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The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) expresses its deepest gratitude to members of the American University of Cairo Senate, faculty, administrators, and especially students, who all made possible the pioneering Resolution on May 14, 2008 in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The Resolution lends support to the international campaign by civil society for various forms of boycotting Israel, and calls on “AUC faculty, staff, and students to refrain from dealings with Israeli academia within the AUC environment.”
PACBI has been following with great concern media reports in recent months about moves at AUC – under the banner of academic freedom – to normalize relations with the Israeli academy. Such a course would be an undeserved reward to an academic establishment that continues to be complicit in the Israeli system of oppression and the regime of apartheid. The silence of the Israeli academy in the face of this oppression has been noteworthy; no Israeli academic institution or body of academics or professionals has ever condemned the occupation, nor spoken up on other facets of the oppression of the Palestinian people.
The subsequent rejection of the Resolution by the University’s Board of Trustees in no way detracts from the moral power of the SenateÂ’s Resolution which also reflects widespread sentiment at the University and in Egyptian society in general.
The “conflict” between the Arab people and Israelis is not due to lack of communication or dialogue, as some well-meaning people have sometimes suggested. There has perhaps been no more exchange and dialogue among enemies as has been held among Palestinians and Israelis. Lack of understanding of the Other, therefore, has not been the impediment to a just peace. The status quo stems from Zionism’s and Israel’s desire for supremacy and exclusion, which can only be changed if Israel is made to pay the price for these costly pursuits.
The Resolution of the AUC Senate comes in the spirit of this conclusion. PACBI trusts that the AUC community will continue to uphold its principled backing of the just cause of the Palestinian people and that of Palestinian universities and students.