recortes

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Boycotting Israel


Del WSJ:

Britain's largest academic union will vote Monday on a resolution recommending that its 67,000 members boycott Israeli scholars who refuse to dissociate themselves from their country's "apartheid policies" vis-à-vis the Palestinians. In this 21st century version of the Inquisition, Jews would be asked to abandon not their religion but, if they are Israelis, their state, to gain acceptance.

The proposal by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education doesn't call for a direct boycott. Instead, it "invites" members to consider one. The union probably hopes that an informal boycott will protect it from possible discrimination lawsuits. But the moral responsibility for endorsing blacklists of Israeli academics remains. The union's plan to merge with the Association of University Teachers shortly after the conference would extend the reach of this gentlemen's agreement even further.

Turning Israeli scholars into untouchables goes against the very essence o f academic freedom. This argument helped overturn last year's boycott of two Israeli universities by the Association of University Teachers. In addition to academic freedom, there's another important issue at stake here. As Harvard President Larry Summers pointed out with respect to anti-Israel divestment campaigns on American campuses, such actions are anti-Semitic in effect if not intent.

Anti-Zionists usually reject that charge as a diversion to silence Israel's critics. But to claim that attacks on the world's only Jewish state can never sink to the level of anti-Semitism is to obfuscate two millennia of history. So how to differentiate legitimate criticism of Israel from that 2,000-year-old disease?

Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and Israeli ex-minister, has devised a "3-D test." The first "D" is demonization. In earlier times, Jews were vilified as "Christ killers." Today's equivalent is the charge that Israelis act like Nazis. Calling Israel an apartheid state is this lie's twisted little brother. Demonization leads to the second "D," delegitimization. Just as Judaism was once deemed illegitimate, Israel is said to have no right to exist. And finally, there is a "D" for double standard. Even if all the inflated and imagined charges against Israel were true, why is it singled out? Why are there no boycott calls to stop China's occupation of Tibet, Russia's scorched earth policy in Chechnya or Sudan's genocide campaigns? The British resolution hits all three D's.

Anti-Semitism, along with anti-Americanism, is the glue that links the radical left with those who deserve its highest condemnation: misogynist, racist, illiberal theocrats from the Middle East. And so the academics' resolution condemns not only Israel but also the British government's "outrageous bias" against Hamas. The only thing that's outrageous here is what passes as intellectual discourse these days.

1 Comments:

Blogger Louis Cyphre said...

Ayer justamente hablaba sobre esto en el blog. Te lo digo en serio, es indignante.

10:24 AM  

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