The academic boycott of Israel is the hill to fight on

December 24, 2013 0 Comments

Boycott Israel U Michigan
Boycott Israel U Michigan

As to where the anti-boycott efforts are going, this is just the beginning.

We will continue to rally support among American civil society.  That support comes willingly, as one of the movers behind the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement in the U.S., who runs the Electronic Intifada website, lamented today on Twitter:

Nobody asked but University of Chicago leaders have also now denounced “academic boycotts” http://t.co/Fej6yh0pcU

— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) December 23, 2013

The BDS movement went too far this time.  Its position on academic boycotts is indefensible.

The supporters of academic BDS have exposed themselves as the threat to civil society they are. It’s easy to laugh when they do flash mobs outside coffee shops and in grocery stores and call for the boycott of hummus.  It’s not so easy to laugh when they shout down speakers.

It creates spontaneous outrage when they use academic organizations as political tools and easily cast aside the academic freedom of everyone in their desire to damage Israel.

BDS charged up the wrong hill.

When some of the harshest critics of Israeli policies say an academic boycott of Israel is too much, the academic BDS movement has no ground to stand on.

This is not, as Electronic Intifada claims, a counterattack by the Israel Lobby. It’s a counterattack by American civil society, and soon political society, against the attack on our core freedoms.

Don’t let this pass with just denunciations.

This is the hill to fight BDS on.

————–

For the latest, see our two summary posts:

(Featured Image: BDS protest U. Michigan)

   





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