Israel Systematically Blocks International Scholars From Reaching Palestine

“Palestinian Universities Demand Israel Respect Their Rights”


August 11, 2019

… It is precisely this lack of parallels that indicates the dramatically uneven situation for Palestinians — in terms not only of education, but all aspects of everyday life.

When people try to shine a light on these conditions, they too are targeted by the Israeli government. Such is the case of Professor Katherine Franke, a distinguished law professor at Columbia University, who was “banished” by Israel for “thinking differently,” as Roger Cohen, writing in The New York Times, put it.

It’s even worse for those who openly support the Palestinian-led, international human rights-based Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and refuse to conduct business as usual with Israel until these conditions are remedied. Pro-BDS scholars in the U.S. find themselves targeted by anti-boycott laws; and if they are professors they sometimes find themselves fired or otherwise penalized for participating in their constitutionally protected right to boycott.

Those against the academic boycott of Israeli institutions often appeal to the value of “dialogue.” This line of argument is deeply cynical in a context in which Israel allows only a particular set of people to be part of the conversation.


Image: A Palestinian woman holds a baby wearing a cap during a graduation ceremony at Birzeit University in the West Bank town of Birzeit, near Ramallah, on May 20, 2016.Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images

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