PalestineHuman RightsLatin AmericaMiddle East

Over 220 Latin American scholars demand branding Israel as apartheid regime

More than 220 scholars and academics from fourteen Latin American countries have denounced Israeli authorities for enforcing a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians, stating that Israel must be branded as an apartheid regime.

The scholars pledged in a joint statement that they would not participate in any academic exchanges with Israeli institutions, and would decline funding from Israel, as reported by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

The signatories then called on Latin American universities to suspend cooperation with Israeli educational centers, which are contributing to the regime’s military occupation and the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, until the Tel Aviv regime respects the political and human rights of all Palestinian people as stipulated by the United Nations.

Among the signatories are Afro-Dominican anthropologist Ochy Curiel, Colombian anthropologist Arturo Escobar, Chilean historians Igor Alexis Goicovic Donoso and Sergio Grez Toso, Chilean artist Ingrid Wildi Merino, as well as Argentine philosopher Silvana Rabinovich.

Earlier this month, at least 277 human rights groups and civil society organizations denounced Israeli officials for imposing apartheid on Palestinians.

The organizations, which came from 16 Arab countries as well as six European and Latin American states, demanded in a joint statement the trial of Israeli authorities involved in perpetration of genocide, war crimes and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

They condemned Israel’s racist practices against Palestinians and its treatment of the latter as an inferior racial group, and called for the launch of a campaign to put an ultimate end to the regime’s apartheid actions.

The human rights organizations also urged punitive measures, including travel bans and asset freezing, against Israeli military officials besides arms embargoes against the Tel Aviv regime.

They called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to include apartheid crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in its future investigations.

The organizations then voiced support for pro-Palestinian groups that document and expose Israel’s atrocities and racism, above all the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The BDS movement, which is modeled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have since then joined the BDS movement, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural, and academic ties to Tel Aviv, to help promote the Palestinian cause.

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