Let’s ignore for a moment the issue of American universities refusing to allow their students to participate in Israel programs or academic exchanges. A bigger issue is the attempt to boycott Israel in general and academia specifically. The movement in Europe, particularly Britain, to boycott Israeli institutions of higher learning has been robust and active over the past several years and it appears to be rearing its ugly head on our shores as well.

Inside Higher Ed, a publication serving academics and universities in North America, has published an article about the encroachment of this movement upon American campuses.

At this point, it is very small, but it is something to watch because campuses in the US already have their fair share of anti-Israel activism among students and faculty.

The U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, launched last week, enumerates five goals. These include: “Refraining from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions that do not vocally oppose Israeli state policies against Palestine,” “promoting divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions,” and “supporting Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”

The group’s press release continues, “We believe that non-violent external pressure on Israel, in the form of an academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel, can help bring an end to the ongoing massacres of civilians and an end [to] the occupation of Gaza and Palestine” — with “Palestine” referring to the West Bank land occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, explained David Lloyd, a professor of English at the University of Southern California who’s involved with the campaign. “We are actually literally following the call of the Palestinian civil society groups that call for a boycott, and what they ask for is a return to 1967 borders.”

Of course, they are not above misinformation:

The campaign’s press release cites “Israel’s ongoing scholasticide” – a reference to its attacks on educational facilities during the war in Gaza, but also to what the writers describe as systematic, 40-year-long restrictions on Palestinian access to schools and universities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Forgetting to mention that before Israel took over Gaza, Judea and Samaria/West Bank in 1967, there were no Palestinian universities. Today there are seven.

There’s more fudge in that article, but it’s well written and covers relevant issues. Read it.

Hat tip to Xisnotx.

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  • wow, a hat tip! thanks TM.

    i wonder if the reporter didn’t phuck up the quote from Lloyd about Palestine= the West Bank. It’s either that or Lloyd is a dumbass

    “in 1967, there were no Palestinian universities. Today there are seven.”

    ok. so what?

  • Like the Brits have ever cared about anyone a shade darker than them when it wasn’t an excuse to bash Jews. Not Zionists, not Israelis, Jews.


  • It’s always interesting to me that people on the right complain that “there’s no nonviolent pro-Palestinian movement”. But here it is, folks, the boycott and divestment campaigns.

    I think the boycotts against academia are short-sighted. The academics in Israel are the peaceniks. Only economic boycotts would work, and only if it affects the high tech sectors like Microsoft, Dell, etc. It’s not even worth fighting against. Fighting against this is slacktivism.

  • So don’t use words like “scholasticide” in an interview about Israel’s behavior towards Palestinian higher learning. If I’m not mistaken, Israel only has six official universities while the Palestinians have seven, all of which were founded while the Territories were in Israeli hands.

  • “It says here on your job application that you went to BoycottJew U, is that correct?”

    “yes, but I didn’t participate in the boycott of Israel.”

    “Did you stand against it? Write any letters to alumnae, your deans or University President?”

    “No sorry, I did not.”

    “I am sorry too; and good luck on your job search, but I would no more hire a moral coward than I would an active ally to jihad.”

  • ‘It’s always interesting to me that people on the right complain that “there’s no nonviolent pro-Palestinian movement”. But here it is, folks, the boycott and divestment campaigns.’

    So? A few people (most of whom – NOT palestinian) have decided to wage a non-violent protest. That doesn’t they are suddenly all right and just and everyone has to jump over to agree with them. All it means is that they are less amoral than Hamas.

  • so what if there is a boycott of Israeli academia? It is no more than a storm in a teacup. Our strength in the US will always be in the influential media and congress.

  • Phyllis, is that supposed to be a joke about the media? Have you even read newspapers and newswires the past month?

  • “Our strength?”

    What are you talking about, Phyllis? Read a newspaper or open any tv newschannel and tell us again how “the influential media is our strength.” What baloney.

  • Israel good. (no, not every single action or every single person…just in general)

    Arab world bad. (no, not every single action or every single person…just in general)

    Israel respects life, equal rights, democracy, science, etc., and the Arab world respects terrorism, jihad, ignorance, propaganda, mysogony, homophobia, persecution of all religious minorities, etc.

    Israel wants peace and the Arabs are like the scumbag in the playground who surrenders after attacking you because you defend yourself successfully and then he hits you in the back after he surrenders.

    Arabs hate the West, too.

    And not because of Israel.

    But because they are Muslims and believe they deserve to be superior to the West and if they cannot be, they want to destroy it.

    Also, they can’t stand women behaving as though they’re equals and they think such a society is evil and should be destroyed.

    And every person reading this, whether friend or foe of Israel, knows this to be true in their heart-of-hearts.

    End of story.

    Pro-Palestinian supporters in the West are either anti-Semites (Jew-haters) or they are just useful idiots.