Wednesday, May 1, 2013

News the HP Doesn't Cover: Palestinian Academic Against Boycotts

[From Ha'aretz. H/T Avi Meyer.]

Israeli academics threatened by boycotts have received support from an unlikely source: the Palestinian president of Al-Quds University.
"If we are to look at Israeli society, it is within the academic community that we've had the most progressive pro-peace views and views that have come out in favor of seeing us as equals," Sari Nusseibeh told The Associated Press. "If you want to punish any sector, this is the last one to approach."
Nusseibeh acknowledged, however, that his is a minority viewpoint among his colleagues.
Britain's main academic association recently called on its members to consider boycotting Israeli professors, and a top Canadian labor union voted in favor of divestment from Israel.
The 69,000-member National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education in Britain, censuring Israel for "apartheid" policies.
"It just reminds people that somehow Israel is always singled out, that we're the case study," David Newman, a professor of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheva, said.
Israel has been targeted by numerous boycotts throughout its history, ranging from weapons embargoes to product blacklisting to the blocking of Israeli web sites.
But the latest resolution by the British association, encouraging a boycott of Israeli academics, touched a raw nerve in the Jewish state.
"I wonder why not China, why not Chile, why not Burma, where the human rights issue is far, far worse than here," Newman said.

1 comment:

  1. A few points stemming from this typically bullshit-laden Haaretz article:
    *Nusseibeh made a good if inadvertent point that if anything underestimated how much animus much of Israeli academia has towards their whole country. It brings home the simple fact that people like Nusseibeh's "non-moderate" colleagues cannot stand any Jews, anytime, anywhere, and that the anti-Israel (or even anti-Jewish) Jews are a tool to be used and then discarded.
    *As noted, this was a Haaretz article. That would help explain why they pivoted from Nusseibeh's comments (and applause for them not being in accord with most Palestinian academics) to one call for a boycott that's been stillborn for more than a decade because it would be illegal under British law and another call for a Canadian trade union (who were they going to cite as another academic boycott example? Alice Walker? Roger Waters? Gorillaz?). It would be nice of Haaretz to pick an ugly avenue and walk it, but that's not their style.


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