Swarthmore professor Sa’ed Atshan addresses the controversy surrounding a speech he was scheduled to give at a Quaker private school that was cancelled under pressure from parents: “The most difficult moment for me since the talk’s cancellation came after speaking at an American Friends Service Committee event. A Friends’ Central student approached me, sharing that she had come imagining a “monster” based on what she was told about Palestinians. She was genuinely surprised to see that was not the case and felt comfortable approaching me. It took a lot for me to restrain my tears.”
The BDS call represents as close to a consensus as possible within Palestinian civil society. It targets academic institutions, including the Muslim Leadership Institute of the Shalom Hartman Institute, which has now sent two small cohorts of Muslim-American leaders to Israel/Palestine. MLI’s stated purpose is to shape the understanding of these cohorts with regards to Judaism and Zionism.