WaPo editorial slams American Studies Association Israel boycott
We definitely live in interesting times. The Washington Post publishes an editorial in Monday's editions in which they slam the American Studies Association for its boycott of Israel
The most difficult thing to swallow about the resolution is how utterly
narrow-minded it seems. Was the resolution written on a computer
manufactured in China, one of the most repressive regimes on the planet?
Did its authors pause to consider China’s incarceration of writers and
scholars who dare to think and speak out for freedom, or the ethnic
groups in China persecuted for refusing to heel to the Beijing masters?
Did they give any thought to what’s happened lately to freedom in
Russia, won at enormous cost in a Cold War that lasted more than four
decades? Does it disturb the scholars that in today’s Russia, members of
a girl band
performing a protest against the Kremlin could be thrown into a cold
and miserable prison for two years, or that civil society organizations
are being systematically shuttered?
Have the scholars overlooked the cries for help from Cuban dissidents
bravely standing up to the Castro brothers, demanding freedoms — and
suffering beatings and arrest almost every week? Do they condone the
decision of a judge in Saudi Arabia who has just sentenced a political activist to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy?
To focus a resolution on Israel and ignore these injustices is puzzling
at best. It is also fundamentally wrong. For all of its difficulties,
including the wrenching, long conflict with the Palestinians, Israel has
become a lively and durable democracy. There is more freedom to speak
one’s mind and criticize the government in front of the Knesset than
will be found in either Tiananmen Square or Red Square today — and far
more in Israeli universities than in academia elsewhere in the Middle
Labels: academic boycott, BDS, boycott Israel, liberal academia, Washington Post