguished academic Prof. Rivka Feldhay from a meeting with Chancellor Merkel.

PM slammed for 'harming academic freedom' - Ha'aretz

Academic Boycott debated at The World Social Forum – Free Palestine

BRICUP played an active role in ensuring that teh Academic boycott was full discused at the WSF-Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil, November 28-December 1, 2012. The event was successful in energizing a cadre of Brazilian students to vcampaign ot extend Academic Boycott activities to Latin America.

Read Jonathan Rosenhead's account of the event
Listen to recording of the first session on the Academic Boycott

BRICUP tells Stevie Wonder don't play for Apartheid IDF

Stevie Wonder was one of the staunchest opponents of Apartheid South Africa. He has caused great pain to many of his fans worldwide by his decision to play in a benefit for the 'Friends of the Israeli Defence Force' in LA on 6 December. Not only is Israel imposing its own apartheid system on its Palestinian inhabitants, last week it announced plans for a segregated apartheid bus service, but it was the last best friend of white South Africa.

Press report that Stevie Wonder has cancelled his appearance
Stevie Wonder's cancellation letter

BRICUP has issued an open letter appealing to him to change his mind.

Read BRICUP's open letter
Send your own message to his manager Robert Norman
Phone Robert Norman +1(424) 288-2000
Sign the petition to Stevie Wonder
Post a message on Stevie Wonder's Facebook page
Like the Stevie Wonder say No to Israeli Defense Forces Gala Facebook page

Jonathan Rosenhead debates with Mordechai Kedar on Unity FM

Jonathan Rosenhead confronted leading Zionist Israeli academic Professor Mordechai Kedar on Birmingham's Unity FM radio on 23 November.

Jonathan Rosenhead convincingly dismissed the thin and contradictory arguments put forward by Kedar to excuse Israel's attack on Gaza.

Listen to a podcast of the programme

Alice Walker and Roger Waters call on Carnegie Hall to cancel Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance

Cultural workers and social justice leaders have called on New York's Carnegie Hall to cancel this week’s performance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and respect the Palestinian-led boycott.

Adalah-NY posted an open letter, which has been signed by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and social justice activist Alice Walker, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Palestinian American poet and activist Remi Kanazi, and dozens of others.

Read the full report in Electronic Intifada
Read the Adalah letter: Artists and other cultural workers can add their signatures

Interrogating Israel Studies in the Academy: A Call for Action

PACBI have produced an action plan to carry forward on a global basis BRICUP's work in opposing Hasbara studies in UK universities.

Read the PACBI call to action

'Don't dance with Israeli apartheid': BRICUP sends open letter to Batsheva Dance Company

Batsheva, the leading Israeli Dance company attracted protest and disruption when they performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. BRICUP have followed up that protest with an open letter demanding they cancel the rest of their UK tour unless they 'at least decline Ministry of Foreign Affairs funding, and state publicly that Batsheva will not be used to cover up the Occupation'.

Read the open letter
Send your own letter to Batsheva
Details and reports of protests at Batsheva performances

Over 600 academics protest at the closure of Ben Gurion Uni Politics Department

Over 600 academics from across the globe have signed a petition to the Israeli Council of Higher Education (CHE) calling on them not to close the Department of Politics and Government of Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), despite evidence form their own enquiry of the high academic standing of the department.

The attack on BGU politics department is part of the campaign by the Israeli government to silence any critical voices in Israeli Universities and elsewhere.

Read the petition and the signatories up to 18 October 2012
Read the press release
The Chronicle of Higher Education (US) report

Gabi Baramki (1929-2012) Passionate Palestinian academic and boycott supporter

BRICUP is saddened to learn of the death of Gabi Baramki but joins with all his friends in celebrating his life and achievements.

PACBI's tribute to Gabi Baramki

Boycott supporters disrupt Batsheva Dance Company at Edinburgh Festival

Batsheva, an Israeli Government supported dance company were invited to appear at the Edinbugh International Festival. A widely supported, including leading Scottish cultural figures like Liz Lochhead and Iain Banks, letter of protest was sent to the Festival organisers but they did not withdraw the invitation.

The Edinburgh City Guide review said:

"The EIF has a duty, to its audience and performers, to behave in a responsible fashion. It is questionable whether inviting a company that is hailed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as Israel’s, ‘best global ambassadors’, at this particular moment in time, is a responsible act. This performance never had a hope of running smoothly, leaving both audience and artists vulnerable and with a rather nasty taste in the mouth.

The audience were ushered out of the emergency exit doors with the chants from protesters, still outside the building, of ‘Your tickets were covered in Palestinian blood’ ringing in our ears. This was not one of the Edinburgh International Festival’s finest moments."

Read the full Edinbugh Guide account of the protest
Read the debate between Lloyd Newson and boycott supporters including BRICUP members on why this boycott was correct and significant

BRICUP calls on the Organizers at York St John University: quit HUJ project

BRICUP has urged the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at York St John University to cancel its proposed joint conference with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ) on ‘Mediating Peace: Reconciliation through Art, Music and Film’, in Jerusalem in November 2012, and to end its association until the HUJ ends its complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and its human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

Read the letter

250 European academics tell the EU 'end involvement of Israeli arms companies in EU research programs'

Over 250 academics from 14 European countries have written an open letter to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science to tell her to stop aiding the Israeli arms industry through the EU research programme.

The signatories, include Gérard Toulouse, a member of the French Academy of Science, Malcolm Levitt, a member of the UK Royal Society, and renowned philosopher Slavjoj Zizek. They point out that the involvement of Israeli companies that help Israel violate international law in EU funded research programs “undermines both the reputation of these programs and the stated goals of the European Union and its member states”.

The open letter
BRICUP's press release
Send your own message to the EU

BRICUP tells British Council 'Don't break international law'

The British Council is sponsoring first ever Israeli Film and Television Festival in London's cinemas in June. They are compunding their support of Apartheid culture by failing to object to ‘a special tasting by Golan Wines’ before many of the screenings.

Golan wines come from he illegally annexed Golan Heights and are an illegal product under international law.

Read our open letter to the British Council
Send your own letters to Martin Davidson and Graham Sheffield

Palestine rights supporters protest at Habima's performance at Shakespeare's Globe

Palestinian rights supporters held a lively protest outside the Globe Theatre on 28 May to codemn the Globe's invitation to Habima Israel's National Theatre. Inside activists, disgusted at Habima's decison to support the illegal occupation by performing in settlements, silently held up banners and were seized and thrown out.

BRICUP's press release
Tony Greenstein blog on events inside
The drama's outside: protests target Israeli take on Shakespeare - report in the Independent
Israeli press reports in Ha'aretz and Ynet and on JTA
A detailed account of events inside the Globe from a neutral theatre criticism blog - The Bardathon
Habima protesters ahead in media war - J-BIG report
Photostream of the protest
Videos of the protest inside and outside the Globe

Sir Simon Rattle and Placido Domingo ignore the Palestinians and hold on to the cash

BRICUP wote to Sir Simon Ratle and Placido Domingo asking them to refuse to go to Israel to receive the $100,000 Wolf Prize.

Sadly they went and took the cheque and the box of chocolates; bouquet of roses and diploma that went with it. They did not even take the opportunity, which previoius recipients had, to use the ceremony as a chance to denounce Israel's crimes or donate the prize money to Palestinain organisations. Then they could have kept the chocolates, roses and diploma and also kept some of their integrity, but times must be tough for global musical super stars and they needed the money more.

Read BRICUP's letter to Rattle and Domingo

Hasbara posts in Israel Studies threaten academic integrity

Since 2009 several UK universities have created posts in Israel Studies, all funded by external donors with histories of uncritical support for Israel. Some explicitly promote political aims, especially by diverting attention from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Such efforts threaten academic integrity and freedom.

Bricup has prepared a briefing document to provide guidance about the threat and about strategies for local campaigns of opposition.

Please send further information and comments for future development of the briefing document or requests to support local campaigns via endorsement or practical assistance to blockhasbarastudies@bricup.org.uk

Download the briefing document

Artists record videos to explain why Habima should not come to the Globe

Theatrical artists have been recording vidoes to explain their call to Shakespeare's Globe to cancel their invitation to Israel's national Habima Theatre.

Tell the Red Hot Chili Peppers: drop your Israel trip

US, Palestinian, Israeli, Turkish and Lebanese organizations have made requests for the Chili Peppers to not cross the international picket line and respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. We will continue to bring to light the injustices that Palestinians face as a result of Occupation and apartheid policies and show why BDS is a moral action for artists - including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers - to take.

AS Tal Shipiro from Boycott from Within said "[We must] make sure that no artist can say they didn’t know. Not about the atrocities of the apartheid state and its brutal occupation, and not about the movement to boycott, divest and sanction it."

Sign the online petition

University of Haifa gives in to right wing pressure and cancels Nakba Day event at last minute

Following right wing pressure The University of Haifa rescinded permission for a student-organized Nakba Day event, just three hours before the event was to have taken place. The university's president, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, announced the cancelation even after organizers received permits from all relevant bodies. The Hadash students' organization released a statement saying, "Our feeling is that little by little we are returning to the period of military rule, and from the most unexpected place - academia."

Read report in Ha'aretz

Boycott the boycott violators at the International Writer’s Festival in Jerusalem

The General Union of Palestinian Writers salutes international writers who are boycotting the Mishkenot Sha'ananim festival and condemns in the strongest terms the participation of writers whose names were announced by the festival organizers as participants. The Union calls on Palestinian intellectuals and cultural workers, writers, novelists, academics and journalists to boycott the festival and not to meet with its participants who are not welcome [among us] as they have shamed themselves.

The organisers of the festival demanded opening speakers must show their speeches to management in advance - in an effort to avoid a repeat of a 2010 speech that criticized Israel. Another example of how Israeli organisations complain, inaccurately, that BDS is censorship while stamping on free speech themselves.

Read the GUPW statement
Writers festival: Submit speeches for vetting - Ha'aretz article

New York University faculty and staff call for pension fund divestment

Over 200 NYU faculty and staff have signed a letter calling on TIAA-CREF, the pension provider for the university to divest from Caterpillar, Elbit Systems, Motorola, Veolia, and Northrop Grumman and other firms that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

The letter was drafted by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. It describes Caterpillar's role in home demolitions; Elbit's manufacture of drones used in extra-judicial killings; Motorola's role in is equipping aparteheid wall checkpoints; Veolia's involvement in the settlement servicing light rail; and Northrop Grumman's supply of weapons used in the Cast Lead assault on Gaza.

The signatories include many senior professors of the University. Natable among them is Craig Calhoun, President of the US Social Science Research Council, who will be Director of eh London School of Economics from September.

Leeds University cancels Ahava booking

Ahava, the Israeli cosmetics company that steals its ingredients from Occupied Palestinian land attempted to book Leeds University's Weetwood Hall for a promotional event. A campaign by Leeds students and staff and Leeds PSC put pressure on the vice-chancellor and the booking has been cancelled.

Leading actors and directors denounce Globe invitation to Habima

The protest against the Globe Theatre's invitation to Habima, Israel's National Theatre, to perform at this summer's international Olympic Shaespeare festival has gained heavywieight support.

Leading actors and directors including David Calder, Trevor Griffiths, Jonathan Miller, Mark Rylance, Emma Thompson and Harriet Walter signed an open letter published in the Guardian on 30 March.

Read the signatories' press release
Why a cultural boycott of Israel is justified - New Statesman: Ben White on the Habima call and the reactions
Artists refute 'Nazi' slurs over Israeli theatre protest - letter in the Jewish Chronicle
Ashtar Theatre from Palestine call for cancellation of Habima invitation after their Globe performance - video of post prefoemance discussion

Italian activists denounce 'Brand Israel' at Cartoons Festival of Rome

Italian activists demanded and were granted the opportunity to to speak prior to the presentation by Hanan Kaminski, director of the school of animation of the Bezalel Academy of Jerusalem. The BDS activists informed the audience that the participation of Bezalel, with the sponsorship and financial support of the Israeli Embassy in Italy, represents one of many attempts by Israel to use culture to rebrand its image and divert attention from policies of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.

In 2005, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit of Israel's Foreign Ministry stated: “We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and we do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.”

The standard Israeli sponsorship contract states: "The service provider [or in English, the artist] is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel.

Rome, Italy: Boycott Action Condemning the Use of Culture to Cover Israeli Crimes in Stop Agrexco Italia

'Respected' Israeli Universities offer courses in lying for Israel

Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities are offering course in hasbara for Israeli and International students respectively. Hasbara is the name Israelis give to propaganda and disinformation in defence of Israel and the Occupation.

While many courses in many universities worldwide can be accused of bias these ae unusual in overtly teaching the skills of distortion and lying. Trainers on the courses include: Mark Regev, famous worldwide for defending the indefensible and saying what is convenient rather than what is accurate; and Neil Lazarus who promoted a video falsely claiming tha tteh Gaza Flotilla was homophobic. The Tel Aviv course is supported by Stand with Us an extremist pro-Israel US group associated with Islamophobic funders.

This is yet more evidence of why Israeli Universities should be boycotted: they do not promote the values of disinterested enquiry expected of any university.

Israeli universities becoming Hasbara mills in +972

Activists call on Cambridge University Chamber Choir to cancel their tour of Israel

Activists in Cambridge are urging the Cambridge University Chamber Choir under the direction of Tim Brown to cancel their tour of Israel performing Bach's St Matthew Passion from 20-27 March. They are acting In keeping with the call by Palestinian NGOs for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Lacking the names of the Choir members, the Cambridge activists sent their letter to its director, administrator and secretary, as well as to officials of the Cambridge University Musical Society. To our knowledge they have not fulfilled this request to forward it to the individual members. Bricup are pleased to post hteir letter on our site to enable dialogue with Choir members.

The Israeli Camerata site names the singers as the 'Academy of English Voices', but the CU Musical Society has confirmed that members of the CU Chamber Choir will indeed be touring.

Read the letter to choir members
Send your own message to CUCC director Tim Brown

How a US academic challenged Pinkwashing in the New York Times

Sarah Schulman described a the Penn BDS conference the hurdles she had to cross to get the New York Time to publish her article on Pinkwashing and how the paper published a response by the Israeli Embassy with no fact-checking at all.

Read the report in Mondoweiss



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Why Boycott?


The construction of the Israeli wall across and through Palestinian land in flagrant violation of the rulings of the International Court and despite international condemnation, notably from the EU, is making everyday life, to say nothing of teaching and research, ever more difficult for our Palestinian colleagues. . . . .
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What is BRICUP

BRICUP is an organisation of UK based academics, set up in response to the Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott. Its twin missions are:

- to support Palestinian universities, staff and students, and

- to oppose the continued illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands with its concomitant breaches of international conventions of human rights, its refusal to accept UN resolutions or rulings of the International Court, and its persistent suppression of Palestinian academic freedom.
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Page last updated July 10, 2014