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: â€œRefraining 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,â€ â€œpromoting divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions,â€ and â€œsupporting Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.â€
The group’s press release continues, â€œWe 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 Palestineâ€ â€” with â€œPalestineâ€ 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. â€œWe 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.â€
Of course, they are not above misinformation:
The campaign’s press release cites â€œIsrael’s ongoing scholasticideâ€ â€“ 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.