CUNY Doctoral Students Council endorses the boycott of Israeli academic institutions

USACBI congratulates the Doctoral Students’ Council at the City University of New York, who voted for a resolution calling for the academic boycott of Israel on Friday afternoon, April 15.

“The repression of CUNY students is connected to the same systems of power that uphold the Israeli state”s violation of Palestinian rights within Israel and the occupied territories, in which Israeli academic institutions are complicit,” said Jeremy Randall, fourth-year history student and member of Graduate Center Students for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. “By answering the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions, we demonstrate that our struggles in ending systematic racism, colonization, and other forms of discrimination here in New York are part and parcel with the Palestinian struggle for liberation.”

“Historically, the Doctoral Students” Council has broadly embraced its role as a political entity of and for students. The organization itself was a product of student activism during the 1960s, and the first resolution it passed opposed the Vietnam War,” said the DSC in their press release.

More details are available at the campaign’s website:

42 students voted for the resolution, 19 opposed, and 9 abstained. We salute the students who developed this resolution and urge its implementation by both the DSC and CUNY:

Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

WHEREAS settler colonialism and structural racism work across the world, including in the United States, to disenfranchise, dispossess, and inflict violence upon specific groups of people for the benefit of others;

WHEREAS the unceasing military occupation and colonization of Palestine by the Israeli state is a manifestation of both settler colonialism and structural racism, supported politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S.;

WHEREAS the Israeli state systematically violates Palestinians” rights under international law, including the right to education;

WHEREAS the Israeli state specifically violates Palestinians” right to education by damaging Palestinian universities, colleges, and schools in military offensives; raiding students at those institutions and forcing the institutions to temporarily close for military or other reasons; restricting Palestinians” movement to such an extent that it impedes their ability to attend and teach classes; and preventing students from traveling abroad to study or present research;

WHEREAS Israeli academic institutions, like U.S. academic institutions, are deeply embedded in state practices and receive extensive state funding;

WHEREAS Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the occupation and colonization of Palestine and the state”s violence against Palestinians by developing military hardware, weapons, drones, and surveillance technologies; offering military training courses and posts for high-ranking military officers; declaring, via their leaders and other surrogates, their support for Israeli military offensives; discriminating against Palestinian students; and repressing voices in support of Palestinians and their struggle for self-determination;

WHEREAS Palestinian civil society, including the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors, the General Union of Palestinian Teachers, and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, has issued a global call for the academic and cultural boycott of the Israeli state, as part of the larger boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, as long as it violates Palestinian human and environmental rights anchored in international law;

WHEREAS dozens of academic bodies around the world, including the Association for Asian American Studies, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, the African Literature Association, the American Studies Association, the graduate student worker union of the University of California, and, most recently, the American Anthropological Association and the National Women”s Studies Association, have endorsed or recommended the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and more, including the Modern Language Association and the Middle Eastern Studies Association, are considering doing so, altogether making the issue of academic boycott a central one of the academic profession;

WHEREAS the Israeli state commands extraordinarily more power both on the ground and internationally than do the Palestinians, as shown, in just one example, by the effort of New York State legislators to suspend Students for Justice in Palestine at the City University of New York (CUNY);

WHEREAS the Doctoral Students” Council (DSC) has passed resolutions in support of justice and social change throughout its existence, from condemning the Vietnam War to, this academic year alone, supporting students repressed by the state at both CUNY and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India; and

WHEREAS the DSC understands that the boycott of Israeli academic institutions is expressly not the boycott of individual Israeli students or scholars, nor does it prohibit collaboration between DSC representatives and Israeli students and scholars, but that it is constitutionally protected free speech in support of the Palestinian call for solidarity to end the occupation and colonization of Palestine;

Be it RESOLVED that the DSC will endorse the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions for as long as the Israeli state continues to violate Palestinian rights under international law; and

Be it further RESOLVED that the DSC supports the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine at CUNY and all others engaged in the struggle to end the occupation and colonization of Palestine.

Endorsed by:

Critical Palestine Studies Association, Graduate Center, CUNY

Middle Eastern Studies Organization, Graduate Center, CUNY

The Postcolonial Studies Group, Graduate Center, CUNY

The Adjunct Project, Graduate Center, CUNY

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