SPME Petition 19

A Petition To Refute and Condemn the Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Campaign at Norway's Trondheim University

November 12, 2009 Update: SPME is proud to announce the successful defeat of the campaign to boycott Israeli scholars by Tronheim University in a unanimous vote of its board not to boycott. We thank our colleagues at JCPA and AAUP for their support of our efforts as well as colleagues from other organizations around the world. Please feel free to add your name to this petition to automatically become a member of the SPME Faculty Network or to go to www.spme.net to subscribe to the SPME Faculty Forum. Thank you.

Edward S. Beck


We, the undersigned Nobel Laureates, scholars and members of the international academic, research and professional community, refute and condemn the campaign to boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions at Trondheim University in Norway.

We stand in solidarity with Israeli academics and academic institutions; if you
boycott them, boycott us as well.

Background material

1) Translation of a petition letter against the boycott proposal from employees of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Sør-Trøndelag University College(HiST):

To the Boards of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
(NTNU) and Sør-Trøndelag University College(HiST)

A group of employees at NTNU and HiST have earlier this year in an open letter requested their respective Boards to perform a cultural and academic boycott against Israel. We who sign this letter are employees of the same institutions. We are generally positive to unbiased and objective internal discussions at NTNU/HiST on the Palestine-Israel conflict. However, we are of the opinion that it is
very unfortunate if the institutions as such give their unreserved support to one of the parties in the conflict. In our view, the following arguments support that the proposed boycott should be rejected:

  • The primary tasks of NTNU/HiST are research and education, not constructing their own foreign policy. To take sides in difficult political issues gives the impression of not being objective and unbiased. This goes against the university role as a meeting place
    of a wide range of thoughts and ideas.
  • To be associated with a controversial viewpoint in such a difficult conflict will have negative consequences for NTNU/HiST internationally. Do we really want to be known as the first western university to make an academic boycott against Israel?
  • Within NTNU/HiST there are also different opinions on this conflict, and a decision of boycott will tend to make internal divisions. Even we who sign this petition have different views as to how the conflict should be solved.
  • We do not know if NTNU/HiST have considered all the legal aspects of a possible boycott resolution. What means are for instance the institutions willing to employ against researchers who may defy the boycott? Will their salaries be reduced, or could they be fired?
  • We do not believe that a boycott decision will contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict, but rather that it will result in an increased polarisation.
  • NTNU would also lose by cutting the ties of scientific contact and collaboration with the various internationally renowned academic groups of Israel.
  • If NTNU/HiST decide to boycott Israel, it will also be very difficult to produce rational arguments for why we should not also boycott other nations who perform far worse human rights violations. It would thus mean that the institutions initiate an ongoing process where boycott will be used to flag our standpoint in other conflicts as well.
  • We therefore request that the Boards of NTNU and HiST vote against the proposal of boycotting Israel. Individuals at our universities are of course free to involve themselves in international conflicts, but it is unwise that the institutions as such choose one side. Our
    universities will loose more than we might win by involving ourselves in a boycott.

    Letter was signed by Prof. Bjorn Alsberg and colleagues.

2) Click here: Norwegian university to hold vote on academic boycott of Israel -
Haaretz - Israel News

3) Click Here: Test Case For European Anti-Semitism as To Academic Institution in Norway Considers Academic Boycott Against Israel

Nobel Laureate Endorsers

Kenneth J. Arrow
Stanford University

Aaron Ciechanover
(Israel Institute of Technology)

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Ecole Normale Superieure

Edmond Fischer
Medicine and Physiology
University of Washington

Ivar Giaever
Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute and University Oslo

Avram Hershko
(Israel Institute of Technology)

Roald Hoffmann
Cornell University

Tim Hunt
Physiology and Medicine
Cancer Research UK

Finn Kydland
University of California

Erik Maskin
Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton

Andrew Schally
Physiology and Medicine
University of Miami

Steven Weinberg
University of Texas

Torsten Wiesel
Rockefeller University


3,641 signatures

Share this with your friends:


Latest Signatures
3,641Charlotte Larsen LeirfjordJun 06, 2017
3,640Lawrence BessermanJerusalem, IsraelMay 03, 2015
3,639Dr Howard TenenbaumToronto, Ontario CanadaOct 08, 2014
3,638Boycot Sanction MWMay 08, 2013
3,637Ruth Leventhal North Hollywood, CA USAFeb 08, 2013
3,636Rosalind Share IsraelFeb 07, 2013
3,635Boris Laikhtman Feb 06, 2013
3,634Jacqueline Halm CaliforniaMar 10, 2012
3,633Rina S. Cohen Toronto, Ontario, CanadaFeb 11, 2012
3,632Thomas Shannon Feb 10, 2012
3,631Fred Gottheil UrbanaFeb 09, 2012
3,630Douglas Frost MDFeb 09, 2012
3,629Steven Akman North Carolina/USAFeb 09, 2012
3,628Barbara Reed Feb 08, 2012
3,627Diane Biegel Jan 29, 2012
3,626Dan Meyerstein IsraelJan 28, 2012
3,625Eva Lonn Ontario, CanadaJan 14, 2012
3,624Daphne H NYCJan 07, 2012
3,623Anat Maimon Tucson AZ USAFeb 09, 2011
3,622Uri Maimon Tucson, ArizonaFeb 08, 2011
3,621Richard Haber Point Piper, australiaFeb 04, 2011
3,620Laura Leibman Portland, OR USAFeb 01, 2011
3,619Dmitri Gitman Sao Paulo, BrazilFeb 01, 2011
3,618Fred Sava Toronto, Ontario, CanadaFeb 01, 2011
3,617RALPH WEIL Feb 01, 2011
3,616Roger Guth Kfar Saba ILJan 31, 2011
3,615Liliana Ossowski New York, USAJan 31, 2011
3,614Anna Dvorkin Dec 23, 2010
3,613Yoav Tamari Nov 26, 2010
3,612Martine Szyper-Kravitz Nov 04, 2010
3,611Anthony Luder IseraelNov 01, 2010
3,610michael curtis Princeton, NJOct 20, 2010
3,609Grace Soto de Machat Sep 23, 2010
3,608Ian Nassau Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USASep 03, 2010
3,607Avram Jezer New York, NY USAAug 16, 2010
3,606Peter Flint Langley, British Columbia, CanadaAug 10, 2010
3,605jacques moškovic franceMay 07, 2010
3,604Boris Volfson Illinois, USAFeb 03, 2010
3,603S. David Rosenbaum Dec 14, 2009
3,602Iosif Gart Boston MA USADec 02, 2009
3,601Richard Klein, Ph.D. Clemson, South CarolinaNov 29, 2009
3,600Alex Gotfinkel Boston MA, USANov 25, 2009
3,599Marc Van Montagu BelgiumNov 21, 2009
3,598Victor Syrkin HaifaNov 20, 2009
3,597Hans Nabholz D-86911 Diessen, GermanyNov 20, 2009
3,596Francis Lowenthal Mons, BelgiumNov 20, 2009
3,595Barry Levy AustraliaNov 18, 2009
3,594Martin R. Liebowitz, M.D. Stony Brook, N.Y. USANov 17, 2009
3,593Boris Tsygan Evanston ILNov 16, 2009
3,592Runar Knudsen B.C. CanadaNov 16, 2009
3,591Inessa Golod Montreal,Que,CanadaNov 16, 2009
3,590Otto Reinert Seattle WA, USANov 16, 2009
3,589Hennenberg, Marcel Brussels, BelgiumNov 16, 2009
3,588Robert H Cole Berkeley CA USANov 15, 2009
3,587Shirley Hiller United KingdomNov 15, 2009
3,586cattan parisNov 15, 2009
3,585Alberto Liberman Campinas - BrazilNov 15, 2009
3,584Boris Altshuler Moscow RussiaNov 13, 2009
3,583Irving Katz USANov 13, 2009
3,582Anatoly Shabad Moscow, RussiaNov 13, 2009
3,581Benjamin Grinstein CA/USANov 13, 2009
3,580Stefan Göppert Penig/GermanyNov 13, 2009
3,579Victor Mandelzweig Jerusalem IsraelNov 13, 2009
3,578Sabine Mandelzweig Lupburg GermanyNov 13, 2009
3,577Bernd Finke Sandhausen, DeutschlandNov 13, 2009
3,576Volker Rapp Heimstetten, GermanyNov 13, 2009
3,575Isaac Levin Massachusetts, USANov 12, 2009
3,574Genrich Krasko Peabody, MANov 12, 2009
3,573Lenore Gittis, JD New York, USANov 12, 2009
3,572Elias M. Stein Princeton,New Jersey, USANov 12, 2009
3,571Ori Duek Nov 12, 2009
3,570beck avraham Nov 12, 2009
3,569Dan Roginsky IsraelNov 12, 2009
3,568George Gruenberg Lima - PeruNov 12, 2009
3,567Isaac Elishakoff Nov 12, 2009
3,566herbert bard West Nyack NYNov 12, 2009
3,565Tony Morris London, EnglandNov 12, 2009
3,564Jean-Yves Ringeissen ParisNov 12, 2009
3,563Arthur G. Rubinoff Toronto, Ontario, CanadaNov 12, 2009
3,562Ian Penn VancouverNov 12, 2009
3,561Yaeli Bloch-Elkon Nov 12, 2009
3,560Veronika Nyland Nov 12, 2009
3,559susan weinger kalamazoo Michigan United StatesNov 12, 2009
3,558Mr.Meir Kasirer Ramat-Gan.IsraelNov 12, 2009
3,557GHEZ Jean-Michel FranceNov 12, 2009
3,556juraj salner Nov 12, 2009
3,555Inger Johanne Knutson Kristiansand, NorwayNov 12, 2009
3,554Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor Haifa, IsraelNov 11, 2009
3,553Ellen Warner CanadaNov 11, 2009
3,552Kenneth Levin, M.D., Ph.D. Nov 11, 2009
3,551Hessy L Taft New York, NY 11439Nov 11, 2009
3,550Brian Goldfarb London, UKNov 11, 2009
3,549Sofia Lunderquist Malmö, SwedenNov 11, 2009
3,548Phil Newton Nov 11, 2009
3,547Julia Lieberman St. Louis, MO 63103Nov 11, 2009
3,546stephen baker houston, texas, usaNov 11, 2009
3,545Rose Mary Sheldon Lexington, VA USANov 11, 2009
3,544Brad Honoroff Nov 11, 2009
3,543Mary Ann Dellinger, PhD Lexington, VA USANov 11, 2009
3,542daniel gerber Nov 11, 2009