Two area academics among Israel boycott supporters

Two area professors are among those joining an international — albeit mostly unsuccessful — call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

In late January, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel responded to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, citing “Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.”

Georgette Ioup, professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of New Orleans, and Scott Sorrell, mathematics instructor at the University of Louisiana — Lafayette are among about 250 academic signatories to the call as of press time.

There were no signatories from Alabama, Mississippi or the Florida panhandle.

The call urges institutions to refrain from “any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions that do not vocally oppose Israeli state policies against Palestine,” requests “a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels,” promotes divestment from Israel and support for Palestinian “academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”

The boycott would continue until Israel ends “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and dismantles the security fence, recognizes full equality for “Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel” and allows the “rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.”

While condemning the recent Israeli operations in Gaza as “probable war crime” there is no mention or call for an end to any Palestinian action against Israel.

Sorrell stated he supports the boycott because “quite simply Israel does not obey international law, U.N. resolutions, Geneva Conventions and until it respects the will of the world and the rule of law it should be sanctioned.”

He stated that for every Israeli killed in the recent Gaza operations, “Israel killed 100 Palestinians.”

Ioup had not responded to requests for comment by press time.

Last month, the Canadian Union of Public Employees conference of Ontario university locals adopted a resolution that would cut partnerships between universities in Ontario and universities in Israel. It now heads to CUPE Ontario’s annual convention in May for further debate.

Also last month, CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan apologized for comparing Israel’s bombings of academic institutions in Gaza to actions perpetrated by the Nazis.