Saturday, January 17, 2009


Dear colleagues,

As academics in Lebanon, there is a particular role we could play amidst the ongoing assaults by the Israelis. Here is one such option. Please find enclosed as an attachment and copied below a statement calling for our colleagues around the world to support an academic boycott of Israel, and calling for the enforcement of anti-normalization laws here in Lebanon.

If you agree with the statement, please forward it to other academic colleagues in Lebanon and please also send your signature to Rania Masri>. This statement will be ultimately published in Al-Akhbar newspaper, and then (hopefully) published in newspapers or other avenues in Canada and the UK where academic boycotts are being resurfaced.

We hope to send the statement to Al Akhbar soon, so please submit your signature by Monday January 19.

-Rania Masri and Rami Zurayk

Statement of Academics in Lebanon

In this latest onslaught against Palestinians, Israel has attacked a university, the Ministry of Education, schools across the Gaza Strip, and several UNRWA schools. Such attacks against learning centers are not unique for Israel. Most particularly since 1975, Israel has infringed upon the right of education for Palestinians by closing universities, schools and kindergartens, and by shelling, shooting at, and raiding hundreds of schools and several universities throughout the occupied Palestinian territories.

Nor have these attacks been limited against Palestinians. As academics in Lebanon, we are all too familiar with Israeli onslaughts against educational centers. In its latest assault, in 2006, for example, Israel destroyed over 50 schools throughout Lebanon, and particularly schools designed for the economically disadvantaged in the South.

We thus stand, as academics in Lebanon, in urging our colleagues, regionally and internationally, to oppose this ongoing scholasticide and to support the just demand for academic boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Specifically, we ask our colleagues worldwide to support the call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel to comprehensively and consistently boycott and disinvest from all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, and to refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joining projects with Israeli institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid.

We further call on the enforcement of Lebanese anti-normalization laws with Israel, and thus for the prosecution of individuals and institutions in Lebanon that violate those laws and conduct collaborations, associations or investments in Israel or with Israelis.

We salute the recent statement by the Scottish Committee for the Universities of Palestine calling for a boycott of Israel, the letter signed by 300 Canadian academics to Canadian Prime Minister Harper asking for sanctions against Israel, and the appeal by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee supporting a ban on collaborations between Canadian and Israeli universities.

Signed by academics in Lebanon:


Rami Zurayk
Rania Masri or

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