The SPME BDS Task Force has been hard at work looking at calls for academic and professional society boycotts from around the world.
The Task Force welcome notification of faculty encountering calls boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel academic institutions and scholars being generated by unions, academic and professional associations, university governing councils and other faculty groups. Where student bodies are generating calls for academic BDS actions, SPME is also assessing its involvement on an institution by institution basis, such as at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania.
Reports and details of calls for academic or professional boycotts from academic/professional societies, university faculty councils or senates, faculty unions or other groups should be directed to Dr. Edward S. Beck, Chair, SPME Task Force on BDS and President Emeritus, SPME at [email protected] . Honorary Co-Chairs of the Task Force include Steven Weinberg, University of Texas and Nobel Laureate; Roger Kornberg, Stanford University and Nobel Laureate; Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University; Judea Pearl, UCLA. Other members of the Task Force include: John Cohn, MD. Thomas Jefferson University and SPME Board; Ruth Contreras, Chair SPME-Austria and Secretary, SPME Board; Adam de la Zerda, Stanford University; Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Univerity of Hull (UK); Ronnie Fraser, Academic Friends of Israel,(UK); Guy Kornberg, Stanford; Gerry Leisman, Independent Scholar; Asaf Romirowsky, SPME; Colin Shindler SOAS, University of London; Ilan Troen, Brandeis University.
Asaf Romirowsky, will as SPME’s liason with the AICE Dream Team which is developing materials and strategies to deal primarily with student driven BDS efforts in the United States.
In France, Pascal Binczak, president of Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis withdrew authorization for a conference on “new sociological, historical and legal methods of internationally boycotting Israel.” French SPME leaders working with, the Task Force and members of the Executive Committee of SPME are working on a statement praising President Binczak which hopefully will be available by Faculty Forum press time.
The Task Force briefly examined a request from Toronto-based Doctors Against Racism and Anti-Semitism to examine a claim that ” The European Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons was scheduled to hold its 2014 conference. The Society has decided to cancel Israel as a venue because Israel has “no definitive borders…. ” After looking into the matter further, it was found out that this was not the case and the conference is schedule to take place in Israel.
Last year, SPME successfully worked with members of the University of Johannesburg Faculty and Ben Gurion University to reestablish research connections that were severed as a result of BDS calls at UJ.