Indian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

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Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French... What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.

 

Mahatma Gandhi

Editorial, The Harijan, 26-11-1938

InCACBI Statement on the academic research agreement between the University Grants Commission and the Israel Science Foundation

InCACBI Statement on the academic research agreement between the University Grants Commission and the Israel Science Foundation

Don’t collaborate with a state that tramples on Palestinian academic and cultural freedom!

August 10, 2012

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. (Visit our website www.incacbi.in for more information.)

The Israeli state consistently and ruthlessly tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of the Palestinian people, and any association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable. 

This is why we condemn the MoU signed on August 2nd 2012 by the University Grants Commission in New Delhi (http://www.ugc.ac.in/)  and the Israel Science Foundation (http://www.isf.org.il/english/) to launch an 'India-Israel Joint Research Program' that will promote collaborative research across a wide range of disciplines from medical and information technology to social sciences, humanities and arts.[1] The programme, which will run for five years, will provide support up to $1,00,000 a research project for three years. Chairman of the Israel Science Foundation Benjamin Geiger led a five-member delegation at a two-day seminar in Delhi to discuss the areas to be covered under the programme. He told The Hindu that approximately 50 collaborations are expected to be supported under the programme.

The UGC was established as a statutory body of the Government of India through an Act of Parliament for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India. The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) is Israel's predominant source of competitive grants funding basic research. Most of the ISF’s funds (96%) are provided by the Government of Israel via the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the Israel Council for Higher Education.[2]

 

As academics and cultural practitioners, the members of InCACBI believe that academic life is rooted in the values of democracy, equality and justice. The pursuit of excellence in the fields we work in has meaning only if imbued with conscience.

 

When Palestinian students and teachers are not allowed to reach their universities because of permit laws and checkpoints, universities and schools are levelled by bombs and tanks, food, textbooks, and medical supplies are prohibited from entering Gaza, and artistic events are closed down in Jerusalem, none of the foundational principles on which academic and cultural contact are based can ever be fulfilled.

 

Perhaps UGC could explain to Indian citizens how collaboration with an institution backed by a state responsible for this mockery of academic life will “determine and maintain standards of university education in India.”

 

After the MoU signing ceremony, Israeli Ambassador Alon Ushpiz noted that both Israel and India hosted some of the best academic institutions. “The linking of our researchers together comes only naturally,” he said. In response, we would like to pose a couple of questions:

 

Is it natural to Indians to lend a stamp of approval to Israeli policies of colonialism, apartheid and occupation? 

Is it natural for Indians to admit Israel into the global academic and cultural arena when it does not respect international law and recognize the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, equality and justice?

 

The India-Israel Joint Research Programme was initiated during a recent visit of Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal to Israel. Mr Sibal, what kind of partners are we choosing to build our academic and research initiatives? Do we want our academics to collaborate with those funded by a state responsible for the illegitimate occupation of another people?

 

We believe that an academic life is rooted in the values of democracy, equality and justice. The pursuit of excellence in the fields we work in has meaning only if imbued with conscience. None of the foundational principles on which academic and cultural contacts are based on can be fulfilled when Palestinian students and teachers are not allowed to reach their universities because of Israeli mandated permit laws and checkpoints; and supplies such as food, textbooks, and medicine are prohibited from entering Palestinian territories.

 

We appeal to all academics, students and civil society to join us in condemning this unholy alliance between the UGC and the Israel Science Foundation. We appeal to fellow citizens to stand firmly opposed to any of India’s strategic, scientific, military, economic, academic and cultural ties with Israel.

 

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)

Mohan  Rao, Convenor (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Ayesha Kidwai, Convenor (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Gargi Sen, Convenor (Film-maker)
Githa Hariharan, Convenor (Writer)
N Pushpamala, Convenor (Artist)
Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)
Aditya Nigam (Centre for the Study of Developing Studies, Delhi)
Aijaz Ahmad (Literary Critic and Cultural Commentator)
Alok Rai (Delh University)
Anuradha  Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
C.P Chandrasekhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Farida Khan (Jamia Millia Islamia)
Imrana  Qadeer (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Kalpana  Kannabiran (Hyderabad University)
Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Mushirul Hassan (Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia)
Nandini Sundar (Delhi University)
Nivedita  Menon (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Prabhat Patnaik (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Rajni Palriwala (Delhi University)
Sumit Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
T Jayraman (Tata Institute of Social Studies)
Tanika Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Uma Chakravarthy (Delhi University)
Upendra Baxi (Former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University)
Vijay Prashad (Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut)
Vina Mazumdar (Former Director Center for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi)
Zoya Hasan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Amar Kanwar (Film-maker)
Anand  Patwardhan (Film-maker)
Arundhati Roy (Writer)
Dhruv Sangari  (Singer)
Geeta Kapoor (Art Critic)
K Satchidanandan (Writer)
M.K. Raina (Theatre)
Ram Rahman (Artist)
Saba Dewan (Film-maker)
Saeed Mirza (Film-maker)
Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)
Vivan Sundaram (Artist)
Gautam Navlakha (Journalist)
Harsh Mander (Activist)
Prabir Purkayastha (Delhi Science Forum)
Praful Bidwai (Journalist)
Prashant Bhushan (Lawyer)
Pushpa M. Bhargava (Scientist)
Ritu Menon (Publisher)
Romi Khosla (Architect)
Seema Mustafa (Journalist)
Vrinda Grover (Lawyer)

And 100 other InCACBI members

 


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Action alert and events

19 Aug 2015

The Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jana Natya Manch invite you to
 

PRESS CONFERENCE: ‚ÄčIndia...