Statement On Anti-BDS Legislation & Universities from American Assoc of University Professors (AAUP)

Photo: A pro-Palestinian BDS protest in Paris, France August 13, 2015 AFP

Background on the BDS/Anti-BDS Movement

Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist; BDS Explained

Today the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure released the following statement calling on public universities to stop requiring speakers and others to pledge that they do not now, nor will they in the future, endorse a specific a specific political movement known as boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) with regard to Israel

According to the National Coalition Against Censorship, at least seventeen states have passed legislation imposing punitive measures against supporters of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) with regard to Israel. As a result, some public universities in those states have begun to require that external speakers invited to campus and others who contract with these universities, such as external reviewers of tenure and promotion materials, sign a statement pledging that they do not now, nor will they in the future, endorse BDS.

The American Association of University Professors does not endorse BDS. We take no position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict nor on calls for divestment or economic sanctions. But we oppose all academic boycotts, including an academic boycott of Israel, on the grounds that such boycotts violate the principles of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas for which our organization has stood for over one- hundred years. We believe that academic freedom ought not to be subordinated to political exigency; there will always be compelling political causes that will challenge the ideal of free and open scholarly exchange.

It is precisely for this reason that our opposition to BDS is matched as resolutely by our opposition to these pledges, which are nothing short of an attempt to limit freedom of speech and belief. Indeed, they conjure the specter of loyalty and disclaimer oaths, mainstays of McCarthyism. The right of individuals to engage in political boycotts, and to come together collectively to support a boycott, has a long and storied history in American civil protests. At colleges and universities especially, where reasoned disagreement and debate should be the order of the day, demands that faculty and students forswear support for a peaceful protest are repugnant.

At a time when there is widespread interest in making sure that speakers on all points of the political spectrum are able to make themselves heard on American campuses, the contradiction in seeking to ban advocates of this particular position is obvious and unacceptable. We therefore call on all institutions of higher education in the United States to challenge the required renunciation of BDS and uphold freedom of speech and belief for all members of the academic community.

Additionally, AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure sent a letter to the Israeli government in regard to the interrogation, subsequent expulsion, and apparent banning from Israel of Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke over her supporter of the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement in April. The letter urges the government of Israel to “reconsider your immigration officer’s decision and to revoke any further ban on Professor Franke’s entry for purposes of collaborative academic and scholarly work in Israel.”

The letter to the Israeli government can be downloaded here.

Publication Date:

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cornel West & Alan Dershowitz Debate BDS Movement’s Call for Boycott Against Israel


Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist; BDS Explained

A pro-Palestinian BDS protest in Paris, France August 13, 2015 AFP

What is BDS?

Courtesy BDS Movement Website:

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law.

BDS is now a vibrant global movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world. Eleven years since its launch, BDS is having a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism.

Who's on Israel's BDS blacklist

The full list courtesy Haaretz.

European organizations:

■ France-Palestine Solidarity Association

■ BDS France

■ BDS Italy

■ The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine

■ Friends of Al-Aqsa

■ Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

■ The Palestine Committee of Norway

■ Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden

■ Palestine Solidarity Campaign

■ War on Want

■ BDS Kampagne

American organizations:

■ American Friends Service Committee

■ American Muslims for Palestine

■ Code Pink

■ Jewish Voice for Peace

■ National Students for Justice in Palestine

■ US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Other groups:

■ BDS Chile

■ BDS South Africa

■ BDS National Committee
read more:

Cornel West & Alan Dershowitz Debate BDS Movement’s Call for Boycott Against Israel

Cornel West & Alan Dershowitz Debate BDS Movement’s Call for Boycott Against Israel

On December 24, 2017, The Jerusalem Post reported:

The organizers of international pop star Lorde’s planned concert in Israel have announced that her performance scheduled for June has been canceled.

In an email, the organizers said the New Zealand born singer would explain the reason for her cancellation shortly on Twitter.

Last week it was reported that may be considering canceling hershow in Tel Aviv – just a few days after it was announced — because of requests by BDS activists.


What is BDS?

According to

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.


“Israel overtly uses culture as a form of propaganda to whitewash or justify its regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people. Just as South African anti-apartheid activists had called on international artists, writers and cultural institutions to culturally boycott South Africa, PACBI urges international cultural workers and cultural organizations, including unions and associations, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israel, its lobby groups or its cultural institutions. International venues and festivals are asked to reject funding and any form of sponsorship from the Israeli government. Thousands of artists across the world now refuse to perform in Israel, including a host of global superstars such as Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, Lauryn Hill and Chuck D.”


The case for a cultural boycott of Israel

“Israeli government officials have summed up how Israel instrumentalizes culture to cover up its grave violations of international law. “We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank,” one official admitted, “and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture.” The Israeli ministry of foreign affairs provides funding to Israeli artists and writers with the condition that they as “service providers” should “promote the policy interests” of Israel. Many Israeli artists act as “cultural ambassadors” for the state. When international artists perform at Israeli cultural venues and institutions, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a “normal” country like any other. The absolute majority of Palestinian writers, artists and cultural centers have endorsed the cultural boycott of Israel, and there is a growing number of anti-colonial Israelis who support BDS, including the cultural boycott of Israel.”


Cornel West and Alan Dershowitz participated in a debate concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, specifically, whether the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) will help bring about an end to the conflict. The movement is a global campaign that aims to increase economic and political pressure on Israel over its activities against Palestinians. At the end of the debate, the audience is polled on approval or disapproval of the resolution. The full debate is available here:


Palestinians Welcome Resounding Trump & Israel Failure at the UN

Palestinian Civil Society Calls For Sanctions on Israel to Stop Far-Right Israeli-Trump Alliance That Undermines Palestinian Rights and International Law

Any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.  — UNGA, December 21, 2017

December 21, 2017 — Today, in an emergency session, the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations at the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 in favor of a resolution calling on the United States to overturn its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This “collective act of defiance” took place despite threats from Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, to “take names” of countries voting against the United States and Israel, and threats by Trump to cut US aid to those countries.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN accused the world body’s members of being “puppets” to the “Palestinian puppet masters”, following Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s description of the UN as a “house of lies.”

The resounding failure by Israel and the US administration to thwart the pro-Palestinian vote at the UN General Assembly follows a similarly embarrassing UN Security Council vote on Monday which also rejected the US-Israeli position 14-1.

Omar Barghouti, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society, responded by saying:

This vote is further proof that the far-right Israeli-Trump alliance is more isolated than ever as the overwhelming majority of nations are finally recognizing its fatal attempt to undermine both Palestinian rights and the very rule of international law. Holding Israel accountable for its egregious, decades-old human rights violations is crucial to upholding both.

To defend the UN against this thuggery by Israel and the Trump administration, the BDS movement calls for meaningful sanctions, especially a military embargo and intensified boycott and divestment measures against Israel’s regime of oppression. BDS today is not only crucial for realizing Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. It is also critical to stopping Trump, Netanyahu and other leaders of the international far-right who are threatening world peace and global justice like never before.

All European states, with a few exceptions that abstained, voted in favor of the Palestinian position on occupied Jerusalem, and so did Japan, China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, Korea, Russia, and South Africa, among many others.

Favoring concrete sanctions to merely symbolic gestures of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) at its general conference yesterday unanimously adopted downgrading diplomatic ties with Israel. “[It] sends a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of international law,” the ANC said in a statement.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BDSmovement.

Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist; BDS Explained