Sunday, September 22

Boycott of Israel condemned by UC chancellors citing threats to academic freedom


The University of California chancellors condemned the academic boycott of Israel in December, citing concerns for the academic freedom of students and faculty. The chancellors said they would continue to support partnership with both Israeli and Palestinian academia. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)

The University of California chancellors condemned the academic boycott of Israel in December, citing concerns for the academic freedom of students and faculty. The chancellors said they would continue to support partnership with both Israeli and Palestinian academia. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)


All 10 University of California chancellors unanimously condemned an academic boycott of Israel at the urging of 101 university-affiliated organizations in December.

The provisions of the boycott would discourage students and faculty from participating in academic events sponsored or funded by Israel, studying abroad in Israel or holding talks with Israeli state officials.

The UC chancellors said they believe the boycott could threaten students’ academic freedom to both engage with Israeli academia and to freely discuss conflicting viewpoints on campus.

“A boycott of this sort poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty, as well as the unfettered exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses, including debate and discourse,” the chancellors said in the statement.

The statement added that the chancellors will continue to support partnership with both Palestinian and Israeli academia.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions National Committee initiated the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel in 2004. The movement outlines the steps and guidelines for the academic boycott of Israel on university campuses. Under the boycott, universities are permitted to affiliate with Israeli scholars but any closer collaboration is discouraged.

Neil Netanel, a UCLA law professor, said in an email statement that he thinks the boycott could severely curtail students’ academic freedom to pursue study abroad programs or to exchange information with Israeli faculty.

“Many leaders in various fields, including Nobel Prize laureates, are Israeli academics,” Netanel said. “U.S. faculty and students would be harmed if those leaders were prevented from sharing their knowledge.”

The boycott has already started limiting options for study abroad programs across the U.S. Netanel added that a professor at the University of Michigan refused to write a letter of recommendation to a student who wanted to study abroad in Israel earlier this year.

The University of Michigan promised to pursue disciplinary action for two separate instructors who withheld letters of recommendation for Israeli study abroad programs based on their personal views.

The faculty at Pitzer College voted to end a study abroad program in Israel because of Israel’s treatment of Palestine. The president of Pitzer College criticized the senate following the decision.

Ricardo Vazquez, a UCLA spokesperson, said in an email statement that UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has consistently opposed calls for divestment from and boycotts against Israel.

“This has been the longstanding position of both the chancellor and the UC system,” Vazquez said.

Other UCLA faculty members said the UC system has not always opposed international and domestic boycotts.

Saree Makdisi, an English professor, said in an email statement that the opposition to an Israeli boycott contradicts the university’s previous endorsements of similar boycotts, citing the UC’s travel ban on nine states that authorize discrimination against LGBTQ people.

“I don’t recall seeing any expressions of concern for how heterosexual or cisgendered people might feel hurt by this boycott, nor worries about isolating Alabama or Kansas: Indeed, such isolation is the point,” Makdisi said.

Makdisi added he thinks the UC system is not opposed to the practice of boycotts in general.

“It seems to suddenly be problematic in the particular case of Israel,” Makdisi said. “It is not the form of the action that matters, but its target.”

James Gelvin, a history professor, said in an email statement that at least three members in his department are not allowed in Israel because of their political activities.

“Where is the chancellors’ statement condemning this practice?” Gelvin said. “Where is the chancellors’ statement condemning more than 50 years of the Israeli occupation, not to mention Israeli settlement practices, which have been condemned globally?”

Gelvin added that he believes the BDS movement is gaining mainstream appeal within university academia.

“The UC chancellors can squawk all they want, but the BDS movement has now become part of the conversation,” Gelvin said.

Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, Students Supporting Israel at UCLA and Bruins for Israel did not respond to requests for comment.

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  • Aer O’Head

    But when they want their IDF promoters or professional propagandists to speak, they’re all for “academic freedom”

    Meanwhile, in other news, “Jewish group slams University of North Carolina-Asheville for inviting Women’s March leader as speaker”

    • Ran Noy

      This is a great example for the kinds of misleading attempts made by pro Palestinian people to attack Jews and Israelis.
      This so called Women’s March leader has other agendas which according to many jewish people is not appropriate for a Women’s March leader to have. Clearly these agendas are antisemitic and anti-zionis.
      Many Jews have a substantial burden support this movement because of the imposed unrelated agenda advocated by this leader. In other words, this jewish group didn’t just slam the university because of the movement’s agenda, but the additional unrelated agenda imposed by one of the its leaders.

      As I mentioned already, try to get the whole picture when someone presents only part if it, and only then judge it.

    • garyfouse

      When pro-Palestinian speakers come to campus they get routinely disrupted. When your “women’s march” leaders also happen to be anti-semites, they have a right to speak, but people have a right to criticize.

  • Paul hellenic

    Unbelievable how these chancellors rationalize the normalization of relations with an apartheid state. White phosphorus was used by israel against civilians, UN schools and hospitals were bombed by Israel while full of women and children, ambulances where bombed, children are sent to prison without charge, missiles from f-16 jets are used against rock throwers, pregnant mothers are refused medical aid at check points, children get bombed playing soccer on the beach, all because these people are not Jewish despite being the indigenous population.

    Jewish racism is now rampant and has started attacking the black american community (we all know how racist Israeli Jews are to their black Ethiopian brothers and sisters) with victims like marc lamont hill, angela davis, alice walker and many others. The world is waking up to Jewish racism in all its forms. Zionism is racism not unlike nazism.

    • Ran Noy

      I usually don’t bother to answer people like you, ones who get their information from one side and pull out only other information in relation to the subject that confirms to their bias, but I got to differ this time. You are alleging very wrongful allegations, and clearly you are not open minded to hear what would explain an F-16 jet firing at a UN school or hospital (which both are rare occasions that leave no other option to the IDF). When a militant groups (Hamas and so on…) uses schools and hospitals to fire rockets at Israeli cities, the IDF must do it’s best to protect casualties in Israel (and innocent Palestinians!) So they start with a warning “missile” that does not explode to get all civilians vecate the territory and only than they fire another missile to blow up the stocks of rockets stored in the school (war crime made by Hamas).
      Even UNRWA was forced to admit that (https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-condemns-placement-rockets-second-time-one-its-schools).
      This is the closest of your allegation to the truth, and there is a compelling explanation for it. The rest are just bunch of lies (Which I’m sure many rational UCLA student reading your post,) could figure it out easily).
      Lastly, shameful you are comparing Zionism to Nazism, I won’t even bother explaining why.

      For the rest of you who are actually intrested in the conflict and want to help solve it – please listen carefully for both sides and ask critical questions, do not be fooled with fallacies imposed by ignorant people trying to impose their hateful agenda on you; let reason control your judgment.

      • Paul hellenic

        Yes, it’s all a bunch of lies, thank god we have Zionist trolls like you to set us all straight. Why should we believe what international scholars and activist say, they’re all liars to. Einstein, Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Mandela, Angela Davis, Marc Lamont Hill, and many many more all support the Palestinians and find Israel to be a pariah state. And there is the UN Report written by two american scholars one being Jewish who concluded that israel is an apartheid state that has committed crimes against humanity. Why hasn’t the Zionist racist Jews written a rebuttal of the UN Report detailing any errors or inaccuracies? You really think you can continue to fool people? That makes you the fool. Zionists will have to answer for their crimes, justice demands it.

        • Ran Noy

          We can go back and forward in regards to each one of the scholars you are talking about, and analyze in detail what they mean (which you should cite unbiased source to this claim before I would even accept your premise), but I honestly I dont have time for that (I have other goals in life than to argue with people like you). With that said, there are MANY other scholars on the other side that support Zionism.

          In regards to the UN question you have asked, I got an easy answer – POLITICS. I wish everything would be as easy and not complicated as you claim.

          Lastly, I haven’t fool no one, all I did was asking the readers to think for themselves and evaluate actual facts and the sources of their facts. I presented one example where people like you are comfortable sharing only the side of the picture that support their agenda (comfirimition bias) and avoid providing all of it.

          As mention I won’t continue this discussion anymore, my goal in life is not arguing with irrational stonewall people who are full of hate and avoid dealing with the truth (I don’t see you even trying to explain the school bombing or even hearing you condemning the Palestinian Hamas organization for placing these rockets there)

          P.s.
          I did forgot to mention that in the hospitals underground level, Hamas leaders are hiding and running their operations against Israel. But, Israel still do not bomb them to my knowledge.

          • Paul hellenic

            Politics is your answer to well documented accounts of Israeli atrocities? Wow. Human rights groups do the heavy lifting and research, investigate and draft reports while lazy dim wits like you dismiss them without forwarding a scholarly response. Let’s let people who know how to read and reason make up their minds on Israel and its racist supremacist ideology of Zionism. They can read the UN report, along with the writings of world renowned scholars and authors like Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein and Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim and Shlomo Sand and Phyllis Bennis and Amy Goodman and Max Blumenthal and Gilad Atzmon to name a few Jews and former Jews who have all written about Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians and are all Jews like (some now former Jews). Politics is your reason for this? You’re ridiculous. The blinders are off, the world is waking up to Israeli atrocities and racism against Palestinians and Ethiopian Jews. Justice will prevail and Zionists will fall as did the Nazis

        • Larry A Singleton

          “apartheid state”

          “Zionist trolls”

          “Einstein, Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Mandela, Angela Davis, Marc Lamont Hill, and many many more all support the Palestinians and find Israel to be a pariah state.”

          I just posted a comment about you. Not you specifically. But you and your ideological, Jew hating, close minded buddies.

          I ask myself constantly; Can they possibly be that stupid?

          Angela Davis and Marc Lamont Hill? Really? Mandela. Every one arch Jew haters. Big surprise.

          I don’t know about Einstein. I’ll have to look into him.

          Why don’t you do me a favor. List the books and articles you’ve read. Especially the pro and con articles and essays you’ve read.

          Go to FrontPage Magazine, Gatestone Institute, Jihad Watch, Middle East Quarterly. Pick an article. Show me where they’re wrong; exactly, precisely where they’re wrong.

          • Paul hellenic

            Read the UN Report as I did – written by two american scholars, one being Jewish. They called Israel an aparthied state. Refute that report in the same detail the report was written in before you start criticizing people for making the claim Israel is an aparthied state. Others like Ran Noy cant, they come up with silly reasons like politics to explain away the report. What will you say about it? I can only imagine, defame the UN, or the authors of the report, or claim some ulterior motive but what you wont or cant do is critique the report for its facts and findings.

            Zionism is racism not unlike nazism is racism.

            Be a proud racist and proclaim your racism for all to see.

          • Larry A Singleton

            I’d be tickled pink to read this “report”. The same as I have these “Islamophobia” reports written by these same types of “academics”.

            Did you bother to read the information I submitted? Probably not.

            I deal with you idiots all the times. And to tell you the truth, I have a hard time believing that you’ve read anything. Let alone some screed that jibes with your idiotic ideas. My personal experience has found that the vast majority of useful idiots simply aren’t “readers”.

            Tell you what though; Submit a link, hopefully to a pdf with a readable paper, and I’ll print it out as soon as I get some more ink for my printer. I inhale these things. I’ve made almost a hobby of picking them apart and then throwing their “facts” back into their faces.

          • Larry A Singleton

            Oops. Maybe I didn’t submit that info. Here it is:

            Is Israel an Apartheid State? European Reporter Questions South African Member of Parliament on Israeli Apartheid Charge (You Tube video)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se5xTh8uwyo

            Where is the Israeli ‘Apartheid’? (United With Israel)
            http://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-where-is-the-israeli-apartheid/

            A Black South African on Israel and Apartheid (You Tube-Prager U.) Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the South African parliament
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

            Apartheid in Israel? NOT (You Tube)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5CfcEiQDSI

            A REAL Apartheid State:

            Under Turkish Rule, Part I by Andrew G. Bostom (FrontPage Magazine)
            http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=27550

          • Paul hellenic

            Great, you claimed politics was the reason why the UN Report was drafted then cited Israeli supported sources as the rebuttal to the report. You’re ridiculous if you think Zionist sources serve as any unbiased source. Furthermore, no, I repeat, no scholarly work from unbiased sources has been submitted as a rebuttal.

          • Larry A Singleton

            “Read the UN Report as I did – written by two american scholars, one being Jewish.”

            Maybe I’m missing something. Please provide links to these reports. I just got some new ink cartridges so now I can start printing out my articles.

            Zionism is racism? Really?

            Again; Have you actually read Jewish history?

            I don’t put a lot of emphasis on the Founding Fathers of Israel; “Zionists”.

            What I put emphasis on is the fact that this is the most persecuted race in history culminating with the Holocaust by the Nazis.

            The Jews have had an unbroken connection to Israel for the past 3,000 years. That’s just plain historical fact that I read in my Biblical Archaeological Review magazine every couple of months.

            As far as I’m concerned Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians, whatever you want to call them have absolutely NO claim to Israel. None.

            You should read the book by Denis Brian. The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson: How an Irish Lion Hunter Led the Jewish Legion to Victory. He mentions these “Palestinian Arabs” and who they sided with in every war against the British and Americans.

            The “Arab” wars against Israel were “wars of extermination” by their own words. “from the river to the sea” means the mass murder/ethnic cleansing of every Jewish man, woman and child in Israel.

            The “Palestinians” are a culture of mass murderers. Period. That’s what its been since Haj Amin El-Husseini, to Arafat to the present day and what they teach their children from birth; To hate and kill “the Jews”.

            You should study the “right of return” issue combined with Jewish and Muslim history. Read Andrew Bostom’s book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.

            But first you should start with a simple historical novel; The Haj by Leon Uris.

        • garyfouse

          Angela Davis and Marc Lamont Hill? Wow.

          Your own language betrays you as one who seems to have a problem with Jews in general. In fact, the real underlying issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not over who owns what land. It is about religion. The Arabs cannot accept the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East. All this Palestinian propaganda full of lies and exaggerations about Israel is just a mask for Jew hatred.

          • Paul hellenic

            Would you accept foreigners expelling you from your home and lands, doing violence to your family all while proclaiming some religious right to do so. White Europeans invaded Palestine and by force expelled and cleansed the land of the indigenous Palestinians to create a religious supramacist state where Jews have all the power and rights. You are either daft or a violent nut job if you support that. The world has awoken to the crimes against humanity committed by vile racist Jews armed with the ideology of Zionism. There will come a day when Zionism will be looked at as we look at Nazism today. The plentiful atrocities are well documented by

      • Larry A Singleton

        I’ve learned from past experience you will never get through to these people. They’re simply “lazy thinkers” and don’t want to be exposed for the lazy thinkers that they are.

        And worse; They’re corrupted morally that they would embrace such people as the “Palestinians”. Without thought. Without question.

        “Haj Amin El-Husseini” registers exactly “zero” in their brains.

        They are culturally and historically illiterate. Social retards. Again; Lazy Thinkers.

        It’s a real shame the sheer numbers of these idiots too stupid and too lazy to honestly study the issues.

      • Larry A Singleton

        Also; Actually read his screed. It is absolutely unhinged.

        This is a guy who swallows Hamas propaganda whole. Straight from these Muslim and Leftist “professors”. He will never check out the documented facts you listed in your comment. Or will put on his denial hat and try and explain them away.

        Churchill talked about the “experts” this idiot is citing. He also predicted the “Gestapo” these “Socialists” would become. Listen to the guy. He’s a clone. Regurgitating almost word for word that bilge from his “experts”. I’m not a scholar. I simply picked this up from reading Larry P. Arnn’s (Brilliant) book Churchill’s Trial and Churchill’s own book Thoughts and Adventures.

        Again; This is a guy who doesn’t “read”. Has no concept of history. Wouldn’t understand “historical flow”, or better “legacy”, of Husseini to Gaza if you put a chart up on the wall.

  • garyfouse

    I wonder how Makdisi feels about how gays are treated in Gaza (where they are killed). In fact, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where gays can live in safety. As for Gelvin’s complaint about how some of his staff are not allowed into Israel, I wouldn’t let them in either. Why should any country allow in people who advocate for their destruction? Gelvin and Makdisi show what hypocrites they are.

  • Larry A Singleton

    Along the lines of what these useful idiots don’t get as they buy into the Jew and Christian hatred from these “professors” and terrorist front groups like CAIR. From WND-World Net Daily:

    Trump-obsessed Dems give terrorists a time out

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    Barely a week after the Democrats saw the swearing in of the first two Muslim congresswomen – one of whom promised her supporters, “We’re gonna impeach the m*****f*****” – the Democrats are announcing the shutdown of the House subcommittee on terrorism so they can investigate President Trump.

    Terrorism is now passé … so 2001.

    Trump Derangement Syndrome … it’s real.