SYDNEY, Australia - More than forty professors at the University of Sydney have banned engagement with professional associations of Israeli academic, research or government institutions, and have undertaken not to collaborate professionally in any way with those institutions’ leaders.
The move follows the deaths of 34 Palestinians, who were killed in the past fortnight during protests on the Gazan border. Another 3,000, mostly unarmed demonstrators were wounded as Israeli army soldiers opened fire on them.
“The fact that, that can be tolerated by the international community is one of the things that necessitates boycott actions by civil society, and the academic boycott is part of that,” Nick Riemer, a senior lecturer in English and linguistics at the University of Sydney was quoted by The Australian national newspaper as saying.
The 42 acadmics say they will continue their ban "until Israel complies with international law and elementary principles of human rights by ending its illegal occupation and annexation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory as defined by the UN; granting full equality before the law to Palestinian citizens of Israel; and recognizing the right of Palestinians to return to the land from which they have been and continue to be expelled."
"We note that while this commits us to fully breaking ties with Israeli academic institutions, it does not preclude continuing collaboration with individual Israeli researchers who do not occupy leadership roles in them," the profssors said in a signd statement.
"We look forward to a time when Israel is prepared to negotiate seriously and in good faith with Palestinians, and civil society actions like the boycott are no longer necessary."
The forty two profssors who signed the statement include:
Dr Nick Riemer (English and Linguistics)
Dr David Brophy (History)
Associate Professor Jake Lynch (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Dr Victoria Grieves (Honorary ARC Indigenous Research Fellow, Sociology and Social Policy)
Dr Gareth Bryant (Political Economy)
Dr Frances Clarke (History)
Dr Mike Beggs (Political Economy)
Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson (History)
Dr Ben Miller (Writing Studies)
Associate Professor Ahmar Mahboob (Linguistics)
Associate Professor John Grumley (Philosophy)
Mr Andrew Brodzeli (Political Economy)
Associate Professor Susan Thomas (Writing Studies)
Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees, AM (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Dr Beatrice Wayne (History)
Dr Yvonne Low (Art History)
Professor Emeritus William Foley (Linguistics)
Dr Yaegan Doran (Linguistics)
Professor Sujatha Fernandes (Political Economy and Sociology)
Dr Tim Anderson (Political Economy)
Professor Adam Morton (Political Economy)
Dr Chin Jou (History)
Ms Natalia Maystorovich Chulio (Sociology and Social Policy)
Professor Gillian Cowlishaw (retired) (Anthropology)
Dr Louise Katz (School of Literature, Arts and Media)
Associate Professor Bill Dunn (Political Economy)
Dr Frances Di Lauro (Writing Studies)
Professor John Keane (Director, Sydney Democracy Network)
Dr Yasmine Musharbash (Anthropology)
Honorary Associate Professor John M O’Brien (Work and Organisational Studies)
Professor Emeritus Frank Stilwell (Political Economy)
Professor Nicola Piper (Director, Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre)
Dr Omid Tofighian (Philosophy)
Ms Mareese Terare (Education and Social Work)
Ms Rizanna Rosemary (Media and Communications)
Dr Beth Yahp (English)
Dr Rebecca Pearse (Political Economy)
Dr Robert Austin (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Mr Paul Duffill (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Dr Thomas Adams (History and American Studies)
Dr Belal Chami (Sydney Medical School)
Mr Fadi Baghdadi (Sociology and Social Policy)
An Australian Jewish group was highly critical of the professors.
“It seems that every time Israel is attacked and forced to defend itself, certain academics at Sydney University take it upon themselves to criticise not the terrorist group Hamas, responsible for the problem, but reiterate their longstanding, destructive demands for boycotts of Israel,” Colin Rubenstein, the Executive Director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, told The Australian.
“If these few academics who it is claimed have signed the pledge were really concerned for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, they would be condemning the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.”