Philosophers and political theorists for a boycott of Israel


10th August 2014 

After over a month of bombardment by the Israeli state, close to 2000 Palestinians are dead – the overwhelming majority of them civilians. This includes 408 children by the last UN count, a figure which is almost certain to rise as the assault continues, and as survivors sift through the wreckage. 67 have died on the Israeli side – all but three of them IDF soldiers. Gazans have seen their homes and cities reduced to rubble once again. Entire families have been wiped out. This is the third attack by Israel on Gaza after it officially withdrew its forces from the Strip in 2005 (whilst retaining control of the borders, air space and sea, so that the UN still recognises Gaza as occupied territory). In 2008-9, ‘Operation Cast Lead’ killed 1400 Palestinians, injuring 5000. In 2012, ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ killed 103 Palestinian civilians and injured 1,399. These events occur against the background of decades of Israeli occupation and illegal expansion. It is this context, we believe, which makes it so disingenuous to accuse critics of ‘singling Israel out’. As many have persuasively argued over the last few weeks, it is Israel that singles itself out:[i] through its claims to moral impeccability, its celebrated status as a democracy, through its receipt of massive support from the US and other nations, and through its continual abuse of the legacy of the holocaust in order to deflect criticism and to discredit the Palestinian struggle.

It requires systematic confusion, distortion and sometimes outright fabrication to prevent the starkness of these facts and the urgency of the situation from being fully recognised and acted on. In such a situation, we believe, academics – particularly those whose specialism is on political or ethical matters – have a responsibility both to lend clarity to the discussion and to make a practical stand against the acts being obfuscated or denied. Characteristically, perhaps, philosophers have been slow to speak out against the latest attack on Gaza’s civilian population – and when they have spoken, their role has too often been to generate more confusion, more apologetics for Israel’s violence, or an unhelpful distraction from the reality of the events unfolding (although we sense that this is beginning to change).[ii] We believe that any contribution on this issue must resist the abstraction characteristic of so much philosophy, and take the form of clear and concrete interventions. With this in mind, we wish to add our voices to those who, at the request of Palestinians,[iii] have called for

an immediate boycott of Israel: economic, cultural and academic.

As academics, we specifically support an academic boycott, by which we mean a principled refusal to associate with Israeli academic institutions that have not explicitly condemned the occupation. The urgency of this measure is underlined by the fact that, so far, not a single Israeli academic institution has issued such a condemnation, and many have even made their support for the state’s recent actions clear – witness the University of Tel Aviv’s recent offer to waive a year’s fees for students who served in the attack on Gaza, whilst threatening to discipline students for criticising Israeli forces on social media.[iv]

Some argue that a cultural and academic boycott, in particular, unfairly punishes, stigmatises and alienates innocent artists, performers and scholars who have nothing to do with the actions of the state of Israel. However, since the academic boycott is directed at institutions, not individuals, it constitutes no bar to communicating, associating and collaborating with Israeli scholars. In practice, participating in the boycott means not speaking at Israeli institutions; not engaging in joint projects with Israeli institutions; and not accepting funding from Israel or Israeli institutions for any academic activities. None of these measures are a violation of academic freedom, nor are they a bar to dialogue and discussion. Others worry that consistency (that most cherished of philosophical virtues) would demand a boycott of the many, many institutions with links to unjust and illegal regimes and activities. Besides overlooking the several reasons why Israel is a distinctive case, this objection also implies a fundamental misunderstanding of what a boycott is. A boycott is not an attempt to maintain ‘clean hands’, a kind of ethical consumerism with added bite. Rather, it is an act of protest aimed at de-normalizing and de-legitimating an unjust status quo that is resistant to other means of effecting change. A well-publicised academic boycott is the form of action that we as academics are best positioned to take in response to the atrocities occurring in Gaza.

On Saturday, 9th August, over 150,000 people took to the streets in London, as they did last week and the week before, to protest against Israel’s actions and the support given to them by the UK Government. Similar protests have been held around the world,[v] including a demonstration by thousands in Tel Aviv nearly a month into the latest assault.[vi] Demonstrations alone are not enough. There were demonstrations last time Israel attacked Gaza, and there were demonstrations the time before, and the time before that. In recent weeks, several prominent artists, actors and musicians have supported the boycott and spoken publicly against the violence and against the occupation. They have faced the inevitable flack that this generates. We believe that academic philosophers and political theorists – whose job it is to think about politics – have a particular responsibility to take a similar stand, and to take the consequences.

We reiterate that, in calling for a boycott, we are calling for an action against the violent, discriminatory and expansionist policies of the state of Israel, an action which we believe is necessary in order to exert the pressure needed finally to bring an end to the killing, displacement and suffering of the Palestinian people. With the recent centenary of the First World War, we have heard a lot about remembrance, and often heard the words repeated: ‘lest we forget’. In the case of Palestine, however, forgetting is strongly encouraged. The eventual conclusion of this latest session of ‘mowing the lawn’ (a chillingly quaint way to describe the mass killing of civilians), will too easily be seized upon by the media and politicians as an excuse to turn their attention – and ours – elsewhere. Instead of forgetting (until the next massacre), we believe that now is the time to push for boycott, divestment and sanctions, so that what has happened this July (and in 2012, and in 2008-9, and in 1967…) may never happen again.




[ii] See e.g.:;



[v] See




264Carine LemyreAmerican University of Beirut Sep 21, 2015
263Bucker DangorFeb 10, 2015
262Keith HammondRetired - University of GlasgowJan 27, 2015
261Rami IsaacSenior lecturer in tourism, PhD.Jan 22, 2015
260Clint Le BruynsDirector: Theology and Development Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaJan 08, 2015
259Zarina BhatiaSomerville College, University of Oxford, PSC, STWASep 18, 2014
258Luke PetersonThe University of Cambridge (alumnus) Sep 16, 2014
257Zahra SedaghatM.A student of philosophy,Alzahra university,TehranSep 03, 2014
256Morteza GharaeePhd. of philosophy khajeh nasir al-din tusi univerditySep 03, 2014
255M.A GhalamborPhD candidate, University of TehranSep 02, 2014
254fatemeh akbarpooruniversity of shahedSep 02, 2014
253hossain ghasemiph.d of philosophySep 02, 2014
252Sriram AnanthPhD Candidate, Human Geography, University of MinnesotaSep 01, 2014
251farkhondeh Beigistudent of Imam Sadiq universitySep 01, 2014
250Abdoallah niksiratSep 01, 2014
249somaye abdullahiph.d student of philosophy,motahari universitySep 01, 2014
248dr.alimohammad sajediassistant professor of shiraz universityAug 30, 2014
247Maryam JabbehdariPhD of LogicAug 30, 2014
246Steve NuttPhd candidate University of ExeterAug 27, 2014
245Ram AdrianUniversity of Chicago, PhD student in PoliticsAug 27, 2014
244Ross SpeerPhD Student, University of OxfordAug 27, 2014
243Ahmad majidiradM.A.Islamic mysticism Semnan University Aug 27, 2014
242Dr.ali fathiuniversity of tehranAug 27, 2014
241Barbara FoleyRutgers University-Newark CampusAug 26, 2014
240Jeremy ColemanPhD Candidate, King's College LondonAug 26, 2014
239David LaibmanCity University of New York (emeritus)Aug 26, 2014
238Andrew ChittyUniversity of SussexAug 26, 2014
237Rosie WorsdalePhD Philosophy, University of EssexAug 26, 2014
236Andy KnottUniversity of BrightonAug 26, 2014
235Neil DavidsonUniversity of GlasgowAug 26, 2014
234Georgiana TurculetCentral European UniversityAug 25, 2014
233Radi JaraiAlquds University Aug 25, 2014
232Jonathan MontpetitPhD Student, McGill University, Department of Political ScienceAug 23, 2014
231leila golyarma from allaame tabaatabaae universityAug 23, 2014
230deborah carmonaAug 23, 2014
229tooba rashidinasabsemnan universityAug 22, 2014
228Zinat MobasseriPhd. Motahari University,Tehran, IranAug 22, 2014
227Arwa IbrahimInternational Relations/Middle East PoliticsAug 22, 2014
226Joseph Tarquin Foulkes RobertsUniversity of BarcelonaAug 21, 2014
225hedih shanbedi Chamran University Aug 21, 2014
224ٍSeyed Sadreddin Taheri Professor of Philosophy . University of Allameh Tabatabaei . Tehran . IramAug 21, 2014
223Khdijeh Rezazadeh mogham Philosophy researcherAug 21, 2014
222moslem abbasiPhd in political Philosophy, Tarbiat Modares University Aug 21, 2014
221Yasmina JraissatiAmerican University of BeirutAug 21, 2014
220milad nouri Phd student of philosiphy in motahhari high school- TehranAug 20, 2014
219Samir Abed-RabboODS: One Democratic State in Historic PalestineAug 20, 2014
218Dr Blake Alcottecological economist, retiredAug 20, 2014
217Filippo Del LuccheseBrunel University, LondonAug 20, 2014
216Carolina AlvesSOASAug 20, 2014
215Ali QorbaniRazi universityAug 20, 2014
214mohammad ahmadizadehEmam Sadeq uniAug 20, 2014
213tahereh ghamsariiran universityAug 20, 2014
212mohamadreza balanianyazd uniAug 20, 2014
211Bertell OllmanProfessor, Dept. of Politics, NYUAug 20, 2014
210abolfazl golmohammadi azarhashtgerd universityAug 19, 2014
209John EngelMeadville/Lombard Theological SchoolAug 19, 2014
208pedram pourmehranPH.D student of philosophy, Institute for Humanities & Cultural Studies,TehranAug 19, 2014
207Monireh Soltan AhmadiAlzahra UniversityAug 19, 2014
206Dr.S.Ahmad Ghaffari Gharebaghinstitue of Iranian philosophy Aug 19, 2014
205Dr. Laura WestraUniversity of Windsor, CanadaAug 19, 2014
204rasool berjisianAssistant Professor, FarhangianUniversity, Aug 19, 2014
203Alireza Fazeliassistant professor of philosophyAug 19, 2014
202Mahdi AbdullahiAssistant Professor in Iranian Institute of Philosophy, TehranAug 19, 2014
201Vusal HasanaovAl-Mustafa International University Aug 19, 2014
200fereshteh nadryAug 19, 2014
199phorough parsaProfessor Assistant at Institute for Humanities& Cultural StudiesAug 19, 2014
198esmaeil saadatikhamsehuniversity of mohaghegh ardabiliAug 19, 2014
197soghra babapourphd.philosophy of azad universityAug 19, 2014
196Dr.Abdolmajid MirdamadiPhd . Human RightAug 19, 2014
195Hossein TavakoliHumaniterian Revolution Researcher, PhilosophyAug 19, 2014
194Sara GhezelbashPH.D grade student of philosophy of religion in the Humanities & cultural researches institution of TehranAug 18, 2014
193zahra GhezelbashPH.D grade student of west philosophy in Tehran universityAug 18, 2014
192feizollah abediniPhD student of filosophy of Ferdosi Mashhad UniversityAug 18, 2014
191Mohammadreza AdliAssistant Professor, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran BranchAug 18, 2014
190Paria ElyasiIranian National Center for Globalization StudiesAug 18, 2014
189Simon BehrmanSchool of Law, University of East AngliaAug 18, 2014
188khosro kamalilecturer in University of Zanjan Aug 18, 2014
187zakaria baharnezhadBeheshti universityAug 18, 2014
186Moslem Dr. AbbasiAug 18, 2014
185dr.mahdi ganjvarAug 18, 2014
184fereshteh sadat roghaniphd student of islamic theosophy in tehranAug 18, 2014
183homa mabzoolkharazmi universityAug 18, 2014
182Mohammad Javad RezaeirahKharazmi UniversityAug 18, 2014
181ala tooraniuniversity assistance of Alzahra UniversityAug 18, 2014
180Beytollah NaderlewPhD Researcher in Transcendent Theosophy, University of IsfahanAug 18, 2014
179Sedigheh Moosazadeh NalbandPh.D Candidate in Philosophy, Tabriz UniversityAug 18, 2014
178Mahdi ParviziUniversity of Religions and DenominationsAug 18, 2014
177reyhaneh AsarniaPH.D student of philosophyAug 18, 2014
176Reza MahooziIranian Institute for Social and Cultural StudiesAug 18, 2014
175Parviz Hajizadehstudent of PHD of comparative philosophy of Allameh tabatabaee, Tehran- IranAug 18, 2014
174Neda MaghsoudimoodMa student philosophy Aug 18, 2014
173Mohammad Mehdi ArdebiliPhD candidate, Western Philosophy, Tabriz UniversityAug 18, 2014
172Rasoul HoseinpourResearcher in Islamic Research Foundation - Theology and Islamic Philosophy Aug 18, 2014
171Fardin JamshidimehrFerdowsi University of MashahdAug 18, 2014
170Fatemeh Akbarpouruniversity of zanjanAug 18, 2014
169Gareth DaleBrunel universityAug 18, 2014
168John P PittmanJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNYAug 18, 2014
167Kelly GawelNSSRAug 17, 2014
166Dr Gary DukeAug 17, 2014
165Steven MichelsAug 17, 2014
164Dr. Anya TopolskiResearch in Political Philosophy Leuven (RIPPLE) - University of LeuvenAug 16, 2014
163Humeira IqtidarKing's College LondonAug 16, 2014
162Mandy MitchellCal Poly PomonaAug 16, 2014
161Fabien TarritUniversité de ReimsAug 16, 2014
160Eddie SiacaAug 15, 2014
159Caspar WilsonKing's College LondonAug 15, 2014
158Russell DaleScience & SocietyAug 15, 2014
157Chrissie DaCostaPhD student Aug 15, 2014
156Lisa Foran University College Dublin Aug 15, 2014
155James TartagliaKeele UniversityAug 15, 2014
154Michael LoughlinManchester Metropolitan UniversityAug 15, 2014
153Maeve McKeownUCLAug 15, 2014
152Carl FoxPhD student, University of SheffieldAug 15, 2014
151Andy DenisCity University LondonAug 15, 2014
150Stefano BredaFreie Universität BerlinAug 15, 2014
149Waddah NasrAmerican University of BeirutAug 15, 2014
148Robert GallagherAmerican University of BeirutAug 15, 2014
147John N. WilliamsSingapore Management UniversityAug 15, 2014
146Stephen WinterUniversity of AucklandAug 14, 2014
145Nilantha McPartlandPhD candidate, School of Philosophy, University College DublinAug 14, 2014
144Anne PhillipsDepartment of Government, London School of EconomicsAug 14, 2014
143Brady HeinerCalifornia State University, FullertonAug 14, 2014
142Prof. Moncef BEN ABDELJELILUniversity of Sousse, TunisiaAug 14, 2014
141Richard WoodRetired Chair, Sociology Department, DeAnza College, Cupertino, CAAug 14, 2014
140Mog StapletonUniversity of Stuttgart, GermanyAug 14, 2014
139John HeronPhD candidate, King's College LondonAug 14, 2014
138Adam CaultonUniversity of CambridgeAug 14, 2014
137Keith WilsonUniversity of Glasgow, UKAug 14, 2014
136Sunera ThobaniUniversity of British ColumbiaAug 14, 2014
135Keith BreenQueen's University, BeflastAug 14, 2014
134John WrightPhD student, King's College LondonAug 14, 2014
133Lars CornelissenPhD Candidate, University of BrightonAug 14, 2014
132Hamidreza AyatollahyProfessor of Allameh Tabatabaii UniversityAug 14, 2014
131Andrew DreverPhD student, University of EdinburghAug 14, 2014
130Paul BlackledgeLeeds Metropolitan UniversityAug 14, 2014
128Martin SamsonSaint Paul University Conflict Studies Ph.D.Aug 14, 2014
127Ray BrassierAmerican University of BeirutAug 14, 2014
126Yaser MirdamadiPhD candidate, University of Edinburgh Aug 14, 2014
125Eric LongleyGraduate University of Wales and BirkbeckAug 14, 2014
124Natalia BaezaUniversita degli Studi di FirenzeAug 14, 2014
123Alan NasserEmeritus, Philosophy and Political Economy, The Evergreen State College, Washington, USAAug 14, 2014
122 Prof Jules TownshendManchester Metropolitan UniversityAug 14, 2014
121Omid TofighianResearch Assistant/Honorary Research AssociateAug 14, 2014
120Peter CheyneKyoto Notre Dame UniversityAug 14, 2014
119Rinella CereAug 14, 2014
118Peter ThomasBrunel University LondonAug 14, 2014
117Professor Bill BowringSchool of Law, Birkbeck College, University of LondonAug 14, 2014
116Tom BunyardUniversity of BrightonAug 14, 2014
115Dr Thomas MooreUniversity of WestminsterAug 14, 2014
114Balihar SangheraUniversity of KentAug 14, 2014
113Glenn BowmanUniversity of KentAug 14, 2014
112Neil MansonDepartment of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster UniversityAug 14, 2014
111Jared AhmadUniversity of Manchester - PoliticsAug 14, 2014
110Sara KallockUniversity of ManchesterAug 14, 2014
109sean sayersuniversity of kentAug 14, 2014
108Mathias FengerUniversity of CambridgeAug 14, 2014
107Debra ShawUniversity of East LondonAug 14, 2014
106Matthew SharpeDeakin UniversityAug 14, 2014
105Bill BrewerKing's College LondonAug 14, 2014
104Daniel JouHarvard UniversityAug 14, 2014
103David WanThe Polytechnic University of Hong KongAug 14, 2014
102Hsin-wen LeeAug 14, 2014
101Anthony LangloisFlinders UniversityAug 14, 2014
100Miguel Moreno University of GRANADA, Spain Aug 14, 2014
99Roberto MarafiotiUniversidad de Buenos AiresAug 14, 2014
98Kaveh BoveiriPhD Canididate of Philosophy, Université de MontréalAug 14, 2014
97Emre KazimKing's College London, London Aug 14, 2014
96Christopher NorrisCardiff UniversityAug 13, 2014
95Josef EhrenmuellerAug 13, 2014
94Alice GibsonPhD Candidate, Kingston UniversityAug 13, 2014
93Anthony FaramelliKingston University Aug 13, 2014
92Amir DastmalchianKing's College LondonAug 13, 2014
91German PrimeraPhD Candidate, University of BrightonAug 13, 2014
90Anahi WiedenbrügUniversity of OxfordAug 13, 2014
89Jouni TilliUniversity of JyväskyläAug 13, 2014
88Daniel GruschkeHeinrich-Heine-Universität DüsseldorfAug 13, 2014
87Pedro TabenskyRhodes University, South AfricaAug 13, 2014
86Paul ReynoldsEdge Hill UniversityAug 13, 2014
85Jan BibaCharles University, PragueAug 13, 2014
84Shirin ShafaieSOAS, University of LondonAug 13, 2014
83Vera YuenM.A. Philosophy (2013), SFU, CanadaAug 13, 2014
82Cosimo ZeneSOAS, University of London Aug 13, 2014
81Emily Douglasrecently graduated M.A., University of AlbertaAug 13, 2014
80Oscar GarzaUniversity of BathAug 13, 2014
79Herman De LeyGhent University (Belgium)Aug 13, 2014
78Nico NaeveUniversity of Mannheim, GermanyAug 13, 2014
77Matthias LievensResearch in Political Philosophy Leuven (RIPPLE) - University of LeuvenAug 13, 2014
76Dan WoodVillanova UniversityAug 13, 2014
75Roxana AkhbariPhD student of Philosophy, University of AlbertaAug 13, 2014
74Lennon KathleenProfessor Kathleen Lennon School of Politics, Philosophy and International Studies University of Hull HU67RXAug 13, 2014
73Lilian Bermejo LuqueUniversity of GranadaAug 13, 2014
72Peter KingPembroke College, OxfordAug 13, 2014
71Bob BrecherUniversity of BrightonAug 13, 2014
70Bendict ChanAssistant Professor, Hang Seng Management College, Hong KongAug 13, 2014
69James HumphriesPhD candidate at University of GlasgowAug 13, 2014
68Søren EngelsenAug 13, 2014
67vlad ionescuKULAug 13, 2014
66Haim BresheethProfessorial Research Associate, SOASAug 13, 2014
65Omer DuranPhD Candidate, Istanbul UniversityAug 13, 2014
64Lucas PetroniPh.D. candidate, University of São PauloAug 13, 2014
63Michael BennettUniversity of YorkAug 13, 2014
62George CaffentzisUniversity of Southern MaineAug 13, 2014
61Rajshree ChandraAssociate Professor, Delhi UniveristyAug 13, 2014
60Rahul RaoSOAS, University of LondonAug 13, 2014
59Tobias MüllerLudwig-Maximilias-University MunichAug 13, 2014
58Pedro MerlussiDurham UniversityAug 13, 2014
57Philipp SchwindUniversity of MiamiAug 13, 2014
56karim sadekbogazici universityAug 13, 2014
55Aylon CohenUniversity of OxfordAug 13, 2014
54Samantha LangsdaleSOAS, University of LondonAug 13, 2014
53Christian HendersonSOASAug 13, 2014
52Thomas MaroisSOAS, University of LondonAug 13, 2014
51Manjeet RamgotraSOAS, University of LondonAug 13, 2014
50Olav EikelandAug 13, 2014
49Donald Bello HuttKing's College LondonAug 13, 2014
48Raymond GeussUniversity of Cambridge (emeritus)Aug 13, 2014
47joshua habgood-cotoeuniversity of st andrewsAug 13, 2014
46Johanna OksalaUniversity of HelsinkiAug 13, 2014
45Sheridan PhillipsEuropean Graduate SchoolAug 13, 2014
44Stuart WhiteOxford UniversityAug 12, 2014
43Ali Yalçın GöymenPh.D. Yıldız Teknik ÜniversitesiAug 12, 2014
42David John HallUniversity of OxfordAug 12, 2014
41Annette ZimmermannUniversity of OxfordAug 12, 2014
40Puneet DhaliwalUniversity of OxfordAug 12, 2014
39Bruno LeipoldUniversity of OxfordAug 12, 2014
38Dr Karma NabulsiUniversity of OxfordAug 12, 2014
37Clarissa HaywardWashington University in St. Louis, Political Science Aug 12, 2014
36Rani Lill AnjumNorwegian University of Life SciencesAug 12, 2014
35Emanuela BianchiNew York UniversityAug 12, 2014
34Dondu SahinAug 12, 2014
33Raymond WhiteAug 12, 2014
32Jared TalleyBoise State UniversityAug 12, 2014
31chuq streulyretiredAug 12, 2014
30Harry GuUniversity of RochesterAug 12, 2014
29Philip GasperMadison College, WisconsinAug 12, 2014
28Richenda HerzigUniversity of East Anglia, UKAug 11, 2014
27Lisa ForsbergKing's College LondonAug 11, 2014
26Peter TakacsFlorida State UniversityAug 11, 2014
25Mark JagoUniversity of NottinghamAug 11, 2014
24Matt DrabekVisiting Assistant Professor, The University of IowaAug 11, 2014
23Isra BlackKing's College LondonAug 11, 2014
22Joel ChowUniversity of ArizonaAug 11, 2014
21Neri MarsiliPhd candidate, University of SheffieldAug 11, 2014
20Laura FellineInstitut Superieur de Philosophie - Universite' Catholique de LouvainAug 11, 2014
19Alasia NutiPhD Candidate, Pembroke College, University of CambridgeAug 11, 2014
18Alison FernandesColumbia UniversityAug 11, 2014
17Fiona RennieBirkbeck College LondonAug 10, 2014
16Karl EgertonBirkbeck College, University of LondonAug 10, 2014
15Jason HickelLondon School of EconomicsAug 10, 2014
14Fuad MusallamPhD Candidate, London School of EconomicsAug 10, 2014
13Dr Simon HewittBirkbeck College, LondonAug 10, 2014
12Damiano La MannaPhD Candidate, University of SheffieldAug 10, 2014
11Dr Lorna FinlaysonKing's College, CambridgeAug 10, 2014
10Katharine JenkinsPhD Candidate, University of SheffieldAug 10, 2014
9Konstancja DuffPhD candidate, University of SussexAug 10, 2014
8Phillip HomburgDPhil candidate, University of SussexAug 10, 2014
7Dr Daniel SwainUniversity of EssexAug 10, 2014
6Prof Alex CallinicosKing's College LondonAug 10, 2014
5Dr Tom AkehurstOpen UniversityAug 10, 2014
4Dr Sebastian NyeFitzwilliam College, CambridgeAug 10, 2014
3Dr Arianne ShahvisiAmerican University of BeirutAug 10, 2014
2Dr Joseph Kisolo-SsonkoSheffield UniversityAug 10, 2014
1Paul RaekstadPhD candidate, University of CambridgeAug 10, 2014