Jun 15, 2011

#BDS: The politics of literary boycotts


"Today, the best example of a vigorous cultural and academic boycott movement is that directed at Israel for its ongoing violation of Palestinian human rights. In 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural 

Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a major call endorsed by the vast bulk of Palestinian civil society groups:
Since Israeli academic institutions (mostly state-controlled) and the vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have either contributed directly to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying the above forms of oppression, or have been complicit in them through their silence… We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonisation and system of apartheid.
Examples abound of Israel making cultural life for Palestinians a daily grind. For example, in May 2009, Israeli troops tried to close the Palestinian Festival of Literature in Jerusalem by shutting a theatre on spurious procedural grounds."
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