Sample Letter to International Participants of TAU Film/Media Conference

Dear Friends of BDS/ACBI,

We are now urging current and new signers to the call to boycott the TAU film & media studies conference to contact current international participants and encourage them to withdraw.  You can cut-and-paste the sample letter below into an e-mail.

A current list of participants can be found here: http://www.tau.ac.il/~cineconf/Conf2014/Conf2014-Downloads.html and includes several well-known film/media scholars such as Thomas ElsaesserPeter DecherneyGertrud KochMichael RenovLeshu Torchin and Philip Rosen.  (Note: Teresa de Lauretis may still be listed but has withdrawn; please thank her).

Thanks in advance for your continuing support for this campaign.

Dear [INSERT PARTICIPANT NAME]:

I understand that you are scheduled to participate in 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 request that you cancel your participation in the 10th International Tel Aviv Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies. Your withdrawal from the colloquium will 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.

Sincerely,
[INSERT SIGNATURE & AFFILIATION]

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