British academics declare Israeli university boycott

November 1, 2015
'We hope at some point, Israel will start to listen and change their policy.'

Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28.

The petition, titled “A Commitment by U.K. Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in the October 27 Guardian.

In the declaration, 343 British professors and lecturers agreed not to accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions, act as referees for them or take part in events organised or funded by them.

“We couldn't have done this five years ago,” London School of Economics professor Jonathan Rosenhead, who helped to organise the academic commitment, told Al Jazeera. “The change in mood is palpable ...

“We hope that many more people will sign, and it will help in the process of public education about Israel - and at some point, Israel will start to listen and change their policy.”

In a statement, the petition organisers said: “The need for solidarity with the Palestinian people ... is made more urgent today by the current escalation of violent conflict in Israel/Palestine. The fatalities are overwhelmingly of Palestinians engaging in street protests provoked by Israel's 48-year and ever tightening occupation.”

The signatories say they will continue to boycott Israeli institutions “until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights”.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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