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Tel Aviv University
[Tel Aviv University] Prof. Rachel Giora, Dr. Anat Matar, Yoav Beirach "BDS is Working: A Letter from Israel"


British Writers In Support of Palestine

January 28, 2011

BDS is Working: A Letter from Israel

Boycott from Within! is a group of Israeli citizens – Jews and Palestinians – working together to support the PACBI BDS call. BWISP thanks them for this tremendous letter of support for our own solidarity efforts.

“In the eyes of the world, the question is what can be done when the relevant institutions do not succeed in enforcing international law?”

Tanya Reinhart May 5, 2005 [1]

January 25, 2011

Dear British Writers in Support of Palestine (BWISP)

We are members of BOYCOTT! [2] – a group of Jews and Palestinians, citizens and residents of Israel, who are struggling to end the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. We are writing to reassure you that here, in Israel, your attempts to bring about a change in the Middle East will not fall on deaf ears. There is increasing evidence showing that the boycott movement, inspired by the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel [3] may eventually affect Israel’s policies. Indeed the loss of Israel’s legitimacy, caused by the state’s war crimes and violation of international law, is affecting the Israeli public, its opinion shapers, as well as policy makers.

For instance, in September 2009, Col. Gabriel Siboni portrayed the BDS movement as “The third threat” [4] aiming to destroy Israel’s legitimacy as a political entity. Later on, in November, mainstream journalist, Sever Plocker, [5] admitted that “Israel’s image has hit a nadir; it is isolated, unwanted, and perceived as bad. The world is telling us that should we continue along the same contemptible path, we will lose our legitimacy”. In February 2010, another mainstream journalist, Ari Shavit, described Israel’s distress over the delegitimization “assault”. [6]

This loss of Israel’s international status has evoked different voices inside mainstream academics as well. In May 2010, Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and former Tel Aviv University President, said, during a symposium on “The Delegitimization of Israel as a Strategic Threat” at Tel Aviv University that “to regain Israel’s legitimacy, Israel’s policies will have to be geared towards establishing real peace”. [7]

Recently 180 Israeli academics – university and college faculty members – signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of the Ariel University Center. [8]

This move was preceded by mainstream Israeli artists who announced that they are boycotting Ariel, a settlement/city in the occupied territory, and urged Israeli artists not to perform there. [9]

The BDS movement has already affected government members as well. For instance, Minister Fuad Ben Eliezer acknowledged that Israel’s “legitimacy is fragile and only a real attempt to reach an agreement with the Palestinians will repair it. [10] When meeting with non-violent resistance activists in Palestine in November 2010, the British Foreign Minister, William Hague, stated that “when negotiations seem like a timeless promise that is never fulfilled due to Israel’s unwillingness [to offer a] fair solution, popular resistance to the occupation is the only remaining possible alternative for the Palestinians to achieve their rights and avoid armed struggle.” [11]

The ball is rolling. Now EU is preparing the basis for sanctions against Israel; [12] South African states and Latin America states [13] recognize Palestinian independence. [14]

Israelis are no longer deluded. They realize that when there is an activist “sitting in front of the computer screen, there is no marine soldier that can eliminate him”; “Zahal [Israel “Defense” Forces] is not the answer”. [15-17]

These are just instances reassuring you that your contribution to the international effort to bring non-violent measures to bear against Israel’s illegitimate policies will not be in vain. We support your struggle and its continuance as urged by the Palestinian call, until Israel recognizes the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and until it fully complies with international law by ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and by dismantling the Wall; by recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and by respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.


Reuven Abergel (Israeli black panthers)

Ofra Ben Artzi

Ronnen Ben-Arie

Yoav Beirach

Joseph Dana

Kelvin Bland RIBA

Prof. Dr, Uri Davis

Naama Farjoun

Prof. Rachel Giora

Neta Golan

Shir Hever

Yael Kahn

Yossef Lubovsky

Rela Mazali

Dr. Anat Matar

Dr. Dorothy Naor

Ofer Neiman

Eyal Sivan

Kerstin Sodergren

Sonya Soloviov

Jonatan Stanczak

Sahar Vardi

Elian Weizman

On behalf of

BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within




[3] http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52






[9] http://news.walla.co.il:80/?w=%2F1%2F1752210

[10] http://coteret.com/2010/05/16/maariv-minister-ben-eliezer-shaken-by-hostility-to-israel-in-eu-oecd-membership-notwithstanding/

[11] http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1196723.html

[12] http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/01/10/eu-lays-basis-for-sanctions-against-israel/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+richardsilverstein%2FZOfh+%28+Tikun+Olam-%D7%AA%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%9F+%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9D%3A+Make+the+World+a+Better+Place%29



[15]Channel 10, 25.8.10



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