Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bob Geldof's Ben Gurion U Prize: Will He Fend Off the Boycotters?

Geldoff with children in Africa, 1985 (The Guardian)

From the Jerusalem Post: Ben Gurion University of the Negev will be bestowing Bob Geldof with an honorary doctorate in recognition of  his charitable activities to raise funds to fight famine in Africa. While in Israel, Geldof will also participate in the IsraAID conference, “Israel in Africa – Past, Present and Future."

I love the chutzpahdig game that BGU is playing in taunting the PACBI and BDS crowds. So far The Alternative Information Center has issued this predictable statement on behalf of PACBI and I'm sure there will be a barrage before the show is over when he accepts the prize in late May. Let's hope he's been eating his Wheaties:

"The Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative (PACBI) was launched in Ramallah in 2004 and called on the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all lands occupied in 1967, removes all colonies on these lands, abides by UN resolutions concerning Palestinian refugees’ rights and dismantles its apartheid system. This call later fed into the 2005 united Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of Human Rights.

"Palestinian civil society is thus clear in asking Bob Geldof and all artists not to collaborate with Israeli institutions, including universities. Furthermore, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is an active collaborate with and perpetuator of Israel’s occupation and discrimination against Palestinians...

"In September 2010, over 250 South African academics initiated a campaign calling on the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to end its long-standing relationship with Ben-Gurion University...

"The Alternative Information Center will be joining with the thousands of Palestinian, international and anti-colonial Israeli activists who will be calling on Bob Geldof in the coming days to personally honour his commitment to human rights and refuse to accept the honorary degree from Ben Gurion University."

And elsewhere they're also saying, "Bob Geldof, who do you think you are."

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