Call to Boycott the Oral History Conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Open Letter

Note: Few weeks ago we heard Hebrew University of Jerusalem is going to hold an international conference on oral history. But soon it was banned by oral history activists around the world in an attempt to object Israeli racist policies against Palestinian people. Here we have the open letter of these activists which is signed by more than 280 oral historians. A look at this open letter shows how intellectuals around the world are aware of what is happening in Palestine and also informs us about very exact legal and historical points about Palestinian rights and Israeli racist policies. At the end you can read the call for the so-called conference.

The following open letter was issued on August 12 to oral historians and scholars planning to attend the June 2014 International Conference on Oral History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The letter is signed by 204 scholars, and endorsed by the following Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns: Academics for Palestine (Ireland); AURDIP (France); BAB (Germany); BOYCOTT! (Israel); BRICUP (UK); InCACBI (India); PACBI (Palestine); PBAI (Spain); USACBI (USA) - and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel); Groundwell: Oral Historians for Social Change, core working group; Independent Jewish Voices Canada; University of Toronto SJP (Canada); SJP of UCLA – and by Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, anti-apartheid activist and writer. To add your name to this list of signatories please email: Download a PDF of the letter (update 9/22/2013).

August 12, 2013 (signatures updated September 22, 2013)
Dear Colleagues:

We are a group of Palestinian, Israeli, and other oral historians and academics from Europe, South Africa, and North America calling on you to boycott the June 2014 ‘International Conference on Oral History’ organised by the Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While all Israeli universities are deeply complicit in the occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy, as we explain below.
Your actions have a direct impact on our joint struggle for a just peace in Palestine-Israel and on our solidarity with fellow Palestinian academics whose universities have been closed down, blockaded and even bombed by Israeli aircraft in the last three decades; universities which have been subjected to a lengthy and brutal Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Specifically, the land on which some of its Mount Scopus campus buildings and facilities were expanded was acquired as a result of Israel’s 1968 illegal confiscation of 3345 dunums of Palestinian land. [1] This confiscated land in East Jerusalem is occupied territory according to international law. Israel’s unilateral annexation of occupied East Jerusalem into the State of Israel, and the application of Israeli domestic law to it, are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and have been repeatedly denounced as null and void by the international community, including by the UN Security Council (Resolution 252, 21 May 1968). Moving Israeli staff and students to work and live on occupied Palestinian land places the Hebrew University in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Further, the university is complicit in the unequal treatment of Palestinians, including those who are citizens of Israel. [2] For instance, it does not provide teaching services to the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in contrast to those provided to Jewish groups; no courses are offered in Arabic. [3] Additionally, the Hebrew University has chosen to remain silent when the entire population of Gaza has been excluded from the possibility to enroll and study in the university by the Israeli government. Palestinian students from Gaza have a better chance of getting into a university in the U.S than into Hebrew University.

The Hebrew University administration restricts the freedom of speech and protest of its few Palestinian students. For example, it had forbidden a commemoration event for the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces. [4] On the other hand, the Hebrew University offered special considerations and benefits to students who participated in that invasion as soldiers.

In December 2012 Israel’s Minister of Defence approved recognition of Ariel University in the illegal colony of Ariel as an Israeli university in the Israeli academic system. As a result, staff from the Hebrew University take part in the supervision and promotion committees of students and staff from the colonial university of Ariel ; and the (Jewish only) staff takes part in the supervision and in promotion committees for Hebrew University students and staff. The Hebrew University recognizes academic degrees awarded by the Ariel University, which is built on confiscated Palestinian land and surrounded by Palestinian communities, but does not recognize degrees awarded by the nearby Al-Quds University. [5]

Ironically, the oral history conference is organised by an institute named after Avraham Harman, President of the Hebrew University from 1968 to 1983. As President of the Hebrew University he was directly responsible for the rebuilding and expansion of the original campus on Mount Scopus built on land illegally confiscated from Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

At a time when the international movement to boycott Israeli academic and cultural institutions is gaining ground in response to Israel’s flagrant and persistent infringement of Palestinian human and political rights, we urge scholars and professionals to reflect upon the implications of taking part in a conference at a complicit institution, and to refrain from such participation. The conference is an attempt to improve the image and reputation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the West and to cover up for the fact that the university is closely associated with Israeli annexation and ‘Separation/Apartheid Wall’ policies—policies that were strongly condemned on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.[6]

Since the hegemonic world powers are actively complicit in enabling and perpetuating Israel’s colonial and oppressive policies, we believe that the only avenue open to achieving justice and upholding international law is sustained work on the part of Palestinian and international civil society to put pressure on Israel and its complicit institutions to end this oppression.

Inspired by the successful cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, in 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of institutions involved in Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. The Palestinian call appealed to the international academic community, among other things, to “refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” [7].

Following this, in 2005, an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society called for an all-encompassing BDS campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality [8]. The BDS movement adopts a nonviolent, morally consistent strategy to hold Israel accountable to the same human rights and international law standards as other nations. It is asking the international academic community to heed the boycott call, as it did in the struggle against South African apartheid, until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid” [9].

Paralleling the Apartheid era boycott of complicit South African universities, we believe that participation in academic conferences or similar events in Israel – regardless of intentions- can only contribute to the prolongation of this injustice by normalizing and thereby legitimizing it. It inadvertently contributes to Israel’s efforts to appear as a normal participant in the world of scholarship while at the same time it practices the most pernicious form of colonial control and legalized racial discrimination against Palestinians.

Until Israel fully complies with international laws and conventions, we sincerely hope that international academics will not participate in endorsing their violations and the basic human rights of Palestinians – even if inadvertently. We call on our colleagues to treat Israel exactly the same way that most of the world treated racist South Africa – or indeed any other state that legislates and practices apartheid : as a pariah state. Only then can Palestinians hope for a just peace based on international law, respect for human rights, and, more crucially, on the fundamental principle of equality for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or other identity considerations.

We, therefore, urge you to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem oral history conference and to call on your colleagues to refuse to participate in it; to refuse to cross the Palestinian picket line.

[Note: All footnotes are at the end of the document following a note on academic freedom.]

1. Professor Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Bures-sur-Yvette, France
2. Professor Saleh Abdel Jawad (Hamayel), Birzeit University, Palestine
3. Dr. Stéphanie Latte Abdallah; Researcher, French Institute for the Near East (IFPO) Jerusalem, Palestine
4. Dr. Adnan Abdelrazek - The Arab Studies Society – Jerusalem, Palestine
5. Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi, Independent researcher, writer, poet, Palestine
6. Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative - College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University, USA
7. Professor Nadia Abu el Haj, Barnard/Columbia University, USA
8. Professor Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA
9. Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Researcher, UK
10. Professor Ghada Ageel, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
11. Professor Mumtaz Ahmad, Vice President (Academic Affairs), International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan
12. Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Germany
13. Professor Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
14. Majeda Al-Saqqa, Culture and Free Thought Association, Khan Younis, Gaza, Palestine
15. Professor (emeritus) Mateo Alaluf, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
16. Professor Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, City of New York, USA
17. Dr. Diana Allan, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
18. Professor Lori Allen, University of Cambridge, England
19. Professor Nina Allen, Suffolk University, Boston, USA
20. Dr. Miriyam Aouragh, CAMRI, University of Westminster, UK
21. Professor (retired) William Ayers, University of Illinois-Chicago; Cyprus Oral History Project, USA
22. Professor Alice Bach (retired) Archbishop Hallinan Professor of Religious Studies
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH, USA
23. Gustavo Barbosa, PhD candidate, London School of Economics, UK
24. Professor Amjad Barham, Hebron University, President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, Palestine
25. Ryvka Barnard, Doctoral student, New York University, USA
26. Professor Oren Ben-Dor, Southampton University, England
27. Julie Benedetto, student, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lyon, France
28. Specialist Israel Morales Benito, University of Alicante, Spain
29. Bonita Bennett, Director, District Six Museum, Capetown, South Africa
30. David Beorlegui, PhD candidate, Basque Country University, Spain
31. Professor Dan Berger, University of Washington Bothell, USA
32. Professor Dusan I. Bjelic, Department of Criminology, University of Southern Maine, USA
33. Professor Maylei Blackwell, Departments of Chicana/o Studies, and Gender Studies, UCLA, USA
34. Dr. Susan Blackwell, Independent language consultant, Birmingham UK
35. Professor Hagit Borer, Queen Mary, University of London, England
36. Professor (emerita) Joanna Bornat, Open University, UK
37. Dr. Samia Botmeh, Birzeit University, Palestine
38. Professor Glenn Bowman, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
39. Dr. Robert Boyce, London School of Economics and Political Science, London University, UK
40. Professor Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, University of London, England
41. Dr. Khaldun Bshara, scholar, Riwaq Centre, Ramallah, Palestine
42. Professor (emeritus) Jacques Bude, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
43. Professor Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley, USA
44. Professor Iain Chambers, Università degli Studi di Napoli, "L’Orientale," Italy
45. Professor Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton, England
46. Professor Elise Chenier, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada
47. Professor Elliott Colla, Georgetown University, USA
48. Dr Indira Chowdhury, IOHA Council member; Centre for Public History - Bangalore, India
49. Nikoletta Christodoulou, Frederick University, Nicosia; Cyprus Oral History Project, Cyprus
50. Professor (retired) Raymonde Cloutier, University of Quebec (UQAM), Montreal, Canada
51. Dr. Jane Collings, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
52. Dr Peter Collins, St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Ireland
53. Professor Miriam Cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University, USA
54. Susan Currie, PhD student, Central Queensland University, Australia
55. Mike Cushman, Independent researcher, London, England
56. Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York, USA
57. Professor Nabil Dajani, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
58. Professor (emeritus) Eric David, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
59. Professor Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, USA
60. Dr. Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University, USA
61. Dr. Uri Davis, AL-QUDS University, Jerusalem, Palestine
62. Professor (emerita) Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Université Paris, France
63. Prof Philippe Denis, Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
64. Rafel Gustavo de Oliveira, MSc student, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
65. Professor Anne-Marie Dillens, University Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium
66. Professor John Docker, University of Sydney, Australia
67. Professor Chris Dole, Amherst College, USA
68. Professor Ann Douglas, Columbia University, New York, USA
69. Professor Haidar Eid, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, Palestine
70. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, PhD-candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.
71. Oroub El-Abed, Senior Teaching Fellow SOAS, London University, UK
72. Professor Nada Elia, Antioch University-Seattle, Washington, USA
73. Professor Hoda Elsadda, Cairo University, Egypt
74. Professor Samera Esmeir, University of California, Berkeley, USA
75. Professor Laila Farah, DePaul University, USA
76. Professor Randa Farah, University of Western Ontario, Canada
77. Professor (emeritus), Emmanuel Farjoun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
78. Dr. Adel Farrag, (retired) Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
79. Professor (emeritus) Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University, Fresno, US
80. Arie Finkelstein, student, Université Paris Est, France
81. Professor Ellen Fleischmann, University of Dayton, Ohio, USA
82. Senior Scholar Bill Fletcher, Jr., Institute for Policy Studies; former President, TransAfrica Forum, Washington, DC, USA
83. Professor Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, USA
84. Professor (emeritus) Giorgio Forti, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
85. Dr. Naomi Foyle, Coordinator of British Writers In Support of Palestine, UK
86. Professor Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawaii, USA
87. Daniela Fuentealba Rubio, Investigator/archivist, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile
88. Professor Candace Fujikane, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA
89. Professor Nell Gabiam Iowa State University, USA
90. Professor (retired) Rosemary Galli, Observatorio das Nacionalidades, Brazil
91. Professor Jose Maria Gago Gonzalez, Member, Seminario de Fuentes Orales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
92. Professeur Des Ecoles (en retraite) Marie Gérôme, Ecole de Viuz, Faverges, France
93. Khalil Mohammad Gharra – student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
94. Ana Ghoreishian, PhD student, University of Arizona, USA
95. Professor Rita Giacaman, Birzeit University, Palestine
96. Dr. Terri Ginsberg, ICMES, New York, USA
97. Professor (emerita) Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University, Long Beach, USA
98. Professor Heather Goodall, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
99. Professor (emeritus) Yerach Gover, City University of New York, USA
100. Professor Michel Gros, CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, Rennes, France
101. Professor Regina Beatriz Guimarães Neto. Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; 2006-2008 President Brazilian Oral History Association, 2008-2010/Brazil
102. Professor Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University, USA
103. Professor Ghassan Joseph Hage, University of Melbourne, Australia
104. Professor (emerita) Elaine Hagopian, Simmons College, Boston, USA
105. Dr. Andrea Hajek, University of Glasgow, UK
106. Professor (emerita) Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
107. Emad Hamdeh, PhD student, Exeter University, UK
108. Lecturer Rola Hamed, University College, Cork, Ireland
109. Professor Carrie Hamilton, University of Roehampton, UK
110. Dr. Rema Hammami, Birzeit University, Palestine
111. Professor Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
112. Karen S. Harper, community oral historian, Historical Society of Long Beach, California, USA
113. Professor Michael Harris, Université Paris-Diderot, France
114. Professor Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State University, Lansing, USA
115. Professor Frances Hasso, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
116. Dr Mahmoud Hawari, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK
117. Professor Sami Hermez, University of Pittsburgh, USA
118. Professor Elena Hernández Sandoica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
119. Shir Hever, Independent Economist/Researcher, Palestine-Israel
120. Professor (emeritus) Nicholas Hopkins, American University-Cairo, Egypt
121. Professor (emeritus) Heinz Hurwitz, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
122. Professor Takeji Ino, Wayo Women’s University, Japan
123. Perla Issa, PhD candidate, Exeter University, UK
124. Kumiko Isumisawa, Chief Librarian, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
125. Professor Ferran Izquierdo Brichs, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
126. Dr Hana Jaber, Histoire du Monde arabe contemporain, Collège de France, Paris, France
127. Professor Richard Jackson, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, NZ
128. Hazem Jamjoum, PhD student, New York University, USA/Palestine
129. Dr. Colleen Jankovic, US Film Scholar, Al-qaws organization, AlQuds/Jerusalem, Palestine
130. Tineke E. Jansen, Independent researcher, former IOHA Council member, England
131. Dr.Lena Jayyusi, Researcher, author, Palestine
132. Chrischene Julius, Collections, Research and Documentation Dept District Six Museum, South Africa
133. Professor Ray Jureidini, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
134. Professor Rhoda Kanaaneh, Columbia University, New York, USA
135. Samar Kanafani, PhD Candidate, University of Manchester, UK
136. Professor, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA
137. Dr. Fatma Kassem, Independent researcher, Israel
138. Professor Robin D. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
139. Dr. Bryan Kelly, Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland
140. Professor Emeritus Douglas Kerr, Case Western Reserve University, USA
141. Dr. Abdulhadi Khalaf (retired) Center of Middle East Studies, Lund University, Sweden
142. Professor Muhammad Ali Khalidi, York University, Canada
143. Professor Tarif Khalidi, Center for Arab & ME Studies, American University, Beirut Lebanon
144. Dr. Laleh Khalili, Reader in Politics, SOAS, University of London, England
145. Dr. Agnes Khoo, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
146. Dr. Miyuki Kinjo, Post-doctoral researcher (Palestine/Israel), Ritsumeikan University, Japan
147. Professor Gary Kinsman, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada
148. Professor David Klein, California State University, Northridge, USA
149. Dr. Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach, USA
150. Professor Eileen Kuttab, Birzeit University, Palestine
151. Professor Hidemitsu Kuroki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan
152. Dr. C S Lakshmi, )SPARROW( Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women, Mumbai India
153. Dr David Landy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
154. Zoe Lawlor, University of Limerick Language Centre, Ireland
155. Dr. Clint LeBruyns, Theology and Development Program, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
156. Professor Ronit Lentin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
157. Dr. Les Levidow, Open University, UK
158. Professor Miren Llona, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea; former Council member, IOHA, Spain
159. Professor David Colles Lloyd, University of California, Riverside
160. Arab Lotfi, film maker, university lecturer, journalist, writer, Lebanon
161. Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Kings College, University of London, England
162. Dr. Alex Lubin, Director, Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut ; University of New Mexico (on leave) – USA/Lebanon
163. Hala Marshood, Student, Humanities Faculty, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
164. Professor Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, England
165. Dr. Norma Masriyyeh, Bethlehem University, Palestine
166. Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University, New York, USA
167. Professor Dina Mattar, SOAS, University of London, England
168. Dr. Rachel Mattson, public historian, archivist, educator, New York, USA
169. Des McGuinness, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Ireland
170. Dr. Bill McSweeney, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
171. Dr. Daniel Meier, University of Oxford, UK
172. Dr. Willem Meijs, independent language consultant, Birmingham, UK
173. Professor Anne Meneley, Trent University, Canada
174. Meena R. Menon, author and oral historian, Delhi, India
175. Professor William Messing, University of Minnesota, USA
176. Jennifer Mogannam, Ph. D. candidate, University of California, San Diego
177. Professor Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University, New York, USA
178. Professor Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto, Canada
179. Professor Antonio Montenegro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
180. Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino, USA
181. Professor Suroopa Mukherjee, University of Delhi, India-
182. Dr. Corinna Mullin, University of Tunis, Tunisia
183. Professor (emerita) Martha Mundy, London School of Economics, UK
184. Dr. Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford, UK
185. Professor Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, City of New York, USA
186. Professor Eiji Nagasawa, Vice Director, Institute for Advanced Study on Asia, the University of Tokyo, Japan
187. Dr. Dorothy Naor, Independent researcher, Israel
188. Dr. Marcy Newman, Independent Scholar, India
189. Dr. Sonia Nimr, Birzeit University, Palestine
190. Professor Isis Nusair, Denison University, Ohio, USA
191. Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, University College Cork, Ireland
192. Dr. Féilim Ó’Hadhmaill, University College Cork, Ireland
193. Professor Mari Oka, Kyoto University, Japan
194. Professor Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University, New York, USA
195. Hussein Omar, PhD student, University of Oxford, UK
196. Dua’a Qurie, Executive Director, the Palestinian NGO Network, Ramallah, Palestine
197. Imranali Panjwani, PhD student, Kings College, University of London, UK
198. Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University, England
199. Professor Paul Parker, Baltzer Distinguished Professor of Religion, Elmhurst College, USA
200. Dr Nigel Parsons, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University, NZ
201. Professor Willie Van Peer, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
202. Dr. Ana Pego, Business and Economic Studies Department, Open University, Lisbon, Portugal
203. Professor Sylvain Perdigon, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
204. Professor Julie Peteet, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
205. Professor Gabriel Piterberg, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
206. Dr. Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick, UK
207. Dr. Nicolas Puig, Researcher, L’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France
208. Jorge Ramos Tolosa, researcher and professor, Universitat de València, Spain
209. Professor Marwan Rashed, Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne, Paris
210. Professor Stuart Rees, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
211. Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, Exeter University, UK
212. Professor (emerita) Rosalie Riegle, Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, USA
213. Dr. Rebecca Roberts, Independent scholar, UK
214. Professor Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex, UK
215. Professor (emerita) Hilary Rose, University of Bradford & Gresham College, London, UK
216. Professor (emeritus) Steven Rose, Open University & Gresham College, London, UK
217. Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics, University of London, UK
218. Dr. Alice Rothchild, MD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, USA
219. Dr. Bashir Saade, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
220. Professor Hanan Sabea, American University-Cairo, Egypt
221. Professor Fatima Sadiqi, Senior Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies; Co-founder, International Institute for Languages and Cultures (INLAC), Fez, Morocco
222. Ann Sado, Independent lecturer, former Board member, Japan Oral History Association, Tokyo
223. Professor (emeritus) Sadao Sakai, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan-
224. Professor Masaki Sakiyama, Ritsumeikan University,Kyoto, Japan
225. Professor Ruba Salih, SOAS, University of London, UK
226. Professor Nisreen Salti, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
227. Dr. Adel Samara, author, Editor Kanaan Review, Occupied Palestine
228. Mandy Sanger, Education Manager, District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
229. Dr. Leena Saraste, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
230. Professor Cecilia Sardenberg, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
231. Professor Surajit Sarkar - Ambedkar University, Delhi. India
232. Dr. Rosemary Sayigh, Center for Arab and ME Studies, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
233. Professor (emeritus) Robert M. Schaible, University of Southern Maine, USA
234. Professor (emeritus) Pierre Schapira, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
235. Dr. Leonardo Schiocchet, Guest Researcher, Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Post-doctoral grantee CAPES, Brazil
236. Professor Sarah Schulman, ACT UP Oral History Project, New York, USA
237. Professor Richard Seaford, University of Exeter, UK
238. Professor (Emerita) Evalyn F. Segal, PhD, San Diego State University, USA
239. Professor May Seikaly, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
240. Professor Sherene Seikaly, American University in Cairo, Egypt
241. Professor Jihane Sfeir, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
242. Professor Anton Shammas, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
243. Dorothy Sheridan, Honorary Professor of History (retired), University of Sussex, UK.
244. Dr. Magid Shihade, Birzeit University, Palestine
245. Professor (emeritus) Kazuko Shiojiri, University of Tsukuba ; Tokyo International University ; Director, Institute of International Exchange (IIET), Japan
246. Professor Andor Skotnes, Chair, Dept. of History and Society, the Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, USA
247. Richard Saumarez Smith, Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
248. Dr. Kobi Snitz, Weizmann Institute, Israel
249. Professor Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law, Washington, USA
250. Dr. Jane Starfield, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
251. Professor Ted Steinberg, Case Western Reserve University, USA
252. Suzy Subways, SLAM! Herstory Project, New York, NY
253. Professor Akiko Sugase, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
254. Dr. Mayssun Sukarieh, Fellow, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University. USA.
255. Dr. Ziad Suidan, Independent scholar, USA
256. Dr. Hitoshi Suzuki, Area Study Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
257. Professor Paul Tabar, Director, Institute for Migration Studies, Lebanese American Univ., Lebanon
258. Rabah Tahraoui ,Professeur ,Université de Rouen, France
259. Professor Ghada Talhami, Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA
260. Professor Lisa Taraki, Birzeit University, Palestine
261. Sibel Taylor, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England
262. Professor Sunera Thobani, University of British Columbia, Canada
263. Professor (retired) Chizuko Tominaga of Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University, Japan
264. Professor Barry Trachtenberg, University of Albany, New York, USA
265. Professor Judith Tucker, Georgetown University, USA
266. Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of »Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao«, The School of Māori and Pacific Development, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
267. Professor Masaki Uno, Hiroshima City University, Japan
268. Professor Sharon Utakis, Bronx Community College, City University of New York, USA
269. Professor Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
270. Naomi Wallace, Independent scholar, award-winning playwright, UK/USA
271. Professor Devra Weber, University of California, Riverside, USA
272. Professor Mark R. Westmoreland, American University Cairo, Egypt
273. Professor Ulrike Woehr, Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan
274. Dr. Patrick Wolfe, Trobe University, Australia
275. Yoshihiro Yakushige, PhD student, Kyoto University, Japan
276. Dr. Hala Yameni, Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine
277. Professor Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
278. Professor Masae Yuasa, Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan
279. Professor (emeritus)Takehi Yukawa, Keio University, Japan
280. Omar Zahzah, PhD student, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
281. Professor (emeritus) Elia Zureik, Queen’s University, Canada

Endorsed by the following Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaigns: Academics for Palestine (Ireland) ; AURDIP (France) ; BAB (Germany) ; BOYCOTT ! (Israel) ; BRICUP (UK) ; InCACBI (India) ; PACBI (Palestine) ; PBAI (Spain) ; USACBI (USA) - and by the Alternative Information Centre (Israel) ; Groundwell : Oral Historians for Social Change, core working group ; Independent Jewish Voices Canada ; University of Toronto SJP (Canada) ; SJP of UCLA – and by Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, anti-apartheid activist and writer.

Note: this list of signers and endorsers was updated on 9/22/2013
To add your name to this list of signatories please email:

The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights defines academic freedom to include:

the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction. The enjoyment of academic freedom carries with it obligations, such as the duty to respect the academic freedom of others, to ensure the fair discussion of contrary views, and to treat all without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds. [10], emphasis added]
Keeping this definition in mind, we are keenly aware of the importance of the academic freedom of the individual, but also believe that such freedoms should not extend automatically to institutions. Judith Butler reminds us that: “our struggles for academic freedom must work in concert with the opposition to state violence, ideological surveillance, and the systematic devastation of everyday life.” [11]

It is incumbent on academics to develop such a nuanced understanding of academic freedom if we are to call for social justice and work alongside the oppressed in advancing their freedom, equality and self-determination.
The Israeli academy is not the bastion of dissent and liberalism it is purported to be by those who defend Israel and attempt to delegitimize the call for academic boycott. The vast majority of the Israeli academic community is oblivious to the oppression of the Palestinian people–both inside Israel and in the occupied territory–and has never opposed the practices and policies of their state. In fact, they duly serve in the reserve forces of the occupation army and, accordingly are likely to be either perpetrators of or silent witnesses to the daily brutality of the occupation. They also do not hesitate to partner in their academic research with the security-military establishment that is the chief architect and executor of the occupation. A petition drafted by four Israeli academics merely calling on the Israeli government “to allow [Palestinian] students and lecturers free access to all the campuses in the [occupied] Territories, and to allow lecturers and students who hold foreign passports to teach and study without being threatened with withdrawal of residence visas,” was endorsed by only 407 out of 9,000 Israeli academics – less than 5% of those who were invited to sign it. [12]


[1] The decision was published in the official Israeli Gazette (the Hebrew edition), number 1425. It was therefore “legalized” by Israel. This land, for the most part, was (still is) privately owned by Palestinians living in that area. A large part of the confiscated land was then given to the Hebrew University to expand its campus (mainly its dormitories). The Palestinian landowners refused to leave their lands and homes arguing that the confiscation order of 1968 was illegal. When the case was taken to the Jerusalem District Court in 1972 (file no. 1531/72), the court ruled in favor of the University and the state, deciding that the Palestinian families must evacuate their homes and be offered alternative housing. See also
[2] Keller, U. (2009) the Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories. The Economy of the Occupation: A Socioeconomic Bulletin: Alternative Information Centre.
[10] UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “The Right to Education (Art.13),” December 8, 1999,
[11] Judith Butler. “Israel/Palestine and the Paradoxes of Academic Freedom.” in: Radical Philosophy, Vol. 135. pp. 8-17, January/February 2006. (Accessed on December 10, 2011)

Call for Papers:

International Conference on Oral History Looking at then Now

June 8-10, 2014

The oral history division of the Hebrew University is proud to host its first international conference in the field of oral history. Oral history is based on individuals' accounts of past events. According to Alessandro Portelli, oral histories "reveal less about the events as such than about their meaning". Oral histories "tell us not just what people did, but what they wanted to do, what they believed they were doing, and what they now think they did." The organizers of this conference invite proposals relating to the issue of subjectivity in the creation of oral histories and narratives in all areas of study, as well as how this issue is understood and presented in scholarly work.

The conference will also host panels on the theme of narratives and education, focusing on the subject of reflexivity in teaching and the place of interviews in educational research. The conference will be organized into panel sessions planned around a specific topic of investigation. Participants are encouraged to submit an individual paper or organize a panel.

The conference will address these issues in relation to the following areas of study: Immigration and transnationalism, Trauma Studies, Holocaust Studies, Human Rights, Conflict Studies with emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Minorities Studies, Gender Studies, Culture and Identity, Narrative and Education.

* The Harry. S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University will host the sessions relating to "Oral History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Keynote speakers include:
Prof. Amia Lieblich (Academic College of Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Hebrew University)
From Tibet to Neve Shalom: Can Oral History be useful?
Dr. Adel Mana (Beit Berl)
Oral history as a source for history of the Nakbah: The survival of Palestinians in Israel as a case study
Prof. Mary Marshall Clarke (Columbia University)
Prof. Alessandro Portelli (University of Rome)
On the uses of Memory: Memory and monument, involuntary memory, memory as challenge"

Proposals should be sent no later than November 15, 2013 to:
Notification of acceptance will be given by January 1, 2014.
*Conference fees apply

contact information:

Number of Visits: 8499


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A Look at the Book “Operational Physicians-2”

Biography, Memories and Viewpoints of Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari, Professor and Specialist in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and Pain
In the book “Field Physicians 2”, after acknowledgement, we first come to a short text written by Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari, and on the next page to a photograph, as it is stated under the photo, taken with Professor Majid Samii in the operating room (Germany, Hannover). After that the content, the editor introduction, and then “Biography at a Glance” which is a six-page summary of the book text, are presented.
The Fourth Online Meeting of Iranian Oral History

Iranian Oral History beyond Borders – 2

Dr. Abolfazl Hasanabadi, Dr. Morteza Rasouli Pour, and Dr. Abolhasani participated in the fourth meeting out of the series of meetings on oral history in Iran held online on Saturday 11th of Dey 1400 (January 1, 2022) hosted by Mrs. Mosafa. In the meeting set up in the History Hallway of the Clubhouse, they talked about “Iran’s Oral History beyond Borders”. In continuation of the meeting, the host asked ...
Interview with Brigadier General Farzollah Shahin-Rad


We were supposed to experience a hot summer day at seven oclock in the afternoon. I got to his house in ten minutes to seven, but I knew that working with the militant had special rules. One of them is punctuality. I went up and down the alley several times to meet this Ironman at his house. When I saw him from afar at military conferences, his sense of toughness was evident in demeanor.
Book Review:

"You Must Survive"!

Memoirs of Haj Ali Karami, Commander of the "Habib ibn Madhahir" Battalion of the 10th Martyrs Division. "The bullet was hit in the middle of the column. There was no wounded or martyred person; whatever there was, it was just amputated arms and amputated legs and torn pieces of bodies that had been piled up... Once, I saw the forces of the Basij forces staring at those scenes in astonishment. I swallowed saliva and shouted: