USACBI was founded in 2009, in the midst of the Israeli war on Gaza, to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, including Palestinian scholars and students, in their struggle to end apartheid and occupation. USACBI is a national US-based campaign. It focuses on mobilizing support for the academic and cultural boycott, and on organizing US academics to end the collusion of the US academy with Israel’s military occupation and systemic anti-Palestinian racism. USACBI  does so by inviting academics--scholars as well as students--to endorse the boycott as a first step toward showing public solidarity and building a national boycott movement, in tandem with the larger BDS movement. The campaign is inspired in large part by the movement opposing apartheid in South Africa through similar strategies of boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

 USACBI’s academic boycott work is guided by principles established by the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in 2004. Those principles hold that Israeli academic institutions are “a key part of the ideological and institutional scaffolding of Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid against the Palestinian people.”  The goal of the boycott is to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands during and since 1967, end Israeli institutionalized racism inside the 1948 boundaries of Israel, and achieve the return of the Palestinian refugees to their lands and homes. USACBI’s academic boycott work is also in line with principles established by the Palestinian Council for Higher Education. These call for “non-cooperation in the scientific and technical fields between Palestinian and Israeli universities.”

It is important to note that USACBI adheres to PACBI guidelines in promoting the boycott of Israeli institutions, not individuals:

Israeli institutions are complicit, directly and indirectly, with the Israeli state’s ongoing illegal occupation, apartheid policies, and violations of international human rights law. Israeli academic institutions engage in racial discrimination and repression of Palestinian students and activities. Israel also systematically denies Palestinian academics and students freedom of movement, so that they are not able to freely travel for study, conferences, and research, even within Palestine. (See Reports and Resources.) The academic boycott is thus a challenge to the degraded academic freedom of Palestinians.In ending the lockdown on critical discussion about Palestine-Israel, this movement  aims to enlarge academic freedom for all.

    Israeli Universities play a significant role in the legitimization, as well as de-legitimization, of the key state and cultural institutions in Israel that are crucial to the normalization and extension of state violence and discrimination. By withholding complicity with these institutional projects, the academic boycott is a tool that academics can use to take a principled stance against occupation and apartheid. To this end, USACBI encourages “academics, academic associations/unions, and academic — as well as other — institutions around the world, where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation or annulment of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israeli academic institutions or that otherwise promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights, or violate the BDS guidelines.”

Members of USACBI have organized and participated in successful campaigns that led to the adoption of academic boycott resolutions by the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS), the American Studies Association (ASA), the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA), among others. It has also helped in organizing around resolutions endorsed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Ethnic Studies Department, and the United Auto Workers Local 2865, the University of California’s Student Workers Association.

     USACBI works in solidarity with international academic boycott organizations. These include the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), AURDIP, the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI), Faculty for Palestine Canada, the Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and the Lebanese Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel. USACBI also collaborates with Students for Justice in Palestine chapters and other student activists working on academic boycott and divestment campaigns.  It has created a pamphlet to assist students in understanding and engaging in academic boycott organizing.

As well, Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP) chapters are emerging to support the work of USACBI and SJP chapters.  Chapters have already been formed at UC Davis, University of Hawai'i Manoa, University of Florida, and Purdue University.

Click here to access USACBI's archive of alerts, news stories and campaigns about academic boycott.


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Academic Boycott Archives

  • Purdue’s president takes aim at the left

    The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) expresses its utmost solidarity with our comrade and colleague, Bill Mullen, a member of the Organizing Collective of USACBI, in the face of these false and malicious attacks by Mitch Daniels. This attack is yet another chapter in the ongoing right-wing, Zionist and […]

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  • Can’t discuss Palestine on campus? Then disaffiliate.

    Note: In addition to all that Steven Salaita recommends here, USACBI encourages professors who are tenured to add any articles they write on Palestine to their cvs and/or promotion/merit files. In this way, we make our administrations and colleagues get used to having to evaluate such work and accept it as legitimate academic or public scholarship.  We […]

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  • USACBI denounces racist poster campaign targeting professors and students

    The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel condemns in the strongest terms the posters of the David Horowitz so-called “Freedom Center” that have been plastered on campuses including San Francisco State University, the University of California – Berkeley and the University of Chicago. Including caricatures of individual professors and well-known advocates of Palestinian […]

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  • Interview with Haidar Eid on SWANA Region Radio: Inhuman Conditions in Gaza

    LISTEN (Thursday August 21, 2017, 2.30 pm) to Haidar Eid, Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University in Gaza, being interviewed by David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, on today’s SWANA Region […]

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  • The Rohingya: Southeast Asia’s Palestinians

    The Rohingya and the Palestinian people have much in common: They have been persecuted, repeatedly displaced, denied citizenship and are now subjected to genocide, writes Nada Elia, a Diaspora Palestinian scholar, writer, public speaker and BDS organizer.  Also see ‘USACBI condemns unequivocally the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya’. ____________ As they approach genocidal dimensions, […]

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  • Rohingya

    USACBI condemns unequivocally the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya

    USACBI condemns unequivocally the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in majority-Buddhist Myanmar. The numbers of Rohingya who have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh now approaches 300,000.  We condemn in particular the Burmese military’s involvement in the planning and execution of this campaign, which now amounts to deliberate […]

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  • Statement in support of the 831 academic and administrative staff at Gaza universities placed on forced early retirement

    USACBI is an organization of scholars and cultural workers that since the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008-9 has been committed to opposing Israeli apartheid and to securing Palestinian academic rights along with all the rights stipulated by international law and human rights norms. USACBI therefore strongly condemns recent measures by the Palestinian Authority that […]

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  • Interview: Will Caron and Cynthia Franklin on Understanding the Boycott of Israel

      An informative interview on ThinkTech Hawaii with Professor Cynthia Franklin, member of the USACBI Organizing Collective. Following is the transcript of the interview video clip (below) as posted on YouTube by ThinkTech on Aug 26, 2017 (originally posted with the title “Understanding the Boycott of Israel”).  The video tape begins with a black screen […]

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