The year ahead in academic boycotts of Israel

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When the final history of the academic boycott against Israel is written, 2014 will likely have a prominent chapter.

The first union in the U.S.–UAW 2865, which represents University of California student workers–voted to boycott Israel. The Critical Ethnic Studies Association and African Literature Association endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.  And earlier in the year, the membership of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted in favor of the academic boycott of Israel, setting off a firestorm of protest among pro-Israel advocates and lawmakers.

But 2015 is also shaping up to be a big year for the academic boycott. Anger over Israel’s continuing occupation, and its assault on Gaza last summer, is driving the discussion.

Two more prominent academic associations, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), could consider the academic boycott. Both associations are already embroiled in debate over boycotting Israel. In early January, the American Historical Association voted down the opportunity to consider resolutions that were critical of Israel because proponents did not submit materials on time.

Passage of pro-boycott resolutions at 2015 conferences would raise the profile of the BDS movement in the U.S, though its impact would be largely symbolic.

That prospect has people like Cary Nelson, the professor emeritus at the University of Illinois and a prominent opponent of BDS, warning that the movement has the potential to become a powerful political force. (Nelson did not answer requests for comment on this story.)

For now, the debate is about the debate. At the AAA’s conference in December 2014, a resolution condemning BDS was overwhelmingly voted down, paving the way for future discussions on academic boycotts and, potentially, a resolution for BDS.

“This is a huge win for keeping both Palestine and academic boycott on the table within the association and signals a significant shift in the public discourse – the first time Palestine is put front and center in anthropology,” J. Kehaulani Kauanui, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at Wesleyan University, told me in an e-mail. “Abiding by the academic boycott is a way of strengthening a sharp historical shift within the discipline in openly criticizing colonialism and racism – including those forms of violence within the US.”

Nadia Abu El Haj, another pro-BDS anthropologist at Columbia University, added in an e-mail that “we are in the process of regrouping and discussing the meaning and importance of an academic boycott of Israeli universities with fellow members of the AAA, which will help us to come to a decision about how best to proceed.”

In November, the Middle East Studies Association, the leading scholarly institution for those who study the region, gathered for their annual conference in Washington, D.C. A resolution affirming scholars’ right to engage in debate about BDS and that urged the association to set up official processes for discussing the movement easily passed. The resolution now goes to the whole 2,700-strong membership for a vote. The full membership vote will take place at the end of January.

Historically, MESA has shied away from taking strong stands on contentious issues like Palestine, though members of MESA have taken it upon themselves to advocate for BDS. In August, as Israeli bombs rained down on Gaza, over 100 Middle East scholars issued a statement calling for boycotting Israel. Advocates of BDS within MESA say that the current resolution that only calls for the right to discuss BDS is needed before any pro-boycott resolution is considered.

“We felt MESA is not ready. It needs time for colleagues who, for a variety of reasons, are not primarily concerned with the issue of Palestine,” said Jens Hanssen, a pro-BDS member of MESA and an Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History at the University of Toronto. Hanssen was referring to MESA scholars’ wide variety of interests, from Islamic philosophy to contemporary Iran, that ostensibly have little to do with Palestine.

Hanssen believes the resolution affirming the right to debate BDS will pass. After that, he says, MESA would be obliged to host online discussions about the issue to educate its members and hear out people’s concerns, though he believes the vast majority of members disagree with Israeli state policies.

Opposition to MESA adopting BDS is likely to come from a variety of quarters–and not just the usual pro-Israel forces outside the association.

“What is much more difficult to understand and think through are the legal implications for an association like MESA” if they endorse BDS, said Hanssen. “This gets into all kinds of other territories that are not primarily connected to Israel/Palestine as an issue of injustice. They’re connected to the power structures, the financial circuits, when you study the Middle East in the United States.”

The inevitable backlash to endorsing BDS could hit MESA particularly hard because it is headquartered at the University of Arizona. Lawmakers in Arizona could pressure the university to cut its ties to MESA. (After the ASA voted for boycotting Israel, legislators in a variety of states threatened the funding of the academic group, though no bill with teeth passed.) And some of MESA’s institutional members–mostly Middle East Studies departments–receive federal funding from the U.S. government. That funding is already a target from pro-Israel groups who claim Middle East studies departments are anti-Israel.

In addition, scholars who are critical of the occupation but staunchly opposed to BDS would weigh in. One of the leading liberal Zionist groups active in the BDS debate is The Third Narrative, an Ameinu-affiliated organization. The group has organized and issued public statements against efforts within the American Historical Association and the City University of New York to criticize Israel. Both efforts were ultimately defeated–at least for now.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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48 Responses

  1. John O
    January 6, 2015, 3:55 pm

    One reason why Alan Dershowitz is better known in the UK than outsiders might think, is that he mounted a ferocious attack on the British University and College Union (of which I am a retired member) when we proposed to cut ties with Israeli universities and academics operating in the Occupied Territories. His threat to use the draconian British anti-union laws here to sequestrate the UCU’s assets caused us to back off. He’s got other things to worry about right now, poor fellow.

  2. Daniel Rich
    January 6, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Should we ask all-American blonde bombshell Scarlet Johansson to join forces?

  3. Pixel
    January 6, 2015, 8:55 pm

    Alex, I know your pieces don’t get the same number of comments as those about, say, Alan D, but numbers don’t tell the whole story.

    I read everything you write, find it very interesting, and appreciate it, you, and your work, a lot.

    Glad you’re here.

    • Mooser
      January 7, 2015, 7:33 pm

      Alex Kane, one of Mondo’s best writers!

      • just
        January 7, 2015, 7:36 pm

        Seconded! With gusto.

  4. JustJessetr
    January 6, 2015, 10:05 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Third Narrative! I’m always glad to read about people who are opposed to BDS.

  5. DoubleStandard
    January 7, 2015, 7:09 am

    Go on Google and type in Israeli economy.

    You’ll find that exports to the European Union are up, India and China are busy negotiating free trade agreements with Israel, and the Japanese PM is due to visit later this month to discuss strengthening economic ties.

    But a bunch of anthropologists refusing to visit Israeli universities is definitely going to bring the state down.

    The Palestinians have put all their eggs in the BDS basket.

    If it doesn’t work what else do they have left?

    • seafoid
      January 7, 2015, 9:59 am

      “If it doesn’t work what else do they have left?”

      the capacity of the players at the heart of the system to bring it crashing down.
      Economic growth is meaningless as long as the system remains unreformed.

      Sandy Weill of Citi said it best

      well, this one’s doing it, so how can I not do it, if I don’t do it, then people are going to leave my place and go some place else”

      the next crash will be brutal. Israel is going to suffer enormously.

      • DoubleStandard
        January 7, 2015, 10:16 am

        That’s very coherent lol.

        But the players at the heart of the system are the wealthy, the vast majority of whom are sympathetic to Israel.

      • seafoid
        January 7, 2015, 2:08 pm

        There’s no China to mop up next time. No bailouts. Much of that Jewish financial wealth is illusory.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2015, 7:36 pm

        “But the players at the heart of the system are the wealthy,”

        Gee, maybe you could replace the “S’hma” with that!

    • lonely rico
      January 7, 2015, 11:43 am

      … a bunch of anthropologists refusing to visit Israeli universities is definitely going to bring the state down. The Palestinians have put all their eggs in the BDS basket. If it doesn’t work what else do they have left?”

      Hey DS – nothing to worry about then.
      Economy’s up, European trade up, India, China, Japan cozying up.
      Success building on success. A rosy future – up, up, up.

      Move on folks, nothing to worry about, don’t block the road, just keep moving …

      Guess we shouldn’t expect you to be posting any more BDS stuff, eh DS.

    • lysias
      January 7, 2015, 12:01 pm

      Hey, if BDS is just a nuisance, why does it so upset Israel and its defenders?

      • DoubleStandard
        January 7, 2015, 1:20 pm

        Because it delegitmizes Israel and can be dangerous if it ever caught on. I thank God that the people who run BDS come across as such extremists or they might actually reach a significant number of people.

        Even in Europe where the BDS movement is strongest, the average person on the street isn’t exactly thinking to himself all day about how much he hates Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2015, 1:29 pm

        I thank God that the people who run BDS come across as such extremists

        but they don’t, and no amount of claiming they do will make that true. it’s just a hasbara mantra that’s spread far and wide to get out in front of the truth.

        the average person on the street isn’t exactly thinking to himself all day about how much he hates Israel.

        bds activists have better things to think about too. ascribing hatred to ones adversary is a rhetorical crutch which is about all you’ve got to fight the growing movement. you’re so transparent and don’t fool anyone.

      • seafoid
        January 7, 2015, 2:32 pm

        “Because it delegitimizes (sic) Israel and can be dangerous if it ever caught on”-

        Israel is quite afraid of BDS. Losing the US universities keeps senior bots awake at night.

      • Shingo
        January 7, 2015, 6:55 pm

        Because it delegitmizes Israel and can be dangerous if it ever caught on.

        That is exactly what is happening, It is catching on. Especially if the ICC begins issuing findings against Israel for war crimes, the EU will be legally forced to impose sanctions on Israel.

        I thank God that the people who run BDS come across as such extremists or they might actually reach a significant number of people.

        I am not sure what planet you are on, but the recent vote at the UNSC was 8-2 against Israel. Are you suggesting the majority of the UNSC belong to extremists groups?

        Even in Europe where the BDS movement is strongest, the average person on the street isn’t exactly thinking to himself all day about how much he hates Israel.

        Of course not, but the the average person on the street isn’t exactly going to support subisdies and aid to Israel either.

      • just
        January 7, 2015, 7:09 pm

        “Because it delegitmizes Israel and can be dangerous if it ever caught on.”

        fyi: Israel delegitimizes itself, ergo BDS.

      • DoubleStandard
        January 8, 2015, 4:17 am

        The security council resolution had nothing to do with bds. It was to end the occupation, and didn’t provide for sanctions in the event Israel didn’t comply. Ending the occupation is a widely shared international goal.

        And it depends which BDS we’re talking about. If it’s BDS to end the 1967 occupation, then Israel should be worried about it being effective. But ending the occupation and a friendly independent Palestinian state would be good for Israel, so it would be alright in the long run.

        If it’s BDS to get back to 1948 and undo Israel, then BDS will be laughed at as a fringe movement. As chomsky and finkelstein already advised, you have to think how people outside the cult are going to see the movement. Destroying a country taking up less than 1 percent of the middle east isn’t going to reach anyone but the core ideologues like Annie, Phil, abunimah, and barghouti.

      • Shingo
        January 8, 2015, 4:33 pm

        Ending the occupation is a widely shared international goal.

        Except in Israel.

        If it’s BDS to end the 1967 occupation, then Israel should be worried about it being effective.

        Of course i’s to end the 1967 occupation.

        Destroying a country taking up less than 1 percent of the middle east isn’t going to reach anyone but the core ideologues like Annie, Phil, abunimah, and barghouti.

        Claiming that returning stolen land and ending the occupation will destroy Israel is clearly an extremist position.

    • eljay
      January 7, 2015, 12:18 pm

      >> DoubleStandardeee: The Palestinians have put all their eggs in the BDS basket.

      If Palestinians resort to violence in order to liberate themselves from their oppressors, they’re terrorists. If they resort to non-violence (BDS) to accomplish that same goal, they’re fools. In either case, they’re driven by anti-Semitism. Interesting.

      • DoubleStandard
        January 7, 2015, 1:18 pm

        There was no moral judgment. It was just an observation. The only coherent strategy the Palestinians have for realising their goals is BDS.

        If it doesn’t resonate with enough people – – and thus far it hasn’t – – then the Palestinians have zip.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2015, 1:34 pm

        The only coherent strategy the Palestinians have for realising their goals is BDS.

        it’s also quite effective. but the proof is in the pudding. thus far it seems to be the only strategy that has dramatically mobilized the opposition against it, which is a sign they really don’t like it. we like that. if, as you suggest, it was not a winning strategy, the opposition would pay it no mind. but that certainly doesn’t see to be the case now does it.

        carry on ;)

      • eljay
        January 7, 2015, 1:51 pm

        >> DoubleStandard: There was no moral judgment. It was just an observation. The only coherent strategy the Palestinians have for realising their goals is BDS. If it doesn’t resonate with enough people – – and thus far it hasn’t – – then the Palestinians have zip.

        Let’s hope it doesn’t pan out that way. The triumph of supremacism, colonialism and (war) criminality over justice, accountability and equality would be an unfortunate outcome.

      • DoubleStandard
        January 7, 2015, 2:07 pm

        It does scare us, you’re right. Because it has potential if left unchallenged and allowed to metastasize. But your claim that it’s effective is unproven. After 10+ years of urging boycotts, Israel has only gotten stronger economically and there are no signs of dramatic change brewing in the United states.

        No serious academic association or university–the fortresses of BDS – – has endorsed BDS.

        Even in Europe where the public hates Israel most , they’re only seriously considering action against the settlements. And Europe’s economic power is slowly but surely losing ground to China and India, where the publics don’t care about the Palestinians.

        And given the tragic terrorist attack in Paris today, I think it’s only a matter of time before the Europeans get sick of catering to these people and gradually become more sympathetic to Israels situation.

      • just
        January 7, 2015, 2:22 pm

        DS: “And given the tragic terrorist attack in Paris today, I think it’s only a matter of time before the Europeans get sick of catering to these people and gradually become more sympathetic to Israels situation.”

        Who are “these people” that perhaps “the Europeans get sick of catering to”?

        And why should the Europeans change their stance and become sympathetic to “Israels situation”? It’s a situation that includes violating international law, the Geneva Conventions, land theft, war crimes,etc, ad nauseam. Please explain.

      • seafoid
        January 7, 2015, 2:46 pm

        “After 10+ years of urging boycotts, Israel has only gotten stronger economically and there are no signs of dramatic change brewing in the United states.”

        Sudden change is a real bitch. That point where you lose the public after years of complacency.
        It prolly germinates on social media these days.

    • Daniel Rich
      January 7, 2015, 5:49 pm

      @ BS DS,

      Q: You’ll find that exports to the European Union are up, India and China are busy negotiating free trade agreements with Israel, and the Japanese PM is due to visit later this month to discuss strengthening economic ties.

      R: Dude, that’s great!

      Does that mean we can cut you off the $5 billion a year financial teet?

      • DoubleStandard
        January 8, 2015, 6:54 am

        It’s 3 billion a year. Israel existed before the United States started giving it money, and will exist afterward, even if poorer.

      • Shingo
        January 8, 2015, 4:30 pm

        It’s 3 billion a year. Israel existed before the United States started giving it money, and will exist afterward, even if poorer.

        It’s actually a lot more than 3 billion a year. The 3 billion is the official sum that Israel gets up front at the beginning of the year so that it can also collect interest.

        There are many billions in loan guarantees and supplementary aid as well as a a trade agreement that is so absurd and one sided it has been described as a 10 billion annual grant to Israel.

    • Shingo
      January 7, 2015, 6:47 pm

      Go on Google and type in Israeli economy.

      I did and I got this

      Israel economy shrinks for first time in more than 5 years
      http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Israel-economy-shrinks-for-first-time-in-more-than-5-years-381934

      And it’s only going to get worse. Europe’s economy is headed for recession, which means demand for Israeli apartheid exports are going to drop accordingly.

      • DoubleStandard
        January 7, 2015, 6:58 pm

        It shrank because of the Gaza war. It’s predicted to pick up at normal pace over the next couple of years. Nothing to to with boycotts. Exports to England rose 25% in 2014.

      • Shingo
        January 7, 2015, 8:48 pm

        It shrank because of the Gaza war. It’s predicted to pick up at normal pace over the next couple of years. Nothing to to with boycotts.

        They will soon have to pick up the tab for the occupation in the West Bank, and the boycotts will only make the pain worse.

        Exports to England rose 25% in 2014.

        And fell by about as much with the EU.
        http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.616328
        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13529-israel-halts-meat-exports-to-europe-over-boycott
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4559706,00.html
        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184132#.VK3iXWSUfuU

        And:

        Business boycott: Israelis feeling the pinch
        http://www.dw.de/business-boycott-israelis-feeling-the-pinch/a-17430688

      • seafoid
        January 8, 2015, 1:31 am

        Israel’s economy was already slowing down before the carnage. Interest rates were cut to try to stimulate activity but Judistan has no growth driver.

        http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.611021

        Seven reasons why Israel’s economy is slowing down

        http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.612431

        “3. A slowdown in global trade
        The Israeli economy is biased toward export and foreign trade. Any global crisis or slowdown will be felt here right away, and vice versa. Over the past six years, the global economy passed through a crisis to a low rate of growth in the United States and an even lower rate in Europe. Israel’s economic leaders have no influence over this. While they can engage in pinpoint actions such as signing trade agreements and providing guarantees to exporters, this does not change the economic trend.

        As long as the global economy marches in place, the Israeli economy has no chance of reaching the growth potential of 5% and more that we saw during the good years. To this we should add the weak dollar (despite its having gained strength over the past several days).

        4. Hi-tech is getting weaker
        Yes, we are the startup nation and countless wonderful startups are going like hotcakes. There is no doubt that this was the main engine for the economy in recent years. But this engine seems to have stalled. The knowledge, initiative, research and drive are all there, but hi-tech is still a unique segment of the Israeli economy, with financial rules of its own and provides a livelihood for only a limited number of workers. The Central Bureau of Statistics published data last week that indicate a growth rate of only 1% in the information technology and communications technology industries in 2013 (see graph) and a 2% decline in the number of employees in those industries.

        5. There is no growth engine
        When we look at the Israeli economy’s prosperous years, from the early 1990s to the present, we can easily see the growth engines that brought us this far: the large reforms (openness to import, the government’s departure from the capital market), a million new immigrants, the technological revolution, the (intermittent) peace process, the development of the communications market (cellular devices, multi-channel television, the Internet). Today there is a potential growth engine, but we have not seen the government treat it as one.
        This potential growth engine is the natural-gas fields — manna from Heaven for the Israeli economy. Since the discovery of the large Tamar and Leviathan fields, we have seen a great deal of activity surrounding the question of how to divide the pie (the government, the entrepreneurs and exports). But we have not seen any real effort to clarify how to make the natural-gas fields into an engine for growth that will engender the development of new industries, investments and jobs.

        6. The “public atmosphere”
        Ask any top-level businessperson, banker or lawyer, and they will tell you that in the current public atmosphere, no one has any desire to engage in business. This is not only because of the regulation or the social-justice protests, but also because of the tension that has been developing here in recent years between the public and the corporations over the high cost of living and and inequality. Surprisingly enough, both sides are threatening to leave the country. The tycoons are threatening to leave (one has already gone to London), while the young people, who are unable to buy homes of their own and make a decent living, are heading to Berlin.
        This whole issue is one big missed opportunity. The social-justice protests created a new discourse here and an extraordinary opportunity to institute fair relationships and solidarity between the components of Israeli society, between consumers and corporations and between the public and the government. But these are goals that cannot be reached without struggle and friction. At the moment, we are in an intermediate stage on the way to a more fair socioeconomic structure, but reaching that point will take more time. It seems that the public can tell corporations that create real value from ones that steal. Does the business sector make that distinction? “

      • DoubleStandard
        January 8, 2015, 6:56 am

        Ok shingo I read your links.

        You really don’t understand how to interpret data. The links you posted indicated that the EU would be banning settlement agricultural products. Agricultural exports are about 2% of Israel’s GDP, both Israel-proper and the settlements combined. So the EU is cutting off a small fraction of a small fraction of Israel’s GDP.

        General exports to the EU of Israeli non-settlement products are up.

      • Shingo
        January 8, 2015, 4:28 pm

        The links you posted indicated that the EU would be banning settlement agricultural products. Agricultural exports are about 2% of Israel’s GDP, both Israel-proper and the settlements combined. So the EU is cutting off a small fraction of a small fraction of Israel’s GDP.

        And how does that support your argument?

    • Shingo
      January 7, 2015, 6:52 pm

      But the players at the heart of the system are the wealthy, the vast majority of whom are sympathetic to Israel.

      The players at the heart of the system are driven by self interest. They will put up money for s long but they don’t have the resources to bail out Israel when Israel’s economy implodes.

  6. Betsy
    January 7, 2015, 2:27 pm

    @DoubleStandard — all of your arguments are about who has the most might & wealth, which seems to equal ‘success’ in your books. So ‘a bunch of anthropologists’ who are trying to debate the questions, using the best scholarship & careful deliberation are irrelevant, in your books. Intellectual reflection, moral questions = poof! In your world, what do mere scholars matter, compared to GDP, military contracts, sheer force? What a world you live in! Actually, you might want to consider whether rule of law, moral legitimacy, and public reason — might somehow, over the long run, shape and affect political legitimacy…

    • DoubleStandard
      January 7, 2015, 4:37 pm

      In response to the comment above, I only wish to say that BDS is aiming to harm Israel’s economy and undermine the edifices of power that make Israel the regional power in the Middle East.

      And yes, ‘a bunch of anthropologists’ are irrelevant to me — not because I dismiss the value of scholarship, but because anthropology, the way its being practiced by these people, is not scholarship. It’s sinister politics hiding behind academia.

      In general, I don’t really believe in the legitimacy of an academic boycott — and especially not in Israel’s case. If Israel has knowledge that’s useful, why should other countries refuse to work with it? The focus of an anthropology association ought to be anthropology — not wading into a highly-charged political debate — and only ONE highly-charged political debate — and saying that one side is unequivocally wrong.

      If the AAA wanted to put a veneer of fairness on it, it should boycott both Israeli and Palestinian universities. That would also be morally wrong, but would at least try to lend some appearance of fairness to the thing.

      • Shingo
        January 7, 2015, 7:00 pm

        I only wish to say that BDS is aiming to harm Israel’s economy and undermine the edifices of power that make Israel the regional power in the Middle East.

        That sounds like a very just and noble cause. Israel has been destroying the Palestinian economy for half a century. Israel is also constantly pushing for sanctions against Iran, which is not producing nukes, and is now lobbying Congress to cut funding to the PA.

        I say BDS is far to soft. What is needed and justified is economic blockade and sanctions against Israel.

        If Israel has knowledge that’s useful, why should other countries refuse to work with it?

        This won’t effect individual scholars who wish to share their research, only the institutions they work for.

      • just
        January 7, 2015, 7:16 pm

        +10, Shingo.

        DS: “If the AAA wanted to put a veneer of fairness on it, it should boycott both Israeli and Palestinian universities. That would also be morally wrong, but would at least try to lend some appearance of fairness to the thing.”

        and

        “It’s sinister politics hiding behind academia.”

        Why on earth should they boycott Palestinian Universities? Israel does a fine job of inflicting hurt on them and their students already.
        There’s nothing ‘sinister’ about it! Jeebus, you don’t understand BDS at all!!

        Stop the Occupation and end the state terrorism, land theft, illegal settlements, etc. Get it?

  7. lonely rico
    January 7, 2015, 5:16 pm

    >>DoubleStandard

    Because it delegitmizes Israel

    I trust you also denounce some of the other things that de-legitimize Israel, such as –

    Gaza 2014
    The 500 children.
    The thousands of children injured and maimed for life.
    The hundreds of thousands whose homes were destroyed

    … the average person on the street isn’t exactly thinking to himself all day about how much he hates Israel.

    I don’t expect they do. I don’t either – not when I’m with my family, not when I’m working on my backhand, not when I’m at the library, but,
    ALWAYS when I step up to the cash –

    Barcode 729……. NO THANKS

  8. Betsy
    January 7, 2015, 5:39 pm

    @DoubleStandard — the American Anthropological Assoc is *not* just wading into *one* highly charged political debate. Here are a few of the ethical issues that it has engaged in the past several years: Public Policy/Advocacy http://aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/

    • DoubleStandard
      January 7, 2015, 5:42 pm

      Every political issue has just been a toothless statement reiterating the left-leaning consensus in the acadame. They haven’t taken real action with regard to anything else.

      Granted they haven’t yet voted to boycott Israel. We’ll see how it plays out. Maybe some of them want to preserve the dignity of their academic discipline.

  9. Daniel Rich
    January 7, 2015, 5:44 pm

    Also ahead in 2015:

    1) Palestinians not eligible to join ICC: US.

    2) Senator Rand Paul introduces bill to cut aid to Palestinians.

    It is rumored that apples don’t fall too far from a tree… in the Paul family’s case, they must have lived on a steep hill….

  10. just
    January 7, 2015, 7:23 pm

    “For most Israelis, the cultural boycott of the country is felt mainly when a famous singer or a movie star decides not to come here to perform or attend a film festival. But the boycott, which has been in place officially since 2005 as part of the wider campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, also exists in the field of art, and Israeli artists and art institutions are strongly affected by it. It is practiced overtly as well as covertly, officially and unofficially, and by a variety of groups within the art world.

    The boycott includes the refusal of Arab and Palestinian artists to take part in exhibitions abroad that include the works of Israeli artists and the refusal of foreign artists to show their work in Israel. The purpose of the boycott is to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation and Israeli violations of human rights.

    On Thursday (January 8), a conference, organized by seven curators working in Israel, will be held at Tel Aviv’s Leyvik House, titled Dalut Hacherem: The Cultural Boycott of Israel and What It Means for Israeli Contemporary Art. The organizers — Chen Tamir, Leah Abir, Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, Joshua Simon, Omer Krieger, Udi Edelman and Avi Lubin — will discuss the manifestations of the cultural boycott as it relates to Israel’s contemporary art scene.”

    more: http://www.haaretz.com/life/arts-leisure/.premium-1.635914?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    ’nuff said.

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