[The following press release was issued by Birzeit University Institute of Women`s Studies on 31 July 2014.]
As we write this statement, twenty-five days after the brutal incursion on Gaza, over a thousand and four hundred of innocent civilian women, men, and children have been butchered by Israel’s war machine and much more are threatened to be killed. The call for raping Palestinian women by the so-called “Bar-Illan University Arabic Literature Professor” teaches us, once again, that Israeli “scholars” and “academic institutions” are an organic and integral part of the Zionist colonial project. Also, the parliament member, who happens to be a woman, advocates the killing of all Palestinian women, a Rabbi calls for mass murder of Palestinians while taking their foreskins as trophies, in addition to the display of many rape references on banners and images (head covered woman from the top while indecent from the waist down with a very provocative statement below) in their neighborhoods that promotes a rape culture and misogyny at the least.
Preaching openly for “raping Palestinian women” and using rape references is vile and despicable—but not out of the line with the central role that Zionist “academic institutions” have been playing in the Zionist colonial project in Palestine, even prior to the 1948 Palestinian Nakba. The “Hebrew University” played a central role in the planning and executing of the infamous crime of ethnic cleansing plan, Plan D (plan Dalet). Its “scholars” were represented in the committee of twelve formed by the Zionist leader David Ben Gurion to plan and oversee the execution of the plan from its earlier blue print to the end (from Plan A to Plan D). They drew the maps of the ethnic cleansing scheme that are still being used until this day. Even unions and students’ movements unprecedentedly followed the Zionist hegemonic ideology. Therefore:
“We, at the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, call on all scholars of the world, all women’s organizations, all who fight for freedom and justice to take a clear stand against this racist state’s continuous war crimes, genocidal acts, and violent rape culture. Stand against settler colonialism that one of its manifestations is this despicable sexist colonial view. Stand by resistance to the occupation, joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of these “academic institutions” as means to show your solidarity with the Palestinian cause against ever increasing levels of unfathomable violence. We call on you to:
- Boycott all Israeli “academic institutions” for a constellation of reasons not the least of which are the built-in violent sexism and racism—reflecting the Zionist scheme as a whole.
- Mainstream the culture of resistance to all forms of normalization, especially cultural normalization.
- Denounce the Zionist “scholars” that disseminated the severe sexist comments and racist and orientalist view of Palestinians for their words preach hatred and violence.
- Condemn the Zionist “academic institutions" that have clearly fostered this colonial genocide by embracing support for their “scholars’” sexist views, defending their belligerent racism, and essentially advocating and encouraging violence.
- Expose and denounce the advisory role of Zionist “scholars” in the most immoral practices committed against the Palestinian people.
- Counter colonialism with anti-colonial reasoning because the colonial view and sexism are only manifestations of colonialism.”