Swedish universities must not participate in research or any other type of cooperation with Israeli academic institutions. The Swedish government should act for the cessation of EU’s research support to Israel, which will inevitably strengthen the continued occupation of Palestine. This is what 218 Swedish persons demand in a “Call for academic boycott of Israel.” Twelve of the signatories are professors, while 14 are associate professors, 23 senior lecturers or researchers and 70 are students.
The boycott is not aimed at individuals but against institutions. So far no Israeli academic institution has dissociated itself from Israel’s apartheid policy or the discrimination of Palestinians in Israel. Therefore all collaboration with Israeli academic institutions should be stopped, the signatories say.
The initiative to the Call was taken by the Action group for boycott of Israel at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. The group demands that KTH shall cancel its ongoing agreement with Technion, the leading Israeli technical university. Technion has close collaboration with the Israeli military forces. As an example it may be mentioned that Technion is developing new types of drones for the destruction of Palestinian houses (used to kill thousands of people). Researchers of Technion act as advisers to Israel’s military and the university collaborates closely with Israel’s biggest weapons producer Elbit.
The demand for academic boycott is getting worldwide support. The biggest student union in Europe – the united union of London’s 20 universities and colleges, comprising 120,000 students – has decided to support boycott. In Norway 100 prominent persons have signed an appeal to the same end. Other examples are the staff association of McGill University in Montreal, the student union in Uppsala and the student union of Berkeley. The University of Johannesburg has broken its cooperation with the Ben Gurion University.
Within European Union countries a network for academic and cultural boycott was formed last year. See its website www.epacbi.eu.
For further information you may visit the website of the KTH action grouphttp://www.psabi.net/ or contact the persons below.
Dick Urban Vestbro, Professor Emeritus, +46706559483
Lina Suleiman, PhD, researcher, +46704231157
Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Assoc Prof, +4687907359
The Call with signatories is below. It is sent to Swedish academic institutions, the National Swedish Agency for Higher Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, media and to international solidarity organization.
The state of Israel occupies the Palestinian territories, denies basic human rights to Palestinians and refuses to comply with UN resolutions, including the ones stating that Palestinian refugees have the right to return. Israel subjects the Palestinian population to daily harassment and forces them to abandon more and more areas. The situation has rightly been compared to apartheid South Africa.
Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. They cooperate closely with the security-military establishment. They offer advice to military intelligence and assist in developing weapon technologies for the Occupation forces. So far, none of the Israeli academic institutions have dissociated themselves from the occupation regime, or condemned the entrenched system of discrimination of Palestinians.
Despite Israel’s refusal to comply with international law it is not met with sanctions. It is therefore imperative that ordinary people take up the challenge and put pressure on Israel. Palestinian academics have repeatedly called upon their colleagues abroad to boycott Israeli academic institutions in order to end the occupation and the oppression. We, the signatory of this call, want to respond positively to their call.
We do not want to end dialogue, but we want to show that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is unacceptable. The future for both Palestinians and Israelis depends on ending the occupation and on securing justice and equality. We believe that this will not happen without external pressure. Moreover, teachers, scientists and students in Israel oppose the occupation. These groups are in need of international support.
The academic boycott is aimed at the isolation of Israeli universities and other teaching and research institutions in order to challenge their complicity in maintaining the Israeli occupation and other violations of international law. An academic boycott targets institutional links between Israeli universities and Swedish partners in the form of university pairing, exchanges, joint programs and research initiatives. It is not a ban on individual Israeli academics, regardless of their opinions.
We ask employees and students at Swedish universities and research institutions to join our call. At the same time, we call for cooperation with and support for organizations and individuals in Israel, including research workers and students who are working to end the occupation and the denial of human rights for the Palestinians.
• Refuse participation in academic cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli universities;
• Refrain from attending or co-sponsoring conferences and other academic activities held at Israeli universities;
• Suspend all forms of funding, subsidies and scholarships to Israeli universities;
• Promote divestment from Israel by academic institutions;
• The Swedish government must act to stop European Union research collaboration with Israel;
• Foster initiatives that directly support Palestinian educational institutions and ensure opportunities for Palestinian students and faculty.
List of esteemed signatories:
Name City/place Affiliation/institution Academic title
Dick Urban Vestbro
Urban & regional studies, KTH
The Freedom Theatre drama and theatre school in Jenin
Royal Institute of Technology
Swedish Green think tank Cogito
PhD of Sociology, director of Cogito
Urban & Regional studies, KTH
City of Skellefteå/Luleå Univ of Tech
Dept of History of Ideas Uppsala univ
screen tryckare av konst
doktorand i sociologi
fil mag, pol mag
JMK, Stockholms universitet
School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University
Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts
Gymnasieskolan Knut Hahn
Ann Mari Engel
City of Stockholm
fil. kand student
Stockholms Läns Landsting
Filosofi Uppsala Univ, Estetik Södertörns högskola
student kandidat examensarbete
Medical university of Gdansk
Trademark & industrial design examiner
English & Human rights teaching
Reg. Nurse B.Sc
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
University of Gothenburg
Elektro- och Informationsteknik
Land and Water Resources, KTH
Hälsa och Samhälle
Folket i Bild/Kulturfront
Åsa Lindquist Bush
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Independant; also Treasurer of “Assoc.Enfants de Gaza”
Department of psychology and Social Work, University of Gävle
Lund university, Sociology
Britt Louise Tillbom
Actrice, Teacher. Director
Ph.D., culture historian
Gbg University Gender science, History of ideas
Bachelor of sience
Suleman Kukka Salam
Stockholm School of Economics (SSE)
SSE BSc in Business and Economics
Blekinge Tekniska högskola
Solid mechanics LTH
University College London
Master of Science
Student – socionom
Gothenburg University and Nordic School of Public Health
Pharmaceutic faculty, Uppsala University