Thursday, May 31, 2007
Support the Boycott! End the Occupation!
A Call for Action against Occupation from the Israel Professor for Justice
We, Israeli professors for justice and peace, do hereby appeal to
researchers, academics, scholars, and teachers in Israel and throughout the
world to take a firm and clear stand against continuing occupation and
denial of rights. We are of course referring to the continuing occupation
of territories by Britain in which Britain clearly has no right to be. We
demand that all British universities be boycotted and all academics at those
universities be boycotted until these same people and institutions come out
clearly and openly in favor of immediate unconditional removal of all
British occupation from these territories. We demand a moratorium on all
funding of academic research in Britain by sources for funding everywhere
and divestment from Britain in all its forms.
Unlike Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the latter
of which is not occupied any longer in any way, which has lasted a mere 40
years, but Britain's occupations of territories has lasted centuries. Take
for example the clearly illegal British occupation of Gibraltar. There
Britain maintains an illegal settlement in open defiance of all
international accepted standards of legitimacy and concepts of national
rights. Moreover, Britain has placed there an illegal security fence that
prevents non-British nationals from entering Gibraltar. This apartheid
fence is a human rights atrocity and must be torn down at once. And until
it is, the entire world should divest from Britain and boycott British
Then there are those clearly illegal British settlements constructed on
occupied Argentinian territory in the Falkland Islands. What clearer
example is there of the continuing colonial aggression of white European
imperialism against the Third World?!
But Britain's illegal settlements have also been constructed elsewhere.
Britain continues to maintain settlements on the Channel Islands that
obviously belong to France. While it is true that Britain earlier ended
its occupation of Hong Kong and India, that is no excuse for its settlements
elsewhere. After all, Israel ended its occupation of Sinai but that has not
stopped the British University and College Union, representing more than
120,000 college-level educators, from voting May 30 to pass a resolution
calling for a boycott of Israeli academics and universities as well as a
moratorium on European Union funding of Israeli research. And what about
Britain's occupation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. True, Afghanistan and
Iraq were terrorist enclaves, but since when does THAT serve as
legitimization of dispatch of occupation forces? British professors clearly
do not think that Israel has any right to use force against terrorists
attacking its population, so why should British forces do so!
Of course the very worst cases of illegal British occupation of the
territories of The Other are in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. These are
occupations imposed upon those oppressed population by force of arms. And
in Ireland, the occupation produced genocidal levels of mortality. These
occupations have lasted for centuries!
The moral indifference by British academics to these continued barbarous
occupations and to the denial of self-determination for Scots, Welsh, and
the Northern Irish is clearly as unforgivable as the failure of some
academics in apartheid South Africa to speak out against abuses there.
Moreover, Britain itself is a racist apartheid society. Not only the Welsh,
but Moslems, blacks, and Asians suffer from discrimination and disadvantage
inside Britain. Their wages are lower than those of white Englishmen and
they face discrimination in housing! British universities have failed to
redress these inequalities. If divestment from South Africa was justified,
how much more so must it be in THIS case. In fact, 27 British professors
have ENDORSED our calls for imposing an international boycott of their own
universities! These courageous heroic souls must be supported!
We have sat in silence for much too long. The time has come. Please
join us in calling for an open-ended boycott of British academics and
universities until all these cases of occupation are ended!
Israeli Professors for Justice and Peace
Steven Plaut, Chairperson