Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Tel Aviv University
TAU Prof' Rachel Giora, BDS Call from Within: Please Do not Hold the 2010 Cleveringa Lecture at the Hebrew University!
The article follows Giora's Bio



Prof. Rachel Giora is a professor of linguistics at Tel Aviv University.   Prof. Giora is an active member of BOYCOTT: Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within, which is an organization full of Israelis who support boycotting their own country. 


On September 20, 2010, Prof. Giora gave a lecture in Tel Aviv explaining why people should boycott Israel.   On July 1, 2010, Prof. Giora wrote an article where she argued that thanks to the BDS movement, Israel will be given the choice of changing her policies or collapsing, and Prof. Giora is content with this reality.    In May 2010 Prof' Rachel Giora together with Dr. Anat Matar of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Kobi Snitz of Weizmann Institute, wrote an Open Letter to the Boston Museum of Science objecting to sponsorship of "Israeli propaganda" during Israel Innovation Week.

In April 2010, Prof. Giora signed onto a letter to the CRH management in Ireland, telling them to “divest from Israeli apartheid.”  In May 2010 the OECD ministerial committee  voted on the admission of Israel as a member of the organization and Prof' Giora signed a petition "Israeli Citizens Say: Do Not Approve Israel's OECD Membership Until It Abides by International Law." 

In January 2010, Prof. Giora wrote an article on BDS where she discussed the history of Israeli involvement in supporting boycotts against Israel.  According to the article, Prof. Giora admitted that the major role that Israelis play in the BDS movement is to give it legitimacy against attacks that boycotts against Israel are anti-Semitic, in addition to showing solidarity with the Palestinians who are protesting the “criminal occupation.”   She also argued that Israel is an apartheid state and that BDS should remain in place so long as Israel controls any of the territories that she captured in 1967.   Prof. Giora also accused Abbas of betraying the Palestinian struggle by withdrawing support temporally from the Goldstone Report.   In an article published in Haaretz, Prof. Giora came out in support of Dr. Neve Gordon’s call for boycotting Israel and was highly critical of Prof. Carmi for being upset at how he embarrassed Ben-Gurion University.   In 2009, Prof. Giora signed onto a letter sent to Madonna, Leonard Cohen, telling them not to perform in Tel Aviv.   Also in 2009, Prof. Giora sent a letter to BRICUP’s pre-UCU Congress, praising them for supporting BDS against Israel, and signed onto a petition telling the Barcelona Department for International Cooperation to cancel the twinning agreement between Barcelona and Tel Aviv.    Prof. Giora also co-signed a letter to the EU, telling them to suspend trade agreements with Israel after the Gaza War.   And Prof. Giora also was a leader in trying to get Princeton University to boycott Israel.                             











Israeli Citizens to Leiden University: Please Do not Hold the 2010 Cleveringa Lecture at the Hebrew University!


Dear Officials of Leiden University,

We are a group of Israeli citizens. It has recently been brought to our attention that Leiden University had decided to host a special lecture at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University on Thursday 25/11, commemorating a speech by Professor Rudolph Pabus Cleveringa during the Second World War, in which he protested the removal of Jewish faculty members.

The statement issued by Leiden University reads as follows:

"Cleveringa raised his voice right at the onset of the war, notably in regard of the freedom of expression. This is highly appreciated in Israel, all the more as there are still universities abroad trying to boycott Israeli professors and students."

We would like to pay our highest respect to Prof. Cleveringa, for his bold action, taken in the defense of universal principles of human rights. However, as Israeli citizens who care for these principles’ the choice to hold the Cleveringa lecture at the Hebrew University seems completely erroneous to us.

The Hebrew University is not a politically neutral institution. In addition to the incidents mentioned above, the Hebrew University is a constant and willing collaborator with the Israeli Defense Force - a military force over which hover well founded allegations of war crimes, including the bombing and destruction of Palestinian Universities and severe disruption of their academic life, or the bombing of media centers and radio stations. The Hebrew University has been involved in the development of weaponry for use by the Israeli military and in the training of the top military weapons’ researchers. The university even hosts a military base within its Givat Ram campus. All of this does not bode well with the principles of human rights.

It is true that there is, indeed, a measure of freedom of expression among the academic faculty members of the Israeli universities that cannot usually be found in totalitarian regimes. Compared with the democratic world, however, the picture is quite different: it is certainly not the case of Ali Baher, who was a student in the Hebrew University in 2008, when he was approached by Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was visiting the campus. Baher refused to shake Peres’ hand and said “I would not shake the hand of child-killer such as yourself” referring to the latter’s involvement in the 1996 bombing by the Israeli military of civilians in southern Lebanon that resulted in the deaths of 106 human men, women and children (Peres was the Prime Minister at the time of the bombing). Baher was immediately detained by university security, his student ID was confiscated and he was sent to a disciplinary committee by the university itself.

It should also be stressed that the inhabitants of the Palestinian village of Issawiyeh, immediately adjacent to the university's Mount Scopus campus, have experienced years of violent Israeli repression, and university officials have been silent on this matter. Furthermore, university officials have been silent in the face of numerous incidents in which basic human rights, as well as the academic rights, of Palestinian students and teachers were severely violated by Israel.

(sample report: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/a-kid-throws-a-stone-in-east-jerusalem-and-a-village-is-locked-down.html)

An intriguing detail in the Cleveringa lecture statement is the reference to “universities abroad trying to boycott Israeli professors and students”. It would be interesting to know which universities the author of this reference had in mind. It should be stressed that the Palestinian civil society's call for an academic boycott (http://www.pacbi.org), the call on which the global BDS campaign is based, states explicitly that the boycott is aimed at institutions rather than individuals, and that Israeli academics and students are not to be targeted by the boycott.

In view of the facts presented here, we would like to share with you our conclusion that the Hebrew University is institutionally complicit in Israel’s illegal policies of occupation and racism. Therefore, we would like to ask you to respect the memory of Prof. Cleveringa and move the 2011 Cleveringa lecture to a different venue!


We would be interested in your response.




Ofra Ben Artzi

Prof. Rachel Giora

Neta Golan

Ohal Grietzer


Dorothy Naor


On behalf of

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within


Sunday, 21 November 2010 14:40 Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
Back to "Tel Aviv University"Send Response
Top Page
    Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
    Visitors: 243711585Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version