Thursday, April 4, 2013

OPEN LETTER to Morgan Freeman: Hebrew university not morally qualified to give awards for combating prejudice.


Dear Morgan Freeman,
We are a group of Israeli citizens who are working to move our government
Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela
in "Invictus"

to recognize the full rights of Palestinians. We have recently learned that
the Canadian chapter of the friends of the Hebrew university intends to
award you with the Key of Knowledge award. You might have heard that the
Hebrew University, like other Israeli institutions which are complicit in
the the policies of their government, is the object of an international
boycott campaign. As Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of that movement,
put it recently "They asked international civil society organizations and
people of conscience to 'impose broad boycotts and implement divestment
initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the
apartheid era.' ”[1]
Barghouti also quotes the state department, which finds "institutional,
legal and societal discrimination” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Amnesty International [2], Human Rights Watch [3], and the United Nations
[4] all report Israeli war crimes committed repeatedly. The Israeli
government's response to this critique has been the same as responses
issued by South Africa in the late 80's. Both apartheid South Africa and
the Israeli government have invested much money and effort in attempts to
obscure their crimes by 'rebranding' themselves [5]. Such an effort is
greatly assisted by respected figures who would lend their prestige to
Israeli institutions.
As for the Hebrew university itself, not only is part of it built on
confiscated Palestinian land and some of its student housing are in an
Illegal Israeli settlement, it also practices racial profiling as many
other Israeli institutions [6]. For this and other reasons we believe that
the Hebrew university is not morally qualified to give awards for combating
prejudice. We are asking that you decline the award and join the growing
list of artists, leaders and academics who have refused to lend their
credibility to hiding Israel's indefensible policies.
 Nelson Mandela 
As Desmond Tutu put it: "...this harsh reality endured by millions of
Palestinians requires people and organizations of conscience to divest from
those companies — in this instance, from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions
and Hewlett Packard — profiting from the occupation and subjugation of
Palestinians. Such action made an enormous difference in apartheid South
Africa. It can make an enormous difference in creating a future of justice
and equality for Palestinians and Jews in the Holy Land."[7].
We would be interested in any question or comment you may have.
Sincerely,
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
http://boycottisrael.info/