The Journal of History     Spring 2005    TABLE OF CONTENTS

Good News


1.    Palestinian call for academic boycott

Council notes:

(i)        That nearly sixty of the most prominent academic, cultural and professional associations and trade unions in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities' Professors and Employees and the umbrella organization of Palestinian Non Governmental Associations (NGOs) in the occupied West Bank (PNGO), and thus highly representative of the views of major sectors in Palestinian civil society, have now called for an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions.

(ii)  That AUT is affiliated to Friends of Bir Zeit University and Trade Union Friends of Palestine.

(iii).  That the full text of the Palestinian Call can be found on the following websites:

(iv).  That the wording of this call is as follows:

" In the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, 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, colonization and system of apartheid, by applying the following:

    1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration, or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
    2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

    3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
    4. Exclude from the above actions against Israeli institutions any conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their state's colonial and racist policies;
    5. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
    6. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support."

Council resolves to circulate the full text of the Palestinian call to all LAs for information and discussion.

2.  Bar Ilan University, Israel

Council notes:

(i) That Bar Ilan University supervises degree programmes at the College of Judea and Samaria in the illegal settlement of Ariel, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank.

(ii) that it is thus directly involved with the occupation of Palestinian territories contrary to United Nations resolutions.

Council resolves:

(i).  To call on all AUT members to boycott Bar-Ilan University until it severs all academic links with the College of Judea and Samaria and with any other college located in an illegal settlement in the Occupied Territories.

(ii)  That the boycott should take the form described in the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

3.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Council notes:

(i)  That on Sunday, November 21 2004 at 7:15AM, bulldozers and armed security guards hired by Hebrew University Properties, Ltd. arrived at the home of the Al-Helou family in Jerusalem to announce that their land would be confiscated for the expansion of the university.

(ii)  That the Al-Helou family is among seven Palestinian families whose houses are trapped among the university dormitory buildings.

(iii)  That the families have lived in this area, called Ard Al-Samar, since 1948 when they were forced out of the Jerusalem village of Lifta with the establishment of the state of Israel.

(iv)  That after the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem began in 1967, these families' land has been confiscated repeatedly by the university to build student dorms, so that the families are now confined in small pockets of land surrounded by the fences.

Council resolves:

(i)  To call on all AUT members to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until it calls a halt to all attempts to confiscate land from Palestinian families, and reaches an acceptable settlement with the families' lawyers regarding restoration or compensation in the case of land already confiscated.

(ii)  That the boycott should take the form described in the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

4. Haifa University, Israel, and Dr. Ilan Pappe

Council notes:
(i)  That  on May 15, 2002  Dr. Ilan Pappe, senior lecturer in Political Science at Haifa University, was sent a letter notifying him that he faced trial and possible dismissal from his position. The charge was that he had violated 'the duties of an academic member of staff', that he had

"slandered departments and members in the humanities faculty, damaged their
professional reputation and endangered the possible promotion of some of them."

(ii)  That these accusations related to Dr. Pappe's efforts to defend a 55 year old graduate student, Teddy Katz, whose Master's Thesis was under attack by an Israeli veteran's organization because it documented a massacre of 200 unarmed civilians by the Haganah (the pre-state army of Israel) at a village called Tantura, near Haifa.

(iii)  That the recriminations are still continuing and Dr. Pappe's job is still being threatened.

Council resolves:

(i)  To call on all AUT members to boycott Haifa University until it commits itself to upholding academic freedom, and in particular ceases its victimisation of academic staff and students who seek to research and discuss the history of the founding of the state of Israel.

(ii) That the boycott should take the form described in the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

5.   Fringe Meetings at Council

Council notes that to date there has been little transparency in the way in which fringe meetings have been organised.

Council calls for more consultation with members of Council in deciding what Fringe Meetings are to be held at Council in future years, and suggestions from Council members as to possible topics or speakers should be invited and considered by means of a transparent process.


The Journal of History -Spring 2005 Copyright © 2005 by News Source, Inc.