update deskIsrael at War

‘Unofficial boycott of Israeli researchers’ since Oct. 7

The discriminatory practices "could harm the economy, which relies on scientific capabilities as a start-up country."

An anti-Israel protest at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Photo by Rachel Cook.
An anti-Israel protest at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Photo by Rachel Cook.

A “quiet unofficial boycott of Israeli researchers” is taking place in Western academia, warns an Israeli government report.

The National Council for Civilian Research and Development released the study during an emergency discussion that was held at the start of December. It was forwarded to the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee ahead of a discussion on Monday about the challenges of research and development during the war.

Council Chairman Professor Peretz Lavie and policy adviser Debbie Kaufman co-authored the paper.

“Israel is being subjected to an unusual wave of antisemitism, and there is a rise in hatred towards Jews and Israelis. Since Oct. 7, a sort of quiet boycott of Israeli researchers has begun, of the kind that has never been seen before. This boycott is reflected in the cancellation of invitations to joint conferences, the rejection of articles for publication, the rejection of grants to Israeli researchers, and more,” the authors write.

This de facto boycott “could harm the Israeli economy, which relies on scientific capabilities as a start-up country,” the study warns.

The council is calling on the government to take immediate steps to address threats to Israel’s scientific standing internationally.

The council recommends to “not cut research budgets of the Ministry of Science and the Council for Higher Education; strengthen the binational foundations that support joint research with researchers from countries around the world; call for Israeli and leading Jewish scholars abroad to move to Israel and strengthen support for their absorption; and allocate designated funds for the purposes of international scientific conferences in Israel for the hosting of foreign scientists and for Israeli scholars to travel to conduct research abroad.”

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