The Network for Critical Animal Studies in Finland calls for an academic boycott of Israeli universities

June 25, 2024

We, the researchers and artists in the Network for Critical Animal Studies in Finland, urge Finnish universities to join the academic boycott of Israeli universities, as called for by the Palestinian civil society.

Within Critical Animal Studies, as well as in other fields, it is crucial to engage in critical, intersectional analysis and resistance against colonialism and oppressive regimes. Colonialism is deeply entangled with speciesism; dehumanisation and the violence of animalisation are used as genocidal tactics; and veganwashing, as well as pinkwashing, are utilised as strategies in portraying Israel as “civilized” and progressive.

After eight months of ruthless bombardment, “Israel has destroyed Gaza” as summarized in a UN report titled “Anatomy of Genocide”.Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, presented this report in March 2024. Additionally, the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry states that Israel has committed crimes against humanity. The ongoing siege and destruction of Gaza is a continuation of Israel’s settler colonial policy, which has dramatically escalated following Hamas’s attack on October 7, 2023.

It is crucial for academic institutions to promote universal human rights and defend academic freedom, as many did in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. To maintain consistency, it is equally important to support the Palestinians in the current circumstances. We call on universities to take responsibility and work actively to improve the situation of Palestinians.

The suggested academic boycott targets institutional connections to complicit Israeli universities, rather than individuals affiliated within these institutions. According to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)  guidelines set forth by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement Israeli universities should be boycotted because they are ”profoundly implicated in supporting and perpetuating Israel’s systematic denial of Palestinian rights” and academic freedom.

In accordance with the PACBI Guidelines for the International Academic Boycott of Israel, we demand that Finnish universities:

1) Revoke their exchange agreements with Israeli universities.

2) Suspend ongoing research cooperation with Israeli universities and state institutions.

3) Provide full disclosure of their financial investments in companies profiting from Israel’s apartheid regime and the ongoing genocide in Gaza.


Additionally, we emphasize the responsibility of the entire academic community to actively counter all forms of racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia. We also demand that university leaderships respect and protect students’ and researchers’ right to peaceful protest, including the use of university premises for such purposes.


The Board of the Network for Critical Animal Studies in Finland


Photo: Kuura Irni


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