More Than 200 South African Scholars Back Academic Boycott of Israel

The scholars say they won't accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions and will not participate in conferences organized or funded by them.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators chant anti-Israeli slogans as they parade in a street of Paris, August 9, 2014.
AP

More than 200 South African scholars pledged support for an academic boycott of Israel in a statement made on Tuesday.

The scholars said they would not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions and would not participate in conferences organized or funded by them. They will, however, continue to work with Israeli colleagues individually, if they share a commitment to the Palestinians as outlined in the declaration.

“We will maintain this position until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights,” the statement said.

The group, which includes university professors as well as scholars at research institutes and think tanks, says it is “deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and it’s apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement.”

In its declaration, the group associates itself with recent initiatives by 600 academics in the United Kingdom and 120 Irish academics.