Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

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The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals,[1] including Lisa Taraki and Omar Barghouti.[2]

PACBI is a member of The Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC).


The campaign,launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement, built on a call for an economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in August 2002 and a statement made by Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories and in the Diaspora calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in October 2003.

In 2005 PACBI worked closely with the British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) which lobbied the Association of University Teachers (AUT) to adopt an academic boycott of Israeli universities.[3]

PACBI argues that "Israel's colonial oppression of the Palestinian people comprises:"

  • Denial of its responsibility for the Nakba—in particular the waves of ethnic cleansing and dispossession that created the Palestinian refugee problem—and therefore refusal to accept the inalienable rights of the refugees and displaced stipulated in and protected by international law;[4]

PACBI's supporters believe that a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions will contribute towards the dismantling of "Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid".[4]


In July 2009, (PACBI) led the call for the boycott of a proposed concert in Ramallah by Jewish Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen who had entertained Israeli troops for three months during the Yom Kippur war and expressed a desire to be drafted,[5] which was later cancelled. PACBI opposed the concert because it would be held two days after Cohen performed in Israel. The organizer of the event, decided to cancel the concert in Ramallah because it was becoming too politicized.[6]

In February 2011, Mazin Qumsiyeh wrote an opinion piece for Al-Jazeerah that mentioned the PACBI-led boycott of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.[7]

Internal Boycotts[edit]

There is currently a movement within Israel, involving Palestinians, Jews, and other Israeli citizens, to join the BDS movement being pushed by the PACBI. They are devoted to peace and true democracy amongst the Israelis and Palestinians and fair treatment of Palestinian refugees. They are particularly opposed to Western governments' who have decided to boycott the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, specifically in besieged Gaza. They stand against all forms of racism and oppression and support and encourage BDS actions as a legitimate political activity and a necessary means of non-violent resistance. This form of resistance was labeled Anti-Semitic by the government and they have since tried to make these internal boycotts illegal. In the bill, "a boycott against the State of Israel" is defined as: deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or body solely because of their affinity with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.

The anti-boycott law passed by the Knesset in July 2011 was aimed at slowing down the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel for its violations of international law. But the Palestinian-led BDS movement, both inside and outside Israel, has showed no signs of slowing. The government continues to see these boycotters and protestors as modern anti-Semites who are seeking to tear down the Jewish State. "In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state," Netanyahu said. "I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb," Netanyahu said.” [8][9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1], PACBI website, accessed 20 February 2011.
  2. ^ Academic boycotter to study in Tel Aviv
  3. ^ Al Majdal, Issue No. 28 (Winter 2005).
  4. ^ a b c d Call of Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, PACBI website, accessed 27 May 2007.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Leonard Cohen's Ramallah gig called off by Rachelle Kliger, Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2009.
  7. ^ From Sykes-Picot to Mubarak-Suleiman
  8. ^ "Points of Unity.", n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Despite Boycott Law, Israeli BDS Activists Forge Ahead: An Interview with Kobi Snitz." Mondoweiss. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Israel's Netanyahu Calls Boycotters 'anti-Semites'" The Big Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

External links[edit]