Thanks to those of you who helped distribute the petition calling for a boycott of the June 8-11, 2014 Tel Aviv University Department of Film and Television’s International Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies. Signatories have reached 200 (http://tinyurl.com/kerjlfe), and we hope this number will grow as the conference date nears.
As the conference approaches, we want to send a message directly to the former scheduled plenary speaker, Dr. Teresa de Lauretis, Distinguished Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness at University of California-Santa Cruz, thanking her for canceling her participation in the normalization of Israeli abuses via academic events.
Please take a moment to personally email Prof. de Lauretis and thank her for withdrawing her service as plenary speaker. If you’d like, you can easily cut and paste the email below (making any changes you see fit), add your name and affiliation (if desired) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dear Professor de Lauretis:
I understand that you have canceled your participation as plenary speaker at the “10th International Tel Aviv Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies: Cinematic Traces of Things to Come,” an international conference sponsored by Tel Aviv University scheduled for June 8-11, 2014.
As you may know, this colloquium invites its participants to lend their international scholarly credentials to an Israeli academic institution, and in effect to cooperate with the academic normalization of Israel’s human and civil rights violations of its Palestinian citizens.
You may also know that, for this reason, a call for a boycott of the colloquium has been issued by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) — see https://donotapplyhebrewu.wordpress.com/boycott-israeli-cinema-and-media-studies-conference-at-tel-aviv-university/. BDS has been endorsed by several major academic societies and has become increasingly influential with respect to serious scholarly attitudes and approaches to the anti-apartheid struggle in Palestine/Israel. BDS, its allies, and supporters have recognized the fact that Tel Aviv University is complicit in Israel’s unequal treatment of Palestinians, the majority of whom are citizens of the Israeli state, and the suppression of political dissent. Recent manifestations are documented in the Electronic Intifada (http://electronicintifada.net/content/tel-aviv-university-bans-palestinian-speaker/13307) and Ha’aretz (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.584153). I agree with BDS in its recognition that the Israeli occupation, as well as discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, are both illegal under international law and involve extensive and ongoing human rights and international law violations, which are systemic in nature and thoroughly documented by a range of internationally respected organizations.
In view thereof, I thank you for canceling your service as plenary speaker from the 10th International Tel Aviv Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies. Your withdrawal from the colloquium should encourage necessary further discussion of BDS and the Academic and Cultural Boycott at Tel Aviv University and in film and media studies more broadly, helping in turn to disclose the regrettable disingenuousness by which the colloquium, and Tel Aviv University with it, purport to position Israeli academia, falsely, as a normal participant in the field.
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