In the latest issue of the IRR’s journal Race & Class, Hilary Rose and Steven Rose ask why and how a small Middle Eastern country has successfully positioned itself as ‘European’, even though it is in breach of Europe’s humanitarian conventions and condemned by many UN resolutions.
Not only have there been no international sanctions imposed on Israel, but the European Union has, in recent weeks, ushered in a new era in bilateral relations with Israel. This allows for greater participation in European agencies, programmes and working groups, especially in high-tech fields. From competing in UEFA and Eurovision to participating in the European Research Area, Israel is beneficially treated as a European nation.
In the face of the failure of governments to act, despite their obligations under international law, the Palestinians called for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel. Following the example of the long and ultimately successful struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian university academics sought to widen the BDS campaign by calling on their international colleagues to boycott Israel’s universities.
The parameters of the boycott and the opposition mounted against it are explored by two of its leading proponents, even as they expose the double standards of the Israeli academic community which defends its own academic freedom and is silent or complicit in denying those rights to Palestinians. By publicising these abuses, the boycott campaign puts pressure on Israel to change its policies and take immediate steps to secure a just peace in Palestine/Israel.
The study ‘Israel, Europe and the academic boycott’ by Hilary and Steven Rose is published in the July 2008 edition of the Institute of Race Relations’ journal Race & Class.
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Race & Class is a journal on racism, empire and globalisation published quarterly by the Institute of Race Relations in London.
Abstract of article on: Israel, Europe and the academic boycott