Statement in Support of PACBI

Poetry Northwest joins other journals and literary organizations in condemning the ongoing genocide against the people of Palestine at the hands of the Israeli state. We express solidarity with the Palestinian people in their decades-long struggle for justice, freedom, and equality, and add our voice to those calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an end to the occupation, and a free and sovereign Palestine.

In this spirit, Poetry Northwest commits to the Palestinian-led international call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), including signing on to the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

As clearly expressed in the guidelines of these campaigns, PACBI (which was modeled on the academic boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa) is not a boycott of individual Israelis, but of an occupation state whose systematic violations of human rights and international law cannot and should not be normalized. 

In following the tenets of PACBI, Poetry Northwest pledges to:Boycott cultural products commissioned by official Israeli institutions;

  • Boycott cultural products funded by official Israeli institutions, even when they are not commissioned;
  • Decline to participate in forms of cultural collaboration or cooperation with official Israel institutions; 
  • Refuse to host, promote, or endorse events or cultural products that seek to “normalize” oppression and occupation, or otherwise stipulate false parity between oppressor and oppressed; and
  • Directly support and platform Palestinian cultural institutions without demanding that they partner with Israeli counterparts under the guise of “coexistence” or as a condition for such support. 

As part of our internal conversations around BDS and PACBI, we have discussed how Poetry Northwest might more fully embody the boycott we are pledging ourselves to uphold. Because we want our endorsement of BDS and PACBI to reach beyond rhetoric, we commit to reviewing our editorial practices and creating guidelines for material purchases to ensure that we adhere to the boycott campaign in all concrete ways available to us, large or small. 

Because we feel strongly that our promise to BDS and PACBI must be an enduring and collective one, we also commit to involving our entire staff in further discussions of how our organization will work to put these measures into practice. As a full staff, we will review how our responsibilities to the tenets of PACBI impact each individual role at the magazine, and moving forward we will include a thorough review of PACBI’s guidelines as part of the onboarding for any new staff who join our masthead.

If you or your organization are also considering endorsing PACBI or have questions about how we came to our decision, please be in touch with us at We are grateful to the publications, organizations, and individuals who served as models in our discussion, as well as to those we hope will join us. We stand in solidarity with them and with Palestine.