Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Criminology - study or participation in crime?

IF international guests want to understand what's happening on the West Bank they are welcome to join demonstrations like those Bil'in.

ACADEMICS invited to participate in an international criminology conference later this month are being warned that by going along to take part they will actually be complicit in a crime.

The warning comes from the Israeli peace bloc, Gush Shalom.

The conference scheduled on May 30 is being held in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

In a letter to participants, Gush Shalom says "the conference itself is complicity in the violation of International Law".

Many Israeli academics and artistes, including leading theatre companies, have been defying government pressure to go to Ariel, saying that the establishment of a settlers' university there and attempts to hold cultural events are aimed at 'normalising' occupation, and securing their complicity.

The conference on May 30 is entitled "
Pink Crime - Women, Crime and Punishment".

Among the lecturers mentioned as due to speak at the conference, and to whom Gush Shalom sent its letters. are criminologists from universities and colleges within Israel as well as guest lecturers from Britain and the United States. The latter include Jean-Pierre Gauci, and Isla Masson of King's College, London., Breea C. Willingham, State University of New York and Dr. Stephen J. Tripodi, Florida State University

In the letter, signed by Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller, and sent out on May 8, the participants at the conference are reminded that the conference is due to take place at a settlement established in Occupied Territory in flagrant violation of International Law, and which constitutes a major obstacle to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Therefore, says Keller, the holding a conference in Ariel in itself constitutes complicy in the breach of International Law.

Keller stats that "Criminology is an academic discipline designed to scientifically and systematically investigate the effects of crime (crime by women in this specific case). There is great irony and an inherent contradiction between these aims of Criminology and the holding a criminologists' conference in circumstances where the conference itself became complicity in the commission of a crime."

Following is the letter in full.


I am writing to you because your name appears on the list of lecturers at a conference due on May 30 this year, entitled " Pink Crime" and dealing with the phenomenon of crimes committed by women. Definitely a serious issue, well deserving of being seriously discussed by the practitioners of criminology. I would like, however, to draw your attention to the fact that the conference will take place at the institute known as the "University Center of Samaria", located at the Israeli settlement of Ariel on the West Bank.

It is important to note that deliberations taking place at such a location, under the auspices of such an institution, are not – and cannot be – a "purely academic" event, free of political connotations. The settlement of Ariel is in an Occupied Territory under the rule of a military governor. It is not part of Israel - not according to Israeli law, since no government has ever annexed it, and certainly not under International Law. The creation and maintenance of the settlements, including Ariel, is a grave violation of International Law, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the Occupied Territory. This, in addition to the settlements being the main obstacle blocking Israel from reaching peace with its Palestinian neighbors.

Criminology is an academic discipline designed to systematically and scientifically investigate phenomena of crime (crime by women in this specific case.) There is a great irony and an irresolvable contradiction involved in the holding of a Criminology conference at a location and under circumstances which make the conference itself an accessory to crime.

The settlers in general, and those at Ariel in particular, make great efforts to provide for themselves a "respectable" and "legitimate" image. The creation of an academic institution in Ariel, and the inviting of lecturers such as yourself to speak at academic conferences, is a significant part of this effort.

Should you go through with lecturing at the Ariel conference, in spite of the above arguments, may I suggest that you devote a few words at the beginning of your lecture to the contradiction between the goals of the conference, designed to reduce the effects of crime in human society, and the severe violation of International Law constituted by the conference's location.

Sincerely Yours

Adam Keller

Gush Shalom

(The Israeli Peace Bloc)
PO Box 2542
Holon, Israel

Today I received a copy of this letter which Gush Shalom is sending to supporters and friends abroad:

Dear Friends:

As we let you know Gush Shalom has sent letters to Israeli and international criminologists due to take part in a May 30 conference at the West Bank settlement of Ariel, pointing out that participation in such a conference amounts to complicity in the violation of International Law (see link):
look here for the conference's program

We ask you to take part in this campaign. You can either re-send Gush Shalom's letter, with your endorsement, or compose a text of your own. You can look up the participants' web links in the ed of this mail.

When writing to Jean-Pierre Gauci it might be worthwhile to mention his being a board member and national coordinator for Malta of the European Network Against Racism, and with Breea C. Willingham - that she has extensively dealt with issues of ethnicity and race relations in the US, and with various issues dealing with the situation of Afro-Americans. This would seem incompatible with the two speaking at a settlement in an Occupied Territory.

It might also be worthwhile to mention the call for boycotting Ariel by Israeli lecturers and Israeli artists.,7340,L-4011006,00.html

Email addresses - international participants:

Jean-Pierre Gauci, King's College, London

<> or <>

Dr. Jean-Pierre Gauci is Malta’s representative in the European Integration Forum and a He is director of the People for Change Foundation where his work is mainly research, advocacy and capacity building on migration, integration, asylum and human trafficking.
Race relations race and ethnicity issues.

Web links:

Isla Masson, King's College, London


Web links

Breea C. Willingham, State University of New York

Dr. Stephen J. Tripodi, Florida State University

כתובות מייל - משתתפים ישראלים
Email addresses - Israeli participants

Prof. Sarah ben David <> פרופ' שרה בן דוד
Dr. Gila Chen <> ד"ר גילה חן
Dr. Keren Gueta <> ד"ר קרן גואטה
Dr. Gabi (Gabriel) Cavaglion <> ד"ר גבי קבליון
Gil Ronen <> גיל רונן
MK. Julia Shamalov- Berkovitz < > ח"כ יוליה שמאלוב ברקוביץ`
Dr. Yael Wilchek-Aviad <> ד"ר יעל וילצ'ק אביעד
Dr. Brenda Geiger <> ד"ר ברנדה גייגר
Dr. Tali Shimkin <> ד"ר טלי שימקין
Dr. Mally Shechory <> ד"ר מלי שחורי
Dr. Inna Levy <> or <> ד"ר אינה לוי
Adv. Avi Himi <> עו"ד אבי חימי
Dr. Sharon Aharony-Goldenberg <> ד"ר שרון אהרוני גולדנברג
Dr. Judith Abulafia <>
or <> ד"ר יהודית אבולעפיה

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