New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds



offsite link Putin Is a Serial Decision-Making Procra... Tue Oct 04, 2022 12:32 | Anti-Empire

offsite link If Putin Was a 5th Column Traitor, What ... Mon Oct 03, 2022 08:47 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Fall of Liman Shows the Trajectory of Wa... Sun Oct 02, 2022 17:21 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Defender of Liberal Order No More, Russi... Sat Oct 01, 2022 16:03 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Nord Stream Explosion Removes the Chance... Wed Sep 28, 2022 22:24 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Putin?s September 30, 2022, speech ? a commented reading Fri Oct 07, 2022 21:03 | The Saker
The first thing which I will do today is post the full video of Putin’s speech with English subtitles made by Michael Rossi on YouTube: Next, I will now post

offsite link Quick message from Andrei, especially for contributing authors (PLEASE READ!) Fri Oct 07, 2022 20:58 | The Saker
Dear friends, I will post my analysis of Putin’s historical speech in about 20 mins or so.  I just wanted to share a few quick notes with you: AUTHORS: starting

offsite link Short update and open thread Thu Oct 06, 2022 17:59 | The Saker
First, I want to express how touched I am by the initiative taken by the Saker community to help my family in these difficult times.  Words cannot express how touched

offsite link Donate to assist Saker Tue Oct 04, 2022 20:32 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
The following post was put together by the Saker team.. The team includes our translators, the staff of the related Saker sites the Spanish, Italian, French, Serbian, and technical support.

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/10/04 ? Open Thread Tue Oct 04, 2022 17:00 | herb
2022/10/04 16:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Search words: education

IPSC Open Letter to Bob Geldof: Do not choose the side of the Israeli oppressor

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday March 23, 2011 17:59author by IPSC Cultural Boycott Officer - IPSCauthor email info at ipsc dot ie Report this post to the editors

Below is an open letter to Bob Geldof regarding the offer he has received of an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University in Israel. The IPSC urges Mr. Geldof not to accept this dubious doctorate, for to do so would be aiding in the whitewash of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. We would also ask you to send emails to Bob Geldof asking him not to accept this doctorate, at the following mails:,,
Bob Geldof: Do not choose the side of the Israeli oppressor
Bob Geldof: Do not choose the side of the Israeli oppressor

IPSC Open Letter to Bob Geldof: Do not choose the side of the Israeli oppressor

Issued: Wednesday 23rd March 2011

Dear Bob Geldof,

Your decision to accept an honorary doctorate from Israel's Ben-Gurion University (BGU) has come as a shock to many of those who respect your humanitarian activities. Before you travel to Israel, there are a number of points that you might consider.

You might consider that David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father, believed that Jews were "more intelligent and diligent" than Arabs and hence should receive higher wages, and supported compulsory transfer of indigenous Palestinians from an ethnic Jewish state: "I support compulsory transfer. I don't see anything immoral in it." Ben-Gurion, after whom the university offering you this doctorate is named, thereby set down the template for an Israeli state premised on racism and ethnic cleansing.

If you believe that BGU, being a university, somehow stands above all such matters, then you might consider that South African academics from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have called for BGU to be boycotted because "by maintaining links to both the Israeli Defence Force... and the arms industry BGU structurally supports and facilitates the Israeli occupation... BGU is also complicit in the general discrimination at Israeli universities against Palestinians and Palestinian citizens of Israel." (1)

You might consider - and read - the 45-page report produced by the UJ Petition Committee providing a broad overview of BGU's practices in relation to the Israeli army, Israel's occupation, discriminatory practices and the suppression of academic freedom. (2)

You might consider the words of Human Rights Watch, in their study of discrimination against Palestinian students Second Class: “The hurdles Palestinian Arab students face from kindergarten to university function like a series of sieves with sequentially finer holes. At each stage, the education system filters out a higher proportion of Palestinian Arab students than Jewish students.” (3)

You might also consider whether it is appropriate to continue with your plan to attend a conference on humanitarian aid organised by The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID), given that the criminal actions of the Israeli state have resulted in the Palestinians being more dependent on humanitarian aid than any people on earth. The impoverishment of Palestinians directly due to the Israeli occupation is starkly outlined by Save the Children in its report Life on the Edge: "Tens of thousands of Palestinian families risk being forced to leave their homes as a result of Israeli policies in the occupied territory. More than half of those affected are children." (4)

You might consider that in July 2004 dozens of Palestinian federations, associations, and civil society organizations called "upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonization and system of apartheid...", and in particular to "refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions" (note that this call is not directed against individuals). (5)

This was reinforced a year later by a more comprehensive call from some 170 Palestinian civil society organisations for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli state "until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people‘s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law." (6) A year later again, over 100 Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers called for a cultural boycott in similar terms. (7)

Although you are being honoured for your humanitarianism rather than your music, you might consider that recently such colleagues of yours as Roger Waters (who declared his "solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government's racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel...") (8) and Elvis Costello ("there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent... ") (9) have rejected invitations to perform in Israel.

Not least, at time of writing some 210 Irish creative and performing artists – musicians constituting the largest single group – have signed a pledge undertaking not to accept invitations to Israel. (10)

You might consider that such organisations as the Alternative Information Centre (AIC, composed of Israelis and Palestinians) and BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within (composed of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel) have called upon you, in the words of the AIC, "to personally honour [your] commitment to human rights and refuse to accept the honorary degree from Ben Gurion University." (11)

If, after consideration of these points, you still decide to accept the honorary doctorate from BGU, which is a part of the Israeli state establishment, you may well stand accused of placing the oppressor's flattery above the victim's plea for solidarity. You will have lent yourself heedlessly to exploitation by a rogue state that has mastered the art of propaganda and whitewash, as happened in 2007 when you were enlisted by the Libyan regime to perform in Benghazi. (12) You will have lost all credibility as a defender of the rights of the dispossessed and immiserated of this world.

Please consider the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has supported severing links between Johannesburg and Ben-Gurion Universities: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Please do not choose the side of the oppressor!

Yours sincerely,

Raymond Deane
Cultural and Academic Boycott Officer
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign


(11) - see also

Related Link:
© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy