March 30, 2010
Dear Sarah Schulman,
We at BOYCOTT! would like to praise you for your important decision to boycott state-run and apartheid-complicit Tel-Aviv University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev, who invited you to their “Sex Acher 10” conference in Israel this year. By engaging in the academic institutional boycott of Israel you are helping to raise the oppressed Palestinian voice instead of adopting a “business as usual” attitude towards the Israeli apartheid.
As you know, policy makers in your country and elsewhere fail to truly pressure Israel, they back its policies bluntly or abstain from even criticizing Israel for the full scale of its crimes and human rights violations. In such conditions it is up to conscientious individuals like you and to civil society organizations and groups to join in solidarity the popular Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom. Boycotts and calls for divestments and sanctions against Israel are legitimate non-violent means by which everyone around the world can make a difference, as done by many on this day, the 2nd Global Day of Action on BDS against Israel.
Indeed, Palestinians need all the support they can get. This is evident by the years-long Israeli inhuman siege that has rendered Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison; the 2008/9 Israeli massacre in Gaza that has left more then 1400 Palestinians dead and terrorized the lives of 1.5 million people; further deadly and destructive attacks that the Israeli army has carried out against the Gazan population to this day; and the ongoing Israeli occupation, segregation and colonization of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by separate legal and administrative systems, the apartheid wall, apartheid roads, Jewish-only settlements, checkpoints and the Israeli army’s unrestrained and often murderous violence.
Acting as a colonizing force in the region, Israel still denies its responsibility for the Nakba and rejects the right of return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees that it has expelled and robbed. Through over 30 inequality laws, as well as informal policies and practices, it further discriminates systematically against its Palestinians citizens in almost every aspect of social life.
All these forms of injustice constitute the Israeli apartheid that organizes itself on a clear separation between the state’s treatment of any Palestinian, on the one hand, and of any Jew, on the other hand. To perpetuate itself the Israeli apartheid conceptually and physically divides the Palestinian people into more controllable parts and bantustans. It has to be resisted in its entirety, as done by the BDS movement.
Your act of solidarity will be added to your already longtime activist and cultural work on LGBT/queer issues and your undeterred pursuit for just peace and freedom. We share with you these values and support you in your decision to boycott Israel as long as it continues to function as an apartheid state and to oppress the Palestinians.
Yael Oren Kahn
Adv. Emily Schaeffer
 BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Withinis a group of Palestinians and Jews, citizens of Israel, who join the Palestinian call for a BDS campaign against Israel, inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid.
Visit us at: http://boycottisrael.info