Three university presidents issue statements against boycott

Israel/Palestine
on 47 Comments
Wallace Loh

Wallace Loh

Last week’s American Studies Association’s vote in favor of academic boycott of Israel has unleashed a backlash. University execs are lining up to disavow the idea.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust’s statement is remarkably terse:

Academic boycotts subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars. The recent resolution of the ASA proposing to boycott Israeli universities represents a direct threat to these ideals, ideals which universities and scholarly associations should be dedicated to defend.

That was the whole thing. The president of Wesleyan University has a lot more to say. Michael Roth writes in the LATimes, as a Jew. Excerpts:

The ASA has not gone on record against universities in any other country: not against those that enforce laws against homosexuality, not against those that have rejected freedom of speech, not against those that systematically restrict access to higher education by race, religion or gender. No, the ASA listens to civil society only when it speaks against Israel. As its scholarly president declared, “One has to start somewhere.” Not in North Korea, not in Russia or Zimbabwe or China — one has to start with Israel. Really?

…As a Jew, I have argued against the policies of the current Israeli government, many of which I find abhorrent.

Boycotts don’t serve these debates; they seek to cut them off by declaring certain academic institutions and their faculty off-limits….

As president of Wesleyan, and as a historian, I deplore this politically retrograde resolution of the American Studies Assn. Under the guise of phony progressivism, the group has initiated an irresponsible attack on academic freedom. Others in academia should reject this call for an academic boycott.

I’d point out that the discussion Roth says he seeks is only happening because of this vote. So the vote has already been effective in raising consciousness about abuses (kind of like Obama catching up to Snowden, and saying (implausibly), we were going to have this debate).

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh and his provost come out firmly against boycott.

We firmly oppose the call by some academic associations—American Studies Association; Asian-American Studies Association—to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Any such boycott is a breach of the principle of academic freedom that undergirds the University of Maryland and, indeed, all of American higher education.

Faculty, students, and staff on our campus must remain free to study, do research, and participate in meetings with colleagues from around the globe. The University of Maryland has longstanding relationships with several Israeli universities. We have many exchanges of scholars and students. We will continue and deepen these relationships.

In the United States, we can disagree with the governmental policies of a nation without sanctioning the universities of that nation, or the American universities that collaborate with them. To restrict the free flow of people and ideas with some universities because of their national identity is unwise, unnecessary, and irreconcilable with our core academic values.

Earlier this year Loh went to Israel for the first time at the highly-impressionable age of 67. He accompanied Maryland’s Democratic governor on a government trade mission and was excited by the startup nation (Israel is “one of the world’s most entrepreneurial nations”). He announced an educational partnership with Tel Aviv University and plans to increase the numbers of exchange students. “We hope to enrich current partnerships in Israel, and achieve significant new collaborations in the region,” he said then. Washington Jewish Week was thrilled by the plans.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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47 Responses

  1. Ael
    December 23, 2013, 1:15 pm

    I note with interest that none of the university statements mention Palestinians, much less profess any sympathy for Palestinian scholars impeded by Israeli governmental actions.

    • Krauss
      December 23, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Academic deans today are not intellectual leaders (were they ever?) but more so than in the past, their primary function is increasingly dominated by one thing:

      Fundraising.

      Palestinian-Americans are poor. My people are not.
      By coming out against these measures, they want to boost donations. Plenty of old rich hard-right Jews on Israel/Palestine who want to send their kids to Harvard.

      • seafoid
        December 24, 2013, 2:19 am

        The endgame as per SA will be people against, elites for. Judaism should get out of the way now because there is no point in dying with its boots on for Zionism. I bet the Dersh will do a Hitler for the Goetterdaemmerung and claim the people didn’t deserve him.

    • Giles
      December 23, 2013, 5:47 pm

      I emailed the president of U Maryland and asked him who drafted his statement and who “asked” (i.e., pressured) him to sign it.

      I don’t think I will hear back from his office.

      Oh. I also suggested he grow a pair and that might not go over real well

    • Naftush
      December 24, 2013, 5:05 am

      That none of the university statements mention [sic] Palestinians isn’t really interesting at all. The pro-BDS commenters’ remarks over the ASA boycott resolution also ignored Palestinians. It strengthens my conviction that the issue has nothing to do with Palestinians; it’s all about effing the Jews and whether academic integrity is worth sacrificing for the cause.

  2. mondonut
    December 23, 2013, 1:33 pm

    link to aau.edu

    The Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities strongly opposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Three U.S. scholarly organizations have now expressed support for such a boycott. Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.

    William C. Powers, President, The University of Texas at Austin – Chair
    Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania – Vice Chair
    Scott S. Cowen, President, Tulane University – Past Chair
    Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University
    Michael V. Drake, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
    Bernadette Gray-Little, The University of Kansas
    Mark A. Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
    Morton O. Schapiro, President, Northwestern University
    Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University
    David Skorton, President, Cornell University
    Hunter R. Rawlings III, President, Association of American Universities – ex-officio

    List of Universities opposed to Boycott
    ===========================================
    Boston University
    Brandeis University
    Brown University
    Cornell University
    Dickinson College
    Duke University
    George Washington University
    Harvard University
    Indiana University
    Michigan State
    New York University
    Northwestern University
    Princeton University
    Tulane University
    University of California-Irvine
    University of California-San Diego
    University of Chicago
    University of Kansas
    University of Maryland
    University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of Texas-Austin
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Wesleyan University
    Willamette University
    Yale University

    List of Universities in agreement with Boycott
    =================================================

    • Chu
      December 23, 2013, 2:04 pm

      All of these Universities are opposed, but it would be beneficial
      to see who is against the occupation and illegal settlements. Only
      then, will we have a ball game.

      How do we get the Universities to respond to this?

      I’m sure the deck would be stacked almost opposite. Because that
      is the core question – who wants to put up with this garbage from
      a supposed ally of western ideals and progressive values?

      • Giles
        December 23, 2013, 5:49 pm

        The Universities are not opposed. Just key people at the top who are being pressured.

        Who is organizing this pressure? Is it AIPAC or some other pro Israel organization? Does anyone know? It would be nice to expose the truth.

      • talknic
        December 23, 2013, 8:50 pm

        @Giles “Who is organizing this pressure? “

        All hands on deck !!! Reader crowdsourcing project to fight American Studies Assoc anti-Israel boycott

      • JeffB
        December 23, 2013, 9:56 pm

        @Giles –

        Who is organizing this pressure? Is it AIPAC or some other pro Israel organization? Does anyone know? It would be nice to expose the truth.

        I’ve heard from a very reliable source it was moon demons in league with the pink dragons.

        Giles, you live in a country where 12% of the population thinks the Palestinians are in the right, that is agrees with the ASA’s that Israel is primarily at fault. 4x as many think the Palestinians are at fault with the rest disliking both, liking both or indifferent to both.

        In terms of policy the American public that has an opinion is mostly split between believing Obama gets the balance right on Israel / Palestine or that he leans to far to towards the Palestinians. That is Obama represents the edge of just acceptable criticism of Israel where people think he’s perhaps too harsh.

        There is no conspiracy. The ASA just holds a position totally rejected by public opinion. Yes the Universities are opposed, because the population they draw from is opposed. The American people mostly don’t care about the ASA but they simply don’t agree with the ASA’s theory of the cause of the events in Israel / Palestine nor do they agree with a boycott.

      • Hostage
        December 23, 2013, 11:08 pm

        Who is organizing this pressure?

        I’ve gotten emails from the JNF and other hasbara groups asking me to express my outrage over the boycotts and encourage my friends to do so too.

        Faculty, students, and staff on our campus must remain free to study, do research, and participate in meetings with colleagues from around the globe.

        Except of course if you want to do all of that with a faculty, students, or staff in Gaza.

        I didn’t hear a peep from University of Maryland when Israel denied entry to the West Bank and banned Professors Chomsky and Finkelstein, and the Friends school teacher, Nour Joudah. Where can I find your statement about that?

      • seafoid
        December 24, 2013, 1:19 am

        Who funds the universities? Follow the money.

    • W.Jones
      December 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

      There is an article titled
      New York University Boycotts Israeli Academic Institutions
      link to ipc.gov.ps

      But I couldnt open it. It may be a mis-title.

      • Hostage
        December 23, 2013, 11:14 pm

        But I couldnt open it. It may be a mis-title.

        It’s Palestinian government news agency report from 2004:
        link to web.archive.org

    • eGuard
      December 23, 2013, 4:30 pm

      So Amy Gutmann signed at #2.

      This is what she said in 2012: We are unwavering in our support of the Jewish state. State. Jewish. How is that not political? Why is her university using the discriminatory apartheid criteria?

      link to articles.philly.com

    • thetruthhurts
      December 23, 2013, 6:08 pm

      how could duke be for the boycott but their president opposed to it? you also had a weird way of posting this saying at the very bottom whos for and against. it should’ve been at the very top.

    • talknic
      December 23, 2013, 8:47 pm

      Shills for the rogue state are busy Reader crowdsourcing project to fight American Studies Assoc anti-Israel boycott

      Odd that universities, especially those with courses for International Law, can be against boycotting Israeli universities in “territories occupied” in breach of International Law and in doing so become traitors to the US’s own obligations to International Law link to cfr.org entered into force on December 26, 1934!

    • piotr
      December 25, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Perhaps the suspension of joint programs of Brandeis University and Al-Quds University also “subverts the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars.”

  3. Chu
    December 23, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Ugh, the battle for corporate contributions and endowment is being waged.

    “…As a Jew, I have argued against the policies of the current Israeli government, many of which I find abhorrent.
    Boycotts don’t serve these debates; they seek to cut them off by declaring certain academic institutions and their faculty off-limits….”

    -Isn’t that like ‘I was for it, before I was against it’?

  4. American
    December 23, 2013, 3:00 pm

    ‘…As a Jew, I have argued against the policies of the current Israeli government, many of which I find abhorrent”………

    But not abhorrent enough to do anything about it obviously.

  5. MahaneYehude1
    December 23, 2013, 3:06 pm

    @Philip Weiss:

    Thank you very much, Philip Weiss, for this article. It gives hope and shows that most American academics do not believe the false and cruel propaganda against Israel, a country which has academic freedom for everyone, including Palestinians studying in all Israeli schools, colleges and universities. I hope you write more stories like this in MW.

    • just
      December 23, 2013, 7:48 pm

      Please tell me what is “false and cruel propaganda against Israel”?

      • LanceThruster
        December 23, 2013, 7:50 pm

        Hard to say as truth is often considered anti-Semitic.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 24, 2013, 7:52 am

        @Just:

        Very Simple: Telling lies, distorting the facts, highlighting of fringe events while ignoring the main and significant events etc. For instance: In the following post you can see how a journalist emphasizes marginal issue like Christmas tree (and calls it “war”) while ignores the massacres and persecutions of Christians and destruction of whole Christian communities in the Arab world only to demonize Israel and the Israeli society:

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • piotr
        December 25, 2013, 4:53 pm

        The expression “war on Christmas” is used precisely for stupid stuff as described lately by Mondoweiss, and every American reader would get the drift. For non-American (or those American who do not watch TV) check this link to nation.foxnews.com

    • talknic
      December 23, 2013, 8:12 pm

      MahaneYehude1 ” It gives hope and shows that most American academics do not believe the false and cruel propaganda against Israel”

      Yes. Hope Israel can continue breaking the law without any consequences and; it shows some academics aren’t interested in the fact.

      “.. a country which has academic freedom for everyone, including Palestinians studying in all Israeli schools, colleges and universities.”

      Stick to the facts. Informed people aren’t falling for that old schtick. Fact is, a lot of Israeli schools, colleges and universities are in Occupied Territories, not Israel.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 24, 2013, 8:06 am

        @talknic:

        I stick to the facts and you stick to the Schticks. I thought that the boycott is against the “academic freedom restrictions in Israel”, not because there are Israeli schools in the OT. BTW, also in the Israeli high educational institutions in the OT there are Palestinian students (currently, more than 500 Palestinian students in Ariel University).

        link to israelnationalnews.com

        I repeat again: Israel has academic freedom for everyone. That’s the reason why we read the current post.

      • talknic
        December 24, 2013, 2:37 pm

        MahaneYehude1 “I stick to the facts and you stick to the Schticks”

        Oh OK.

        “I thought that the boycott is against the “academic freedom restrictions in Israel”, not because there are Israeli schools in the OT.”

        Oh… You screw up in the next sentence already.. The boycott is BECAUSE the Occupying Power, Israel, acts illegally in Occupied Territories.

        ” BTW, also in the Israeli high educational institutions in the OT “

        Under International Law Israeli high educational institutions are prohibited in non-Israeli territory under Israeli occupation

        “there are Palestinian students (currently, more than 500 Palestinian students in Ariel University)”

        There should be ONLY Palestinian students in Palestinian schools in Occupied Palestine. Israeli citizens are prohibited by International Law from being in territories occupied by Israel.

        israelnationalnews.com is run by illegal settlers to dispense Israeli settler propaganda

      • amigo
        December 24, 2013, 4:07 pm

        “I repeat again: Israel has academic freedom for everyone. That’s the reason why we read the current post.”mehane 1,2 or 3???.

        You are talking nonsense mahane .See below just what you and your precious fellow bigots and racists believe.

        “http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-most-israeli-jews-believe-arab-citizens-should-have-no-say-in-foreign-policy-1.327972

        Approximately 86 percent of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country’s future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democratic Institute.

        More than 62 percent of Israeli Jewish respondents also said that as long as conflict with the Palestinians continued, the state should not take into account Israeli Arab opinions regarding foreign policy.

        The study also found that 53 percent of Israeli Jews believe the state has the right to encourage Arab citizens to emigrate, while 55 percent said Jewish cities should receive more government resources than Arab communities. ”

        Go back to selling spuds mahane.Your continuous lies are tripping you up.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 24, 2013, 4:38 pm

        @Amigo:

        Go back to selling spuds mahane

        This is the only relevant sentence in your comment. All the rest is one BS like all other polls in which the answers are planted in the questions. I already wrote here my opinion on those “polls”. Back to spuds!!!

  6. American
    December 23, 2013, 3:13 pm

    ”Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.”…academia

    ‘Any increase in wages of our employees directly violates a corporations fudicary duty to ensure it’s stockholders profits and investment which is the fundamental principle of publically held corporations in general.’
    Where does academic get off thinking they are exempt from moral obligations and decisions?
    Get over yourselves academia …..or be just another self serving entity that has no purpose except to serve its own ‘ entity-ness.’

    • seafoid
      December 24, 2013, 1:36 am

      They should drop the “as a Jew” shtick as well. It is very poor brand management for the religion. If the ship is going down Judaism doesn’t have to go with it.

  7. BillM
    December 23, 2013, 3:28 pm

    These attacks will grow more vicious, and that’s actually a good thing. Note that the anti-BDS establishment doesn’t and indeed can’t actually talk about Israel and defend the conditions there. The best line they got is to continually claim academic freedom is violated by boycotts. The BDS folks have done a great job dismantling this (though I still see some of the misrepresentations repeated, Loh’s claim that American universities are being sanctioned), but it’s still the easiest claim for the pro-Israel folks to make. However, as the push back gets more vicious, and more openly oppressive, the pro-Israel folks will lose the academic freedom high ground, and have nowhere left to make a stand.

  8. American
    December 23, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Throw out this ‘new’ academia and bring back the WASP standards…this academic is not doing the job. The new US academia has no ‘merit, all gives us is little ethic-less piggies with degrees.

    link to online.wsj.com

    The Saturday Essay
    The Late, Great American WASP
    The old U.S. ruling class had plenty of problems. But are we really better off with a country run by the self-involved, over-schooled products of modern meritocracy?
    By
    Joseph Epstein
    Updated Dec. 23, 2013 11:59 a.m

    ”A financier I know who grew up under the WASP standard not long ago told me that he thought that the subprime real estate collapse and the continuing hedge-fund scandals have been brought on directly by men and women who are little more than “greedy pigs” (his words) without a shred of character or concern for their clients or country.
    Naturally, he added, they all have master’s degrees from the putatively best business schools in the nation. Thus far in their history, meritocrats, those earnest good students, appear to be about little more than getting on, getting ahead and (above all) getting their own. The WASP leadership, for all that may be said in criticism of it, was better than that.”

    Apro to this…we recently had to find a new dentist. So I searched the data base for dentist in my area looking for one who was at least 55 years yrs old–because that age group was, as far as I can tell , the last ones in dental school when schools taught more about actual dental practices than business classes about how to maximize their profits in their dental practice. When I told my new dentist how I had decided on him he said he heard this from more and more of his new patients.

    • Giles
      December 24, 2013, 9:45 am

      Meritocracy? Laughable. The WASP elites of 100 years ago have been replaced by the Zionist Jewish elites of today as the ruling class in America. It is very far from a meritocracy; nepotism continues to rule. Just a new group on top now

  9. Nevada Ned
    December 23, 2013, 6:45 pm

    An open letter to U. S. University Presidents

    Dear University President:

    A number of Presidents of U. S. universities have publicly opposed the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, on the grounds that boycotts are an attack on academic freedom. These presidents wax eloquent about the importance of preserving academic freedom and the free flow of ideas, hence they oppose the boycott.

    However, these same university presidents held their tongues back in 2008-2009, when Israel attacked Gaza, destroying much of the infrastructure of Gaza, including universities in Gaza. At the Islamic University of Gaza, the two main buildings on campus were completely destroyed, while nine other buildings were damaged. The two main buildings contained 74 science and engineering laboratory. Other Gaza colleges and universities were attacked by Israel also. For example, the agricultural College in Beit Hanoun was completely destroyed. This link will take you to a photo, showing the College reduced to a heap of rubble.

    Doesn’t this affect the academic freedom of the faculty at colleges and universities of Gaza? Reducing a university to rubble is an attack on the very existence of the university. Yet I do not recall your raising your voice to protest Israel’s destruction of higher education in Gaza. .

    The US university presidents are against a boycott of Israel, but utter no protest against Israeli bombing of colleges and universities in Gaza, reducing them to rubble.

    The threat posed by a boycott is minuscule, compare with the threat posed by bombing, as I’m sure you would agree if Israel bombed buildings on your university campus.

    If you publicly protested Israel’s bombing of universities in Gaza, please send your response to Mondoweiss, letting the world know where and when your protest appeared.

    I await your response.

    • Sumud
      December 24, 2013, 10:23 am

      Great letter Ned and compelling article at EI you link to in it. This is important – shows how hollow any statement is from a zionist talking about academic freedom and Israel:

      Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza said 14 of the 15 higher education institutions in the Strip (most are in and around Gaza City) were damaged by Israeli forces. Six came under direct attack.

      Tough times for university students in Gaza

  10. yishai
    December 23, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Welcome to the wrong side of history…

    When the fight is finally won, they will all proclaim Edward Said and Mustafa Barghouti as their own heroes, revising history to proclaim their own liberal humanity – just as they did with MLK and Mandela, who they also fought tooth and nail during their anti-apartheid fights…

    The only surprise here is the willingness these fools have to write their names so visibly on the wrong side of history. Perhaps it speaks to the [racial] bubble they live in. Their distance from the truth, as James North’s piece on Blumenthal today notes…

  11. fredrenne
    December 23, 2013, 8:16 pm

    Or maybe, perhaps, the boycott is just wrong – wrong on the misguided comparisons to South African Apartheid, wrong on singling out Israel when students around the world are literally dying without the ASA and others saying a thing, wrong in its intent (the elimination of Israel – as clearly espoused by Omar Barghouti and others no matter what you may claim otherwise) and wrong in its target – the victims will be Palestinians, not Israeli universities.

    • seafoid
      December 24, 2013, 1:32 am

      Yeah. Maybe Israeli apartheid is the pinnacle of human achievement and the beginning of eternal life.

    • Talkback
      December 24, 2013, 3:53 am

      … wrong on singling out Israel …

      Oh, are Palestinians occupied by more states?

      … and wrong in its target – the victims will be Palestinians, not Israeli universities.

      That is of course your primary concern. That the Palestinians will be the victims. So please tell us, how they should resist against the occupation of the one and only antigentile state, if not by BDS.

    • talknic
      December 24, 2013, 6:31 am

      @fredrenne Showing readers just how low Israeli apologists will sink by making false accusations, completely against the most basic tenets of Judaism, isn’t a good idea..

      ” wrong in its intent (the elimination of Israel – as clearly espoused by Omar Barghouti and others no matter what you may claim otherwise) “

      You’d best come up with a verbatim quote and reliable source… thx

    • Bumblebye
      December 24, 2013, 6:59 am

      queen fred
      do please tell us how Israeli apartheid differs from South African apartheid!
      Please provide the quotes that prove Barghouti aims for the “elimination of Israel”, and tell us how ASA could BDS the other states where students are dying (perhaps there are other efforts being made?).

  12. thetumta
    December 24, 2013, 12:15 am

    They supported “Jim Crow”, fire them.
    They supported “State Secrets”, fire them.
    They supported “Apartheid”, fire them.
    They supported “Thrashing the Bill of Rights”, fire them.
    Let me know when we’re there or how you propose to get there.

    Hej! Tumta

  13. JLWarner
    December 24, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Copy of my letter to Harvard president Faust objecting to her denunciation of the ASA boycott

    President Faust

    I am writing as a Harvard Ph.D. (Geology, 1967) to express my support of the recent American Studies Association vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and my disagreement with your recent denunciation of the boycott.

    You base your dissent on academic freedom. That is the same argument used by Wes president Roth in his Dec. 19 (published Dec. 23) Op-Ed in the NY Times. Here is my letter to the Times editor in response to Roth’s Op-Ed – it applies equally to your statement (this letter is short to comply with NY Times letter length limits, so the arguments are brief and not expanded):

    RE: “A repugnant boycott” Nov. 23 Op-Ed

    Michael Roth only touches on a few of the arguments for and against an academic boycott of Israel. Roth’s main argument against an academic boycott of Israel is based on an absolutist position in defense of academic freedom. Like the NRA with respect to gun laws, Roth refuses to allow even the slightest weakening of academic freedom, even for a greater cause like the liberation of the Palestinian people from the grip of Israel’s illegal and violent occupation. Those in favor of the academic boycott respond that Israel’s occupation deprives Palestinian scholars, professors, and students of academic freedom and opportunity as well as basic human rights – tacitly assuming that two wrongs make a right. Neither argument is convincing.

    A compelling argument for the boycott is that diplomacy has failed to end the 45-year occupation, and boycott is a legitimate form of protest for American citizens to tell their government to stop its unconditional support of Israel because that support enables and perpetuates the occupation. The academic boycott itself is merely symbolic, but it opens space for actions by government officials that can be more authoritative.

    Jeff Warner
    213-405-1494
    Los Angeles, CA 90010

  14. tarski
    December 24, 2013, 11:34 pm

    Just a question: I think an academic boycott is reasonable given the tight academic connections between the US and Israel, meaning it has real force something that could not be said of an academic boycott of, say. Zimbabwe.

    But what would be your response if someone replied that a powerful state like Russia should also feel the force of an academic boycott in light of its recent anti-gay legislation and the myriads of other reasons showing that there is something wrong with Russia? I mean this rebuke is not totally unreasonable. What would be your responses to the accusation of unfairly singling out of Israel?

    Just curious.

    Merry Christmas!

  15. Public Poster
    December 25, 2013, 4:19 am

    It’s too bad but it seems university president and historian Roth, who is quoted in this article, didn’t consult relevant primary sources when writing his editorial. He unfortunately reproduces a radically truncated and distorted quote from ASA president Curtis Marez. Although in the original NYT article Marez said much more, the New York Post and some other sources cut the quote down to the 5 words Roth reproduces, and then acted outraged that Marez supposedly had not said more when they were the ones suppressing the fact that he had indeed said a good deal more than they reported. In recent days several sources have gotten it right, including the Christian Science Monitor, so I wonder why Roth is still circulating the truncated, distorted quote.

    Here is the original text from the New York Times: “He did not dispute that many nations, including many of Israel’s neighbors, are generally judged to have human rights records that are worse than Israel’s, or comparable, but he said, “one has to start somewhere.”

    He argued that the United States has “a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because it is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel.” While acknowledging that the same could be said of a number of oppressive governments, past and present, he said that in those countries, civil society groups had not asked his association for a boycott, as Palestinian groups have.”

    Here is the link to the NYT story of record so you can see for yourself: link to nytimes.com

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