Middle East scholars, librarians call for boycott of Israeli academic institutions

In an unprecedented expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and especially at this time with the Palestinians in Gaza, a group of over 100 prominent scholars and librarians of the Middle East have called for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions (see full list below).

As reasons for their action, scholars cited the siege of Gaza and “the occupation and dispossession in East Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev), and the West Bank; the construction of walls and fences around the Palestinian population, the curtailment of Palestinian freedom of movement and education, and the house demolitions”. They added that these violations have “long histories and no apparent end in sight”.

The group of senior and tenured scholars and librarians, all of whom have deep knowledge of the Middle East, have pledged “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel”.

This action comes on the heels of recent academic boycott resolutions by a number of academic associations, including the American Studies Association (ASA) and, most recently, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA), and African Literature Association (ALA).

Scholars have taken their lead from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE), which is one of many Palestinian civil society organizations that have called for the comprehensive implementation of boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) of Israel. They call on the boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions “until such time as these institutions end their complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law, and respect the full rights of Palestinians by calling on Israel to:

1. End its siege of Gaza, its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and dismantle the settlements and the walls;

2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the stateless Negev Bedouins to full equality; and

3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.


Saleh Abdel Jawad
Associate Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University

Nahla Abdo
Professor, Anthropology and Sociology Department, Carleton University

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi
Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco State University

Osama Abi-Mershed
Associate Professor, Department of History, Director, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Nadia Abu El-Haj
Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College – Columbia University

Lila Abu-Lughod
Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University

Gilbert Achcar
Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, SOAS, University of London

Fida Adely
Associate Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Nadje Al-Ali
Professor of Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London

Fadwa Allabadi
Associate Professor, Insan Center for Gender Studies, Al-Quds University

Lori Allen
Lecturer, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge

Gil Anidjar
Professor, Departments of Religion and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), Columbia University

Sinan Antoon
Associate Professor, New York University

Talal Asad
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, CUNY

Kamran Asdar Ali
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

Barbara Aswad
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Wayne State University, and Past President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America

Cemil Aydin
Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Kathryn Babayan
Associate Professor, Director of the Center of Armenian Studies, University of Michigan

Mohammed Bamyeh
Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

Asef Bayat
Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Joel Beinin
Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University

George Bisharat
Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law

Marilyn Booth
Iraq Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Edinburgh

Glenn Bowman
Reader in Social Anthropology, Director of Research, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury

Haim Bresheeth
Senior Teaching Fellow, Centre for Media Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies

Michaelle Browers
Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University

Louise Cainkar
Associate Professor of Sociology, Marquette University

John Collins
Professor of Global Studies, St. Lawrence University

Miriam Cooke
Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University

Hamid Dabashi
Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Omar Dahi
Associate Professor of Economics, Hampshire College

Linda T. Darling
Professor of History, University of Arizona

Rochelle Davis
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Georgetown University

Lara Deeb
Professor of Anthropology, Scripps College

Omnia El Shakry
Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Davis

Samera Esmeir
Associate Professor, Department of Rhetoric, University of California-Berkeley

John L. Esposito
University Professor & Founding Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University

Khaled Fahmy
Professor of History, American University in Cairo

Richard Falk
Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

James C. Faris
Professor Emeritus, Anthropology; Director Emeritus, University of Connecticut Program in Middle East Languages and Area Studies

Mona Fawaz
Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, American University of Beirut

Ilana Feldman
Associate Professor, Anthropology, History and International Affairs, George Washington University

Nancy Gallagher
Research Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Honaida Ghanim
General Director,
The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR)

Farha Ghannam

Associate Professor, Anthropology, Swarthmore College

Amal Ghazal
Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Dalhousie University

Irene L. Gendzier
Professor Emeritus, Political Science, Boston University

George Giacaman
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Birzeit University

Yvonne Haddad
Professor of History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

Sherine Hafez

Associate Professor, Women’s Studies and Middle East & Islamic Studies, University of California, Riverside

Elaine Hagopian
Prof. Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College

Samira Haj
Professor of History, CUNY-GC/CSI

Sondra Hale
Research Professor/Professor Emerita, Departments of Anthropology and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Wael B. Hallaq
Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

Rema Hammami
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Birzeit University

Juliane Hammer
Associate Professor, Religious Studies Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Sari Hanafi
Professor of Sociology, American University of Beirut

Jens Hanssen
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History, Dpts. of History and Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

Mona Harb
Associate Professor, Urban Studies and Politics, American University of Beirut

Barbara Harlow
Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literature, University of Texas at Austin

Frances S. Hasso
Associate Professor in Women’s Studies and Sociology and director, International Comparative Studies Program, Duke University

Charles Hirschkind
Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Islah Jad
Associate Professor, Women’s Studies Institute, Bir Zeit University

Manal A. Jamal
Associate Professor of Political Science, James Madison University

Suad Joseph
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of California – Davis

Rhoda Kanaaneh
Adjunct Associate Professor, Middle East Instiute, Columbia University

Vangelis Kechriotis
Associate Professor of History, Boğazici University

Rashid Khalidi
Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies and Professor of History, Columbia University

Tarif Khalidi
Sheykh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, American University of Beirut

Laleh Khalili
Professor of Middle East Politics, SOAS, University of London

Ronit Lentin
Associate Professor, Sociology, Trinity College Dublin

Mark LeVine
Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Hitory, UC Irvine

Yosefa Loshitzky
Professorial Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies

Nur Masalha
Professor of Religion and Politics, St Mary’s University College, University of London

Brinkley Messick
Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Laurence Michalak
Emeritus Vice Chair, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California/Berkeley

Timothy Mitchell
Professor, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University

Amira Mittermaier
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

Karma Nabulsi
University Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Fellow in Politics, St Edmund Hall

Eiji Nagasawa
Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

Isis Nusair
Associate Professor of International Studies and Women’s Studies, Denison University

Roger Owen
A.J. Meyer Em. Professor of Middle East History, Harvard University

Ilan Pappe
Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter

Laila Parsons
Associate Professor, Department of History and Classical Studies, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University

Gabriel Piterberg
Professor of Middle East History, UCLA

Shira Robinson
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History, George Washington University

Adam Sabra
Professor of History and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Chair in Islamic Studies,
University of California

George Saliba
Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Ihab Saloul
Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Amsterdam

Nisreen Salti
Associate professor of Economics, American University of Beirut

Aseel Sawalha
Associate Professor, Anthropology, Fordham University

Rosemary Sayigh
Visiting Professor at the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, American University of Beirut

Kirsten Scheid
Associate Professor of Anthropology, American University of Beirut

Paul Sedra
Associate Professor of Middle East History, Simon Fraser University

May Seikaly
Associate Professor of Modern Middle East History, Wayne State University

Elyse Semerdjian
Associate Professor of History, Whitman College

Anton Shammas
Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan

Stephen Sheehi
Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies, College of William and Mary

Todd Shepard
Associate Professor, History, John Hopkins University

Magid Shihade
Birzeit University

Lisa Taraki
Associate Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University

Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi
Professor of History, Historical Studies & Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

Judith E. Tucker
Professor of History, Georgetown University

Lisa Wedeen
Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College, The University of Chicago

Jessica Winegar
Associate Professor, Anthropology, Northwestern University

Institutional Affiliations are for identification purposes only

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