More than 120 Irish academics have signed a pledge to boycott Israeli institutions until Palestinian rights are respected, Academics for Palestine said in a press release, on Friday.It added that the number is expected to increase as more lecturers learn about the growing campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel — a campaign led by Palestinians that is gaining global support, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) has reported.
‘The conflict in Palestine has now reached its ‘South African moment’ – the point at which Israeli apartheid has been recognised as such by the international community,’ Professor Haim Bresheeth, a noted London-based film-maker and academic from Israel, said Friday.
Professor Bresheeth and Dr. Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian doctor of medicine, scholar and lecturer at the University of Exeter, will be in Belfast and Dublin next week to help launch a new Irish campaign to support the academic-boycott pledge, Academics for Palestine declared.
Dr. Karmi emphasised that the boycott does not target Israeli individuals but institutions. Far from being a threat to academic freedom, she said, BDS affirms its importance for Palestinians.
‘The US, EU and other states have protected Israel and financed its occupation ever since 1967, making it impossible to resolve the conflict through the UN or international diplomatic channels,’ Prof Bresheeth said. ‘It puts a special responsibility on international civil society, and BDS is its main tool to resolve the conflict in a just and peaceful way.’
The text of the boycott pledge reads:
‘In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israel, we pledge not to engage in any professional association with Israeli academic, research and state institutions and with those representing these institutions, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.’
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