Ambassadors Online – Academic Public Diplomacy


Strategies to Combat the Academic Boycott of Israel

The worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, known as BDS, began to operate over a decade ago. It seeks to set public opinion against Israel and to undermine the Jewish state’s very right to exist. As part of their activity, supporters of the BDS movement promote an academic boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education by leveling false accusations. Anyone who is familiar with Israeli academia and its openness, its numerous achievements and its contribution to the country’s industry, social and intellectual life, science and economy, as well as to the marginal groups in Israeli society, cannot fail to be surprised by the attempts to boycott it. Nevertheless, and despite the false  arguments propagated by those who drive the academic boycott, the phenomenon is gaining ground and momentum. Underlying the justification for boycotting Israeli academia and its staff is the perception that Israel is an apartheid state that deliberately and consistently deprives people of their fundamental human rights, and enlists the help of its academic institutions to maintain discrimination on the basis of nationality while restricting Palestinians’ freedom of movement and right to higher education. This guide is intended to assist in countering the arguments that serve to justify the academic boycott and to offer Israeli faculty and students who are likely to encounter BDS activists on campuses in Europe and North America effective and informed ways of confronting them.


Reut Cohen, Or Krispil and Prof. Eli Avraham

Battling Academic Boycott – Comper center – Full Text