Statement by undersigned participants in the Racialisation and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora Conference

La Fondation Frantz Fanon se joint à cette pétition de ses partenaires participant à la Conférence « Racialisation and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora » à l’Université d’Oxford, qui dénoncent une tentative de détournement de la cause panafricaine et de l’activisme antiraciste au service de la légitimation du projet sioniste. Le régime d’apartheid israélien ne saurait être assimilé à un projet d’émancipation ou à une réparation quelconque : il s’agit d’un régime suprémaciste colonial blanc au service de la domination occidentale au Moyen-Orient. La Fondation Frantz Fanon dénonce cette tentative d’usurpation : le chemin de l’émancipation du continent africain et de sa diaspora ne passera jamais par la reproduction des modèles coloniaux d’oppression.

Statement by undersigned participants in the Racialisation and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora Conference 

28 June 2019

As participants who gathered for a conference that invoked the themes of anti-racism, anti-colonialism, Pan-Africanism, and intersectionality in Global Africa, we wish to disassociate ourselves from the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). We understand ISGAP, with Alan Dershowitz and Abraham Foxman in key leadership positions, to be an organisation that promotes zionism.

The ISGAP has carried out what we consider to be a hijacking of the conference. They have

  • advertised it as one of their events on their website;[i]
  • appropriated the language and tone of the conference to legitimise their own agenda.[ii] We discussed and expressed our concern that this is part of what we observe to be a broader campaign to normalise contemporary zionism in critical spaces and to insert representatives of the Israeli state into academic spaces;
  • halted and diverted a critical and rigorous discussion of Global Africa through forcing the comparison between contemporary zionism and Pan-Africanism. Contemporary zionism is an ideology that underpins settler-colonialism and apartheid. It is not a liberatory, anti-racist project.

When pressed to respond to these issues, their representatives have continued the strategy of conflating anti-semitism with anti-zionism in in what seemed to us to be an effort to shut down and delegitimise critique. We do not conflate anti-semitism with anti-zionism, and we are opposed to anti-semitism.

We are opposed to our names and our scholarship being affiliated with ISGAP and the politics that it represents.  We appeal to the African Studies Centre to release a public a statement disassociating the conference from ISGAP for its promotion of ideas and policies that are diametrically opposed to the stated principles of this conference.

Samar Al-Bulushi- UC Irvine

Celina de Sá, Dartmouth College

Faye V. Harrison, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Horace G. Campbell, Syracuse University

Peter James Hudson, UCLA

Jemima Pierre, UCLA

Rhea B. Rahman, Brooklyn College – CUNY

Corinna Mullin, New School

Melissa M. Valle, Rutgers University-Newark

Marta Scaglioni, University of Milan-Bicocca

Valerio Colosio, University of Sussex

Luca Nevola, University of Sussex

Zachary Mondesire, UCLA

Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan, Goldsmiths, University of London

Derek Pardue, Aarhus University, Denmark

Rasul Miller, University of Pennsylvania

Victoria Osei-Bonsu, University of Ghana

Robert Freeman, University of Oxford

Gauthier Marchais, IDS Sussex

Samiha Rahman, University of Pennsylvania

Pamela Ohene-Nyako, Université de Genève


[i] Though they have since removed the event from their website, this is a screenshot of the original post:

[ii] For background, see this interview with Charles Asher Small, the founder and director of ISGAP, who presented at the African Studies Centre conference on Racialization and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora.

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