I will comment on two points that concern facts about the BDS movement rather than assessments of its efficacy or rationale:
1. The Palestinian BDS movement targets complicit institutions and not individuals, whether they are artists or academics. This is clearly spelled out in all the statements issued by PACBI (www.pacbi.org) or the Palestinian BDS National Committee (www.bdsmovement.net).
2. BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) covers a range of actions, including cultural and academic boycott. More can be learned by consulting the BDS website.
I've been reading up on PACBI and discovered an astonishing piece of information. Your colleague and co-founder of PACBI, Omar Barghouti, is apparently a student of Tel Aviv University (I don't know if he's been expelled or left in recent days, but he was a student long after PACBI was formed).
Please answer this question: why is it OK for founder-members of your organisation to take advantage of facilities offered by the Israeli state, when you expect Indian artists to boycott similar Israeli institutions? It seems like hypocrisy on a grand scale to me.
Sorry to keep writing, but I just discovered an article on the PACBI site about Tel Aviv University, headlined, Study: Tel Aviv University Part and Parcel of the Israeli Occupation:http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1038
Is this is the same Tel Aviv University attended by your colleague and co-founder of PACBI Omar Barghouti?
I've also read a statement about how it's unfair to criticise Barghouti since Palestinians don't have any choice in educational matters. However, from what I read, Barghouti was born in Qatar, and has a degree from Columbia. He certainly has access to a world of learning, yet he chooses to stay enrolled in an institution that his own organisation calls "Part and Parcel of the Israeli Occupation"!
I've read some articles about you, and I greatly respect what you have done in your career and the many initiatives you have led to enable greater educational access for Palestinians. However, PACBI's policies appear to me not just misguided in themselves, but also fatally compromised by the Barghouti situation, unless there is more to it than Wikipedia and other sources put forward.
You probably haven't come across the PACBI response to the campaign against Omar Barghouti. Here it is:
I did read that statement, and this paragraph in it:"PACBI has never called upon Palestinian citizens of Israel and those who are compelled to carry Israeli identification documents, like Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem, to refrain from studying or teaching at those Israeli institutions. That would have been an absurd position, given the complete lack of alternatives available"
Omar Barghouti, I've read, was born in Qatar and educated at Columbia University, New York. In which case, he certainly did, and does, have many alternatives available.
The PACBI statement also says:"leaders of the anti-colonial resistance movement in India and Egypt, among many other countries, received their education at British universities at the height of the colonial era."
They did; but they didn't then turn around and ask everybody else to boycott those institutions like Omar Barghouti has done.
I should also point out that the fact that Omar Barghouti was admitted to Tel Aviv University, and continued to be a student even after his anti-Israel activism became well known, is an excellent example of why the parallel with apartheid, which is the basis of PACBI's argument, collapses under close scrutiny. It is inconceivable that a Black African would have been admitted to the University of Cape Town when apartheid laws were in force. A black or coloured ANC activist would have been in jail rather than studying in a prestigious South African institution. The Israeli state allows a remarkable amount of dissent from citizens, and much of that dissent comes from intellectuals employed in state-funded bodies such as universities. That was simply not the case in apartheid South Africa.
I will update this post if Lisa responds.