On Nakba Day, USACBI salutes the steadfast resolve of the Palestinian people for their resistance to 75 years of colonial repression and land theft. We stand in solidarity with their efforts, and we pledge to do whatever we can, as US-based academics, writers, and artists, to deliver Palestinian freedom, from the river to the sea. To mark the occasion, we have organized a special webinar, Resisting the Ongoing Nakba: The Role for Academic and Cultural Boycott, featuring Riham Barghouti, Amahl Bishara, Sunaina Maira, Sherene Seikaly, and Omar Zahzah, to take place at 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific), on May 15th. You can register for the event here.
Over the past year, members of the USACBI Organizing Collective have been busy on several fronts.
- We have provided advice and support to many faculty and students who have been targeted and smeared by pro-Israel groups. This outside pressure often leads university administrations to isolate or punish the victims of these attacks. This is a heinous practice, and we have confronted the administrations, again and again, for their cowardice, and violation of academic freedoms, in bending to the pressure. We are committed to continuing this support and service to whoever needs it. If you do, please reach out to us.
- USACBI has re-launched our campaign against Study Abroad in Israel, and we are offering workshops for campus student groups who want to pass resolutions of non-cooperation with their university’s programs. Restrictions on access to these programs on the part of Israel’s government are in violation of campus codes of ethics, while the programs serve to normalize and promote universities that are part and parcel of the settler-colonial military regime; these operations should be shut down.
- Members of the Organizing Collective have helped with and supported the successful BDS campaign at Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA), in which 80% of participating members voted in favor of the resolution endorsing the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel for ongoing human rights violations. Our members have also been active in the upcoming BDS vote in the American Anthropological Association (AAA). MESA was a big win, and AAA will build upon and amplify it, while catalyzing even more BDS wins.
- USACBI members have been active supporters of the second Palestine Writes Literary Festival, which will take place in Philadelphia on 22-24 September.
- USACBI members have been contributing to Amplify Palestine, a project of Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, and connecting with music schools in Gaza, in creative collaboration with other artists here in the US. Amplify Palestine is planning multi-city music events for Fall 2023 in support of these cultural partnerships in Gaza.
- Several members of our advisory board who were active in the successful BDS campaign at the American Studies Association in 2013 were defendants in a long-standing lawsuit brought by Zionist plaintiffs. In February, the suit was finally dismissed. It was a significant blow to the Zionist practice of lawfare.
In conclusion, we are proud to be doing this work, modest as it is, in the hope that it contributes to the struggle against the ongoing Nakba.
The USACBI Organizing Collective