The Society for Socialist Studies (SSS) joined the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel when it passed a motion supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions at its AGM on May 31st.
The motion, which passed unanimously, reads that the Society “endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions” and that the Society “supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine and the state of Israel and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.”
Radhika Desai, president of the Society remarked “The members at the well-attended AGM voted unanimously to stand in solidarity with those struggling against colonialism.
Supporting anti-colonial struggles at home and abroad is a necessary part of our Society’s work for socialist justice. Israeli institutions of higher education in Palestine and Israel are directly and indirectly complicit in the systematic maintenance of the occupation and colonization of Palestinians and in policies that discriminate against Palestinian students and scholars. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, representing hundreds of Palestinian civil society groups, has called for international solidarity in its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. We are honoured to take up that call.”
The Society for Socialist Studies meetings, held at the University of Regina from May 29 to 31st, were part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences and fell directly after another massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army. On May 14, 2018 Israel killed 60 and injured 2,771 Palestinians who were peacefully protesting their mass expulsion and occupation.
By passing their motion, the SSS joins academic associations across the world, including the American Studies Association, National Women’s Studies Association, African Literature Association, and the International Critical Geography Group among others.
MOTION-01: Boycott Divestment Sanctions
This year, the Society for Socialist Studies meetings follow yet another massacre of Palestinians protesting their 70-year-old mass expulsion and their 51-year-old occupation. Since March 30th, 2018 the Israeli army has killed 122 unarmed civilians in Gaza, of which 14 were children, and has injured more than 13,000 protestors, 155 of which remain in critical condition.
The Society wishes to express strong condemnation of the Israeli state for its ongoing colonization and occupation of Palestinian lands and people.
By adopting the following motion (modeled on the Critical Ethnic Studies Association motion passed on July 18, 2014), the Society for Socialist Studies joins academic associations across the world in showing solidarity for Palestinian civil society through the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
- the Society for Socialist Studies acknowledges ongoing colonization across Turtle Island and the world and commits to dismantling colonial systems as a necessary part of its work for socialist justice;
- Palestinian universities and schools have been periodically forced to close as a result of actions related to the Israeli occupation, or have been destroyed by Israeli military strikes and expansion, and Palestinian students, activists, and scholars face restrictions on movement and travel that limit their ability to attend and work at universities, travel to conferences and to study abroad, and thereby obstruct their right to education;
- the State of Israel engages in ongoing practices of dispossession, population transfer, illegal settlement, and political incarceration, in the context of continuing settler-colonialism, occupation, and the blockade of Gaza;
- the state of Israel engages in systematic discrimination against both its Palestinian citizens and against migrant workers and refugees of color;
- the Israeli state and Israeli universities directly and indirectly impose restrictions on education, scholarships, and participation in campus activities on Palestinian students in Israel;
- Israel imposes severe restrictions on foreign academics and students seeking to attend conferences and do research in Palestine, as well as on scholars and students of Arab/Palestinian origin who wish to travel to Palestine and the state of Israel;
- Israeli institutions of higher education have not condemned or taken measures to oppose the occupation and racial discrimination against Palestinians in Israel, but have, rather, been directly and indirectly complicit in the systematic maintenance of the occupation and of policies and practices that discriminate against Palestinian students and scholars throughout Palestine and in Israel;
- Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law;
- the Society for Socialist Studies recognizes the Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a practice of solidarity and resistance;
- the Society for Socialist Studies supports research and open discussion about these issues without censorship, intimidation, or harassment, and seeks to promote academic exchange, collaboration and opportunities for students and scholars everywhere;
Be it resolved that the Society for Socialist Studies endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Be it also resolved that the Society for Socialist Studies supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine and the state of Israel and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.