Irish academics’ pledge to boycott Israel welcomed by Palestinian rights activists
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) today welcomed the announcement that almost 140 Irish academics have signed up to pledge in support of an academic boycott of Israel until it complies fully with its obligations under international law.
The pledge, organised by the group Academics for Palestine, and signed by 138 academics based in Ireland states:
“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for an institutional 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”.
Commending the action, IPSC chairperson Martin O’Quigley, said that “the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes this pledge and salutes those principled academics who have chosen to stand on the right side of history, and against Israel’s system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid.”
“For too long the Palestinian people have suffered the abuses, humiliation and criminality of colonisation and occupation at the hands of Israeli Zionism. The Palestinian-led international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which gains momentum with each passing day, is sending a strong message to Israel; occupation and human rights violations have consequences. This pledge is another addition to the growing critical mass against Israeli apartheid, and sooner or later it will join its South African counterpart in the dustbin of history,” Mr Quigley said.
A statement from Omar Barghouti, a leading member of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in Palestine, was also issued in support of the pledge:
“The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and all its partners in the wider BDS movement salute Irish academics who have signed on this pledge to honor the Palestinian boycott of Israeli academic and state institutions.
This is further evidence that the people of Ireland, who keenly understand the cruelty of colonialism from their own history and who appreciate the immense value of international solidarity in resisting colonial rule, are again standing on the right side of history, supporting this nonviolent movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, as they had done against apartheid South Africa.
Ending complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, as this pledge reiterates, must include a principled stance against crossing our academic boycott picket line. Israel’s universities are deeply complicit in planning, implementing, justifying and whitewashing Israel’s grave violations of international law and human rights.
We count on conscientious academics in Ireland and elsewhere to send a strong message to Israel and its complicit universities, that they cannot pursue business as usual in the international arena without first ending all forms of oppression and human rights violations.”
Israeli academic, the renowned historian Ilan Pappe, now based in Exeter University, also issued a statement in support saying:
“The recent pledge by Irish academics to boycott Israeli academic institutions is yet another landmark in the growing international refusal to allow Israel to continue its oppressive policies against the Palestinians. History would judge each of those who bravely stood alongside the Palestinians in their just struggle for peace and justice as playing a crucial role in ending yet another evil chapter in human history.”