Protesters hold a banner that equates Israel with an apartheid state while marching on North High St, Columbus, Ohio, in June 2021. (Photo: Shutterstock)
More than 220 scholars from 14 Latin American countries have signed a statement pledging to reject ties with institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid.
The signatories commit to refuse participation in academic exchanges or collaborations with, and to decline funding from, complicit Israeli institutions or the State of Israel.
Among the signatories are Afro-Dominican anthropologist Ochy Curiel, Colombian anthropologist Arturo Escobar, Maya-Kaqchikel thinker Aura Cumes Simón, Chilean historians Igor Alexis Goicovic Donoso and Sergio Grez Toso, Chilean artist Ingrid Wildi Merino, Argentine philosopher (based in Mexico) Silvana Rabinovich, Colombian philosophers María del Rosario Acosta and Laura Quintana, and Chilean philosopher Rodrigo Karmy Bolton.
The scholars further call on Latin American universities to suspend cooperation with Israeli institutions complicit in Israel’s regime of military occupation and apartheid, until Israel respects the UN-stipulated political and human rights of the Palestinian people.
Earlier this month, Amnesty International issued a detailed report finding Israel guilty of the crime against humanity of apartheid.
Amnesty’s report, which follows similar reports last year by Human Rights Watch and prominent Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, concludes that institutions should refrain from or cease activities that “contribute to maintaining the system of apartheid.”
Israeli universities have long played a key role in developing, maintaining implementing and justifying Israeli apartheid.
The pledge from Latin American scholars forms part of the unprecedented wave of effective solidarity measures from academics and academic departments around the world, prompted by Israel’s ongoing violent escalation of its brutal policies dispossessing Indigenous Palestinians.
Recalling the bright history of the struggle against South African apartheid, thousands of progressive academics today are refusing to stand idly by as their institutions collaborate with Israeli apartheid. They are calling for accountability measures to end complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, and to help dismantle its apartheid regime.