InCACBI Statement on Asian Science Camp 2012 being held in Israel

Boycott a state that deprives Palestinian youth of academic freedom!

InCACBI | 28 août 2012 |

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. (Visit our website for more information.)

The Israeli state consistently and ruthlessly tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of the Palestinian people; and a continued association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable to any freedom loving person.

This is why we condemn India’s participation in the Asian Science Camp 2012 being held for the first time in Israel from August 26 to August 31, 2012. The Asian Science Camps aim at enlightening science talented youths (ages 17-21) through discussion and dialogue with top scholars in the world, and at promoting international friendship and cooperation among the best young students of the next generation in Asia, Australia and the pacific.[1] One of the larger delegations to the 2012 Camp is from India.

Enlightening talented youth and promoting international friendship is a good thing. But who is doing it and where? The 2012 Camp is very much a project of the Israeli state. It has been organized and funded by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Government of Israel and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[2]

President Shimon Peres on Sunday evening (26 August 2012) addressed the opening of the Asian Science Camp, saying, « I welcome you to Israel, the ultimate start-up and innovative state. Israel is the right place to venture, to explore, to imagine and to realize your dreams. » [3]What about the right of young Palestinians to explore, imagine and realize their dreams?

We believe that an academic life is rooted in the values of democracy, equality and justice. The pursuit of excellence in the fields we work in has meaning only if imbued with conscience. None of the foundational principles on which academic and cultural contacts are based on can be fulfilled when Palestinian students and teachers are not allowed to reach their universities because of Israeli mandated permit laws and checkpoints; and supplies such as food, textbooks, and medicine are prohibited from entering Palestinian territories.

We appeal to all academics, students and civil society to join us in standing firmly opposed to any of India’s scientific, strategic military, economic, academic and cultural ties with Israel.

For The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)

Mohan Rao, Convenor (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Ayesha Kidwai, Convenor (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Gargi Sen, Convenor (Film-maker)

Githa Hariharan, Convenor (Writer)

N Pushpamala, Convenor (Artist)

Achin Vanaik (Delhi University)

Aditya Nigam (Centre for the Study of Developing Studies, Delhi)

Aijaz Ahmad (Literary Critic and Cultural Commentator)

Alok Rai (Delh University)

Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

C.P Chandrasekhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Farida Khan (Jamia Millia Islamia)

Imrana Qadeer (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Kalpana Kannabiran (Hyderabad University)

Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Mushirul Hassan (Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia)

Nandini Sundar (Delhi University)

Nivedita Menon (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Prabhat Patnaik (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Rajni Palriwala (Delhi University)

Sumit Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

T Jayraman (Tata Institute of Social Studies)

Tanika Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Uma Chakravarthy (Delhi University)

Upendra Baxi (Former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University)

Vijay Prashad (Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut)

Vina Mazumdar (Former Director Center for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi)

Zoya Hasan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Amar Kanwar (Film-maker)

Anand Patwardhan (Film-maker)

Arundhati Roy (Writer)

Dhruv Sangari (Singer)

Geeta Kapoor (Art Critic)

K Satchidanandan (Writer)

M.K. Raina (Theatre)

Ram Rahman (Artist)

Saba Dewan (Film-maker)

Saeed Mirza (Film-maker)

Sheba Chhachhi (Artist)

Vivan Sundaram (Artist)

Gautam Navlakha (Journalist)

Harsh Mander (Activist)

Prabir Purkayastha (Delhi Science Forum)

Praful Bidwai (Journalist)

Prashant Bhushan (Lawyer)

Pushpa M. Bhargava (Scientist)

Ritu Menon (Publisher)

Romi Khosla (Architect)

Seema Mustafa (Journalist)

Vrinda Grover (Lawyer)

And 100 other InCACBI members