AURDIP et BRICUP exhortent le professeur Kwame Anthony Appiah à annuler sa conférence à l’Université de Tel Aviv

AURDIP & BRICUP | 2 juin 2013 |

Dear Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah,

The announcement of a lecture entitled « Cosmopolitan Reading » at Tel Aviv University, at this time, is bitterly ironic in more than one way, and not only because it is scheduled to take place on the 46th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Those of us who admire your efforts over many years to construct the theory of a « dialogue across societies » have to wonder why you have chosen to present this message to a society whose most recognizable contribution to the principle of dialogue is the Separation Wall, also called the « Apartheid Wall, » with its network of checkpoints. The cosmopolitanism you have defended so eloquently is impossible in the relation of colonial domination that
characterizes Israel’s system of occupation of Palestinian land, military domination
of Palestinian territory, and institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians in all the area within its power. Precisely because you are known and admired internationally for your advocacy of cosmopolitan dialogue, your acceptance of the invitation to lecture at Tel Aviv University, at a time when increasing numbers of academics and cultural figures have chosen to respect Palestinian civil society’s call to boycott Israeli institutions, will be interpreted as a signal that you find this highly unequal relationship between the Israeli and Palestinian societies acceptable, no matter what you may say to the contrary. Is this the message you want to convey?

AURDIP, the Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International
en Palestine, and BRICUP, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine,
wish to join the Israeli citizens of Boycott from Within and the Palestinians of PACBI in urging you to cancel your scheduled lecture within its institutional setting. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is not aimed at individual Israeli academics, and there are certainly ways to pursue a dialogue with Israeli citizens that cannot be interpreted as acceptance of Israeli apartheid, and in particular do not exclude the participation of Palestinians.


Ivar Ekeland, Président de l’AURDIP et Ancien Président de l’Université Paris-Dauphine

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Vice Presidente de l’AURDIP, Professeure à l’UFR de Sciences Sociales de l’Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7

Joseph Oesterlé, Vice President de l’AURDIP, Professeur à l’UFR de Mathématiques de l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie

Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Bures-sur-Yvette, France

Michael Harris, Professeur à l’UFR de Mathématiques de l’Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7

Dror Warschawski, CNRS, Paris, France


Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, LSE; Chair BRICUP

Professor Robert Boyce, LSE; Secretary BRICUP

Dr. Susan Blackwell, Birmingham, UK

Keith Hammond, Scottish Committee for the Universities of Palestine

Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, Chair University and College Union