University of Toronto Faculty Pledge for the Academic Boycott of Israel

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University of Toronto Faculty Pledge for the Academic Boycott of Israel

Israel’s ongoing genocidal war on the Palestinian people has been met with international horror, opposition, and resistance. University students and academics across the world have demonstrated their solidarity with the people of Gaza and the cause of Palestinian liberation, insisting that our educational institutions immediately end all ties to the Israeli state and its settler colonial apparatus. We write against this backdrop of student mobilizations, academic censorship, and the criminalization of dissent. Students at the University of Toronto have demanded that the university cut ties with Israeli institutions of higher education, disclose its investments in Israeli apartheid, occupation and war-making, and divest from these investments. It is urgent that we as faculty do everything we can to support our students and end complicity with genocide, occupation, and apartheid.

In 2005, when Palestinian civil society organizations including the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees issued their call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli state, academic boycott was recognized as integral to BDS. Israeli universities are a pillar of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid; they provide research and development of military and surveillance technologies used against Palestinians, they rationalize land theft and ethnic cleansing, and they discriminate against Palestinian students and faculty. Some Israeli universities, such as Ariel and Hebrew University, have been built fully or partially as colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law. Now more than ever we must renew the campaign for the academic boycott of Israel.

Since October 7th, 2023, Israel has further undertaken a systematic campaign to annihilate the Palestinian education system in Gaza. In a process designated “scholasticide”, Israel has systematically targeted and destroyed higher education infrastructure on an unprecedented scale. All of Gaza’s universities have been bombed and destroyed by Israeli and US-supplied weapons, including Gaza’s largest and oldest institutions of higher education, the Islamic University of Gaza, Al-Azhar University, and Al-Aqsa University. Over 94 professors, including internationally renowned scholars, deans, university presidents, and medical faculty have been targeted and killed. At least 5,479 students and 261 teachers have been killed, with thousands more injured. Up to 280 government schools and 65 UNRWA-run schools have been damaged or destroyed. Thirteen public libraries as well as bookstores, archives, and publishing houses have been damaged or destroyed. Currently, 90,000 university students and 625,000 elementary and secondary students have no access to education. 

Israeli universities play a key role in the genocide and scholasticide. They develop weapons systems, military doctrines, and surveillance technologies. They train soldiers and produce legal scholarship to shield Israel from accountability for its war crimes and crimes against humanity. They grant enhanced financial packages and special benefits to reserve soldiers returning from Gaza. They enlist their institutional resources to produce state propaganda (hasbara) to defend Israel from international criticism and provide moral justifications for extra-judicial killings and indiscriminate attacks against civilians. 

The University of Toronto is directly implicated in Israel’s scholasticide, apartheid, settler colonial occupation and genocide through its investments in Israeli and U.S. weapons manufacturers, as well as through its continued partnership with Israeli universities and related institutions. These include the University of Toronto – Hebrew University of Jerusalem Research & Innovation Alliance, Learning and Safety Abroad’s undergraduate study abroad programs at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy’s MunkOne summer program in Israel, and the Coburn Award at Victoria College. The University of Toronto also offers Postdoctoral Fellowships at academic institutions in Israel funded by the Azrieli Foundation, which has financed projects that benefit the Israeli military.

The University of Toronto already has policies that are germane to the demands of students for boycott and divestment, which include the “Policy on Social and Political Issues With Respect to University Divestment” and the “Procedures for the Human Rights Review of International Projects, Agreements, and Other International Activity.” The University of Toronto has a responsibility to both adhere to its own policies as well as national and international law. In light of the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel in relation to grave breaches of the Genocide Convention, as well as a motion to end arms sales to Israel by the Canadian parliament, adherence demands divestment. 

As scholars, we refuse to wait while our administration engages in bureaucratic procedures that endlessly defer meaningful change. Inspired by the courage and integrity of our students alongside the steadfastness of our peers and colleagues being murdered, maimed, tortured and imprisoned across Palestine, we recognize our collective responsibility to act now.

As faculty associated with the University of Toronto, we pledge that we will not:


  • Accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions
  • Participate in conferences funded, organized, or sponsored by Israel or Israeli universities, or otherwise connected to Israeli academic institutions
  • Apply for, partner with, or accept any research funding coming from Israeli academic institutions
  • Publish our work in journals or other venues affiliated with Israeli academic institutions
  • Accept academic or comparable prizes awarded by any Israeli institutions 


Specifically, at the University of Toronto, we will not participate in, promote, accept funding from, or recommend our students participate in or accept funding from:


  • The University of Toronto – Hebrew University of Jerusalem Research & Innovation Alliance
  • Undergraduate Study Abroad opportunities in Israel, including 
    1. Learning and Safety Abroad’s Exchanges with Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv University, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
    2. The Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy’s MunkOne summer program in Israel.
    3. Victoria College’s Coburn Award
  • The Azrieli International Postdoctoral Fellowship


This pledge renews our commitment to the 2004 call made by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). The PACBI guidelines uphold the universal right to academic freedom, and call on institutions to make a public commitment to refuse material support from the state of Israel and its institutions. The institutional boycott of Israeli academic institutions should continue until Israel ends its occupation of Palestine, recognizes the equal rights of Palestinians citizens of Israel, upholds the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and the liberation of the Palestinian people is achieved.


Pledge drafted by Faculty for Palestine University of Toronto


  1. Shahrzad Mojab, Professor, LHAE/WGSI
  2. Abigail Bakan, Professor, OISE, University of Toronto
  3. E. Natalie Rothman, Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC) and Graduate Department of History
  4. Alissa Trotz, Professor, Caribbean Studies/ Women and Gender Studies 
  5. Mohammad Fadel, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law
  6. Deb Cowen, Professor, Geography & Planning
  7. Melanie Newton, Associate Professor, History
  8. Jeff Bale, Associate Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  9. Mark Hunter, Professor, Human Geography
  10. Emily Gilbert, Professor, Canadian Studies and Geography and Planning
  11. Dana Seitler, Professor and Director, Sexual Diversity Studies 
  12. Alejandro I. Paz, Associate Professor, Anthropology
  13. Beverley Mullings, Professor, Department of Geography and Planning
  14. Christoph Becker, Professor, Faculty of Information
  15. Kiran Mirchandani, Professor, Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, OISE
  16. Kanishka Goonewardena, Professor, Geography and Planning
  17. Rebecca Comay, Professor, Philosophy / Comparative Literature
  18. Jesook Song, Professor, Anthropology
  19. Jeannie Miller, Associate Professor, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  20. Ruth Marshall, Associate Professor, Political Science and Study of Religion
  21. Alessandro Delfanti, Associate Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology
  22. Rania Salem, Associate Professor, Sociology (UTSC)
  23. Mahua Sarkar, Professor, Sociology
  24. Francis Cody, Associate Professor, Anthropology & Asian Institute
  25. Raed Hawa, Professor, Psychiatry 
  26. Ahmed Bayoumi, Professor, Department of Medicine
  27. Katherine Blouin, Associate Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC) and Classics (UTSG)
  28. Natalie Oswin, Associate Professor, Geography and Planning
  29. Scott Richmond, Associate Professor, Cinema Studies Institute & Centre for Culture and Technology
  30. Malavika Kasturi, Associate Professor, Department of Historical Studies and History, University of Toronto
  31. Atiqa Hachimi, Associate Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies
  32. Noor Naga, Assistant Professor, English Department & Victoria College
  33. Rachel Goffe, Assistant Professor, Human Geography 
  34. Hülya Arik, Assistant Professor, Geography and Planning
  35. rosalind hampton, Assistant Professor, Social Justice Education
  36. Jennifer Brant, Assistant Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  37. Beverly Bain, Assistant Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies & Historical Studies
  38. Waqas H. Butt, Assistant Professor, Anthropology 
  39. Kate Maddalena, Assistant Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology
  40. Caroline Shenaz Hossein, Associate professor of Global Development and Political Economy & Canada Research Chair, Global development studies
  41. Thy Phu, Distinguished Professor of Race, Diaspora, and Visual Justice, Department of Arts, Culture and Media 
  42. Nisrin Elamin, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and African Studies
  43. Girish Daswani, Anthropology
  44. Leslie Chan, Associate Professor, Global Development studies
  45. Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Professor, Global Development Studies (UTSC) & Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  46. Chandni Desai, Assistant Professor, Critical Studies of Equity and Solidarity,  New College
  47. Nada Moumtaz, Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Religion & Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  48. Anjali Nath, Assistant Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM)
  49. Esmat Elhalaby, Assistant Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies and Graduate Department of History
  50. Najib Safieddine, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
  51. Beyhan Farhadi, Assistant Professor, LHAE/ELP OISE
  52. SA Smythe, Assistant Professor of Black Studies & the Archive, Faculty of Information
  53. Shozab Raza, Assistant Professor, Social Justice Education
  54. Michelle Buckley, Associate Professor, Human Geography (UTSC)
  55. Robyn Maynard, Assistant Professor, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies
  56. Sameena Eidoo, Assistant Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  57. Bhavani Raman, Associate Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies and Graduate Department of History
  58. Brett Story, Assistant Professor, Cinema Studies Institute
  59. Sumayya Kassamali, Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
  60. Samantha Green, Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine
  61. Wigdan Al-Sukhni, Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  62. Ketan Vegda, Clinical Lecturer, Psychiatry
  63. Marcia Zemans, M.D., FRCPC, Assistant Professor , Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine 
  64. Azad Mashari, Assistant Professor, Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 
  65. James Deutsch, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry 
  66. Bryn King, Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
  67. Ken Kawashima, Associate Professor, East Asian Studies
  68. Khalidah Ali, Assistant Professor, Historical Studies (UTM)
  69. Maya Harakawa, Assistant Professor of Black and Latinx Diasporas, Art History (UTSG) 
  70. Anup Grewal, Assistant Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies
  71. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  72. Morgan O’Neill, Assistant Professor, Physics
  73. Suvendrini Lena, Assistant Professor Neurology and Psychiatry, Medicine 
  74. Adrien Zakar, Assistant Professor, Near and Middle East Civilizations & Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology 
  75. Carolina Sa Carvalho, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
  76. Chris Ramsaroop, Assistant Professor, New College 
  77. Kuldeep S. Meel, Associate Professor, Computer Science 
  78. Ila Varma, Assistant Professor, Mathematics 
  79. Daniel Rosenbaum, Clinical Lecturer, Psychiatry 
  80. Elias Khalil, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
  81. Leah Montange, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Study of the United States
  82. Mumtaz Derya Tarhan, Assistant Professor, OISE
  83. Qui Alexander, Assistant Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  84. Zoë Wool, Assistant Professor, Anthropology 
  85. Anne McGuire, Associate Professor and Director, Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity
  86. Dina Georgis, Associate Professor, Women and Gender Studies. 
  87. Kevin Edmonds, Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream), Community Engaged Learning and Caribbean Studies 
  88. Michelle Daigle, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies and Geography & Planning 
  89. W. Chris Johnson, Assistant Professor, Women & Gender Studies, and History
  90. Stanley Stanislav Doylewood, Assistant Professor, Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity
  91. Maíra Tavares Mendes, Appointed Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, OISE
  92. Heba Mostafa, Assistant Professor, Art History
  93. Angelica Pesarini, Assistant Professor, Italian Studies & Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
  94. Funké Aladejebi, Assistant Professor , History
  95. Anver M Emon, Professor, Law and History
  96. Amira Mittermaier, Professor, Anthropology/Study of Religion
  97. Edward Sammons, Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
  98. Fikile Nxumalo, Associate Professor, Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, OISE
  99. A.W. Peet, Professor, Physics
  100. Safia Aidid, Assistant Professor, History and African Studies
  101. Sumairah Syed, Lecturer, Department of Family and Community Medicine