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 April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals in Ramallah, in the West Bank. PACBI is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The campaign calls for BDS activities against Israel to put international pressure on Israel, in this case against Israeli academic institutions, all of which are said by PACBI to be implicated in the perpetuation of Israeli occupation, in order to achieve BDS goals.[1][2] The goal of the proposed academic boycotts is to isolate Israel in order to force a change in Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, which proponents argue are discriminatory and oppressive, including oppressing the academic freedom of Palestinians.[3]

One of the founders was Omar Barghouti,[4] who is also a co-founder of the BDS campaign. PACBI is a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC).


PACBI was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals, as part of the international BDS campaign. The Campaign 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. The Campaign was inspired by people who supported the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott.[5]

In 2005 PACBI worked with the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) which lobbied the Association of University Teachers (AUT) to adopt an academic boycott of Israeli universities.[6]


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

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".[7]


In July 2009, PACBI called 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.[8] PACBI opposed the concert because it would be held two days after Cohen performed in Israel. The organizer of the event cancelled the concert in Ramallah because it was becoming too politicized.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Keller, Uri Yacobi (October 2009). "Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories" (PDF). Economy of the Occupation. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  2. ^ "PACBI Guidelines for the International Academic Boycott of Israel". PACBI. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  3. ^ Judith Butler (2006). "Israel/Palestine and the Paradoxes of Academic Freedom". Radical Philosophy. 135: 8–17. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  4. ^ Academic boycotter to study in Tel Aviv. Anshel Pfeffer, The Jewish Chronicle, 23 April 2009
  5. ^ History, PACBI website, 21 December 2008. Archived 3 December 2014.
  6. ^ Al Majdal Archived June 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Issue No. 28 (Winter 2005)
  7. ^ a b c d Call of Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Archived 2007-06-18 at the Wayback Machine, PACBI website, accessed 27 May 2007.
  8. ^ "PACBI-PACBI: Open Letter to Leonard Cohen". 16 May 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  9. ^ Shabi, Rachel (14 July 2009). "West Bank cancels Leonard Cohen concert in protest against Israel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 April 2019.

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