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Senior faculty have ‘intimidated’ junior faculty who supported boycott measure, ASA caucus says

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ASA logo tiff (1) copyIt has now been six days since the American Studies Association membership voted for academic boycott of Israel. In reporting the vote as a turning point, Inside Higher Ed has the temerity to ask why the academics voted as they did, and lifts the curtain on Palestinian conditions. That piece also quotes a letter by eight past presidents of the ASA opposing the boycott move, and this statement from Bill Mullen, a Purdue professor and a member of the ASA’s Caucus on Academic and Community Activism:

“I think what the vote indicates is that people recognize the illegal occupation of Palestine as one of the major civil rights issues of our time globally… American scholars now understand the physical violence that’s part of the Israeli occupation; they understand the massive restrictions on academic freedom for Palestinian scholars that is part of living under an illegal occupation. These facts are now irrefutable to so many people that the vote indicates a kind of coming to consensus around the illegitimacy of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”

More than the New York Times would tell us.

Meantime, Mullen’s Caucus on Academic and Community Activism has released a statement decrying intimidation of the ASA members who voted for the measure.

For Immediate Release: The Time for Intimidation is Over

It has come to our attention that members of the American Studies Association are getting hate mail or threatening mail following the ASA membership vote in favor of a resolution calling for boycott of Israeli universities. The ASA Facebook page has been subject to an avalanche of abusive postings for almost two weeks. In other cases, the intimidation has been less public as senior faculty have explicitly and implicitly intimidated junior faculty who support the boycott. More generally within the academy, some are threatening to cut funds for faculty who want to attend the ASA in the future. We are also learning that individuals and groups outside the academy are threatening legal action against the ASA.
Expressions of hate and intimidation, even if they come from isolated individuals, constitute part of a larger pattern of attack on anyone who criticizes Israel or Zionism. These disturbing messages can take the form of threats. As such, they should not be dismissed or discarded.

If you are subject to a privately delivered expression of hate or intimidation in person, in emails or over the telephone, we recommend that you neither respond to, nor discard these messages. Instead, we suggest you document the incident (when, who, where, what format, content, etc) and report it to the ASA Academic and Community Caucus at [email protected] so that we can address the incident via legal channels, and in a way that is least burdensome to you.
If you receive a threatening message or are subject to intimidation at your university, you should also report it to your university administrators and to the local police. If our university administrators are non-responsive or indeed further intimidate you, please let us know that, too.
Intimidation and frivolous legal arguments against boycott are part of a long-standing history of repression of Palestinian human rights activism in the United States. The ASA resolution for boycott is legal. Tactics of intimidation may be illegal. We will try to address any academics and administrators who participate in undemocratic, unethical, and illegal behavior, and if necessary we will take legal action with the support of our legal team.
We are at a turning point when tactics of bullying and intimidation will no longer work to silence those of us who recognize the injustice of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. There is a growing number of students, junior faculty, senior faculty, and prominent scholars advocating for Palestinian rights in the US, and we are working together, around the country and internationally, in the interest of addressing a social justice issue, one which has been endorsed by the majority of ASA members and the national leadership.
With the vote to boycott Israeli universities, ASA has embraced a legitimate means of addressing Israel’s human rights violations and challenging the US government’s unconditional support for Israel. As we move forward, threats and insults will not silence our voices or undermine the growing support for the academic boycott.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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44 Responses

  1. pabelmont on December 21, 2013, 11:48 am

    I’m glad ASA and others are finally acting on Palestine. Cannot say I’m surprised there is push-back.

    The universities all want to build that new Chemistry or Medical Building, need the $Z from the wealthy donors who are (thought to be) offended by the ASA move and the universities are applying pressure via senior faculty (who may independently be Zionists! and all of whom have white-skinned “Jewish Friends” to whom they owe politeness, at whatever cost to dark-skinned Palestinians).

    You all have heard my hobby horses: Global Warming wiping out all humanity in 20-50 years (so who needs chemistry buildings? or young professors either?) — people’s time scales are skewed because their attentions are skewed. Daily concerns skew our attention from ultimate destruction. “Cognitive dissonance” is a near universal psychological disease of humanity which prevents us (so happy in our modern civilization, our many-faceted dependence on fossil fuels) from being really aware of how it is killing us all.

    We think that Zionism skews attention away from human rights for Palestinians — and indeed it does. And all concerns for ordinary civilized stuff (including Zionism and anti-Zionism, democracy and tyranny, etc., whatever turns you on) are skewing attention away from Climate Change.

    Anyway, SAS should now resolve to disapprove of Climate change and recommend that we all think long and earnestly about that very difficult subject which we’ve been (effectively, and especially as to action) ignoring.

    • RoHa on December 21, 2013, 8:42 pm

      “Climate change and recommend that we all think long and earnestly about that very difficult subject which we’ve been (effectively, and especially as to action) ignoring.”

      Ignoring? We’ve had thirty years of prophecies of DOOM about it, and more than twenty-five years since Margaret Thatcher jumped on it to destroy the miners unions. Governments and Big Oil (Shell and BP especially) have poured millions into “climate research”. Huge subsidies have gone into propping up “sustainable energy” projects, which usually turned out to be unsustainable, environmentally destructive, and produce very little energy. Big Money has made its killing on the “carbon credits” market.

      And the media have been filled with hysterical propaganda based on junk science and cod-psychology.

      In the meantime, the scientific evidence is making the story harder and harder to sustain. If you actually want to face up to the science and engage with the evidence, try your luck at

      or, if you feel brave, the hard men at

      But please stop dragging it into MW.

  2. Linda J on December 21, 2013, 11:49 am

    So happy to see this response from activists in the ASA. Finally finally, principled people are standing up against Zio pressure. Thanks to the board and general membership for giving them the chance!

  3. MHughes976 on December 21, 2013, 12:18 pm

    I think that the ASA must expect intimidation and an avalanche of legal actions. In the UK the Universities and Colleges Union, thinking itself threatened after a conference vote for a boycott with legal action supported by bottomless funding, sought legal advice from a senior lawyer who advised that it would be illegal, as well as I remember because it involved some kind of discrimination against a nationality. (The ironic, perhaps true, presupposition was that the kind of boycott we practised against South Afica was legal only because our anti-discrimination laws were then somewhat lacking.) This advice has been observed ‘scrupulously’ to this day, as far as I know. In spite of that we were dramatically and expensively sued because of an endless, though somewhat minor, stream of expressions of sympathy for the Palestinian cause, often organised by our most honourable Jewish members, which caused irritation to some. That action failed, but then we are not made of money. The word ‘scrupulously’ comes from the Tribunal judgement in that case. I was much involved in the UCU at the early stages. Initially, with my lifelong excessive love of moderation, I thought the boycott was going too far. The massively intimidating response was a mind-changer and eye-opener for me. Why was the response all threat no argument? What could be thought of someone who behaved like that? My long-lasting moral failure to appreciate the scandal of what is happening in the ME makes me somewhat ashamed now.
    So let’s wish luck to the ASA. Attempts will be made to pulverise them. If they still exist in a couple of years that will be a very significant triumph. If ‘the time for intimidation is over’ in good earnest that will be very good news, though we can’t be sure as yet.

    • Citizen on December 21, 2013, 1:34 pm

      @ MHughes976

      You said, ” I was much involved in the UCU at the early stages. Initially, with my lifelong excessive love of moderation, I thought the boycott was going too far.”

      In whatever time frame you indulged your love of moderation, did you ever discover anything regarding the facts on the ground for Palestinian daily life? I mean, were, are, you just in love with ideas, and not how they are actually implemented? So you learned your lesson, thanks to others? Doesn’t your mind ever gravitate towards looking to facts on the ground simultaneously with entertaining the ideas, rationals sent out to explain or obfuscate the facts on the ground? I bet I can guess your current take on affirmative action in 2013 America….

      • annie on December 21, 2013, 3:46 pm

        citizen, MHughes’s comment is about his transformation. i don’t know how anyone could read the whole comment and even consider your questions viable. your point?

    • bintbiba on December 21, 2013, 5:28 pm

      I salute you MHughes…. Your journey has been revelatory, and you have no need to feel ‘somewhat ashamed’. We all have our moments of clarity of vision. We thank you for your integrity and support.

      • oneof5 on December 21, 2013, 6:35 pm

        Kudos to you MHughes … but don’t beat yourself up too bad on any minor moral failures (real or imagined) … after all, it could be a lot worse:

        I was once a neocon … although I really didn’t even know what one was at the time …

        I just thought I was being “patriotic” …

      • MHughes976 on December 22, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Thanks for kind words, guys, but I don’t deny Citizen’s suggestion that I am rather much into theories and ideologies, Bibles and all that. I was well aware that human rights were being violated daily on the ground, but placed far too many hopes on negotiations – one more heave, I somehow kept thinking, on the frayed ropes of Oslo. My experience with the UCU changed me because there I was having personal – well, it was an organisation I cared about – experience (yes, ultra-mild compared with the appalling shit that Palestinians face day in, day out) of how the Zionist machine operates. It wasn’t one visionary Damascus-road moment but the beginning of a process with many stops and starts that I won’t bore you with. I hadn’t then heard from my British vantage point the common American phrase ‘liberal Zionism’ but I got involved in discussions that revealed how slight and paradoxical is the liberalism and moderation you find from that quarter. Also I became aware of how ‘Biblical archaeology’ is being used to mislead Western and Christian opinion on a massive scale, so all those ancient things that fill my head were of some use.
        Gaining American family links widened my horizons! We’re off to see them tomorrow. I don’t know what disputes about affirmative action are going on in the United States at the moment but will make sure, at Citizen’s prompting, that I look into it. I often think that a Mondoweiss convention would be a good reason for crossing the Atlantic.
        Happy festivities to all.

  4. Obsidian on December 21, 2013, 1:23 pm
    • Citizen on December 21, 2013, 1:45 pm

      @ Obsidian
      Stupid article you link us to. Another example of sophmoric Zionists always whining like Charlie Brown, “Why’s everybody always picking on me? (Why not look at X, he’s worse!). Israel’s special relationship with the USA, by which, Israel has become the biggest recipient of US foreign aid and UN SC veto in all of US history, even though Israel is the size of NJ, is, and, as it says, an economic powerhouse, and this despite its governance exhibits many things reminding us all of the former apartheid S African regime and the former German (Nazi) regime.

    • Walid on December 21, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Obsidian, your superfluous Kramer is scraping the bottom of the barrel to dig up dirt on ASA and his article is more of a shakedown of Seyed Mohammad Marandi. than of ASA. If you think the article was about Iran, you should read it again; the article was to disparage ASA. It’s very Zionist-racist of you to refer to Iran as Islamic Iran.

    • talknic on December 21, 2013, 2:06 pm

      @ Obsidian “ASA went down on Islamic Iran”

      Uh huh

      • oneof5 on December 21, 2013, 6:21 pm


        The link you posted in your comment over on Noam Sheizaf’s article on hasbara @ 972 is dead (in case you want to comment again and fix it with a corrected link 8-)

      • talknic on December 21, 2013, 8:00 pm

        Thx done…. Here also

    • annie on December 21, 2013, 3:49 pm

      they invited one iranian guy to a conference back in 05 and he’s trying to use it smear the ASA. desperado, lol.

      • Obsidian on December 21, 2013, 3:56 pm

        No Annie.

        The point should be obvious.
        ASA didn’t boycott Iran when Iran purged it’s academics. Rather, ASA embraced the mullah’s shill, Marandi.

        During the purges did ASA pen letters of protest to Iran like MESA did?

      • ritzl on December 21, 2013, 6:31 pm

        @Obsidian – Just one of the big differences is that the pattern of violent Israeli treatment/occupation of Palestine and Palestinians has been going on for decades and the ASA is just now getting to it. You’re citing a recent, singular occurrence and equating the two wrongs. Not even close.

        Get back to us in 65 years and we’ll see what the ASA has or has not done wrt Iran. In the meantime the focus is on Israel.

        PS. Isn’t Martin Kramer the guy that called the men in Gaza “superfluous humans?”

      • marc b. on December 23, 2013, 9:16 am

        yes, ritzl, he’s that Kramer.

      • marc b. on December 23, 2013, 3:09 pm

        some background on the academic turd Kramer:

        You get six minutes at the Herzliya Conference to say something memorable (and there is a clock ticking away at your feet, facing the audience). So I made a memorable argument for the role of population growth in radicalization, a clip of which is embedded below. It’s memorable—but not at all original. I first encountered the idea (and the phrase “superfluous young men”) in the stimulating work of Gunnar Heinsohn (here is one example of many). My discussion of the Palestinian angle isn’t original either. See Heinsohn’s “Ending the West’s Proxy War Against Israel: Stop funding a Palestinian youth bulge, and the fighting will stop too” (here).

        Kramer links to Heinsohn: a bit on Heinsohn, useless gobblers and the forever war.

        On what to do about the angry young men ante portas, Heinsohn is almost as discreet as his masters in Washington and Virginia. The director of genocide research is cautious not to say that killing them off may be the cheapest, most rational solution. Instead, he refers to a us strategy of ‘win–hold–win’, which may be translated into everyday language as kill (by pre-emption)–keep (other enemies down)–kill (next enemy, before he moves). Heinsohn makes clear that the ‘war on terror’ is a long-term offensive—‘our whole life’—against waves of rebellious young men in the Islamic world. The book was written in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, of which Heinsohn was an ardent supporter, and contains its share of sombre meditations on ‘genocidal dictatorships’ and ‘weapons of mass destruction’. In recent interventions, his perspective has become more policy-oriented—perhaps due to the fact that, on the basis of Söhne und Weltmacht, he is now a frequent guest speaker at the German Ministry of the Interior, Intelligence Service (bnd) and nato. Where possible, he argues, the angry young men should be left to kill each other, as in Somalia or Darfur. If that is not working, discreet military aid to the ‘more civilized’ side is suggested, with French arms for the Algerian regime against the Islamists a prime example. But should the angry young men become threatening to Western interests, a pre-emptive military strike will be necessary. No long-term occupations or attempts at ‘state-building’ should follow, however. These are not only costly but futile, as long as the numbers of angry young men continue to grow. The occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been a grave error, according to Heinsohn. He is strongly opposed to any un or eu aid to Gaza, as it merely finances Palestinians’ ‘demographic armament’. Yet his maverick views can equally disconcert established opinion from the other side—calling in the Wall Street Journal for Europeans to welcome a quarter of a million young Palestinians into their midst immediately, so as to relieve the pressure in Gaza.

      • John Douglas on December 21, 2013, 6:32 pm

        RE: Obsidian. There is another obvious point, one that is in fact relevant. Every American has the right, perhaps the duty, to single out Israeli behavior. The issue is not whether Israeli brutality is the worst. There are more brutal nations. It is that no other country so successfully intimidates our politicians and distorts our foreign policy. No other nation uses its influence to demand that we send American service men and women to die. (The Menendez-Schumer bill would give Netanyahu the decision to send Americans to war.) No other nation is able, through its American supporters, to turn American policy away from what is best for Americans. U.S. support for no other country has cost our country so much in blood and treasure. Israel is singular in these respects and so it’s no surprise that it is singled out, singled out is what it should be.

      • JeffB on December 21, 2013, 9:34 pm

        @John —

        It is that no other country so successfully intimidates our politicians and distorts our foreign policy. No other nation uses its influence to demand that we send American service men and women to die.

        England. WWI, WWII, enforcing their colonial policy in the middle east and moving away from our populist policies of earlier generations, confrontation with Russias to “save Europe”.

        Israel doesn’t hold a candle. What wars did they get us to fight? We never even went to war with Nasser.

      • thetumta on December 22, 2013, 12:50 am


      • talknic on December 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

        @ JeffB

        “Israel doesn’t hold a candle”

        Israel is burning the candle at both ends. British colonization ended almost a hundred years ago. Israel is colonizing non-Israeli Palestine NOW!

      • JeffB on December 24, 2013, 1:14 pm

        @John —

        replying up a level.

        your claim was:

        U.S. support for no other country has cost our country so much in blood and treasure.

        So yes England is relevant now, they cost far more.

        My interest is as an American, that weak American politicians have been bullied or bought into going along, into supporting Israel’s bad behavior.

        The American population by huge margins support Israel’s bad behavior. Where they bullied into that position?

        This is why, for Americans at least, Israel is singular and deserves to be singled out until it gets out of our hair.

        Israel would love to be “out of our hair”. It is the USA that wants to interfere with Israeli policy because Israeli’s natural policy is often opposed to USA policy.

        Example. Israel left to its own devices would heavily arm the Kurds. That might very well spill over into a civil war in Turkey and certainly would be a guerrilla war. Does the USA want Turkey to have more or less problems with its Kurds? If the answer is anything other than “more” then the USA has to trade with Israel where they don’t pursue their objectives and in exchange we give them stuff.

      • traintosiberia on December 22, 2013, 9:00 am

        We will support the boycott of Iranian academic inst for the practices you mention. That should also invite similar support to ban De Paul for silencing Finkelstein and Harvard for allowing Derschowitz to hang around its campus.
        Iranan universities are no more guilty in scope and breadth than these two US universities. Derschowitz is nothing but a shill. De Paul has silenced some one who displays and exhibits what is moral courage and academic honesty.

      • annie on December 23, 2013, 11:59 am

        ASA didn’t boycott Iran when Iran purged it’s academics. Rather, ASA embraced the mullah’s shill, Marandi.

        how many academics were even involved in the decision to invite this one iranian scholar, or even knew his background? you’re conflating the invitation of one iranian academic back in 2005 to a vote by ASA members to boycott israel. 2 very different kettle of fish. it’s just a highjack, big yawn. i’m questioning the value of even publishing links to these stupid commentary articles.

      • John Douglas on December 23, 2013, 6:51 pm


        England WWI, WWII?
        My point was, “No other nation uses its influence …” “Uses”, present tense.
        The undeniable point is that Israel is no friend of the U.S., taking taxpayers’ billions then huddling with cowered politicians to undermine U.S. policy in favor of forcing American men and women into a war with Iran.
        Israel is in no threat of losing its existence to Iran or any other country. But the troubles it has in the region are of its own making, clearing and destroying Arab villages, shooting Palestinian farmers in their fields, killing Arab children, lying to the world since 1948 about its intentions, creating a system of racist separation, that’s a start. My interest is as an American, that weak American politicians have been bullied or bought into going along, into supporting Israel’s bad behavior. This has harmed the U.S. immeasurably. This is why, for Americans at least, Israel is singular and deserves to be singled out until it gets out of our hair.

    • traintosiberia on December 21, 2013, 10:49 pm

      Kramer fails to mention that Brandeis has stopped collaboration with the academic institute for the anti zionist behaviors of the student.

  5. JeffB on December 21, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Most of these activists have never gone up against groups that can or will punch back. They may get ignored in their activism but they aren’t used to a counter attack. Generally in left politics you have to be further up, more mainstream, to get a counter attack.

    The ASA signed up for a rough decade. Two schools have dropped out of the ASA over this. Two more have denied the ASA claims they are members universities at all and have denounced the organization. BU is scheduling a vote on this. My guess is that something like 50 schools are out in some sense by then end of 2014.

    Yesterday the President of Princeton, while refusing to drop out of the ASA
    I share your dismay at the American Studies Association’s misguided boycott. Academic boycotts are almost always bad policy–scholarly engagement helps to sustain and build liberal democratic values. For that reason, among others, I believe that Princeton should continue to work constructively with scholars and institutions throughout the world, whether one admires or dislikes the government under which they operate. And, whatever one thinks of boycotts in general, to single out Israel alone is indefensible.

    My personal support for scholarly engagement with Israel is enthusiastic and unequivocal. Indeed, my latest article (currently in page proofs) emerges from a conference in Jerusalem sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute, and it will appear in a volume published by that organization.

    That said, I do not intend to denounce the ASA, make it unwelcome on campus, or inhibit the ability of faculty members to affiliate with it. My hope is that the ASA’s more thoughtful and reasonable members will eventually bring the organization to its senses–here, too, engagement may be better than a boycott. That is for individual faculty members to decide. In any event, I look forward to continued interaction with the wonderful scholars and universities in Israel. (President Christopher L. Eisgrube)

    It is nice to see the show of solidarity with Israel.

  6. jon s on December 21, 2013, 4:16 pm

    I’ve heard of an initiative by some American academics , asking to be considered “Israelis” for boycott purposes, out of solidarity.
    And see this from the LA Times:,0,187403.story#ixzz2o2GXiefi

    • Danaa on December 22, 2013, 1:23 am

      jon s – I bet those academics who want to be considered “Israelis” (ie border-line fascist apartheid supporters) have never been particularly caring about being American in the first place. or worse – perhaps they never internalized what American values really are, at heart, enough not so, that they can’t view palestinians as human. Academics or not. I say, let the intellectual fifth column pretenders out themselves – why not? saves the rest of us the trouble.

      Long live ASA and the human rights movement!

      • American on December 24, 2013, 2:34 pm

        I found this interesting:

        The Answer to BDS is Jewish Power
        December 23, 2013 1:41 am
        Ben Cohen
        ”’But in fighting the academic boycott and BDS more generally, we should not lose awareness of the power we 21st-century Jews have, nor our ability to wield it.
        Hence, let’s by all means ridicule the pretensions of the BDS movement to be a latter-day incarnation of the movement against apartheid in South Africa. Let’s not hesitate in pointing out its failures. At the same time, let’s not permit it to mushroom because we don’t think it’s a threat. Both Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg have pulled out of ASA since the boycott was announced, and we should push for a similar outcome in the case of similar initiatives. Much as some Jews are uncomfortable with acknowledging this reality, we have the power to harass, frustrate, and crush the BDS movement wherever it appears. Let us do so without mercy”>>>

        I take this power challenge and others like Oren’s demand that our own government ‘punish its citizens’ for any political activity the Zionist object to as declarations of war on Americans rights. Not only do they think they can direct the US to make war on their ME enemies they think they can demand our government to make war on its own people in their behalf.

        ”Principiis obsta and Finem respice”

  7. Linda J on December 21, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Guess it is too much to expect that President Eisgruber might have read the Princeton archived definition of the crime of apartheid:

    “The crime of apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

    The combat boot fits and Israel is wearing it. Princeton (at least its president) is on the wrong side of history.

    Looks like Princeton had to be pushed by its student body on other things, including South African apartheid.

    Perhaps that will happen now with apartheid in Israel/Palestine.

  8. Ellen on December 21, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Princeton will go down on the wrong side of history on this. While Eisgruber writes an articulate letter, I wonder if stronger forces are moving his pen.

    After all Princeton is home to the Woodrow Wilson Center, headed by Jane Harman. A former Congress woman who is VERY rich and influential and quit her Congressional position under the cloud of having provided cover for AIPAC spying on the federal government.

    • JeffB on December 21, 2013, 7:14 pm

      @Ellen —

      In stocks and bond Princeton has over $18b ( ). They aren’t doing this for the money.

      As far as the WW center Jane Harmon won another term. She quit in 2011 and she easily won election. There was no cloud (if Glenn Grenwald was right there should have been but…). In any case Jane Harmon is a good choice for WW. She’s a liberal interventionist with a belief in spreading western values via. the US military. A democratic version of a NeoCon, much like Wilson. As an aside Woodrow Wilson supported Balfour, “The allied nations with the fullest concurrence of our government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.”

      • just on December 21, 2013, 8:09 pm

        “She’s a liberal interventionist with a belief in spreading western values via. the US military.”

        There are no “values” spread by the US military in my lifetime. Thanks so much.

        Harman is a warmonger and a very special friend of AIPAC.

      • Danaa on December 22, 2013, 1:32 am

        jeffb – Ellen hartman is a poster person for the israeli Lobby and, indeed, for the corruption that lobbies are, in general. She illustrates why money wins elections, not that she – an outed spy and an agent for a foreign government that is quite anti-American – should have even be allowed to go free, much less stand for elections.

        jane harman is what corruption of the US government system looks like. I wouldn’t shake hands with her if you paid me to.

    • Danaa on December 22, 2013, 1:28 am

      Question – is Eisgruber jewish? how many of the donations to princeton are from jewish donors/alumni? and, most importantly – do people really want us to start asking these kind of questions?

      because if we do, we might find out stuff. And then what?

      Your comment Ellen about that israeli agent Harman (who should have been in jail for treason, actually, given what she did as an anti-American agent) is interesting. If ASA BDS starts bringing out all these shadow connections out into the open – the backlash may end up giving itself a whiplash.

  9. Xpat on December 22, 2013, 6:09 am

    @ Obsidian and @any liberal Jew who is old enough:
    the simple answer is: why did people support the boycott of South Africa? There were arguably worse regimes at the time. Thankfully, that didn’t stop the popular movement to boycott South Africa. The ASA vote is another step towards the mainstreaming of the BDS movement. And it’s working. Just like the Presbyterian BDS campaign, the ASA’s internal division is along the lines of power and generation. The older members are using their power to slow down the younger generation. Inevitably, the generational shift will win the day.

    • JeffB on December 22, 2013, 8:28 am

      @Elliot —

      The even semi-mainstream boycott South Africa movement started in the Congressional Black Caucus. From there it moved to a popular liberal cause and picked up college activism. Not the reverse like BDS plans to do. The CBC got involved in South Africa from the TransAfrica movement. TransAfrica was modeled on heritage groups (like AIPAC) but for African Americans. It attempted to unite the “diaspora” which concerns of actual African leaders. Those leaders were unhappy with a racist and military aggressive South Africa from the 1970s being an open ally of the United States.

      An analogous situation to South Africa as it actually happened would be something like the 1950s anti-Israel movement: Arab leaders -> US oil company -> Oil company supporters in the USA (foreign policy realists, especially in Republican party) -> popular anti-Semtism to delegitimize Israel.

      BDS uses a fictional version of history where campus activism is where the anti-South Africa movement started and became global.

      • amigo on December 22, 2013, 12:27 pm

        Jb, keep on squawking and whinging, the BDS is gaining ground and Israel is becoming more isolated each day.

        Nothing pleases me more than to watch desperadoes like you frothing at the mouth because you know the gig is up and there is nothing you can do about it except rearrange the deck chairs as your ship goes down.Are you going to jump ship jb or are you going to stay to the bitter (for you), sweet (for me)end.

  10. StanleyHeller on December 22, 2013, 11:34 am

    My audio interview with ASA activist professor Steven Salaita about the ASA boycott resolution here:

  11. deralterkayaker on December 23, 2013, 6:39 pm

    We have read this article and the comments. The writer and much of the commentary seriously distorts middle-east realities. Do we oppose contact with professors from Saudi Arabia where women cannot so much as drive a car, where hands are cut off for theft, and where no church or synagogue may even exist? Do we turn away Syrian professors tied to the regime where 150,000 people have been murdered in the last two years? Do we ever acknowledge that Palestinians may have played some role in their current circumstances ? and really, “white-skinned ‘Jewish Friends’ “? It seems these ‘intellectuals’ have well studied the Protocols of the Elders of Zion…Try opening your minds.

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