Omar Barghouti, Tel Aviv student, on the university’s refusal to expel him

Omar Barghouti, a Tel Aviv University student who has called for academic boycott of Israeli schools, was the subject of a post on this site yesterday. I commended the TAU president's refusal to expel Barghouti despite pressure to do so. Barghouti is not so thrilled by the response; he feels it will blunt the campaign for boycott. I see these as separate issues. I believe there are many aspects of Israeli society that are emulable, including its discourse. But its treatment of the Palestinian minority (majority!) is ghastly, and so is worthy of boycott and sanction. Here is Omar Barghouti's statement:

Dear all,

As widely expected, TAU has issued an official statement confirming that they "cannot and will not" expel me based on my political views and activism.

The anti-boycott lobby will now jump to use this as a weapon in their increasingly desperate attempts to fend off the growing threat of academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions, arguing that these institutions respect the academic freedom "even" of boycott advocates.

Other than the evident trivialization of academic freedom implied in such a claim (ignoring all the arguments about suppression of real academic freedom in doing academic work on "problematic" topics, as Oren Ben-Dor, Ilan Pappe, Tanya Reinhart and many others have argued), it misses the point completely on why PACBI, BRICUP, USACBI, among many other small academic boycott groups in France, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Australia, South Africa, etc., have called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The well documented complicity of Israel's academic institutions in the state's colonial and racist policies remains THE main factor standing behind the boycott call. Whether TAU expels me or not, this compelling factor remains true. Expelling me would have added just a bit more fuel to an already blazing fire!

For one of the earliest refutation of the "academic freedom" argument against the boycott, see:

Omar

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine

{ 5 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Anthony says:

    To Phil and everyone else… if there is one article that you should read today, let it be this: ” target=”_blank”>http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/… Brilliant read.

  2. average US citizen says:

    Thanks, Anthony. Seems the romance is over. People vote out of marriage with their feet. Why do so many Israel lovers remain under the shelter of US goys when the whole point of Israel is the assumption every goy, Americans included, will stab them in the back at the first chance? Witty is only the most obvious–Chris's Stools are legion Whatever, I think the US goy population (97%) better start looking for insurance of its own–begin with noting the 5th Column here. This is not a new phenomena in the course of human (that is, not merely Jewish narrative of) history.

  3. Jacobwolfen says:

    Poor Omar Barghouti, he discovered that he is far more bigoted than the average Israeli.

  4. eli says:

    Don't expel him! SHoot him!

  5. aaron says:

    Actually, the better watchgog group that exposes and outs Israeli extremist anti-Israel "academics is here: ” target=”_blank”>http://www.isracampus.org.il