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UK Lecturers vote to boycott Israeli universities
by UK Guardian
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 8:38 PM
Polly Curtis and Matthew Taylor, and Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Saturday April 23, 2005
The Guardian
A leading union voted yesterday to boycott two Israeli universities which it accused of being complicit in the abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The Association of University Teachers voted to sever links with Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities, and said it would consider boycotting a third.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews called the vote "blinkered, irresponsible and dangerous".

Jocelyn Prudence, who heads the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, told the Guardian: "This would appear to run contrary to contractual law, race and religious discrimination law, and academic freedom obligations, which are built into the contracts of staff in pre-1992 universities."

Sue Blackwell, a lecturer at Birmingham University who co-wrote the motion, said she was overwhelmed by the result at the AUT's annual conference in Eastbourne.

"We now have a boycott against a quarter of the universities in Israel, and we intend to continue the fight," she said. "I am proud today to be a member of a union that is prepared to stand up for human rights around the world."

In recent weeks, the debate has focused international attention on the union, which represents 48,000 lecturers in mostly pre-1992 universities.

Last night the deputy Israeli ambassador in London, Zvi Ravner, told the Guardian that he was amazed and disturbed by the AUT's decision.

"Are they really intending to boycott the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs who study and work in these institutions, or are they really calling for a boycott of Jews?" he asked.

"The last time that Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany."

Danny Stone, of the Union of Jewish Students, urged the government to establish an inquiry into extremism on campuses - among students and staff.

However, sources in the Palestinian Authority welcomed "a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people", and hoped that "more international groups will put pressure on Israel".

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said: "The taboo has been shattered at last. From now on, it will be acceptable to compare Israel's apartheid system to its South African predecessor."

The AUT claimed Haifa University had restricted the academic freedom of staff who spoke out against government policies. Bar-Ilan was boycotted because of its links to a college in the disputed settlement of Ariel. Both institutions have contested the allegations.

The Israeli ministry of for eign affairs said: "This decision is misguided and unbalanced in the extreme.

"The fact that the AUT is dealing with Israel in a critical way when it is the only country in the Middle East where there is genuine academic freedom is indeed perverse."

Many of the 200 representatives at yesterday's conference reported receiving dozens of emails, letters and faxes from around the world.

Delegates voted to reject their union executive's call to postpone the vote on the two universities. But they did delay a decision on the Hebrew University, which was accused of evicting Palestinian families from their homes to build dormitories.

The Guardian understands that Jewish academics had been in contact with the AUT executive, and had received assurances that the Israeli position would be put forward and the executive would push for dialogue rather than a boycott.

However, a full debate was suspended when time ran out, threatening to edge the issue off the agenda for the day.

Yesterday, Sally Hunt, the AUT's general secretary, refused to comment but issued a statement promising members advice on the boycott.

Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, condemned the boycott.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,1468513,00.html
by Electronic Intifada (reposted)
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 8:40 PM
Press Release, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), 22 April 2005
--

The Association of University Teachers (AUT) in the UK voted in its Council meeting today to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities[1] and to disseminate to all its chapters our Call for Boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This historic decision, which sets a landmark precedent, stands as a major achievement in the struggle to attain a just peace in our region. Finally, boycotting Israeli institutions, as a morally and politically sound response to Israel’s crimes, is on the mainstream agenda in the west; and no one can ignore it now.

For years, Israeli academics have by and large served in the occupation army, thereby participating in, or at least witnessing, crimes committed on a daily basis against the civilian population of Palestine. They have hardly ever publicly denounced Israel's occupation, its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens, or its adamant denial of the internationally-sanctioned rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties. This constitutes collusion.

After this ground-breaking AUT decision, all these aspects of Palestinian suffering and the complicity of Israel’s academics in perpetuating them have now become part of the ongoing debate on Israel’s record of oppression and abuse of human rights. The AUT today gave voice to the hitherto voiceless civil resistance against Israel’s racist and colonial policies. For this, the AUT should be commended.

Aside from passing the boycott motions, the debate itself about Israel’s oppression and the collusion of Israeli academic institutions in it and the extensive media coverage that ensued have played a significant role in educating many around the world about the Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination and equality.

The taboo has been shattered, at last. From now on, it will be acceptable to compare Israel’s apartheid system to its South African predecessor. As a consequence, proposing practical measures to punish Israeli institutions for their role in the racist and colonial policies of their state will no longer be considered beyond the pale. Israeli academic institutions will no longer be able to share in the crime while enjoying international cooperation and support. Most importantly, Israel will start losing its so far assured impunity, its exceptional status as a state above the law, a country that considers itself unaccountable before the international community of nations.

We applaud the AUT for its vision and its moral commitment to a just peace in Palestine.

Founding Committee
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
P.O.Box 1701, Ramallah, Palestine.
E-mail: info [at] boycottIsrael.ps
Web: http://www.boycottisrael.ps


Footnotes
1. AUT's statement: "AUT Council today decided to boycott Haifa University and the Bar-Ilan University. The executive committee will issue guidance to AUT members on these decisions. Council delegates also referred a call to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the executive committee will investigate the background to this and will report in due course. Council delegates also agreed to circulate to all local associations a statement from Palestinian organisations calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions." (Israel universities - statement by AUT general secretary Sally Hunt, 22 April 2005)

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3791.shtml
by boycotts
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 9:45 PM
The boycott against Burma isnt racist against Burmese but intended to pressure toe government and not contribute the the oppression of the Burmese people. The same can be said of a boycoitt of Israel; it wouldnt surprise me too much if most of those behind the boycott movement were Jewish and the focus on Israel was in some aspects a response to a focus on Israel for that reason. In the Bay Area many of the main proPalestinain organizers are Jewish; Im not sure about the UK.
by Joe
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 10:05 PM
Being of a certain race/religion doesn't mean that you have the right to discriminate against the same (or any) race/religion.

Just because some of the loudest retarded, disgusting morons in the bay area who hate israel and lie and exaggerate about it are jewish doesn't mean they're right.

This latest boycott is just a healthy reminder to jews everywhere that we can't count on non-jews to ever have our backs. Ever.

The loudest anti-racist bay area activists these days are PRO-RACIST against jews and ANTI-RACIST against everyone else.
by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 10:46 PM
Apr. 14, 2005 21:42 | Updated Apr. 14, 2005 21:50
Leading UK group comes out against proposed academic boycott of Israel
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

Britain's National Postgraduate Committee (NPC), which represents all master's degree and doctoral students there, has voted unanimously to oppose the renewal of the academic boycott of Israel proposed by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT).

NPC project officer Andre Oboler told The Jerusalem Post that his group decided to oppose the boycott "as it runs contrary to our objective, which is to advance in the public interest the education of postgraduate students within the UK." The motion resulting from the discussion was proposed by NPC's general secretary and seconded by the delegate for the Council of International Students (CIS).

The boycott was originally launched in 2002 and saw two academics fired from a journal, an Israeli student discriminated against in admissions and a number of papers from Israeli academics returned unopened.

The British government responded saying that "the prime minister is appalled by discrimination against academics on the grounds of their race or nationality" and that "universities must send a clear signal that this will not be tolerated." The Committee on Human Rights of Scientists of the New York Academy of Sciences responded to the 2002 boycott saying it "violates the basic principles of scientific freedom and scholarship." Now the NPC has echoed these sentiments in relation to this renewed boycott, which is to be voted on later this month.

A boycott attempt based on nationality encourages discrimination and goes against the principle of judging academic work on its merits alone. It inhibits progress in areas that benefit humanity, cuts the UK off from leading research, prevents collaborations and encourages discrimination against some students and staff within the UK, Oboler stated. In addition to opposing the boycott in principle the NPC made clear that it would continue to invite contributions from Israeli academics to its own publications, including the Journal of Graduate Education.

by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
Friday Apr 22nd, 2005 10:49 PM
Apr. 12, 2005 21:15 | Updated Apr. 12, 2005 21:41
Top scientist opposes proposed UK boycott of Israeli academics
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

Sir Roger Penrose, the Oxford University mathematical physicist considered one of the world's greatest living scientists, has come out against the mooted boycott of Israeli academics due to be voted on at the annual meeting of the British Association of University Teachers later this month.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Penrose said he had some sympathy with the Palestinian cause, especially its demands for Israelis to leave the occupied territories. But he said that he had and would have nothing to do with a boycott of Israel, as choosing only that country as the sole violator of international law in the world was "more than a bit arbitrary."

And condemning Israel when it has decided to evacuate its settlements in Gaza and northern Samaria, he said, was "clearly bad timing."

Penrose was invited to Israel on his fourth visit (during a previous trip to Jerusalem he shared the prestigious Wolf Prize with Prof. Stephen Hawking) by the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities to deliver the annual Albert Einstein Lecture.

The issues in this region were "very complex," he said, adding he did not know enough about them. "I respect Israel for leaving Gaza; the Palestinians also have legitimate grievances."

Penrose, who has been described as second only to Einstein in his understanding of quantum mechanics and theories of relativity, said: "I certainly have no sympathy with terrorists" who aim to blow up Israelis and Jews, but he does favor a Palestinian state in the occupied territories

He added that he opposed the second war in Iraq because the US and its allies were not telling the truth about Iraq, but he thought the first Gulf War, which liberated Kuwait but also resulted in the firing of missiles at Israel, was justified.

Describing himself as an absolute non-believer whose scientist father was a pacifist, Penrose disclosed for the first time that according to Jewish law, he is a Jew. His mother's mother always "hid her origins and dissociated herself from her family, but we learned that she came from Russia and that her family name was Nathanson and was Jewish. Thus according to your rules, I guess I could be considered Jewish even though I do not identify myself as one."

by Melanie Phillips
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:04 AM
An unidentified academic has defended the boycott ‘as a means of registering my protest against Israelis’ lack of respect for human rights and continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian land.’ This parrot mindlessly repeats the mantra of the left about the ‘illegal occupation’ in apparent ignorance of the fact that a) the occupation is perfectly legal under international law as the defensive measure against attack that it was; b) that it is not ‘Palestinian land’ at all but territory that belonged to the British colonial power until it was illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt and is now -- since they have washed their hands of it -- most fairly to be described as no-man’s land; and c) that parts of these territories, such as Hebron, are the sites of Jewish settlement of great antiquity, predating the Arab colonisation by several centuries but where Jews were massacred and from which they were driven out by Arab occupiers. If we’re talking colonisation here, the Jews of Palestine were the historic victims.

by Anti-Semitic studies
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:14 AM
If you support the proposed academic boycott of Israel — and if you are to remain intellectually honest — prepare for a radical lifestyle change. Firstly, unplug your computer. Good. Now switch off your interactive digital television set. Well done. And now throw away your mobile phone. Excellent. You see, Professor, these machines are not only the engine of the globalised, capitalist world but they also depend on technologies that have been produced by Israeli academics in the Zionist entity.

Stop playing with your detached mouse, Professor, and concentrate. I’m afraid you may not use the British Library because it has been computerised by Ex Libris, a Zionist company that was spawned by the odious Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And if, God forbid, you develop problems of the small intestine, you may not pop the Zionist-invented ‘video capsule’, which passes naturally through your body as it monitors this delicate piece of your anatomy. You will, sadly, have to take it up the derrière, Professor. As a matter of principle, of course. But remember: your principle allows your proctologist to keep his hand in.

All this boycotting, you see, is the logical extension of proposed academic sanctions against Israel by some members of your Association of University Teachers (AUT) when they meet in Eastbourne next Wednesday. Just visit the website of Egyptian-born Mona Baker of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. She set the standard by firing two Israeli scholars from the boards of her translation journals as a matter of high academic principle.

You will see that Ms Baker’s ambitions do not end with the academic boycott. Her website also includes a section entitled ‘Boycott Israeli Products & Services’, which features dozens of global brands that, inconveniently, are not Israeli at all. The offenders presumably have earned their place in infamy by dealing with the Zionist entity, by being owned by Jews or by having Jews on their boards. They range from Coca-Cola and Nescafé to Johnson & Johnson and Estée Lauder, from Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren to Selfridges and Marks & Spencer, from Kleenex and Wonderbra to Lancome and.... All marked for boycott.

Absent from Ms Baker’s list — and here I think I can help — is a set of global companies which are arguably even more culpable because they not only operate in Israel but also do most of their R&D there. IBM and Intel each have three R&D centres in Israel; Microsoft established its first non-American facility there, and Cisco Systems has built its only non-American R&D centre in Israel. Then there is Motorola, which has its largest R&D site in Israel, and News Corp, whose company NDS develops those neat interactive technologies for digital television. There are many more.

by Anyone
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 11:56 AM
The last time Jews had been boycotted in universities was in 1930’s Germany.
by Sally
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 11:58 AM
The Jew-haters who run Britain’s AUT have voted to boycott Israeli universities.
Council delegates also agreed to circulate to all local associations a statement from Palestinian organisations calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

It’s a triumph for Dark Ages antisemitism, perpetrated by learned people consumed by unreasoning hatred, and a sad, sad day for British academia.
by someone
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:00 PM
Note that these bigots are not only boycotting Israeli universities, they are openly aligning themselves with Palestinian “organizations” and distributing propaganda for them.

But they seem to have no trouble with Palestinian schools , schools that shouldn’t be simply boycotted, but razed to the ground.
by YAAKOV LAPPIN
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:08 PM
The decision by Britain's 40,000 member Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott two Israeli universities on Friday has ignited scathing condemnation from Jewish communities worldwide and has prompted the immediate resignation of Jewish academics from the AUT.

In a blitz procedure timed - on the eve of Passover - to exclude Jewish members from the conference, the AUT rushed through two motions to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan universities, exhibiting an unprecedented escalation of a campaign by British academics to target Israel.

A jovial executive union meeting heard unanswered orations by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, both lecturers at Birmingham University. The academics labeled Israel as a "colonial apartheid state, more insidious than South Africa," called for the "removal of this regime," and depicted Israeli universities as "repressing" academic freedom.

In her allegations against the Israeli institutions, Ms. Blackwell relied heavily on a letter by Ilan Pappe, lecturer in political science at Haifa University. A message from Dr. Pappe was distributed to every executive member at the conference, in which Pappe called on the conference to adopt a boycott of his own university, and alleged he was the victim of "restriction" and "harassment."

The speeches were met with rapturous applause from the audience, before AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions. The session was then directed towards a vote, and a "lack of time" was cited as the reason preventing challenges to the motions from being heard. The executive passed by sizeable majorities two separate motions adopting boycotts against Haifa University for its restricting academic freedom and against Bar Ilan university for its college located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

There was no opportunity for academics who had planned on opposing the motions, such as executive member Alistair Hunter, to address the conference. Dr. Hunter described the AUT's endorsement of a boycott against Israeli universities as an "ill judged decision" and expressed disgust at the absence of debate before voting commenced.

Ronnie Fraser, chair of the Academic Friends of Israel group, said: "The union effectively asked its membership to break its own laws on racism and discrimination."

[...]

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1114136298531
by Trudy Gefen
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:17 PM
I was gratified to read the expressions of deep revulsion and shock by so many decent people, Jews and non-Jews from around the world at the British AUT's draconic and racist decision to boycott two Israeli universities.

However, although I too am disgusted, I am not in the least surprised or even shocked because nothing has really changed in the realms of British academia. One of the (several) reasons I became a "Zionist" was because of the hateful anti-Semitism I experienced as a small child at west London primary and elementary schools and later at the London Polytechnic.

Before my Jewishness was "outed" at the age of 10, I was not only teachers' (pl.) pet, but also very popular with other pupils. I never consciously hid my origins but, at that young age, it did not occur to me to go around introducing myself as "Trudy, Jewish."

Thus, I learnt at very close hand how very wide and deep was the number of ignorant, spiteful and anti-Semitic teachers who were plying their trade in London schools, and probably elsewhere in the United Kingdom. I vowed that my children would never have to go through what I went through.

The virulent anti-Semites among both teachers and students completely ruined (via both physical and verbal abuse) what could have been a most happy childhood but at least I can thank them for the greatest decision in my life.... that of leaving the white cliffs of Dover as soon as I was ready and "ascending" to Israel. Now that the AUT has outed itself for all to see, the time has come for Jews and non-Jews allied with Israel to go on the offensive. For that is the best form of defense.

Never Again should we allow bloodthirsty, anti-Semitic militants a free hand to threaten the safety, the rights to expression, opinion, education, earning a living, and to life itself of Jews (and their friends) in Israel and elsewhere on this savage planet.

by Critical Thinker
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:23 PM
Hopefully a way -- even an enormous backfire -- will found to make these anti-democratic racists to see the errors of their way.

By teaching a lesson I mean one entailing the practical result of getting them to reverse their resolution even to their chagrin. I wouldn't expend energy trying to turn them into lovers of justice or philo-Semites.

by Isaac Eljarrat
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:26 PM
It was barely yesterday that the British Empire existed, the sum of all colonial and power crushing people's profile, probably the most recent cruel, greedy and selfish example of exploiting people to death if they sought it necessary on a universal dimension. They where the first actor's players on the Great Game; the game of shaping countries not at their image but at their strategic and economic profit.

It is evident they don't forgive the fact they where expelled from their "property" called "Palestine" as they used to nominate the Land by their hated Jewish people.

The Jewish people and Jewish state will prevail against them.

by Tim Thomson
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:32 PM
As a Christian who loves Israel and lives in Scotland, I would like to say firstly, if there is a boycott on Israeli universities, should there not be boycotts on Muslims whose religion calls for the end to all Jews. Secondly, the people behind this ridiculous boycott had better be prepared for what is to come.
by Mark Brajtman
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:42 PM
This latest anti-Semitic attack on Israel, by the lovers of the terrorist, shows how ignorant they are to make any comparison with apartheid South Africa.

They have obviously never been to South Africa, or to Israel. They act on what they learn from the Palestinian liars. typically, the Jenin case.

These academics should be dismissed immediately as they are causing far more harm at a time when Israel and the pa are talking peace, withdrawing from captured land etc.

Israel never attacked the Arabs, but every war fought was because of the Arabs attacking Israel.
What have the got to say about terrorism and the suicide murderers?

They have never experienced these situations themselves. The minister of education should dismiss these disgusting anti-Semites.

by Sami Ambar
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 12:50 PM
Having grown up in England, I am not at all surprised by this clearly racist anti-Semitic act. The Board of Deputies who represents British Jewry must speak up. This is just one small example what is going on in Britain. A few days ago, it was announced that Orla Guerin, a noted Israel bashing anti-Semitic British BBC TV reporter, was awarded the respected MBE award, which will be presented to her by the Queen.

A few months ago the Queen of England, unlike the Queen of the Netherlands, decided not to attend the Auschwitz remembrance ceremonies and instead sent her youngest son Prince Edward to the event. This after her grandchild decided to wear a Nazi uniform.

The Labor Party and the British media are consistently making anti-Semitic remarks about Michael Howard, the Head of the Conservative party who is Jewish and whose grandmother died at Auschwitz.

And in the meantime Mr. Blair, the hypocrite, keeps his mouth shut and tells us he's a friend of the Jews.

by Michael Segal
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 1:12 PM

The Israeli universities should issue adjunct professorships to a large number of prominent academics who would then inform the British of their association and thus be boycotted.
by Daniel
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 1:25 PM
As a British Jew, I find it unacceptable that this sort of anti-Israel activity is going on in my country. The rationale behind the boycott is pure nonsense, pure Jew-hatred, and personally, I hate the people who do it.

The Jewish People have suffered enough without fighting back. For every action taken against us, we need to take action against the people who take that action. Instead, we are not organized, and we let everything slip by.

I am ashamed that in Britain we seem to be doing nothing. Ok, we have spokespersons and organizations, but they are way out of date, they belong in the nineteenth century, their talk is far too 'professional' and 'diplomatic'. They were educated in England, and they want to sound 'nice', basically they are totally irrelevant to the future of the Jewish People.

Speaking for myself, I can't be nice, I can't be normal, I just want to fight back.

by Doron Katz
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 1:40 PM
I am also appalled with the decision and freedom Universities have to discriminate based on racial or religious grounds. If the UK government does not force the universities to abide by the federal laws, which prohibit such discriminations, I would hope Israel would send a clear message by sending the UK ambassador back to the UK for an undetermined period of time.

By allowing this, this is a political statement which in fact is placing sanctions on intellectual trading and thus Israel should send its academics and intellectual assets to other European countries and the United States, where they would be appreciated more, and the UK academia would eventually be the big losers.

From Sydney, Australia

by Ariel Lab
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 2:05 PM
When Jews sit on their hands and make excuses for decades and when the Jewish media prides itself on being liberal enough to criticize their country as if it where just another western democracy, this is the result.

Maybe now British Jews will care less about what is socially appropriate and more about virulent anti-Semitism.

Maybe now the middle left in Israel will comprehend that Jews on the right are better friends than Europeans on the left, but they just don't seem to comprehend the reality.

The initiators of this action are amongst the most prejudiced, most manipulative and most hypocritical examples of the dishonest extremist left.


From Simcha Monica, California, USA
The Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the union was guilty of hypocrisy. "The fact that AUT chose to target Israel, the only country in the Middle East that has complete academic freedom for all segments of the population and all political streams is scandalous," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry singled out countries such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia for suppressing academic freedom. The statement urged British academics to distance themselves from the boycott.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/568438.html
by someone
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 2:48 AM
The most notable example of an anti-Jewish boycott was that instituted by the Nazis in 1933. On 1 April, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels announced that Germans should avoid commerce with any Jewish-owned businesses for one day to try and counteract an American Jewish initiative to oppose Nazi anti-Jewish practices. He warned that "the boycott will be resumed...until German Jewry has been annihilated" if worldwide attacks on the Nazi authorities continued after that day.10 On the allocated day, German police and SS troops stood guard over Jewish businesses, attacking many of them. While the actual boycott only lasted for that one day, it was the starting point for a campaign against Jews that swept across the country in the months and years to come. A week later, all Jewish employees were fired from jobs in the German civil service.1
------
1. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.jsp?ModuleId=10005678
by .
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 3:24 AM

I have decided to boycott Great Britain:

-I won't travel there any more
-I'll buy no British products
-I'll spread the word among my family, friends and colleagues.
by myself
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 6:10 AM
An aspect through which boycott attempts have to be analyzed is anti-Semitism, which has been largely latent or subdued since the Holocaust and which now manifests itself openly in various segments of Western society - including intellectual elites. Many experts agree that anti-Semites today are much less inhibited or ashamed to expose their anti-Semitism than in past decades. This finds inter alia its expression in hate mail Jews receive from senders who give their names and addresses - phenomenon much less frequent in the past.

The anti-Semitic critique expresses itself largely, but not solely, in attacks on Israel. Some critics - of the left in particular - state explicitly that they are anti-Zionists and not anti-Semites. The analysis of their approaches and actions, however, often testifies to the contrary; for all practical purposes they are anti-Semites.

Occasionally, their semantics elucidate this. One British daily noted a statement made by anti-Israel boycott campaign supporters: "that groups plan to picket Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Co-Op because they sell Jewish-made produce."

It is increasingly clear to many observers that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism share the same major hate motifs. Martin Luther King mentioned this decades ago. Lawrence Summers, the Jewish president of Harvard University, referred to this similarity in his much-publicized "Address at Morning Prayers."

France's Education Minister, Luc Ferry, said the same when he presented a number of measures against racism and anti-Semitism in French schools. The French left-wing daily Liberation, commented:


Not everybody enjoyed the ministerial declarations. The main trade union of high school teachers, the SNES-FSU, has hardly appreciated a statement by Luc Ferry where he affirmed "part of the left-wing teachers who are anti-Israel tolerate more and more anti-Semitic statements under the pretext that these statements are not made by the extreme right."

Another important indirect support for the thesis that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism was given by the state court in Dusseldorf. Jamal Karsli, a member of the state parliament in Nordrhein-Westfalen, brought a complaint against the chairman of the Central Council of the German Jewish community, Paul Spiegel, and his then deputy, Michel Friedman, who had accused him of anti-Semitism. (Karsli had said that a Zionist lobby had influenced the majority of the media in the world, to which Friedman had declared in reaction: "He criticized the Jewish Zionist lobby and its worldwide influence and that brings us into the middle of the Third Reich.")

The court decided against Karsli because the German constitution recognizes the right of free opinion and because the remarks of Spiegel and Friedman are not really defamation because "they are not indefensible or pulled out of the air. Karsli had left the Green Party to become a member of the Liberal FDP, but he could only stay there for a short time. Leading politicians of the party - such as Honorary President Otto Graf Lambsdorff - condemned as anti-Semitic Karsli's remarks that the Israeli army behaved toward the Palestinians like Nazis did to the Jews.
by why?
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 8:44 AM
Why is it that a boycott against any country in the world is seen by people as a statement about the government of the country, but a bocyott of Israel is not only seen as a statement about the people of Israel but also as antiSemitism? Would a boycott of Iran be anti-Shiite? Was the boycott against S Africa in the 80s anti-white? Many of those who organized this boycott are themselves Jewish yet somehow one now has hundreds of people running around in circles yelling antiSemitism as if the boycott was targetted at Jews rather than Israel. I guess if one wanted to boycott Zimbabwe to protest Mugabe one would automatically be a racist?
by myself
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 8:59 AM
"Would a boycott of Iran be antiShiite? "
Is Iran a democratic country? No.

Is Israel a democratic country? Yes.

"Was the boycott against S Africa in the 80s anti-white?

That boycott was anti-white supremacy in S Africa.
Was there an apartheid in S Africa? Yes

Is there an apartheid in Israel? No.

"Many of those who organized this boycott are themselves Jewish yet somehopw one now has hundred of people running around in circles yelling antiSemitism as if the boycott was tragetted at Jews rather than Israel."

This boycott is targetted at Jews, even if some organisers are Jewish.

"I guess if one wanted to boycott Zimbabwe to protest Mugabe one would automatically be a racist?"

Is Mugabe racist? Yes.

Is Israel racist? No.

by .
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:06 AM

The purpose for the boycott against S Africa was to put an end to white supremacy.
What is the purpose of the boycott against Israel?
by Critical Thinker
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:17 AM
>>>"Why is it that a boycott against any country in the world is seen by people as a statement about the government of the country, but a bocyott of Israel is not only seen as a statement about the people of Israel but also as antiSemitism? Would a boycott of Iran be anti-Shiite? Was the boycott against S Africa in the 80s anti-white?"<<<

Fact is only Israel, as stated by the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, is being boycotted to the exclusion of other Middle Eastern states or their academic institutions that lack real academic freedom.

Secondly, Sue Blackwell who co-wrote the motion, proclaimed she was "proud today to be a member of a union that is prepared to stand up for human rights around the world.". And yet she's singling out only the Jewish state.

Thirdly, the organizers of the boycott motion purposely scheduled it on the eve of Passover, which is a giveaway of an intention to exclude Jewish members from the conference, where "the AUT rushed through two motions to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan universities". Now, even many of the most secular Jews take a brief hiatus from public life on this holiday's eve to prepare for and celebrate Passover's beginning.

These facts should give pause to anyone who's very quick to dismiss the detection of an antisemitic foundation for the boycott in question.


>>>"Many of those who organized this boycott are themselves Jewish..."<<<

For one thing, even if all were Jewish, we still cannot escape the facts mentioned above that point to the antisemitic nature underlying this boycott.
For another, there exist some antisemitic Jews such as Israel Shamir. Many ignorants keep on demanding, "how can he/she be antisemitic if they're Jewish?" as if they were discussing not people and their opinions but the differences between certain metals (e.g. how can a chuck of gold be also silver...).
by David
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:19 AM
Israeli Jews are a nation, while the old White South African ruling caste wasn’t. Traditional Zionism aimed to exist without Palestinian labour while the old South Africa relied on extracting an extra surplus from the black working class. There is a formal legal and democratic equality for Palestinians who live within the green line.

Apartheid proved, in the end, surprisingly for some, to be relatively fragile – and it broke. Israel, because it is a different sort of thing, is not similarly fragile. And a just settlement will be different. In South Africa, it was possible to negotiate a single democratic constitution that guaranteed democratic and civil rights to all individuals equally. In Israel/Palestine, this will not be possible, at least before the national question is addressed. The national question will be addressed by the Israel doing a deal with the Palestinians whereby Israel agrees to end the occupation and the Palestinians are allowed to set up a state of their own alongside Israel. A two (hopefully democratic and secular) states solution.

And the boycott campaign was problematic in South Africa. In South Africa, people will remember, the ANC (and the South African Communist Party) insisted on being in control of the boycott – so direct links, for example, between South African trade unions and UK unions, were deemed ‘breaking the boycott’ if they did not go through the ANC. Political links were only allowed if they were with people approved of by the ANC and the SACP. Paul Simon was denounced by the ANC for making his Graceland cd with black South African musicians because he did not apply for an ANC license first. The degree to which the sanctions campaign was actually instrumental in the end of Apartheid is highly debatable.

Those in favour of the boycott of South Africa argued that since it was called for by the ANC, the ‘sole legitimate representative of South Africa’, then we were under an obligation to support it and not to debate its merits. The Palestinian authority, the ‘sole legitimate representative’ of the Palestinians does not call for a boycott. Pro-boycotters respond to this by hoping that the PA will change its mind. They don’t respond to this by blindly accepting this piece of wisdom and leadership by the ‘oppressed’. Rightly, they use their own judgement – but this use of their own judgement is against their own principles
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:36 AM
This boycott might be antiSemitic but so far the comments have all focused on the boycott being a boycott of Jewish lecturers rather than it being a boycott of Israeli professors. Someone who is racist against people who are Chinese might want to boycott lecturers from China, but one could also see a boycott growing out of a dislike for the actions of the state (for example outrage over Tibet could lead some professors to boycott relations with China leading to a boycott of Chinese lecturers). Hyperbolic talk of Nazis and the like doesnt really add to your argument if those calling for the boycott are Jewish or the boycott is just one of many against professors from oppresive states. I cant think of any other such boycott in the UK, but then again anything that has to do with Israel gets so much more publicity than any else, I doubt that one would have heard this sort of outcry if the boycott was against Burma (the city of Berkeley has ssuch a boycott) or Sudan (due to Darfur). Jim Crow prevented African Americans from attending many white universities yet one wouldnt necessarilly see a university that cut ties with Nigeria (after they killed Ken Saro-Wiwa) as being similar to reinstating Jim Crow. Likewise a boycott of Israeli professors doesnt have to be driven by antiSemitism, since the plight of Palestinians is real.

One can argue that a boycott against Israeli lecturers is selective but again that argument wouldnt make much sense in other contexts; would one see a boycott of Sudan as racist if the group calling for the boycott hadnt boycotted Serbia during the massacre in Bosnia? Racists have at time hidden behind other issues and one can see racism in US immigration policy towards Haiti, but if one immediately jumps to calling a boycott of Israel antiSemitic without pointing to actual facts and just basing that accusation off a view that anything against Israel is automatically against Jews one waters down the meaning of antiSemitism in a way that is bound to make it harder to identify real antiSemitism when it crops up.

The danger of hyperbole should not be understressed since from what I can see the growth of real antiSemitism in Europe and the US in recent years has been enabled by the view by most people that any accusation of antiSemitism is political and shouldnt be looked into (the outcome at Columbia University either being another example of hyperbole or a case of people so tired of hyperbole they ignore real antiSemitism when it starts to emerge). One may think that the stronger one yells for a cause the better effect one will have but this is frequently the opposite of the the truth. In the case of both Europe and the US, the tendency for many leftist groups to ignore real antiSemitism seems almost completely tied to the new ties between the supporters of Israel and the right-wing. Accusations of antiSemitism in Europe are often a cover for racism against immigrants from N Africa and the Middle East. One even sees new alliances between proIsrael groups and neofascists in Italy ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/story/0,12576,1091917,00.html ) and even Le Pen is becoming less unpopular among Jewish leaders in France ("Jewish leaders don't see him firing up anti-Semitism. 'Le Pen is in a difficult situation," says Rabbi Michael Williams. 'He hates Jews and he hates Arabs. And he doesn't know who he hates most. I rather think he hates Arabs more than Jews for the moment.' http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/05/02/france.antisemitism/ ) In the US its not quite at that stage but when one sees groups claiming to defend against antiSemitism starting to show a bias against Muslims and Arabs based of ethnicity and religion more than actual views (such as the racist Campus Watch organization) one will start to see more and more people who see through the accusations and see that many of those yelling about antiSemitism are doing so more out of hatred for Arabs and Muslims than out of a desire to protect people who are Jewish from actual antiSemitism. The end result becomes one where all groups fighting agaisnt antiSemitism (real or imagined) become tarnished as being driven by politics or racism and the power for any group to fight real antiSemitism will disappear. Republicans and the US right may be trying to court some of the US Jewish vote using scare tactics but they are doing so for their own benefit and since the fundamentalist Christians ultimately make up a larger voting block when push come to shove, groups that think right-wing alliances add power to a fight against antiSemitism are not just alienating traditional fighters against antiSemitim and racism but making an alliance with a group that will eventually stab Jewish Americans in the back.
by .
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:40 AM
The treatment of Arabs by the State of Israel can in no way be compared to the treatment of the Blacks of South Africa under apartheid. There is no Israeli ideology, policy or plan to segregate, persecute or mistreat its Israeli Arab citizens, nor Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The South African divestment campaign targeted companies who were exploiting black labor. In contrast, Israeli and Palestinian workers have both suffered enormously from the economic downturn brought about by the four years of violence and conflict.

The harsh rhetoric of proponents blindly ignores Israeli policies and efforts to promote negotiations and improve the situation on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead, divestment campaigns singularly demonize Israel and designate Israel for pariah status. Such initiatives do not to seek creative and constructive efforts to promote dialogue, peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

These campaigns single out Israel and condemn its record on human rights without any reference to the myriad of human rights outrages going on in the world today. In fact, Israel remains the lone democracy in the Middle East, with all of the institutions – a free press, a multitude of political parties, an independent judiciary and religious freedom — that are at the heart of true liberal democracies. The Middle East and indeed the world has many, many states that do not come close to living up to Israel's standards. Thus, the singling out of Israel for such punitive treatment is disingenuous and disproportionate.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:50 AM
"There is no Israeli ideology, policy or plan to segregate, persecute or mistreat its Israeli Arab citizens, nor Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

There seems to be a policy to make it so people who live in the West Bank will never have citizenship in an actual state and due to new settlements and access roads the only solution that can emerge will look a lot like a S African bantustan. Will Gaza become a state after Israeli settlers withdraw or will there be restrictions placed on any independence effectively making it one of the world's largest prison camps (its the area with the highest population density) Ignoring questions of blame and just looking at actual hardships for Palestinians over the past few decades (from curfews to travel restrictions between towns etc..) one has to conclude that in recent years Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are worse off and more oppressed than S African blacks were under apartheid. You can try to argue that Palestinians are where they are because they tried to fight back and lost, but to ignore their plight completely and pretend that everything is ok doesnt help anyone.
by Sefarad
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:53 AM
"This boycott might be antiSemitic but so far the comments have all focused on the boycott being a boycott of Jewish lecturers rather than it being a boycott of Israeli professors. "

It happens that those Israeli professor are banned because they are from Israel, the Jews' country.

In short, this is part of the campaign against all the Jews, from Israel and from wherever else.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:00 AM
"These campaigns single out Israel and condemn its record on human rights without any reference to the myriad of human rights outrages going on in the world today."

That looking at things ot of context. If you are only angered by human rights activists focusing on Israel it magnifies it in your mind. If you actually look aroudn you will see a wide range of huamn rights causes being focused on by left-wing actvists with many peopel focusing on other issues more than Palestine. Since one rarely gets comments defending human rights abuses in Haiti, Burma, Iraq, Darfur, Kashmir, Tibet, Sinkiang, Sudan, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia.... one doenst see as much of a focus on it but there are just as many people focusing on other regions as much as Israel-Palestine. A heated debate does tend to polarize things and make people feel more strongly about a casue and if there were rabid proChina supporters oif Tibets coccupation posting comments on here and counterprotesting at Free Tibet events I wouoldnt doubt that it would also become as klareg an issue as Isael-Palestine. Even with that heated debate Iraq and Haiti consistantly get more of a focus by Bay Area activists than Israel-Palestine and local issues around human rights issues in the US gets a lot more focus than anything else (just look at the front page of this site and scroll back through the issues covered).
by Sefarad
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:07 AM
"There seems to be a policy to make it so people who live in the West Bank will never have citizenship in an actual state"

You know that the Palestinians would have their own state if they hadn't refused. Israel does not have to give Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians living in the West Bank. They will have the citizenship of the new Arab state as soon as it comes to existence.

" Will Gaza become a state after Israeli settlers withdraw or will there be restrictions placed on any independence effectively making it one of the world's largest prison camps (its the area with the highest population density) "

Don't forget that the Palestinians could have had their own state since 1948, at the same time as the Israelis.


"Ignoring questions of blame and just looking at actual hardships for Palestinians over the past few decades (from curfews to travel restrictions between towns etc..) one has to conclude that in recent years Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are worse off and more oppressed than S African blacks were under apartheid. "

As far as I know, South African Blacks didn't have terrorist groups murdering whites. Israel has to protect their citizens from Palestinian terrorists.

The Israelis are not making big bussiness exploiting Palestinians, while the South African whites did so with the blacks.

"You can try to argue that Palestinians are where they are because they tried to fight back and lost, but to ignore their plight completely and pretend that everything is ok doesnt help anyone. "

The Arabs have always been attacking Israel. Now the Palestinian terrorists do the same. What do you mean by the Palestinians "tried to fight back and lost"' . It is the Israelis who have to fight back.

Israel is not ignoring their plight. Israel has always been willing to reach peace, and so it has made many concesions. In spite of this, the Palestinians have always been attacking Israel.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:09 AM
" It happens that those Israeli professor are banned because they are from Israel, the Jews' country. "

Since Israel is the only Jewish country one can perhaps see some argument here, but India is the only Hindu country, before the invasion of Iraq Iran was the only Shia country, Utah is the only Mormon state.... Plus China is the only Chinese country, France is the only French country, Greman is the only German country.... Equating ethnicity or religion with a state always confuses things and Israel is no different than any other country or region. If Utah passed a law especially hateful towards gays and lesbians would one be able to argue that a boycott of goods from Utah was antiMormon? There are people who are racist against peope efrom Japan and might call for a boycott of Japanese products because of that (the calls for restrictions of trade with Japan in the 80s did seem to come from a fairly racist place) but one could also see a boycott of Japan for actions of the government and that would not be racist. Israel may seem special if thats all you focus on but many states and region have strong ties to ethnicities and religion with many countries representing the only country for some particular ethnicity or religion.
by ym
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:17 AM
" As far as I know, South African Blacks didn't have terrorist groups murdering whites"

Reagan claimed otherwise and used the Communist connections of the ANC to justify US support for S Africa. At many of the anti-apartheid events I attended in the 80s one saw counter-protesters from Young Americans For Freedom (YAFF) arguing that opponents of apartheid all supported necklacing (they would show up dressd with tires around themselves to demonize black S African in the same way one sees racist supporters of Israel dressing up as suicide bombers at counterprotests against Palestinians)

In terms of Palestinians not needing Israeli citizenship because they will evtually get a state that was also the same promise of the Bantustans in S Africa and while everyone can see through the lies now many (including Reagan and most Republicans) couldnt at the time. A two state oslution looked more possible just a year ago; the right-wing backlash against Sharon's pullout from Gaza seems to have resulted in many Israelis who would have wanted a two state solution now starting to refer to the West Bank asJudea and Samara in a way that suggests that more settlements are likely and with a divided up territory no state will ever be able to form.
by Sefarad
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:28 AM

"These campaigns single out Israel and condemn its record on human rights without any reference to the myriad of human rights outrages going on in the world today."

Um:

"That looking at things ot of context. If you are only angered by human rights activists focusing on Israel it magnifies it in your mind."

Sefarad:
It is not looking at things out of context. This is the context: there are almost 200 countries in the world. How many of them have their right to exist questioned? Only one: Israel.

Um:
"If you actually look aroudn you will see a wide range of huamn rights causes being focused on by left-wing actvists with many peopel focusing on other issues more than Palestine. Since one rarely gets comments defending human rights abuses in Haiti, Burma, Iraq, Darfur, Kashmir, Tibet, Sinkiang, Sudan, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia.... one doenst see as much of a focus on it but there are just as many people focusing on other regions as much as Israel-Palestine."

I would say there are not so many people focusing on those places. Have you seen them in this site? I haven't.

Another thing that strikes me as very strange is that those people supporting the Palestinian cause don't pay attention to the acts of terror committed by Palestinians organizations. Neither do they protest against the violation of human rights taking place in the territories under PA rule.

(A question: only leftists focuse abuses in the world?)

Um:
"A heated debate does tend to polarize things and make people feel more strongly about a casue and if there were rabid proChina supporters oif Tibets coccupation posting comments on here and counterprotesting at Free Tibet events I wouoldnt doubt that it would also become as klareg an issue as Isael-Palestine"

Sefarad:

From what I have seen, when it comes to the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict, there are people who don't take into account all the facts and don't distinguish causes and consequences . This is what makes the debate so hot.

.
by Sefarad
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:37 AM
"Equating ethnicity or religion with a state always confuses things and Israel is no different than any other country or region."

Sefarad:
You are right there. The problem here is that not everybody agrees with that point of view. I have seen people here protesting because Israel is a Jewish state and not protesting because Italy is a Christian country.

Um:
"There are people who are racist against peope efrom Japan and might call for a boycott of Japanese products because of that (the calls for restrictions of trade with Japan in the 80s did seem to come from a fairly racist place) but one could also see a boycott of Japan for actions of the government and that would not be racist. . "

I don't think a boycott against Japanese products has anything to do with racism but with business.


Um:
"Israel may seem special if thats all you focus on but many states and region have strong ties to ethnicities and religion with many countries representing the only country for some particular ethnicity or religion"

Sefarad:
That's what I believe. But now the question is: why are there so many people focusing on Israel to attack it, as if it was special?
by Critical Thinker
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 10:43 AM
The vast majority of Palestinians *don't want* Israeli citizenship.

I haven't noticed a surge in the number of Israelis referring to Judea-Samaria as such. They commonly dub it "the territories".

As for the viability of a Palestinian state from the standpoint of territorial contiguity, it eventually might end up the size of, say, a 1/6 of Lebanon and enjoy contiguity. So it's too hasty to establish that no state will ever be able to form in Judea-Samaria or Gaza alone.
by YAAKOV LAPPIN
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 1:59 PM
The decision by Britain's 40,000 member Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott two Israeli universities on Friday has ignited scathing condemnation from Jewish communities worldwide and has prompted the immediate resignation of Jewish academics from the AUT.

[...]

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1114136298531
by circle
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 2:22 PM
The main effect of activism for Palestinians by activists in the US seems to be to push moderate supporter of Israel to the right. The main effect of right-wing supporters of Israel demonizing everyone as antiSemitic seems to be the watering down of the world antiSemitic to the point where real antiSemitism is growing. The main effect of more real anti-semitism is to push moderates towards the right and create a more hardcore group of suppoters of Israel. The main effect of the growing right-wing Jewish activism that attempts to equate opposing Israel with hating Jews seems to be a decrease in leftwsing activism willing to associate themselves with groups fighting antiSemitism. Republicans gain Jewish allies who may have once been afraid of the right-wing Fox News style fear mongering and Christian Coalition fundamentalism. NeoNazis gain breathing room by the confusion over real antiSemitism vs the use of accusations of antiSemitism as a right wing political weapon. Those who support hate on all sides gain ground and activists on both sides undermine their own causes. If only one could just blame this whole thing as a trick of Rove (or some other evil genius bent on increasing hatreds around the world) but it does seem like people dont mind shooting everything they believe in in the foot in order to denounce people they disgaree with.

The Nazis are gone. NeoNazis are no different from any other paranoid cult that is dangerous but unlikely to spread. Racism against Immigrants, Muslims and Jews does exist and its hard to know what real dangers lie in the future but constantly looking back at WWII to predict the future is bound to be useless. The horrors of the future are unlikely to look exactly like the past and the victims and perpetrators of future genocides are unlikely to be who one expects them to be.
by Sefarad
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 2:45 PM
"The Nazis are gone. NeoNazis are no different from any other paranoid cult that is dangerous but unlikely to spread"

NeoNazi cult has spread among a good number of leftists.

. "Racism against Immigrants, Muslims and Jews does exist and its hard to know what real dangers lie in the future"

At least you admit that there is racism against the Jews.

" but constantly looking back at WWII to predict the future is bound to be useless. The horrors of the future are unlikely to look exactly like the past and the victims and perpetrators of future genocides are unlikely to be who one expects them to be."

It is useful to remember the past and learn the lesson. And I am afraid some people want the victims to be the same. At least they are creating the conditions for it.

Had you thought that Jewish teachers would be banned again, like in Hitler's times?

Had you expected that the Jews would be physically attacked in Europe?

Well, here we are again.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 3:45 PM
"NeoNazi cult has spread among a good number of leftists. "

Neonazi cults these days tend to main be ant-immgrant and focus more hate on Muslims and Arab than on Jews. One does sometimes see neoNazis posing as leftists but one sees far more neoNazis who play both sides and even work with proIsrael groups to get Arabs and Muslims expelled from countries. One does ocassionally see neoNazi style conspiracy theories about Jews get mixed into various other conspiracy theories by groups that focus on conspiracy theories but one sees this same behavior even more strongly against other groups like Asian Americans (remember the Wen Ho Lee case). The worst racism right now is against Muslims, Arab and Sikhs (since Americans are pretty stupid and assume a turban means Muslim when traditionally Sikhs have been more at odds with Muslims than other groups). Unfortunately many groups that pretend to be fighting antiSemitism are really hate groups in disguise with their own conspiracy theories about Arabs and Muslims (just look at any of the hate literature put out by Campus Watch and you will see something that closely resembles early 20th century literature demonizing Jewish influence on campuses seeking to get Jewish professors fired except now its mainly Arab and Muslim professors who are under fire). Horrowitz's campaign against the Left in general also bears a striking similarity to the McCarthyist witch hunts that used conspiracy theories to attack mainly Jewish academics.

For all the real concern about growing antiSemitism its much less of a threat rght now than the types of hate speech one sees against Arabs and Muslims. I have seen quite a few supporters of Israel call for the explusion of all Palestinians from the West Bank, call for the destruction of the Al Aqsa mosque, or make statements online saying that too few people died in Jenin or there need to be more deaths of peace activists like Corrie. While one does have a good number oif crazy antiZionists posting hyperbolic statements too its rare to see any of them to be quite as supportive of violence or mass explusions.
by usnewswire
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 3:52 PM
Neocon Mag Promotes Anti-Muslim Hate Literature; CAIR Seeks Clarification, Apology from National Review

3/17/2005 4:24:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, ihooper [at] cair-net.org, or Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed [at] cair-net.org, both of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

WASHINGTON, March 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on a prominent national neoconservative magazine to clarify its policy on anti-Muslim hate following revelations that the publication distributed an Internet advertisement for an virulently Islamophobic book.

CAIR's request came in response to a complaint from a member of the National Review's e-mail list who received a message promoting an apparently self-published book that, according to the magazine, is a "guide into the dark mind of (the Prophet) Mohammed."

The National Review's review of the book states: "(The author) explains why Mohammed couldn't possibly be a true prophet, and reveals the true sources of his 'revelations.'"

It quotes the author as claiming: "Mohammed posed as the apostle of God...while his life is marked by innumerable marriages; and great licentiousness, deeds of rapine, warfare, conquests, unmerciful butcheries, all the time invoking God's holy name to sanction his evil deeds."

According to the National Review, the book shows how "Mohammed again and again justified his rapine and licentiousness with new 'divine revelations.'"

"This anti-Muslim screed is the literary equivalent of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and should not be promoted by a publication that has any sense of decency," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "The National Review must clarify its position on Islamophobic hate speech and offer a public apology for promoting a book that so viciously attacks the faith of one-fifth of the world's population."

Hooper said anti-Muslim rhetoric often leads to discrimination and even violence.

(NOTE: In 2002, CAIR called on an Arab-American publication to apologize for publishing excerpts from "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a 19th century anti-Semitic forgery used to justify the persecution of Jews.)

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=44554
by ow
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 3:56 PM
Muslim Family Receives Racist Death Threats
FBI probes caller who threatens to kill 'f**king Arab' family

by OfficialWire NewsDesk

CHICAGO, IL -- (OfficialWire) -- 04/08/05 -- The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today reported that the FBI is investigating a number of racist phone threats made against a Chicago Ridge Muslim family.

CAIR-Chicago said the victim told police that, beginning in March, she received several phone calls from an identified man threatening to kill her and her baby son if the family does not move away from the neighborhood.

"I know who you are, if you do not move away from my neighborhood within a month I will shoot you and kill you and your son," said the caller, who is thought to be a neighbor living close enough to see who is in the house.

The caller's most recent death threat came on the cell phone of the mother, telling her that she is a "f**king Arab" and that he will not call again, but will kill her and her son if they do not move away within two weeks. (The Muslim mother is Hispanic. Her husband is of Middle Eastern origin.) Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI have been contacted about the case.

"It is important for all people of conscience to speak out against the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in America that leads to discrimination, threats and even violence," said CAIR-Chicago Communications Director Ahmed Rehab.

Rehab noted that a Chicago-area Muslim family recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against a man who blew up their van with an explosive device. The same man was convicted of throwing a brick through the window of an Arab-owned business two days after the 9/11 attacks.

http://www.baou.com/newswire/main.php?action=recent&rid=20154





by ZNet (reposted)
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 3:58 PM
...Delgado says he observed mutilation of the dead, trophy photos of dead Iraqis, mass roundups of innocent noncombatants, positioning of prisoners in the line of fire -- all violations of the Geneva conventions. His own buddies -- decent, Christian men, as he describes them -- shot unarmed prisoners.

In one government class for seniors, Delgado presented graphic images, his own photos of a soldier playing with a skull, the charred remains of children, kids riddled with bullets, a soldier from his unit scooping out the brains of a prisoner. Some students were squeamish, like myself, and turned their heads. Others rubbed tears from their eyes. But at the end of the question period, many expressed appreciation for opening a subject that is almost taboo. "If you are old enough to go to war," Delgado said, "you are old enough to know what really goes on."

It is a rare moment when American students, who play video war games more than baseball, are exposed to the realities of occupation. Delgado does not name names. Nor does he want to denigrate soldiers or undermine morale. He seeks to be a conscience for the military, and he wants Americans to take ownership of the war in all its tragic totality.
...
DELGADO: From the very earliest time I was in Iraq, I began to see ugly strains of racism among our troops-anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiments.

Q: What are some examples?

DELGADO: There was a Master Sergeant. A Master Sergeant is one of the highest enlisted ranks. He whipped this group of Iraqi children with a steel Humvee antenna. He just lashed them with it because they were crowding around, bothering him, and he was tired of talking. Another time, a Marine, a Lance Corporal -- a big guy about six-foot-two -- planted a boot on a kid's chest, when a kid came up to him and asked him for a soda. The First Sergeant said, "That won't be necessary Lance Corporal." And that was the end of that. It was a matter of routine for guys in my unit to drive by in a Humvee and shatter bottles over Iraqis heads as they went by. And these were guys I considered friends. And I told them:" What the hell are you doing? What does that accomplish?" One said back:" I hate being here. I hate looking at them. I hate being surrounded by all these Hajjis."

Q: They refer to Iraqis as "Hajjis"?

DELGADO: "Hajji" is the new slur, the new ethnic slur for Arabs and Muslims. It is used extensively in the military. The Arabic word refers to one who has gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca. But it is used in the military with the same kind of connotation as "gook," "Charlie," or the n-word. Official Army documents now use it in reference to Iraqis or Arabs. It's real common. There was really a thick aura of racism.

Q: Were there any significant incidents besides racial slurs and casual violence against civilians?

DELGADO: The last mission I ran in the South before we were redeployed North was strange. I was told to drive way out into the desert, off the road. When we got there, we found Kuwaitis excavating a mass grave site (from the Saddam era). Kuwaiti engineers wanted to identify and repatriate the remains. It was a solemn affair. I was with the First Sergeant. He said: "Give me that skull. I want to hold the skull in my hands." He picked up the skull, tossing it to himself. Then he turned to me and said: "Take my picture." It was taken while he was standing by a mass grave. This was a very surreal, dark time for me in Iraq. It was tough for me to see brutality coming out of my own unit. I had lived in the Middle East. I had Egyptian friends. I spent nearly a decade in Cairo. I spoke Arabic, and I was versed in Arab culture and Islamic dress. Most of the guys in my unit were in complete culture shock most of the time. They saw the Iraqis as enemies. They lived in a state of fear. I found the Iraqis enormously friendly as a whole. One time I was walking through Nasiriyah with an armful of money, nadirs that were exchanged for dollars. I was able to walk 300 meters to my convoy -- a U.S. soldier walking alone with money. And I thought: I am safer here in Iraq than in the states. I never felt threatened from people in the South.

...
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=30&ItemID=7667
by Critical Thinker
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 4:12 PM
Antisemitism is surely far less a threat in the US than in Europe. The Jews in Europe tend on average to rely on police protection to a greater extent than Arabs and Muslims; on average they're more vulnerable to attack not only due to their numerical inferiority, but also some outmoded cultural baggage that makes many of them rely on the authorities' protection more than on self defense within the legal frameworks. Also, it would seem that the authorities tend to act more decisively against Jews actively defending themselves and/or their property than the aggressors. Additionally, the Arab and Muslim communities in Europe have earned the sympathy and support of virtually the whole European Left on countless levels, which backs then whenever a Muslim is victimized on a racial or hatist basis. The same cannot be said of the Jews.

The crazed anti-Zionists seem to be more sophisticated than some Israel supporters on cyber and most do not reveal their real thoughts as to what should be done with Israeli Jews. I admit to being somewhat perplexed at those pro-Israel folks' seeming inability to withhold such remarks, or at least to make some of them within a logical construct.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 5:21 PM
"the Arab and Muslim communities in Europe have earned the sympathy and support of virtually the whole European Left on countless levels, which backs then whenever a Muslim is victimized on a racial or hatist basis. The same cannot be said of the Jews."

Not sure about that. Looking at the Indymedias around Europe one sees very little focus on Palestine in any country aside from Italy and its mainly because activists in countries with a strong history of antiSemitism are very sensitive to any activist work that could be construed as antiSemitic. In the US the different history makes this less of a factor and of course massive US support for Israel also changes things.
Eastern Europe seems to be one of the worst parts of the world when it comes to antiSemitism wheras in W Europe it tends to be more subtle. While some on the radical left may take the real danger of hatreds against Muslims and Arab and turn that into ignoring antiSemitism by Arabs and Muslims in Europe, this can hardly be that common if you aknowledge the the strength of antiMuslim and antiArab sentiments among the general population and even the center left in most European countries.The shear number of hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims in France, German, Holland, ... is enough it cant be dismissed as something that only antiSemites bring up. Most of the hatred against Muslims and Arabs in Europe is by groups that are also antiSemitic so it is always a little disturbing to see groups that focus on antiSemitism always bringing up the danger of antiSemitism by minority populations when any real institutional danger is bound to come from white Christian antiSemites and most likely from the right and not the left.

Returning to the initial topic of this thread I would like to know how a call by acadmics (most likely nonAntiSemitic ones at that) calling for a boycott of lecturers from a specific country is comparable to Nazi antiSemitic boycotts of Jewish products. Perhaps you disagree with the intensity of the dislike for the occupation of thw Est Bank and Gaza by those who called for the boycott but do you really think they believe in antiSemitic conspiracy theories or are the type of people who would ever support discriminatory policies in Britain against people who are Jewish? I wouldnt be surprised if some of those pretending to be horrified by the boycott would themselves be more likely to oppose laws requiring allowing students to take time off for Jewish hollidays or ridding British schools of openly Christian symbols that make Jewish students feel excluded. In the US at least the Christian Coalition loves yelling about antiSemitism when it comes to Israel but at home supports Christians prayer in schools and other such things that for now openly effect Jewish Americans more than a boycott of lecturers or goods form a foreign country.
by gehrig
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 8:31 PM
um: "In the US at least the Christian Coalition loves yelling about antiSemitism when it comes to Israel"

Could you point to an example? This is one of those things I hear all the time on Indymedia, but nobody ever cites an example, and I'm now wondering whether it's one of those "everybody knows it's true" things that isn't actually true.

@%<
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 8:37 PM
Gerhrig. Its not generic across all fundamentalist groups but Pat Robertson and the 700 cub focus a lot of energy on Israel and make statements about the Gaza pullout being horrible and inhumane. I can probably find quotes from their statements about the Gaza pullout that directly use the word antiSemitic but one does have this stuff esy to find on google:
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/10/3/214501.shtml
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/biblestudyandtheology/discipleship/patrobertson_jerusalem0305.asp
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/03/60minutes/main524268.shtml
by Joe
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 9:21 PM
This "uh" / "ow" / etc. moron is just trying to change the topic, or blur it.
by um
Sunday Apr 24th, 2005 11:23 PM
I was trying to respond to people who responded to previous comments I wrote, sorry if you felt it was off topic. I would however like to know more about how the earliest comments on this thread could be so hyperbolic about something as common as a boycott. I live in Berkeley and dont know how many countries the city is currently boycotting but Im sure its quite a few; is Israel somehow special where a boycott of Israel is by its very nature antiSemitic while a boycott of China or Burma isnt? If religion is so different form ethnicity than perhaps only a boycott of India, Iran or Utah would be comparible or if its a matter of a history of oppression by perhaps its only comparible to a boycott of Armenia, African countries or regions in the Americas that are majority idigenous.
by Joe
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 5:12 AM
They're firing and cutting off contact with israeli jewish professors, academics, and other people who are in education, not politics.

They're antisemites.

Are chinese professors being fired right not because you leftists don't like the government of china?

Are you leftists firing british professors because you don't like the current actions of the british government?

Are you firing palestinian professors because you don't like the fact that hte palestinians for 60 years in a row have supported nothing but terrorism, war and the attempted destruction of israel?

Of course not. You just single out israeli professors, even though in israel education is far more open/liberal fair than in most arab countries.

You feel good about seeing israeli jews lose their jobs in europe specifically because they're israeli jews?

It's just another excuse from antisemitic leftists who PRETEND to be "anti-racist" and "anti-zionist" to harrass jews in a (sick) politically correct manner.

Leftists want it to be politically correct to harrass all jews anywhere on earth, collectively, because they don't like something. FIrst they've started with israeli jews, next they'll push to start making it legal to harrass any jew, anywhere, and demand how they feel about something, and fire them if they don't answer correctly.

It's yet another anti-jew witch-hunt.
by Critical Thinker
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 5:38 AM
CT: the Arab and Muslim communities in Europe have earned the sympathy and support of virtually the whole European Left on countless levels, which backs then whenever a Muslim is victimized on a racial or hatist basis. The same cannot be said of the Jews.

>>>"Not sure about that. Looking at the Indymedias around Europe one sees very little focus on Palestine in any country aside from Italy and its mainly because activists in countries with a strong history of antiSemitism are very sensitive to any activist work that could be construed as antiSemitic. In the US the different history makes this less of a factor and of course massive US support for Israel also changes things."<<<

You did try to blur the topic. Nowhere did I use the issue of "focus on Palestine" to augment my arguments.


>>>"Eastern Europe seems to be one of the worst parts of the world when it comes to antiSemitism wheras in W Europe it tends to be more subtle. While some on the radical left may take the real danger of hatreds against Muslims and Arab and turn that into ignoring antiSemitism by Arabs and Muslims in Europe, this can hardly be that common if you aknowledge the the strength of antiMuslim and antiArab sentiments among the general population and even the center left in most European countries.The shear number of hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims in France, German, Holland, ... is enough it cant be dismissed as something that only antiSemites bring up. Most of the hatred against Muslims and Arabs in Europe is by groups that are also antiSemitic so it is always a little disturbing to see groups that focus on antiSemitism always bringing up the danger of antiSemitism by minority populations when any real institutional danger is bound to come from white Christian antiSemites and most likely from the right and not the left."<<<

I still believe that virtually the entire European radical Left, and even at least a small portion of the more moderate European lefties, tend to provide the European Arab and Muslim communities more sympathy and support on various levels than they give European Jews, and would back the Muslim communities whenever a Muslim is victimized on a racial or hatist basis whereas they invariably wouldn't do so with Jewish communities under similar circumstances.
by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 5:54 AM

I deeply regret that most of the European media and left-wing are biased against Israel.

It is also true that anti-Semitism is spreading in Europe, mainly since the break-out of the second "intifada" and even more after the S-11 attacks. Although this is paradoxical,the anger for the attacks was aimed at Jews more that at Muslims.


by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 6:33 AM

Violent attacks against Jews:

In 2000 there was a dramatic increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents, according to the French Home Ministry (9 actions in 1999; 116 the following year), as well as a considerable rise in the number of threats of anti-Semite inspiration (60 in 1999; 603 in 2000).

October 2000:

Violent actions multiplied at the same time that the media informed about the fights between Israelis and Palestinians related to the breaking-out of the second "intifada".

From October 1, 2000 to early November 2001 some 200 attacks against Jews were reported.


In early October 2000, the sinagogues of the Ulis, of Trappes and of Fondy are put on fire,while incendiary artifacts are hurled at several other sinagogues (in Villepinte, Clinchy-sous-Bois, Creil, Colombes, Longjumeau, Garges-les-Gonesses, Chevilly-la-Rue and others) and attacks are committed using cars as battering rams, and also against people.

The threads by telephone multiplied and anti-Jewish graffitti appeared in the suburbs of the surroundings of Paris, Lyon, Estrasburg, Annemasse and Toulon.

In December 2000, the nursery of a Jewish school in Paris is completely destroyed by an arson.

Those attacks against the Jews, scarcely informed by the media, sometimes even omitted, did not stop in 2001. Some examples:

February 25, 2001: In Scarcelles, there is an explosion after the launching of a homemade grenade in the school Tifferet-Israel, which is seriously damaged.

May 5, 2001: Some private people who live in that same building are robbed of a hundred Jewish objects of cult, which later are found burnt.

Night of August 6-7, 2001: An arson in the sinagogue of Clichy-sous-Bois.

September 12. The door lock in the Sinagogue of Pantin is broken.
The police of Villeneuve-la-Garenne receives the warning that an artifact had been planted in the sinagogue of the town. A butane bottle with a spark system is found.

Sept 15: Some parishioners going to the sinagogue of Clichy-sur-Seine are hurled stones at and insulted by a group of youths.

The same afternoon, some youths hurled stones at the sinagogue of Massy, and attacks of the same kind are carried out against the sinagogues of Garges-les-Gonesse and Villepinte.

october 6: A molotov cocktail is hurled at the sinagogue of Stains, which catches fire.

October 28: An arson partially destroyed a Jewish school (the nursery and the primary classrooms) in Marseille. The main building was covered with anti-Jews graffitti: "Death to the Jews", "Viva Bin laden", "Bin Laden will win".

Other anti-Jews incidents also increased:
october 2, 2000: "Flock of filthy Jews", said somebody uttering insults and threats in a telephone call to the sinagogue in Gresset street, Paris. A molotov cocktail had just been hurled at the sinagogue.

"Filthy Jew, we want your skin" is the statement addressed to a young Jew of Belleville, on October 18, while he is beaten.

(to be continued)
by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 6:59 AM

Night of October 11-12:

Policemen discovered anti-Semitic graffitti on the doors of several shops and a bank in downtown Puteaux "Death to the Jews!", "Vive Palestine", "Death to Barak".

October 28:

A twelve-year-old boy, on his way to the sinagogue, is attacked by a man (who looked like Magrebi, according to the child), who also insults him: "Filthy Jew, son-of-a-bitch, I am going to kill you, and if you tell, I'll find and kill you".

September 10, 2001:

The president of the sinagogue of Drancy receives a letter: "Death to the Jews", "Hell is waiting for you".

September 11:

Demonstrations of enthusiasm in Barbes when the attacks on the US are known. A boy of 13 is insulted and beaten when he leaves the Jewish school of Aubervilliers.

A Jewish little girl is rolled over by a car when she leaves the school Ozar Hatorah of Sarcelles. The driver escapes.

September 12: Graffitti appeared ("Vive Bin Laden", "Death to the Jews") on the walls of the Turgot Institute in Paris.

September 21: "We will kill your father and your mother", said a group of 15 children of Magrebi immigrants, born in France, to a rabbi from Villepinte.

The following day, two individuals (Arabs, according to the witnesses) armed with knives threatened the parishioners of a sinagogue in Paris.

September 27: A man carrying an arm threatens to shoot at the sinagogue of Vitry.

October 18: Several students of a Jewish school in Sain-Ouen are harassed and mistreated.

October 24: Some individuals shout "Death to the Jews" in front of a "kasher" butcher's in Paris.

----

Source:

Pierre-André Taguieff, "La nouvelle Judéo-phobie". Librarie Arthème Fayard, 2002.

The author is a French philosopher and historian of ideas. Director of the National Centre os Scientific Research and professor of the Institute of Political Studies of Paris.

by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 7:17 AM
The French Interior Ministry said this week that the number of anti-Semitic acts appears to be rebounding, with 166 counted in the first nine months of 2004, compared to 127 for all of last year. In 2002, the Interior Ministry counted 195 such acts.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/22/world/main650899.shtml

The French authorities recorded 298 anti-Semitic acts in France between January 1 and August 20, 2004 according to figures released Thursday at a meeting between the Grand Rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, and French Justice Minister Dominique Perben. Of this total, 162 offenses involved damage to property (graffiti and arson, etc.), 69 were breaches of press law (publication of anti-Semitic images or articles), and 67 were attacks on people (physical attacks, insults). In the vast majority of cases (80.2%), the offenders have not yet been identified. Offenders were formally identified in only 59 cases, out of 298 ./.

http://www.info-france-usa.org/news/statmnts/2004/antisemitism_stats082604.asp

Desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Lyon’s seventh arrondissement – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Interior, Internal Security and Local Freedoms


Paris, August 10, 2004
http://www.info-france-usa.org/news/statmnts/2004/villepin_antisemitism_081004.asp

etc., etc.



by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 7:59 AM
Article: <<leading union voted yesterday to boycott two Israeli universities which it accused of being complicit in the abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories. >>

The Palestinian terrorist attack Israel and murder Israelis and the AUT has the nerve to say that Israel commits abuses.

Article: <<We now have a boycott against a quarter of the universities in Israel, and we intend to continue the fight," she said. "I am proud today to be a member of a union that is prepared to stand up for human rights around the world.>>

And now that person has the gall to declare her pride for that evil decision and claims she stands for human rights around the world. Which human rights? The human rights to murder Jews? Don't the Jews have human rights? Are Jews human or not?

Article: <<Last night the deputy Israeli ambassador in London, Zvi Ravner, told the Guardian that he was amazed and disturbed by the AUT's decision.

"Are they really intending to boycott the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs who study and work in these institutions, or are they really calling for a boycott of Jews?" he asked.

"The last time that Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany." >>

They are really calling for a boycott of Jews and want to put the final solution into practice, since they are sorry that Hitler didn't finish the job.


Article: <<However, sources in the Palestinian Authority welcomed "a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people", and hoped that "more international groups will put pressure on Israel". >>

Of course they have reasons to welcome the gesture: they are being given support to fulfill their desire of exterminating the Jews and destroying Israel.
by .
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 8:43 AM
British academic boycott passes
The Guardian reports that the UK's Association of University Teachers voted on Friday to pass a resolution boycotting academic contact with Haifa University and Bar Ilan University:
The boycott, which is now official union policy, will follow a plan prescribed by a group of 60 Palestinian academic and cultural bodies and non-governmental organisations, which calls for British academics to severe links with Israeli institutions but to exempt Israelis who speak out against their government's policies towards the Palestinians.

Douglas Davis has a fine rejoinder to this outrageous step.

Jpost coverage notes that the 'blitz procedure was timed, on the eve of Pessah, to exclude Jewish members from the conference...There was no opportunity for those who had planned on opposing the motions, such as executive member Alistair Hunter, to address the conference. '


http://backspin.typepad.com/backspin/2005/04/british_academi.html
by um
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 10:36 AM
The lists of hate crimes against Jews in France are informative. Unfortunately reporting on hate crimes seems to have become competative where it's a competition for victimhood with every group trying to show how they are the real victims and everyone else's pain doesn't matter. There are hundred of hate crims in every European country against minority groups and it wold be nice if such crimes could be dealt with in totality rather than it always being an effort to pit minority groups against each other (overall in Europe the group that faces the most hate crimes and institutional racism are the Romani but since all lists of hate crimes are selectively chosen to make political points one rarely sees the size of that problem)

If you look through the list of hate crimes against all groups you end up with certain patterns:
-There are hate crimes that consist of hatred towards Jews for the actions of Israel (graffitti with proPalestinian words mixed with calls of death to jews)
-There are hate crimes by neoNazi groups that hate both Jews and ARabs and Muslism
-There are traditional antiSemitic conspiracy theories and stereotypes that make their way into academia and the newsmedia. Some of this makes use of Israel to question Jewish loyalty to the local state.
-There is institutional discrimination against minority religions (like the French law that bans both thead scarfs and yarmulkes )
-There is antiMuslim conspiracy theories that seek to demonize many innocent peopel of being terrorists (and these make their ways into immigration policies and other laws)
-There is a growing antiImmigrant movement (somewhat tied to NeoNazis) that seeks to portray minorty groups as criminals (in Franc most of the focus of such racism is on N Africans). Somehow this form of racism also is used against Romani who have been in Europe for hundreds of years.
...

The ban on lectureres from Israel might fit into the category of antiSemitism growing out of traditional conspiracy theories but if you actually read the statements of the UK's Association of University Teachers one doesnt see too much use of any such thing. You can argue its selective but if you take as motive that a boycott of academics make most sense if you disagree with a policy of a democracy (since boycotting academics in a nonDemocratic country is rather pointles and you would instead want to boycott state industries ...) I cant think of too many other cases where you would see such a boycott being applicable (aside from Serbia during the Yugoslav war, S Africa under aparthied and the US or UK because of the current war in Iraq)

The point of listing the types of hate crimes is to point out that its different groups to blame for each type of antiSemitism and racism and that associating hate crimes in France by minority groups angry about the treatment of Palestinians to a ststement by British academics is comparing apples and oranges. Does the left in Europe ignore antiSemitism among minority groups? Maybe, but its a hard issue for the white left to deal with if racism by the mainstream against minorities is a much larger and more dangerous problem with the treatment of Arabs and Muslims in Europe being very similar to institutional racism against African Americans in the US. To focus exclusively on antiSemitism by minorities would be akin to picking some random crime statistic and listing all the cases where such a crime was comitted by Jews and then treating the list as evidence of a problem of crime by Jews rather than a problem of antiSemitism in the selective choice of who to focus on.
by um
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 12:08 PM
Selective use of crime statistics to demonize minorities can occur on purpose (only hate crimes by Muslism in France are listed and those by white neoNazis are ignored since it doesnt serve the same political purpose) or it can be more subtle. If a group of Arab youth in France attacks a Jewish youth it may get listed as a hate crime whereas the same incident by white youth wouldnt and would just get listed as youth violence since people read antiSemitism into the violence by Arab youth but not into violence by white youth.

The above lists seems overtly racist in that there have been white neoNazi atacks and graffitti of swastikas and the like without evidence they were by Arab or Muslim youth in France duing the same period as the hate crimes listed yet they are not listed since the ethnicity of the attacker is part of the focus of the list. The point made by selective listing of hate crimes is in some ways itself a form of hate speech in that it plays to the antiimmigrant far right banter about crime by immigrant youth. AntiSemitism in Europe is a problem and antiSemitism exists among Arabs and Muslims but to focus attention specifically on an oppressed minority group that is under attack and ignore antiSemitism by more priveliged groups suggests some other motive aside from concern over antiSemitism. In the case of France, concern over hate crimes by minority youth was something that gave notorious antiSemite Le Pen more votes in the last election since viewed as a law and order issue where crime is skapegoated on those who are not ethnically French, accusations of antiSemitism become more useful in giving power to a man who has praised Hitler than really helping to deal with antiSemitism in French society (where the older European conspiracy theories still exist and are quite different from the hate crimes by Arab youth that are always focused on).
by Critical Thinker
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 12:41 PM
As you'll see from the facts presented in the following report, much of the reasoning for the two boycotts is baseless.

Note especially the statement by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh who heads the Al-Quds University in E. Jerusalem, "we are informed by the principle that we should seek to win Israelis over to our side, not to win against them," said the university, which is headed by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh.

"Therefore...we believe it is in our interest to build bridges, not walls; to reach out to the Israeli academic institutions, not to impose another restriction or dialogue-block on ourselves."

Would Sue Blackwell and her ilk have imagined Palestinian academic Dr. Nusseibah's reaction to her racist, irrational and ill thought pet issue?

**************

Haifa, Bar Ilan slam academic boycott
By AP AND TALYA HALKIN

Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities targeted in a boycott by Britain's biggest university teachers' union condemned the decision on Monday, calling it shameful and a blow to academic freedom.

University officials said they did not expect the boycott call by the 40,000-member Association of University Teachers to have any immediate effect.

Nonetheless, they said they would fight the decision and called on the worldwide academic community to reject it.

(To read what JPost readers have to say about the AUT boycott, click here)

"This is a very unbalanced decision ... basically a shameful decision," said Bar-Ilan's president, Moshe Kaveh. "In academic spheres, one should not interfere between academic activity and research, and political decisions."

The union, which approved the decision at its annual conference on Friday, said the two Israeli universities had undermined Palestinian rights and academic freedom. It said it would soon issue guidance to its members on what the boycott would forbid.

Haifa University Vice President Ada Spitzer said she didn't expect the boycott to immediately effect academic collaboration.

"It's more symbolic than actual damage," she said. Still, she called it "an important symbolic act," since it is the first time an Israeli university has been subject to a boycott. "They are erecting a barrier to academic freedom," she said.

The British union said it targeted Bar-Ilan University for its links to the College of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Jewish AUT members have begun to secede from the union, and calls for mass resignations have been issued.

In addition, Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem also came out against the academic boycott of Israel.

"We are informed by the principle that we should seek to win Israelis over to our side, not to win against them," said the university, which is headed by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh.

"Therefore...we believe it is in our interest to build bridges, not walls; to reach out to the Israeli academic institutions, not to impose another restriction or dialogue-block on ourselves."

The AUT also accused Haifa University of threatening to fire an Israeli political science lecturer for supporting a student's research into allegations of killings by IDF troops.

Both universities on Monday said many elements of the allegations are false.

Kaveh said Bar-Ilan helps supervise standards of the college of Ariel, which awards a joint degree with Bar-Ilan, but that the 22-year-old West Bank college is largely autonomous and on the way to full independence. "We were like an incubator," he said.

Kaveh, a physics lecturer at Cambridge University for 35 years, said he is planning on doing research in Britain this summer and already has been assured by British colleagues that they would not honor the boycott.

Haifa University officials said they were baffled by the boycott call, saying it was based on an erroneous understanding of a dispute over a 5-year-old master's thesis.

In the thesis, the student claimed he had uncovered evidence that Israeli soldiers massacred 200 Palestinians during the 1948 war for Israel's independence. The university rejected the thesis after investigating the allegations and concluding the student had fabricated or distorted much of his evidence.


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1114395823246
by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 1:00 PM
Um:

<<Selective use of crime statistics to demonize minorities can occur on purpose (only hate crimes by Muslism in France are listed and those by white neoNazis are ignored since it doesnt serve the same political purpose) or it can be more subtle. If a group of Arab youth in France attacks a Jewish youth>>

It is not only Muslims who attack Jews. And it is true that this list only informs of attacks against Jews, and that sometimes Muslims are also attacked.

However, I have never heard of jews attacking Arabs. As for the rate of attacks against Muslims is about a fourth the attacks against Jews.

Another point is the attitude of people in the face of attacks against Jews. I remember that once (I think it was in the aftermath of the S-11) a Jewish cemetery was desecrated in France. First it was thought the authors were neo-Nazi and there was a huge rally protesting against the attack. Later it was known that the authors had been Muslims. From them on, the people pretend not to know.

As for attacks against Muslims, I think the reason is not that they are Muslim, but a different one. Perhaps this has nothing to do with the matter we are discussing here. But if you want I can tell you. I guess the situation here is not the same as in the US. Now I only tell you that Jews in Europe cause no trouble, while many Muslims do.

Perhaps it is hard for you to believe that those people are attacked because they are Jewish, but this is what happens.

It is not a coincidence that most of the people writing about anti-Semitism are French intelectuals, because the problem is very serious in France.

For some time, the French government was refusing to admit what was going on in their country. At last, they had no way but to admit it and it seems they have began making steps to solve the problem.

We should think about something else : Muslims are not leaving Europe in general or France in particular. On the contrary, there are more and more. While many Jews have left France and moved to Israel. How do you explain this?
by um
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 11:21 PM
"However, I have never heard of jews attacking Arabs. As for the rate of attacks against Muslims is about a fourth the attacks against Jews."

That rpobably depends on teh ocuntry but teh level of violence in minority housing projects in France would suggest that this is highly unlikely there or any in other European country. Perhaps many crimes against minorities are never reported as hate crimes? I would guess the reason you have never heard of "jews attacking Arabs" is that its never reported as that since that would be antiSemitic since what point would there be in pointing out that a French youth who hate minorities happened to also be Jewish? Unfortunately the same isnt true when the reports are about Muslim youth since the ethnicity of the attacker is important for those whose agenda is to demonize minority groups that are seen as less French than the general population.
by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 11:27 PM

I was talking about France, where the problem looks more serious than in any other European country.
by Sefarad
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 11:50 PM

[My previous post escaped unfinished]

<<That rpobably depends on teh ocuntry but teh level of violence in minority housing projects in France would suggest that this is highly unlikely there or any in other European country.>>

Yes, it depends on the country but that book I took my account from is only about France.

<<Perhaps many crimes against minorities are never reported as hate crimes? >>

Yes, they are reported, but they are never so frequent as those against Jews.

As I said, the French authorities have had no way but to admit anti-Judaism is a serious problem, and many Jews have left the country.

<<I would guess the reason you have never heard of "jews attacking Arabs" is that its never reported as that since that would be antiSemitic since what point would there be in pointing out that a French youth who hate minorities happened to also be Jewish?>>

If Jews attacked Muslims, I am convinced we would be informed once and again.


<<Unfortunately the same isnt true when the reports are about Muslim youth since the ethnicity of the attacker is important for those whose agenda is to demonize minority groups that are seen as less French than the general population.>>

I said to you that Jews cause no problem, while many Muslims do. And, believe it or not, a part problem is that it is politically incorrect to state that a Muslim committed a crime.



by Critical Thinker
Tuesday Apr 26th, 2005 5:31 AM
I once read a report about young members one Jewish vigilante group, probably linked to JDL-France, that clashed with Arabs in the vicinity of what I believe was a Parisian airport. If memory serves, those Jews charged at the Arabs as the latter were about to attack them.
It may very well be that members of JDL-France and/or similar organizations or even the odd lone individual Jew have initiated some more attacks on Muslims and at least some of these might be rightly considered hate crimes, but they must be quite few and far between, so this phenomenon registers as marginal in the sum total of things.

You're seem to be positing that young Muslims committing hate crimes tend to be get their religion mentioned frequently as part of an anti-Muslim agenda whereas the religion of Jews perpetrating anti-Muslim hate crimes is very often omitted. But the case you're making here is less than solid judging by what has actually occurred so far.
by gehrig
Tuesday Apr 26th, 2005 6:07 AM
um: "Gerhrig. Its not generic across all fundamentalist groups but Pat Robertson and the 700 cub focus a lot of energy on Israel and make statements about the Gaza pullout being horrible and inhumane."

I checked your links and none of them mentioned the anti-Semitism you claim the Christian Coalition "loves yelling about." They do all show Pat Robertson being more right-wing than Sharon, which ain't good, but they don't have him shouting that it's antisemitic to disagree with him about Israel.

What I'm wondering, again, is whether the Christian Coalition really _does_ "love to" use that argument, or whether it's something that gets conveniently attributed to them by anti-Zionists. It's been my experience that pro-Israel folks who _don't_ say "it's always antisemitic to criticize Israel" are constantly told by anti-Zionists that they _do_ say it anyway. I'm just wondering whether the Christian Coalition -- which I regard by and large as malignant and aiming at destroying the Constitution -- gets hit with the same groundless accusation.

@%<
by Joe
Tuesday Apr 26th, 2005 6:48 AM
the person nicknamed "um" said: "I would guess the reason you have never heard of "jews attacking Arabs" is that its never reported as that since that would be antiSemitic"

"um" is a moron, and his distorted bullshit that it would be called "antisemitic" if that happened is idiotic. Yet another anti-israel person distorts/exaggerates the useage of "antisemitic" in a sarcastic way.

by David Aaronovitch
Tuesday Apr 26th, 2005 1:05 PM
Why Israel will always be vilified

It is convenient for many British liberals that Israel exists. It saves them from examining the manifest failings in their own actions

David Aaronovitch
Sunday April 24, 2005
The Observer

Last Friday saw two examples of intelligent people behaving in a futile way. The first was the decision by the US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, to seek the death penalty for would-be suicide terrorist, Zacharias Moussaoui. Not only does such a sentence confer on Moussaoui precisely the heroic end that he was seeking (did Gonzales never read Brer Rabbit?), but it would also deprive the authorities of a potentially valuable source of information and psychological insight. All it does is make some Americans feel better.
And then there was the decision of the Association of University Teachers council in Eastbourne to boycott two (perhaps three) Israeli universities, the futility of which I now hope to prove.

Let us first look at the stated objectives of the boycott. What does it seek to achieve? The literature of the campaign suggests that these objectives, far from being focused, are many and nebulous. They are, according to the motion's prime mover, Sue Blackwell of the English Department of Birmingham University, variously to 'add to the pressure on the country's economy and dent its international prestige'; to send a 'message of support to students and colleagues in Palestine'; and to act as 'consciousness-raising' for British academics who, through the boycott, can be brought to realise how the world really is. A sort of speculum for their hidden political organs.

The boycott seems also to be simultaneously aimed at the Israeli system in toto, and at the specific misdeeds of particular institutions - Haifa University for political censorship, Bar-Ilan for having relations with the illegal settlements on the West Bank, and the Hebrew University for pulling down Arab houses to build student dormitories. The AUT executive is 'investigating' this last accusation, but the scope of these targets probably reflects the campaigners' need to maximise support for their motion.

So, according to the disclosed agenda, somehow or other, the boycott will make Israeli academics think again about their support for the system, thus strengthening the forces of progress and justice. It will make Palestinians feel better, it will make Sue Blackwell feel better, it will help.

But will it? On Friday morning, the participants in the council meeting may have read an article in the Guardian by the progressive Israeli writer, Etgar Keret. He recalled how the Manchester academic, Mona Baker, sacked his translator, Miriam Schlesinger, from the board of Baker's journal, the Translator. Keret reflected on the irony. Schlesinger was the former head of Amnesty International in Israel, as well as being a peace activist. Keret added: 'Baker was not the first to call for a boycott of [Miriam's] academic work. Israeli right wingers had been irked by her signature on some petition and had called upon students at Israeli universities to refrain from attending classes given by her and others of her ilk.'

If the AUT delegates read Keret's appeal, just over half of them ignored it. And now, if they have their way, the Schlesingers of this world will be routinely boycotted unless, according to the terms of the motion, they show sufficient individual zeal in the cause of justice of the Palestinians. Sufficient zeal as judged by whom? We have no idea.

Meanwhile, back in Israel, you can easily imagine whose position is strengthened by the AUT boycott. And it isn't that of the academics most sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Look at the Europeans! Once again, they have singled Israel out for special treatment! Who can we trust but ourselves? In the United States, far more important to Israel than we will ever be, it will add grist to the arguments of those who want to support Israel at all hazards and under all circumstances.

So why do something so obviously counterproductive? The AUT delegates will have been reminded of the intolerable conditions of many of those living under Israeli occupation. They will have felt the emotional tug of those stories of checkpoint humiliations, collective punishments and the shooting of civilians. They'll have seen pictures of the wall. The motion may make them feel better. Warmer.

After the vote had been won, Blackwell, a former Christian fundamentalist turned revolutionary socialist, told the press how glad she was to be part of a union that was 'prepared to stand up for human rights'. The problem here, as she will have realised, is that if the AUT was to boycott places with bad human rights records, there'd be a whole lot of boycottin' goin' on. She has tried in the past to finesse this difficulty, at one point arguing: 'You cannot talk about academic freedom and free debate in Israel in the same way you can talk about it in the UK, or in almost any other country in the world.'

This sunniness is rather obviously absurd. There is a significant level of academic freedom and debate in Israel, flawed though it may be, compared with much of the rest of the world. Take just one country, Tunisia, which has a run-of-the-mill torturing authoritarian regime and no debate in its universities at all. Yet it wouldn't surprise me if many academics at Birmingham University have holidayed there, completely unhindered by Sue Blackwell. And then, of course, there's China.

No, Israel's universities are not bad and Israel's human rights record is no worse than that of many other countries. So, inevitably, the tack shifts. Israel's universities are intrinsically racist, according to Blackwell, with 'Israeli academics routinely implicated in racist discourses against Arab students and Arabs in general'.

And that's because there is something utterly unique about Israel itself, which marks it out from the merely abusive North Koreas and Irans. It has become an apartheid state, as South Africa was. And it, therefore, should be treated in the same way, with boycotts and disinvestments.

This is a genuinely, grade-A stupid argument, whether it emanates from the lips of Professor Steven Rose or the more sacred ones of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In itself, Israel is not anything like South Africa, where a majority was denied all political and civic rights on the grounds of race. What is analogous, however, is Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, which bears comparison with South Africa's occupation of Namibia or, some might say, Serbia's occupation of Kosovo.

So the object of those wanting peace and justice in the Middle East is to bring about an end to that occupation, and enable the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. It is to persuade both sides that such a settlement is practical and to persuade both sides to make the difficult sacrifices that are necessary. It is to build confidence between Jews and Palestinians, and to strengthen, always, the hand of the peacemakers.

Unless, of course, you don't believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state at all within any borders. And this, as it happens, seems to be the view of Sue Blackwell, who describes Israel as 'an illegitimate state'. Unlike the United Nations, she does not believe it should have been set up and she would rather it disappeared. As she pointed out in 2003 to a previous AUT council: 'From its very inception, the state of Israel has attracted international condemnation for violating the human rights of the Palestinian people and making war on its neighbours.' Or, to put it even more bluntly, everything is all the fault of the Israelis.

The problem is that many Jews understand very well that this is her view and, unfortunately, will believe that it is also the view of all her fellow campaigners. Consequently, there will now be a battle royal (of which this article is part) about the rights and wrongs of these particular tactics, and the bigger picture will inevitably be lost. Everyone will return to their trenches and take the tarpaulins off their heaviest and most inaccurate artillery.

However, there may be a saving grace. Two years ago, Blackwell predicted that Tony Blair would be ousted at the next general election over Iraq. But if not: 'Then it may well be time for international pressure to be brought to bear, since the British electorate will have failed in their moral duty'.

So, one last reason, perhaps, to vote Labour on Thursday week. To enjoy the sight of Sue Blackwell busily boycotting herself.
by Some Possible Good News
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 11:48 AM
Apr. 29, 2005 20:24
AUT boycott of Israel may be overturned

By YAAKOV LAPPIN

The backlash to the AUT's decision to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities has continued to gain pace this week, as further protests, resignations, and calls for a national emergency session to overturn the boycotts have been issued, denting chances that the boycott resolutions will survive long enough to be implemented.

Chris Fox, lecturer in Computer Science at Essex University, told The Jerusalem Post that the 25 signatures by AUT local association members required to submit a motion calling for the repeal of the boycott resolutions are being collected. The motion would be heard in an emergency national meeting, and Fox has said that if the executive failed to call such a meeting, the AUT could expect further resignations.

"I will be resigning in the next few days if the national executive of the union fails to indicate an intention to act directly to reconsider or rescind the boycott," said Fox, adding that "many people here have resigned from the union."

The first academics to resign from the AUT, Shalom Lappin and Jonathan Ginzburg, have circulated an open letter calling on members to join them in breaking away from the union. "For the past several years an ugly campaign of anti-Jewish provocation has been building on the margins of the Israel hate-fest that the boycott supporters have been promoting on campuses throughout the UK," they said in the letter.

"There comes a time when an organization discredits itself to the point that it can no longer be taken to stand for the values that it purports to represent. When this point is reached, one has no alternative but to disassociate oneself from it."

A letter from the New York Academy of Sciences told the AUT that its resolution, "by selecting individuals and universities for boycott, is a very clear reminder of 'McCarthy-like' tactics of accusation."

The letter concluded: "We call upon the AUT to take immediate steps to rescind their regressive vote and join forward-looking academics the world over in voting for cooperation and not boycott."

Author and columnist Howard Jacobson said that the boycotts underlined the fact that "Anti-Zionism is, after all, anti-Semitism."

Jacobson said that "For Sue Blackwell, the argument of history is only circular anyway. It is no defense of Israel that it has had to fight against being driven into the sea, because the sea, in her view, is where it belongs." Howard also said that Sue Blackwell's "feverishly pro-Palestinian Web site is under investigation by a Common's Committee [for] possible links with a site blaming Jews for 9/11." Blackwell later said that her Web site had included the link "inadvertently."

"Anti-Zionism, now, is anti-Semitic because by the actions of its members the Association of University Teachers has made it so," said Jacobson.

Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, of the Middle East Center at St. Anthony's College at Oxford University, has written to AUT general secretary Sally Hunt requesting to be included in the boycott.

"Oaths of political loyalty do not belong to academia. They belong to illiberal minds and repressive regimes," wrote Ottolenghi. "Based on this," he continued, "the AUT's definition of academic freedom is the freedom to agree with its views only. Given the circumstances, I wish to express in no uncertain terms my unconditional and undivided solidarity with both universities and their faculties. I know many people, both at Haifa University and at Bar Ilan University, of different political persuasion and from different walks of life. The diversity of those faculties reflects the authentic spirit of academia. The AUT invitation to boycott them betrays that spirit because it advocates a uniformity of views, under pain of boycott."

"In solidarity with my colleagues and as a symbolic gesture to defend the spirit of a free academia, I wish to be added to the boycott blacklist. Please include me. I hope that other colleagues of all political persuasions will join me," said Ottolenghi.

Sue Blackwell, the Birmingham University lecturer who tabled boycott motions, has posted a triumphant message on her Web site, entitled: "Victory to the academic intifada!"

Underneath a photograph of herself wearing a dress made from the Palestinian flag, and flashing a victory sign, the lecturer told readers: "Yes folks, we won."
by Let's have respect OK?
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 2:43 PM
Let us pray for the children of Palestine, may God watch over them. They have suffered long enough.
by Critical Thinker
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 2:52 PM
Why don't you enjoin everybody to pray for both Israeli and Palestinian children rather than only the latter? I'd think that would be a consequence of real respect.



by gehrig
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 4:02 PM
It's a pity that this was what it took to wake up the rank and file to what their leadership was up to.

It'll be interesting to see how quickly this decision gets overturned.

@%<
by Critical Thinker
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 4:21 PM
since they accepted the unanswered orations by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin with acclamation. The problem therefore is more complex. A revocation of the resolution and a shift in AUT leadership won't necessarily suffice as the solution.

by we are lost
Friday Apr 29th, 2005 6:02 PM


Julius Caesar has crossed

The Rubicon is crossed

We are lost,

The republic is lost

The Zionists have taken our Republic

We are lost.
by More Good News, I hope
Monday May 2nd, 2005 12:05 PM
Opposition to AUT snowballs and boycott may be overturned

By Tamara Traubman

The controversial decision by Britain's Association of University Teachers (AUT), to boycott Bar-Ilan and Haifa universities, may be annulled before it actually takes effect. Members of the association who oppose the boycott are attempting to collect 25 signatures of AUT's council to force a special meeting that will overturn the decision.

One of the teachers behind this move, Dr. David Hirsh, said in a telephone interview from London University's Goldsmith College, that four to five signatures have been collected: "The call went out only on Wednesday. It is still early," he said, adding that he is convinced the remainder will be collected in the coming days. According to AUT rules, if 25 council members sign an official request for a second discussion, the association's president may summon a special meeting of the council.

Hirsh, a sociologist, says he supports a Palestinian state, but opposes an academic boycott. "Israel is not `illegitimate,' as South African apartheid was. Occupation is illegitimate - not Israel itself."

A week has passed since the AUT's annual convention in Eastbourne, where the association voted on the boycott. Bar-Ilan University was targetted due to its support of the College of Judea and Samaria in the settlement of Ariel, and Haifa was boycotted because the university victimized "academic staff and students who seek to research and discuss the history of the founding of the State of Israel." The latter clause refers mainly to Dr. Ilan Pappe, a post-Zionist historian from Haifa University. The decision exempts from the boycott academics and intellectuals who oppose "their state's colonialist and racist policies."

The AUT decision has aroused tremendous opposition, both in Israel and in England. Members of AUT said opponents of the boycott were not permitted to speak at the discussion, and the decision was taken without requesting the universities' response. In addition, doubts were raised about the legality of the decision. The past week was rife with anti-boycott activity: several lecturers resigned from the association in protest; faculty members, rectors, university presidents, and not only from Bar-Ilan and Haifa universities, asked British colleagues not to join the boycott, and to persuade others to reject it; and Jewish organizations in Britain, such as "Academic Friends for Israel," lobbied extensively to have the boycott annulled. In London, a Times editorial harshly condemned the decision, and university intranet and internet - the new arena for political warfare - is overflowing with condemnations and a variety of strategic proposals to counter the decision.

Michael Green of Cambridge University, one of the world's leading physicists, is one of the members who resigned from AUT. "I would condemn many actions of Israel's government," Green told Haaretz, "but (a boycott) contradicts academic freedom." He called the decision "outrageous," saying it exceeded the agenda of a trade union. "Why is such a step taken against Israel, and not applied to many places in the world, such as Russia, for its policy in Chechnya?" Green said three or four other people told him they would resign from AUT as a result of the boycott.

Dr. Jonathan Ginzburg, an Israeli lecturer at London's Kings College, and Prof. Shalom Lapin, a Jewish faculty member at Kings, announced their resignation from AUT earlier this week. Both were active in preventing an academic boycott of Israel that the AUT proposed in 2003. "There is a lot of anger about this decision," Ginzburg told Haaretz. "Many delegates voted without learning what was the position of their local branch members." Lapin and Ginzburg say another five lecturers plan to resign from AUT and others are considering the move.

A key figure behind the boycott is Dr. Sue Blackwell from Birmingham University. As an academic she specializes in language and gender issues, speech development in children and legal language. As an activist she is the local representative of AUT and campaigns against the war in Iraq, against Israel's policies and against racism. ("Whenever the British National Party stands for elections in Birmingham, you will find me campaigning against them on the street and reminding voters of the horrors of the Holocaust", Blackwell says.)

AUT's decision, which was taken last Friday, has been in the pipeline for two years. Blackwell and other teachers had attempted to pass a general academic boycott of Israel, a move that failed. However a series of other decision were taken, including the condemnation of human rights violations in the occupied territories, and the decision that anti-Zionism is not equivalent to Anti-Semitism, as well as a condemnation of "the witch-hunt against colleagues who take part in the academic boycott of Israel."

In December 2004 London University held a conference about boycotting Israel, with the participation of British and Palestinians academics and one Israeli (Dr. Pappe). In the interim some 60 Palestinian cultural, labor, and academic organizations called for an academic boycott of Israel, a step which provided encouragement for the British initiative.

Following the conference, Blackwell told Haaretz this week, "I thought that instead of submitting a general proposal, let's focus on several Israeli academic institutions and specify how they contribute to the occupation."

The Israeli universities said the organizers of the boycott did not ask them for their position or seek clarification about the accusations against them. The rector of Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Yosef Yeshurun, wrote to the AUT explaining his argument against the boycott and asked the association to allow Prof. Mina Teicher, who served as deputy president for research at Bar-Ilan, to present the university's position. AUT sent a polite letter of refusal, saying the meeting was members only , and suggesting that Yeshurun send his position in writing. Yeshurun did not acquiesce to this. However, at the meeting itself, members who wished to voice their opposition to the boycott were not able to, on the grounds that there was no time.

In response to questions from Haaretz, an AUT spokesman said that it was refraining from comment at the moment. The decision raises difficult questions. For example, why could opponents not express their view? Why were the universities themselves not approached for their explanations? The boycott exempts lecturers who oppose Israel's policy - how will this be verified? Will Israelis submitting articles to British journals be asked to sign a declaration? Bar-Ilan's sponsorship of the College of Judea and Samaria is now limited only to 200 students, enrolled in the teacher's training program, and after this year this unit will operate independently, based on a directive by Israel's Council for Higher Education. Will the boycott expire in a few months at the end of the academic year?

by gehrig
Sunday May 8th, 2005 11:12 AM
An open letter from Sue Blackwell et al to the folks at Engage -- the organization leading the effort to overturn the boycott -- is posted on the Engage site, along with a long response.

It's worthwhile looking over the Engage site, if only to dispell the convenient illusion that Blackwell et al represent anything like the mainstream. The site also demonstrates how Israeli-Palestinian academic engagement is a far more powerful road to peace than arbitrary, one-sided boycotts.

Mark your calendar, folks -- the decision is very likely to be overturned on May 26, even before it could be implemented.

@%<
by thought she wasn't a Nazi?
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 12:25 PM
The academic ban - Nazi connection
YAAKOV LAPPIN
JERUSALEM POST

LONDON

The Web site of Sue Blackwell, the Birmingham lecturer who presented motions calling for boycotts of Israeli universities, contains a recommended link to a Web site owned by an anti-Semitic neo-Nazi activist. Wendy Campbell, who owns the MarWen Media Web site, has promoted Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories discussing "unrivaled Jewish power," and maintains an additional Web site entitled "Exposing Israeli Apartheid," which is also linked by Blackwell.

MarWen Media, which is linked directly from Blackwell's Web site, advocates the views of Kevin Macdonald, an anti-Semitic pro-Nazi author, who has claimed Jews are responsible for a "breeding program" to conquer other "races."

Under the heading "Sue Blackwell's links on Israel and Palestine," Blackwell provides a link to the MarWen site, along with the following description: "MarWen Media offers the latest in groundbreaking documentaries, breaking through barriers and taboos that mainstream media – and even most alternative media do not venture." Blackwell writes that "the documentaries, mostly about Israel, Zionism, and Palestine, are by Wendy Campbell; see her other site, Exposing Israeli Apartheid."

Combining anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and vilification of Israel, Campbell writes: "It is no accident that Israeli 'security' is now the centerpiece of US foreign policy. How are the highly placed "friends of Israel" able to bamboozle so much of the world?"

She peddles Holocaust denial, saying, "It's a staggering fact that in numerous 'free, Western democracies' (such as Germany, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and others) it's a crime to question the official Jewish death toll figures or the gas chamber story in the events now called The Holocaust. Penalties include fines and actual imprisonment! Holocaust heretic Ernst Zundel was deported from the US to Canada where he spent two years in solitary confinement. Now he sits in a German prison. Who's next?"

MarWen Media offers a videotaped interview with Kevin MacDonald, accompanied by the following description: "Prof. Kevin MacDonald is the author of three groundbreaking books on Judaism, the most recent being The Culture of Critique. In it, MacDonald concludes that Jewish intellectual movements including Freudian psychology, Marxism (including other radical, Leftist politics), the Frankfurt School of Social Research, the New York intellectuals and others, including right-wing NeoConservatism, have all been designed to advance specifically Jewish interests – often at the expense of non-Jewish interests. MacDonald's incisive analyses offer an alternative view of western history and has the potential to change the course of major events still unfolding."

MacDonald is a pseudo-intellectual white supremacist,who claims that Jews have been practicing a "breeding" program "masked" as a Jewish religious code, in a sinister bid to subjugate the world, and holds that Jews are responsible for an impending "race war" in the US.

Blackwell, who was described by columnist David Aaronovitch as a "former Christian fundamentalist," has said on her Web page that "I do not include links to sites which promote either racism or terrorism. This has always been my policy and applies to all my 200+ Web pages, not just this one."

Her Web site is reported to be under a House of Commons Committee investigation for a previous link to a Web site blaming Jews for the 9/11 attacks.

Ronnie Fraser, chairman of the Academic Friends of Israel group, told The Jerusalem Post that he was "shocked but not surprised."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull
by gehrig
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 2:10 PM
Sue Blackwell has removed the links to Wehrmacht Wendy from her site. Seems she finally read them.

@%<
by Critical Thinker
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 5:04 PM
Haifa Uni. sends enraged letter to AUT
By TALYA HALKIN


The University of Haifa sent a letter Tuesday to the General-Secretary of the Association of University Teachers in Britain, Sally Hunt, informing her through its London-based law firm, Mishcon de Reya, that the university has been defamed by the boycott resolution passed against it by the AUT.

"At its annual Council Meeting held on April 20-22 2,005," the letter states, "the AUT passed a number of boycott resolutions aimed at Israeli academics and institutions. Among those was a resolution calling upon AUT members to boycott our client. The resolution received the most perfunctory debate, it was held at a time that made it impossible for most Jews to attend, requests for the rescheduling of the debate were refused, and no delegates were allowed to speak against the resolution."

The letter provides the AUT with the information the university would have provided it with had it been consulted prior to the resolution being put, and communicates the university's position that the AUT has played a role in disseminating defamatory allegations against the university.

Contrary to the accusations made against it by the AUT, the university maintains in its letter to the union's general-secretary that Dr. Ilan Pappe, a Haifa University faculty member, was never subject to disciplinary proceedings in relation to his support of a thesis by M.A. student Teddy Katz concerning an alleged 1948 massacre in the village of Tantura.

The university also denies any recriminations against Pappe due to his support for Katz and to his calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

Haifa University, the letter concludes, "is entitled to seek damages, a retraction, and an undertaking against further publication of the defamations."

The university will await the outcome of a special meeting to be held on May 26, in the hope that the delegates will vote to overturn the boycott.

"We reserve the right to take further legal action as we see fit," Haifa University President Aaron Ben Zeev told The Jerusalem Post.

"The university considers the AUT boycott vote a violation of ethical norms which constitutes slander, and we don not think we should stand still."

"This time," Ben Zeev said, "I hope that contrary to previous times, the AUT will pay attention to the facts."


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1115705339263
by gehrig
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 8:11 PM
This puts AUT in a _very_ awkward position. Libel law in the UK puts the burden of proof on the defendent -- that is, defamatory statements are presumed false under UK law. Should the university press action against the AUT, it would then be up to the AUT to prove legally in court that what it said about the University of Haifa is _true,_ which will be difficult given the fact that it rather obviously isn't.

In other words, should the University of Haifa decide to press its case, the AUT's only pragmatic decision will be to decide how much money it wants to throw at lawyers before admitting defeat.

I'll bet there are quite a few AUT members currently who rue the day they first heard the name "Sue Blackwell" and learned of her crusade.

Just to recap, here's the boycott news for Spring 2005:

(a) the Boycott Cat folks put up a shareholder proposal against Israel that was defeated by a thirty-to-one margin, shortly after which Caterpillar announced a record first quarter -- a "great symbolic victory" for the anti-Israel types;

(b) a grad student union group somewhere in Wisconsin voted to call on the University of Wisconson Board of Trustees to divest from companies doing business with Israel, but did so only _after_ the BOT had already declared it would do no such thing, so that the vote was pointless -- another "great symbolic victory" for the anti-Israel types;

(c) using the twin elements of surprise and parliamentary improprietry, the AUT has put itself into a position in which the organization it _thought_ it was targeting, the University of Haifa, may now at whim sue the AUT for everything it's got, and the AUT's only decision is whether or not the money is hemorrhaged to lawyers or to Zionists. Presumably another "great symbolic victory."

@%<
by blech
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 8:53 PM
Boycotting Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza seems like a reasonable goal as would a boycott of companies tied to Putin in Russia. Lets say a group of students or professors decided to boycott any company in Russia and any governmental group that seems to be using its influence to help Putin. Lets say one of the boycotted companies decided to sue saying Putin isnt corrupt and is proDemocratic. Apparently in the UK the boycotters are screwed since what is suggested in the commenst above, people who organize boycotts are (and should be) liable for defemation unless they can prove that what they believe is true (something difficuklt when it comes to world politics). Could a boycott of US businesses that donate to Republicans be sued if the claim was that the businesses back "the fascist administration of Bush"?

This would just be a free speach issue if it wasnt about Israel. If there is a perception that criticism of Israel is specially outlawed that can only lead to antiSemitism and conspiracy theories. Laughing at the powerless as you take revenge for their expression fo free speach is a pretty sure way to create enemies and irrational ones at that. If you disagree with a nonviolent protest the way to win the moral argument is to argue your case to the public not to a court of law or use instruments or power to show that the better arguments doesnt matter and all that matters is the one backed by those with power.

"the Boycott Cat folks put up a shareholder proposal against Israel that was defeated by a thirty-to-one margin, shortly after which Caterpillar announced a record first quarte"
The Caterpillar quotes above are pretty funny. Even in Israel the bulldozing of Palestinian houses is starting to be seen as illegal. If a small group of American supporters of Israel want to crow about how much they love bulldozing Palestinian houses and joke about how funny it was when Rachael Corrie died and how every time a Palestinian house gets bulldozed Caterpillar's stock price goes up since American consumers love to see nonWhite foreigners humiliated. Ultimately crowing about Caterpillar is dehumanizing your own side of the argument; Im sure many whites in the US south joked about fire hoses and police dogs as civil rights protesters were attacked but ultimately if you rejoice in your own ability to dehumanize innocent people you are helping create the moral outrage needed for the victory of those one whom you step.
by Critical Thinker
Wednesday May 11th, 2005 9:40 AM
>>>"This would just be a free speach issue if it wasnt about Israel."<<<

Says who? You, in this case. Apparently you're incapable of imagining this boycott being applied under the same or similar circumstances to, say, Chinese academia people and/or universities. What if a Chinese university then decided to threaten legal action against the AUT? You wouldn't be making this assertion unless you actually wanted to embarrass yourself.


>>>"If there is a perception that criticism of Israel is specially outlawed that can only lead to antiSemitism and conspiracy theories."<<<

What are you saying here, that boycotted Israeli universities and some of their staff members -- the very same institutions and individuals who've been singled out in a racist manner on trumped up grounds -- are responsible for people's perception worldwide? Is it their fault that Sue Blackwell and her ilk refuse to boycott also academic institutions from every other state that breaches human rights of populations living in their occupied or disputed territories (including the UK itself)? Seems like your conveying your own perception by vastly underestimating people's ability to analyze an actual situation reported in the media and reach valid conclusions and/or insights.
The real question is whether or not this whole AUT boycott is misrepresented by some media via reporters who mix their own anti-Israel bias into the frame, encouraging the very perception you profess to dread. Unfortunately, this alleged concern does have some merit given the extent of anti-Israel bias among Western reporters and others nowadays. This, however, cannot excuse the emergence of any potential conspiracy theories and antisemitic reactions. But if such reactions do occur, the blame rests partly at the feet of those reporters who helped foster them, but by no means at the feet of the injured parties -- Israeli universities and some of their staff members.


>>>"Laughing at the powerless as you take revenge for their expression fo free speach is a pretty sure way to create enemies and irrational ones at that."<<<

1. "Laughing" at the "powerless"? "Revenge"? Whatever.

2. A mere free speech issue? You mean the free speech of preventing the universities in question from defending themselves prior to the boycott decision, and preventing any dissenting voices within the AUT from speaking prior to the decision's passage, and the dirty trick of setting the date to Passover so that very few Jews if any would be there to voice any objections? Wasn't this a surefire way for Sue Blackwell & co. to create enemies? I gather you don't concur on wither of these.
Some notion of free speech you've got there.


>>>"If you disagree with a nonviolent protest the way to win the moral argument is to argue your case to the public not to a court of law or use instruments or power..."<<<

Obviously you're bent on overlooking the struggle in the public opinion arena that's gone on for some time now.
by gehrig
Wednesday May 11th, 2005 9:44 AM
Unfortunately for the boycotters, the text of the AUT resolution on Haifa made a number of quite specific claims in regard to Pappe that are demonstrably false. The full text of Haifa's reply is here:

http://liberoblog.com/2005/05/10/solicitors-letter-from-haifa-university-to-aut/

Whether or not AUT would have difficulty defending more general claims, it certainly can't defend these. It's just another way in which Sue Blackwell et al failed to think things through in their rush to take a smack at Israel. Freedom of speech does not include freedom to libel.

The way to change Israeli policy is through constructive engagement. Boycotts just make Israel go, "See? They're all against us. That's why we have to ignore them."

But Sue Blackwell has made it clear that on principle she doesn't accept constructive engagement, because she wants Israel to be gone. Her only acceptable solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one in which there is no longer an Israel. And her zeal has led not only her but her union to rush into a place where angels fear to tread.

And her miscalculation was that anyone who opposes Israeli policy would automatically support her boycott. This turns out to have been a major miscalculation on her part. Many of the statements I've read condemning the boycott have been quite clear in their opposition to Sharon and the occupation. But the pro-boycott bandwagon the Birmingham delegation was hoping for didn't arrive. Quite the opposite.

Here, by the way, is what Sue Blackwell's own university has to say about the boycott:

"The University of Birmingham is aware of the AUT vote to boycott two Israeli universities. The AUT is an independent trade union with its own views. These views are entirely independent of the University. The University is committed to the principles of academic freedom and the support of educational collaboration in the pursuit of knowledge through teaching and research. In pursuit of these principles, the University will not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

That's clear-mindedness. In the end, the pro-boycott folks will be worse than ineffective; they will actually have hurt their cause by demonstrating, in a little morality play played out in the headlines, that their viewpoint isn't as mainstream as they'd hoped.

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by gehrig
Wednesday May 11th, 2005 4:01 PM
">>>"If there is a perception that criticism of Israel is specially outlawed that can only lead to antiSemitism and conspiracy theories."<<<"

I guess I also have to comment on just how completely ass-backwards this is.

Blackwell et al came in which a resolution aimed only at Israel, not China about Tibet, not the US or UK over Iraq, not about Darfur, not about any number of other tragedies, but only Israel. One of the central grounds that the boycott is being opposed on is just how unbalanced it is. Even people deeply opposed to the occupation of the West Bank and deeply opposed to Sharon's policies in general say they can't support the boycott because it's such a case of special pleading.

So by all means let Israel be subject to criticism. But when it's singled out so blatantly for criticism like this, don't start muttering about how pointing out _how_ Israel has been singled out for criticism in this case will -- sotto voce -- lead to antisemitism and conspiracy theories.

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by gehrig
Thursday May 12th, 2005 2:56 PM
It's interesting to see how the vote is going at local associations. Apparently quite a few council members went to vote without knowing how their local association stood.

Now the local associations are discussing the boycott proposals and things are looking quite interesting.

Cambridge local association: 22-3 against the boycott

Oxford local association: 28-2 against the boycott

Essex and Sussex went, I believe, unanimously against the boycott.

I haven't found an overall scoreboard, and one can never be certain of these things, but I suspect we'll shortly be hearing that the boycott-that-died-before-it-was-even-born was actually a "great symbolic victory."

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by Sefarad
Thursday May 12th, 2005 2:58 PM

Sounds like good news.
by gehrig
Thursday May 12th, 2005 3:55 PM
I think it is good news, because -- among other things -- it shows that people really do recognize that there are two different kinds of criticism of Israel, and that the Israel-is-always-wrong Israel-is-the-root-of-all-evil Israel-must-be-eliminated Israel-is-the-worst-of-all kind should be shunned as exactly the bigotry it seems to be.

If Sue Blackwell was hoping her campaign would catch fire, it certainly has. It has ignited a firestorm against her.

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by Sefarad
Thursday May 12th, 2005 4:00 PM

I have seen signatures of scholars from all around the world protesting against one attempt of boycot similar to this one in 2003, if I remember.
by Sefarad
Thursday May 12th, 2005 4:09 PM
http://www.professors.org.il/petition/signatures.html#2
by Sefarad
Saturday May 14th, 2005 12:27 AM
The British anti-Jewish lobby of pseudo-academics inside the Association of University Teachers may be about to suffer a major setback. There are reports on Israel radio and elsewhere in the media that the AUT is about to reverse itself and cancel the boycott of two Israeli universities that the AUT's Hamas wing had managed to push through a few weeks back. We look forward to seeing these jihadniks goosestepping away with their tails between their legs.

In recent days the faculties of Oxford, Warwick and Sussex universities faculty rejected the boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan universities, which had been called for by Britain's Association of University Teachers. The New York Academy of Sciences denounced the AUT and said that its resolution, "by selecting individuals and universities for boycott, is a very clear reminder of 'McCarthy-like' tactics of accusation... We call upon the AUT to take immediate steps to rescind their regressive vote and join forward-looking academics the world over in voting for cooperation and not boycott."

Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, a world class researcher at the Middle East Center at St. Anthony's College at Oxford University, has written to AUT general-secretary requesting to be included in the boycott's proposed blacklist. "Oaths of political loyalty do not belong to academia. They belong to illiberal minds and repressive regimes," wrote Ottolenghi. One of the Israeli universities involved is threatening to file suit against the British AUT. British intellectuals are increasingly willing to denounce the boycott campaign as anti-Semitic. The notoriously anti-Israel School of Oriental and African Studies in London, which has been a major player in th eBash-the-Jews movement in Britain, may soon be facing legal penalties for its anti-Semitism.

http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/moonbatcentral/index.html

by gehrig
Saturday May 14th, 2005 8:28 AM
The battle -- apparently going quite well -- against the boycott is being organized, in large part, by these folks:

http://www.liberoblog.com

And this is an excellent source of information (one I'd certainly trust over the paranoids at "discoverthenetwork").

My understanding is that local associations that have repudiated the boycott include Oxford, Cambridge, Essex, Sussex, Reading, Warwick, and some others I can't remember at the moment.

I know of no local association voting to affirm the boycott.

This is loooking more and and mroe like a "great symbolic victory" every day.

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by Sefarad
Saturday May 14th, 2005 8:33 AM

Perhaps something good comes from a wrong.
by Sefarad
Saturday May 14th, 2005 2:06 PM
John Strawson, Reader in Law, UEL, makes a powerful argument against the boycott and provides an important insight into the mindset and worldview of the boycott proponents:

http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2005/05/09/against_the_aut_boycott_of_israeli_universities.php
by Sefarad
Sunday May 15th, 2005 12:30 AM
A US lawmaker asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to sever US ties with British schools that voted to boycott Israeli universities.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1116037299747&p=1078397702269

by gehrig
Monday May 16th, 2005 1:19 PM
No, Waxman's wrong on this. Don't fight academic boycotts with _more_ academic boycotts. Fight it with facts -- something that's being done quite successfully in this case.

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by Sefarad
Monday May 16th, 2005 1:23 PM

Perhaps you are right. But it can be useful to put more preassure.
by gehrig
Monday May 16th, 2005 5:08 PM
I think that the AUT is under all the pressure it needs to be, and that pressure is from its own outraged members appalled at the stunt their leadership has pulled.

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by Sefarad
Tuesday May 17th, 2005 6:11 AM
The ADL is collecting signatures for a letter asking to stop the boycott. I am looking for the ADL website to link it here.
by Sefarad
Tuesday May 17th, 2005 6:59 AM
I couldn't find the place where you have to sign, and I can now imagine why. I have already signed,anyway.
by gehrig
Tuesday May 17th, 2005 9:07 AM
There are several petitions, none of them with fewer than one thousand signatures, and one that's nearing twenty thousand.

Although many AUT local associations have now voted to rescind the boycott, there are still procedural reasons at the national level that may prevent the boycott from being rescinded.

Of course, given that the union leadership has already distorted procedures in order to prevent even one opponent of the boycotts from speaking to it, and given that the local councils are coming out overwhelmingly against the boycott, if the leadership distorts procedure again in order to prevent the boycott from being overturned, the union will find itself in crisis so deep that its current one looks like a slow ride in Disneyland by comparison.

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by gehrig
Tuesday May 17th, 2005 11:48 AM
Birmingham is among the many other local associations that have now voted down the boycott.

What's particularly interesting here is that Birmingham is the university whose members proposed the boycott in the first place! Sue Blackwell couldn't even carry her own university on this!

In other words, this is looking more and more like a total defeat for the boycotters.

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by Sefarad
Thursday May 19th, 2005 12:18 AM
A Diaspora grassroots movement organized by graduates of a Jewish Agency-run Israel Ambassadors program have already gathered close to 41,000 signatures of people calling to rescind an academic boycott against two Israeli universities.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1116383134172
by gehrig
Thursday May 19th, 2005 6:41 AM
The various local associations have now met and made their proposals for next week's meetings. What's particularly interesting is that _no one_ is asking for the boycott to be extended or even maintained. In fact, of the 31 proposals, only one even defends the concept of an Israeli boycott in principle.

In other words, once people in the AUT thought it through, and got past the anti-Zionist arglebargle and the rant-rant-RANT-RANT, they saw something quite different than the way Sue Blackwell et al described things.

http://www.aut.org.uk/circulars/html/la7636.html

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by gehrig
Thursday May 26th, 2005 9:19 AM
I've read two accounts, one of which says that the boycott was defeated by a 2-1 margin, and another that it was defeated by a 3-1 margin.

At any rate, the idea that there is union-wide support for the boycott of even a fraction of the universities of Israel has been shown to be a fantasy, and the initial decision to support a boycott (by a wafer-thin 96-92 margin) really was exactly the procedural gaffe it looked like.

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by Critical Thinker
Friday May 27th, 2005 6:16 AM
the Hebrew University in Jerusalem isn't out of the woods yet. A motion for its boycott might get voted on somewhere down the line so there's no excuse to rest on the laurels now. Instead, it may be prudent to start brainstorming how to preempt a new boycott.

by Dave
Friday May 27th, 2005 6:49 AM
It is interesting to me that the AUT has singled out Israel's academia for boycott. What about the Sudan, Yugoslavia, North Korea, or the USA for that matter. Anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism. The usual European fashionably left parlour Jew hatred, painted red this time. It'll be painted brown, black, or covered in some other flag next time. Shame on the AUT.
by gehrig
Friday May 27th, 2005 7:07 AM
I'm not sure, because I haven't yet seen the texts of the resolutions passed -- nor the margins they passed by -- but it's implied in the AUT's statement (http://www.aut.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1235) that they aren't about to pursue any more boycotts.

This is a victory of sanity over insanity. And the eradicate-Israel types at the "academic intifada" absolutely took it on the chin, by a wide, wide margin.

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by Electronic Intifada (repost)
Friday May 27th, 2005 8:27 AM
A boycott decision -- like that passed by Britain's Association of University Teachers to boycott two Israeli universities -- naturally raises a hue and cry among Israelis. Why us? And why now just when negotiations with the Palestinians might be renewed?

It may be worthwhile, however, to consider how the world perceives us. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel must immediately dismantle those parts of the wall that were built on Palestinian lands. We disregarded the ruling. We are turning the West Bank into a prison for Palestinians, as we have already done in Gaza in the course of 38 years of occupation, every one of which is a violation of UN resolutions. Since 1993 we have been engaged in negotiations with the Palestinians, and in the meantime, we have continued expanding settlements. In its judgement, the Court recommended to the UN that sanctions be imposed on Israel if its ruling is not obeyed. The Israeli reply: no need to worry! As long as the United States is behind us, the UN will do nothing.

In the eyes of the world, the question is what can be done when the relevant institutions do not succeed in enforcing international law? The boycott model is drawn from the past: South Africa also disregarded UN resolutions. At that time as well, the UN (under pressure from the United States), was reluctant to impose immediate sanctions. The South African boycott began as a grass roots movement initiated by individuals and independent organizations. It grew slowly but steadily until it finally became an absolute boycott of products, sport, culture, academia and tourism. South Africa was gradually forced to abrogate apartheid.

The international community is beginning to apply the same model to Israel in all domains, from the Caterpillar bulldozers that demolish Palestinian homes, to sports and culture. In the eyes of the international community, the relevant question is whether the Israeli Academy is entitled, on the basis of its actions, to be exempt from this general boycott. Many in the Israeli Academy oppose the occupation as individuals. But in practice, no Israeli university senate has ever passed a resolution condemning, for example, the closure of Palestinian universities. Even now, when the wall cuts off students and lecturers from their universities, the protest of the Academy is not heard. The British boycott is selective -- two universities were selected to signal to the Israeli Academy that it is being watched. But the Israeli Academy still has the option of removing itself from the cycle of passive support of the occupation.

One puzzle still remains: why only us? Why is Israel being singled out? What about Russia in Chechnya? What about the United States? What the United States did in Fallujah, no Israeli General has yet dared to try. Indeed, the logic behind a boycott of Israel dictates that a boycott of the great powers is fully justified. It is only because at the moment there is a greater likelihood of success in stopping a small state that Israel became the focus. Still, if an effort is made to save first the Palestinians and at least stop the wall, can we condemn that effort as unethical? Is it more ethical to refrain from trying to save anyone until it is possible to save everyone?

As usual, we believe that the solution lies in the realm of force. When the Valencia basketball team tried to boycott Israel in March 2004, and announced that it would not participate in the League Championship if it took place in Israel, the steamroller was set in motion. There were threats and there were mutterings about contracts, until Valencia was forced to relent and play here. Similarly, in the case of the academic boycott, the global Israeli lobby has tracked down, one by one, those who have declared support of the boycott, and have tried to make their lives miserable. The attempt by Haifa University to dismiss Dr Ilan Pappe in 2002 was not instigated because of the Teddy Katz affair, but because Dr Pappe openly supported the boycott and signed the original British petition calling for it.

It is possible that the bulldozer, which has come to symbolize Israel, will succeed in reversing the decision of the Association of University Teachers in England. But will this prevent researchers from boycotting us quietly, without involving the media? Perhaps it would be more worthwhile for the Israeli Academy to direct its anger at the government and demand that it finally put a stop to this wall.


Prof. Tanya Reinhart is a lecturer in linguistics, media and cultural studies at the Tel Aviv University. She is the author of several books, including Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948, from which this article was excerpted from an updated chapter. This article first appered in Yediot Aharonot on 13 April 2005 and was translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3879.shtml
by Critical Thinker
Friday May 27th, 2005 9:26 AM
I don't see why she should be regarded as a serious oracle to consult on the boycott issue.

Tanya resorts to soundbites like "prison" that evoke intense emotions. Another is "saving the Palestinians" which is a too ridiculous a refrain in this context to be taken seriously. The Palestinians most probably suffer the least human rights violations and certainly more benign ones, on average, than other populations under or affected by their enemy's military rule.

Nor would any serious observer buy into the equally ridiculous notion that "only because at the moment there is a greater likelihood of success in stopping a small state that Israel became the focus". Reinhart is just lying on Sue Blackwell's behalf. Blackwell simply didn't give a hoot about "stopping" other states. All she wanted was to single out Israel for harsh treatment. I wouldn't be astounded if she (Reinhart) also propagates claims of genocide against the Palestinians. Just reading her Uri Avneri scented nonsense waxing moralistic about ethical vs. unethical makes me giggle.

Moreover, it is not totally true that Israel has disregarded the July 2004 ICJ ruling on the security barrier. Much of its route has been altered since to meander less into Judea-Samaria. Obviously, any attempt to use the barrier to protect the residents of places like Ariel and Ma'ale Edumin -- even if every effort is made to ease the consequent burden on Palestinians -- is immoral for all she's concerned. Apparently she'd rather see people who just happen to be Jewish murdered in those places than risk Palestinian anger over compromised ability to earn a livelihood for some or expropriation of some Palestinian held land. In other words, the integrity of Palestinian property and prospects at a livelihood are preferable to the integrity of Jewish lives to her.

Also, she's banking on many of her readers' ignorance by implying there's one monolithic Israeli academia rather than one in which an amazing plurality and diversity of opinions and political persuasions reign.


>>>"no Israeli university senate has ever passed a resolution condemning, for example, the closure of Palestinian universities"<<<

Of course she's ignoring that the notion of academic freedom doesn't entitle any university to voluntarily serve breeding house and a base for terrorism.


>>>"Even now, when the wall cuts off students and lecturers from their universities, the protest of the Academy is not heard."<<<

No university anywhere is under the moral obligation to reach such a consensus on such matters.

Note how she exempts Palestinian universities from their abuse of the sacred academic freedom principle yet slams Israeli universities for their legitimate use -- even if by omission -- of their academic freedom.


>>>"The British boycott is selective -- two universities were selected to signal to the Israeli Academy that it is being watched."<<<

Nonsense. If anything, the boycotts signaled that Blackwell is intent on dismantling Israel.


Reinhart's misplaced charge that Israelis always believe the solution lies in forceful reactions is absurd as we know the entire manner in which the AUT boycott decision was passed was an anti-democratic and racist parade of force. Reinhart's complaint is just yet another display of the Israeli far-leftist "blame ourselves" self flagellation mentality, a variation of "blame the victim". She's pretending that boycotts of Israel have been instances of mere protest by the weak and meek. Israel is blamed for defending itself against boycotts; the offending, boycotting parties are never to be blamed for any transgression.


>>>"It is possible that the bulldozer, which has come to symbolize Israel, will succeed in reversing the decision of the Association of University Teachers in England. But will this prevent researchers from boycotting us quietly, without involving the media?"<<<

Probably not, Tanya. But how many are you talking here? And what makes you think none of them can be influenced to refrain from or reverse boycotting?


>>>"Perhaps it would be more worthwhile for the Israeli Academy to direct its anger at the government and demand that it finally put a stop to this wall.

Did you ever make demands or expectations of the Palestinian academia to ask the terrorists to cease terror and incitement?
by via gehrig
Friday May 27th, 2005 10:01 AM
http://liberoblog.com/2005/05/27/the-depths-of-the-moral-high-ground-david-m-seymour/

Following yesterday’s AUT decision to overturn the boycott against two Israeli Universities, Sue Blackwell was quoted by the BBC as saying, “We won the moral argument. They just won the vote.”

The first question to ask: what moral argument? If she means the treatment of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, then there is and was no argument. The injustices suffered by the Palestinians were the base line of virtually every single speech at yesterday’s meeting, pro- and anti- alike. Indeed, as a member supporting the boycott noted accurately, all were agreed on precisely that one point. So, what other moral argument can she be referring to; or, rather, what moral argument was present that was distinct from “the vote”. The boycott itself? If this was the case, then the argument would have to run something like this. We support the boycott morally, but we will vote against it legally! This reasoning is plainly nonsense. One of the reasons members of our union voted against the boycott (and, contrary to what one might have been led to think, there was no one determining reason for the overturning of the boycott), was their moral opposition and unease about the infringement of academic freedom (a freedom one of the speakers in support of the boycott referred to as a “nonsense”). Members, it is noted, voted against the boycott, not because they did not appreciate the plight of the Palestinians, as some speakers supporting the boycott inferred, but because they felt that the boycott was a moral wrong and counter-productive to end to be achieved.

It is also worth looking at the substance of the moral stance adopted by many, but, of course, not all, in the pro-boycott campaign and whether it is a “morality” with which many of us would care to identify. Speaker after speaker felt that their moral authority could be enhanced in a two-stage move; first, state their “Jewish” credentials and then, having done so, liken the Israeli state to that of nazi Germany. Let me take one example. Having informed us of the fact, but not the substance, of his conversation with his “Jewish mother in law” that morning over breakfast, one speaker evidently felt morally justified to imply that since the word Lebensraum could be found in late 19th century Zionist writings and the fact Hitler used the term as a justification of the mass killings in Poland, then the link between Israel and nazi Germany had been proved beyond doubt. Yet, in what was perhaps the most tasteless moment in the debate (and, let me state that some of the interventions from the pro-boycott debate were far more serious and thoughtful) was a pro-boycott speaker finishing his intervention with a quote from Primo Levi. Apart from the implicit antisemitism of likening Israel to nazism, it does a disservice to the cause of Palestinian justice through reliance on an argument that is empirically false, politically lazy and morally repulsive. But, as others have said, many in the pro-boycott campaign - but by no means all and probably not the vast majority - hate Israel more than they love the Palestinians (perhaps it is this notion of hatred that is the substance of the moral argument allegedly distinct from “technicality” of “just” winning the vote against boycotting Israeli universities.)

Many in the Trade Union movement attach a moral value to our respective colleagues alongside our political and social commitments. This morality leads us to treat our colleagues and comrades with the highest respect and dignity. This attachment was very much in evidence in the sincere thanks to those who ensured the environment in which meeting took place was both efficient and pleasant as well as the generosity of our members in offering financial donations in support of our colleagues at Brunel University. Apparently, however, this dignity and respect is not due to the vast majority of members of our Union who exercised their democratic right and challenged and overturned a policy adopted by their Union with which they not only disagreed but thought a thoroughly bad idea. Instead of being congratulated for their timely intervention in our Union’s policy-making, they are presented as either voting fodder:

“We are not surprised. We saw people who did not come to earlier meetings there and we knew what the outcome would be.” Stooges of a supposed “well-funded campaign”; and, finally, frightened and cowered weaklings, battered by the imposition of some “immense pressure” (Perhaps, that is what is meant by winning the “moral argument”; “knowing” that the vast majority of those voting did not really want to overturn the boycott but had their free-will destroyed by some shadowy external power).

Rather than rethinking their adherence to the use of a boycott as a means through which Palestinian justice can be achieved, some in the pro-boycott campaign retreat to the dank caves of moral high ground, muttering of conspiracies and dark cabals For the rest of us who were involved in the boycott campaign, either for or against, the difficult work has only just begun; work that not only has respect, dignity and justice as its end, but also as its means.

David M. Seymour
Lancaster University

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