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06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



Whose academic freedom?

As you might have expected the ASA decision on boycotting Israeli academic institutions has created a hullabaloo, mostly from people who oppose it, were not there, have not read it and lack the gift of succinct expression. Here is a selection for you to wade through.
1) Chronicle of Higher Education: In Defense of an Academic Boycott of Israel;
2) LA Times: Why I voted for for an academic boycott of Israel;
3) Sun:New York Officials Propose Bill To Defund Colleges Who Support Pro-Palestinian Groups;
4) Michael Roth: Boycott of Israeli Universities: A Repugnant Attack on Academic Freedom;
5) JPost: Why is the ASA shocked? demonisation, delegitimisation, paranoid, fatuous, disingenuous, probably missed a few;
6) Alexander Joffe: Breaking Down the ASA’s Decision to Boycott Israel;
7) Journal&Courier: IU get it wrong blasting boycott of Israeli universities, criticism of Indiana Uni’s attack on ASA;
8 – i24: 55 US universities speak out against Israel boycott;
9) Notes and links;

2003: Over 100 Birzeit University students and faculty members hold a makeshift class at the checkpoint on the Ramallah-Birzeit Road which remained closed by Israeli troops for the 7th consecutive day. Students, frustrated at their inability to reach the University, and at the loss of yet another day of classes, came together carrying placards with statements such as Yes to Education, No to Occupation and Open Minds: Open the Way to Education. The students sat on the ground to listen to a 45 minute lecture given by Dr. Abdalkarim Abukhashan, a professor in the Arabic Language Department at the University. Photo by Dan Richards/FoBZU

In Defense of an Academic Boycott of Israel

By Curtis Marez, Chronicle of Higher Education
December 31, 2013

On December 16 the American Studies Association announced that its membership had voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israel, the second and most high-profile U.S. scholarly association to do so thus far. The boycott is one prong of a global justice movement that is anchored in international law and universal principles of human rights. It aims to help end Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

Sadly, in the ensuing days, ASA members have been savaged in the press, attacked by Israeli government officials, smeared as anti-Semites, and targeted with threatening emails and phone calls. Most of the criticism has focused on claims that the ASA was stifling academic freedom, punishing Israeli scholars, and unfairly singling out Israel. As one prominent critic, David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, asked, why is Israel being targeted and “not Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, or any other serial human-rights violator”?

Why Israel? The ASA acted in response to a boycott call issued by an overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil-society organizations, including trade unions, NGOs, and student groups. They are doing what many in the international community, including President Obama, have repeatedly called on Palestinians to do: embrace nonviolent means in their struggle for freedom and self-determination. However, while Obama and others lecture Palestinians on nonviolence and then do nothing when Israel responds with violence and repression, the ASA and a growing number of other organizations—including churches, student groups, and labor unions—are taking action to support Palestinians.

The Modern Language Association’s annual conference, from January 9 to 12 in Chicago, will feature a panel on the academic boycott of Israel in addition to considering a resolution encouraging the U.S. State Department “to contest Israel’s arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”

The boycott that the ASA has approved is voluntary and limited to institutions and their official representatives. It does not target individual academics. We are targeting Israeli universities because they work closely with the government and military in developing weapons and other technology that are used to enforce the occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, while university-associated think tanks develop political and communications strategies to advance government aims and defend them internationally. The fact is that universities are active participants in, and important enablers of, Israel’s repressive, unjust, and illegal policies toward the Palestinians.

If there is any group whose academic freedom is being denied, it is the Palestinians. The Israeli occupation prevents Palestinian academics from accessing outside institutions of higher learning and professional conferences, hampering their ability to do their work, while Israeli authorities make it difficult for foreign academics to travel to Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli policies also prevent Palestinian students from freely exercising their right to education. Checkpoints in the West Bank impede students from getting to school, and travel abroad to study can be extremely difficult. In 2000 Israel began preventing students in Gaza from traveling to study at universities in the West Bank. In 2008 seven students from Gaza who had won Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States were denied permission to travel by Israel (eventually four made it after American pressure). And in a shameful example of why a boycott is necessary, in 2010 the U.S. State Department initiated a program to provide funding for students from Gaza to study in the West Bank. When Israel refused to issue travel permits, the Obama administration quietly canceled the project rather than challenge Israeli authorities.

Unlike Iran, North Korea, and many of the other countries frequently cited as worse human-rights transgressors by opponents of the boycott, Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid (more than $3-billion annually) and enjoys almost unconditional diplomatic support from the U.S. government. It is in fact this “special relationship,” which U.S. and Israeli politicians frequently boast about, that singles Israel out and makes the plight of the Palestinians a moral responsibility for all Americans.

The university presidents denouncing our move have largely been silent regarding Israel’s abuses of Palestinian academics and Palestinian human rights in general. Those presidents may oppose our principled stance, but in doing so they should at least have the decency to acknowledge those abuses.

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela has reminded us of a time when people bravely stood up to apartheid by initiating boycotts and other proactive measures to isolate the South African regime. This was once a very unpopular position to take, but history proved those people right. One day, after the tide turns, boycotts against Israel and the apartheid regime it has instituted will be viewed in the same way.

Curtis Marez is president of the American Studies Association and an associate professor and chair of the ethnic-studies department at the University of California at San Diego.

Why I voted for for an academic boycott of Israel

By Carolyn Karcher, LA Times
December 27, 2013

Michael S. Roth slams the American Studies Assn. for “unfairly singling out Israel” in its vote to boycott that nation’s academic institutions; he calls the action an “irresponsible attack on academic freedom.”

As a 39-year member of the American Studies Assn. (ASA) and a Jewish American, I want to explain why Roth — whose Op-Ed was published by The Times Dec. 20 — is wrong and why I wholeheartedly support the organization’s resolution.

The resolution is far from an attack on academic freedom. In fact, it is a proper response to the routine denial of such scholarly freedom to Palestinian students. Having recently returned home from a trip to Israel and Palestine with Interfaith Peace-Builders, during which I was more profoundly shaken than I could ever have imagined by the brutality I saw toward Palestinians, I feel more strongly than ever the urgency of taking a stand in solidarity with Palestinians and their beleaguered Israeli allies.

Sorry we’re late: queuing to get through a Bethlehem checkpoint. Photo from Pastor Pat Woods

On our first day in Bethlehem, my husband and I met a young man who had received a scholarship from George Mason University in Virginia but was not granted an exit visa by the Israeli authorities. Instead of embarking on a promising journey in academia, this young Palestinian had to resign himself to a job selling souvenirs to tourists. We learned that Palestinian students of all ages endure harassment at military checkpoints, frequent school closures, unprovoked arrests, imprisonment and sometimes death at the hands of trigger-happy soldiers.

Within Israel proper, schools are segregated and, following the model of the Jim Crow South, the government allocates significantly less funding to Palestinian schools, which are often overcrowded and understaffed. Palestinian university professors in Gaza rarely receive permission to travel abroad for conferences, those in the West Bank also face difficulties, and international faculty have been prevented from visiting Palestinian universities. These are the true assaults on academic freedom that the ASA resolution addresses.

Here in the U.S., students and faculty who challenge the dominant view of Israel risk baseless accusations of anti-Semitism, arrest, blacklisting or denial of tenure, promotion or academic positions. There are dozens of known incidents and likely hundreds that go unreported.

Last year, members of the New York City Council sent a letter to the president of Brooklyn College threatening to cut the school’s public funding for refusing to cancel a panel on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). The incident put academic freedom in the national spotlight, with MSNBC host Chris Hayes warning that when politicians “line up to attempt to force an academic institution to cancel an event particularly when some of those politicians …actually determine the budget of the institution. Think of the precedent being set here.”

In 2011, the Orange County district attorney charged 11 students at UC Irvine and UC Riverside with “conspiring to disrupt a meeting” for peacefully protesting a talk by Michael Oren, then the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. More than 100 UC Irvine professors stood up for the Irvine 11’s right to protest. In a statement on the case, the ACLU of Southern California wrote: “We are also troubled by the unprecedented nature of the case. We are unaware of any case where the OC DA pressed criminal charges over this type of non-violent student protest, even though similar disruptions have occurred with other speakers on the very same campus. This raises the question whether the DA may have acted because of the students’ message, which would clearly violate the First Amendment.”

Thus, far from curtailing academic freedom, the ASA has extended it in new directions by fostering an honest discussion about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the role of the U.S. in enabling it. In a democratic process, the ASA National Council deliberated for a week, revised the final resolution in accordance with suggestions made during the discussion, and submitted it to the entire membership for ratification.

Like most other academic associations, the ASA includes many Jewish members. Some helped draft the boycott resolution, others served on the National Council that unanimously endorsed it, a large number lobbied and voted in favor of it, and a comparable number lobbied and voted against it. It is disturbing that many critics of the resolution label it “anti-Semitic,” implying that either all Jewish people take the same position on this matter, which is false, or that some of us are anti-Semitic or self-hating Jews, a deeply troubling accusation.

It is also problematic to claim that speaking out against Israeli government policies is synonymous with attacks on Jews generally. The ASA resolution does not target individuals on the basis of nationality, ethnic group or religion. The ASA resolution targets institutions that are complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights. According to the boycott guidelines, individual Israeli scholars, students or cultural workers are able to participate in the ASA conference or to give public lectures at campuses, provided they are not expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions or of the Israeli government.

Opponents like Roth claim that the resolution singles out Israel while sparing countries with worse human rights records. They forget, however, that the U.S. not only gives far more military aid to Israel than to any other country, but has also vetoed all U.N. resolutions in recent memory that condemn Israel’s abuses of human rights. The ASA resolution specifically cites the “significant role” the U.S. plays in underwriting Israel’s violations of international law.

This resolution is thoroughly consistent with the ASA’s past resolutions denouncing the war against Iraq and expressing solidarity with hotel workers and the Occupy movement. I have always been proud of the ASA’s political principles, and I am prouder than ever of its historic vote for justice in Israel and Palestine and for free speech on this issue.

Carolyn Karcher is a professor emerita of English at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Teachers from Hebron hold lessons at one of the checkpoints to protest against the intrusive searches and obstruction of young people going to classes.

New York Officials Propose Bill To Defund Colleges Who Support Pro-Palestinian Groups

By Sarah Fruchtnicht, Sun, Opposing views
December 29, 2013

A new bill has been introduced in the New York legislature to strip state aid from any college that is tied to pro-Palestinian groups.

The legislation was introduced by State Senate Co-leader Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, in response to the American Studies Association (ASA) boycott against Israeli Academic institutions. The bill gives colleges 30 days to sever ties with academic groups, like the American Studies Association, that boycott Israel or face the loss of state funding and bonding privileges.

In April, the ASA voted to boycott Israeli universities and academic institutions for violating the academic freedom of Palestinian scholars and students.

“Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; [and] the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights,” ASA said in a statement.

Assemblyman Hikind calls the boycott anti-Israeli discrimination that violates the state’s Human Rights Law.

“This action is a flagrant violation,” Hikind wrote state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“Our state is under no obligation to support institutionalized discrimination — against Israel or anyone else,” Klein echoed.

Lisa Duggan, the president-elect of the American Studies Association and a professor at New York University, told the Daily News in an email that while her organization has not seen the bill’s language, “my guess is that they will get nowhere, and would fail in the courts in any event.”

An attorney for the group Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, Liz Jackson, questioned the constitutionality of the bill

“This legislation would violate the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech, freedom of association and academic freedom,” Jackson said. “And, of course, it reflects another round of baseless legal bullying to silence criticism of Israeli policy.”

Hikind and Klein wrote the chancellors of the State University of New York and the City University of New York on Friday stating that the boycott is unfair because “no other nation — even those with far worse records on human rights and academic freedom than what the ASA has accused Israel of — is subject to a similar boycott.”

John Bekcman, a spokesman for NYU, which does not support the boycott, says the university still views the Klein-Hikind bill as a potential attack on academic freedom.

Sources: New York Daily News, New York Post

Boycott of Israeli Universities: A Repugnant Attack on Academic Freedom

By  Michael Roth, Huffington Post
December 21, 2013 

I published this op-ed in the Los Angeles Times rejecting the resolution of the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities. The universities, claim the leaders of the group, “are a party to Israel state policies,” and these scholars of American culture claim to be responding to “the call of Palestinian civil society.” The claim is, at best, deeply misguided.

The American Studies Assn. recently passed a resolution that “endorses and … honor[s] the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” The action was taken, the group explained, because “there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation,” and because “Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students.”

But the boycott is a repugnant attack on academic freedom, declaring academic institutions off-limits because of their national affiliation.

The ASA has not gone on record against universities in any other country: not against those that enforce laws against homosexuality, not against those that have rejected freedom of speech, not against those that systematically restrict access to higher education by race, religion or gender. No, the ASA listens to civil society only when it speaks against Israel. As its scholarly president declared, “One has to start somewhere.” Not in North Korea, not in Russia or Zimbabwe or China — one has to start with Israel. Really?

The 820-plus ASA members who voted for the resolution are sanctioning universities and their faculties because of their government’s policies. Many Israeli professors, like many other citizens, oppose the policies of the current government. But these schools have now run afoul of the ASA and are subject to boycott.

The ASA makes clear that it thinks the United States enables the Israeli policies it finds most objectionable. Did its leadership consider boycotting American universities too?

Not all those in academia agree with the ASA’s action, of course. Here’s what the American Assn. of University Professors, for example, has to say about the importance of unfettered interaction among scholars:

“Since its founding in 1915, the AAUP has been committed to preserving and advancing the free exchange of ideas among academics irrespective of governmental policies and however unpalatable those policies may be viewed. We reject proposals that curtail the freedom of teachers and researchers to engage in work with academic colleagues, and we reaffirm the paramount importance of the freest possible international movement of scholars and ideas.”

Marwane Moussaif, left, silently protested in Kogan Plaza, Washington DC, October 2013, advocating for the right to education for children living in the Gaza Strip. There are almost no open protests inside Israel for the right of Palestinians to education. Photo by Julie Bessler | Hatchet Photographer

There is plenty of debate among Israeli scholars about the policies of their government, and there is plenty of debate among Israeli, Palestinian and other scholars about a reasonable path forward in the Middle East. As a citizen of the United States, I have supported efforts to develop new approaches to achieving peace in the Middle East. As a Jew, I have argued against the policies of the current Israeli government, many of which I find abhorrent.

Boycotts don’t serve these debates; they seek to cut them off by declaring certain academic institutions and their faculty off-limits. This tactic, in the words of Richard Slotkin, an emeritus professor here at Wesleyan University, “is wrong in principle, politically impotent, intellectually dishonest and morally obtuse.”

As president of Wesleyan, and as a historian, I deplore this politically retrograde resolution of the American Studies Assn. Under the guise of phony progressivism, the group has initiated an irresponsible attack on academic freedom. Others in academia should reject this call for an academic boycott.
Michael Roth is president of Wesleyan University

Why is the ASA shocked?

By Richard L. Cravatts, OpEd JPost
January 02, 2014

“It is naïve and unrealistic, at best, for the ASA to think it could call for such a potentially damaging boycott without any response from a great many people with opposing views.” The Yale University campus

Six days after its membership voted to implement an academic boycott against Israeli universities, the American Studies Association’s Caucus on Academic and Community Activism on December 21, 2013 hurriedly issued a defensive appeal for support bemoaning, in the wake of a tsunami of backlash and censure against the boycott, what it defined as a “campaign of intimidation against the ASA.”

Instead of taking responsibility for the significant and profoundly damaging action it collectively took by approving the boycott in the first place, the ASA saw the wide-ranging negative response from the academic community to their action, not as justifiable criticism of an intellectually-defective boycott, but as an attack on the organization’s integrity, its stated solidarity with the Palestinians, and its overall credibility as an academic organization. The ASA also struck back with a well-worn, fatuous tactic used by those individuals and groups who have participated in the demonization and delegitimization of Israel before as part of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign: instead of acknowledging that any of the criticism was justified from the many individuals and groups who immediately denounced the boycott, the ASA reflexively, and disingenuously, accused “powerful and well-funded academic and non-academic organizations” of “mount[ing] a public campaign aimed at destroying the Association.”

The paranoid notion that “powerful and well-funded” interests had any desire to even notice, let alone seek to destroy, the ASA, is ridiculous. More troubling is that this statement reveals that ASA members naively believed that they could institute a broad academic boycott against Israel, call for Jewish academics to be shunned from the community of world scholars while simultaneously singling out and attacking the Jewish state as an illegal, colonial occupier on stolen Palestinian land, and tar the reputation of Israeli scholars by making them complicit in, and responsible for, the actions of their government in perpetrating what the ASA defines as an “illegal occupation” without anyone with opposing views answering back these slanders with counter-arguments and opposing views.

The ASA claimed that the wide condemnation came after the boycott vote, not because the boycott’s concept was intellectually defective and ran counter to academia’s values, but “because it dared to express criticism of Israel.” In other words, for the ASA, the issue is not that the boycott itself was based on historical distortions, post-colonial guilt, half-truths, and a misreading of law, politics, and facts; instead, asserted the ASA, presidents and faculty members from many of the world’s finest universities, other academic associations, Jewish organizations, and other clear-thinking people from around the world who loudly denounced the decision to call for an academic boycott did so, not because they actually thought an academic boycott was morally and intellectually wrong, but because they were all only interested in deflecting criticism of what the ASA sees as Israel’s many and chronic transgressions.

More significant is that, in singling out Israel, and Jewish academics, to be boycotted, many, including former Harvard president Lawrence Summers, observed that the ASA boycott was possibly ant-Semitic, “if not in intent, then in effect.” “These organizations falsely accuse the ASA membership of being anti-semitic [sic],” the ASA message said, “bent on the destruction of Israel. But the goal of the boycott is to show solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinians, who have been subject to decades of occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

The motivation of the boycott may well have been to “show solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinians,” but several working definitions of anti-Semitism, including those by the U.S. State Department and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, suggest that such actions, in targeting Israel and holding it to a different standard of behavior than all other nations – something which this boycott clearly does—is one criteria by which speech and actions can be considered anti-Semitic, which of course the ASA vigorously denies.

Whether or not the ASA feels it is being anti-Semitic is not relevant; anti-Semites rarely admit to their behavior, or to the consequences of their actions and speech. And the ASA’s accusation that outsiders attacked its boycott, not on its own merits, but in a furtive attempt to stifle criticism of Israel was also consistent with a pattern that David Hirsh of Engage in Britain has termed the “Livingstone Formulation,” part of which is “the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of antisemitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel. The allegation is that the accuser chooses to ‘play the antisemitism card’ rather than to relate seriously to, or to refute, the criticisms of Israel.” So not only did the ASA reject some of the claims of underlying anti-Semitism in the boycott itself, it also decided that those organizations and individuals who made efforts to expose that anti-Semitism were not authentic, but merely attempts to promote their own, pro-Israel agenda. “Intimidation and frivolous legal arguments against boycott,” the ASA appeal claimed, “are part of a long-standing history of repression of Palestinian human rights activism in the United States.”

In its eagerness to deflect any further accusations of anti-Semitism, the ASA also deployed another favorite tactic of those wishing to act in an anti-Semitic way while disavowing any involvement with such behavior, namely, trotting out Jewish fellow travelers, generally exhibiting paroxysms of self-loathing, who support their mission—in this case, the boycott of Israeli universities.

“Many Jewish members of ASA support the resolution,” the appeal proudly announced. “These include Eric Cheyfitz, who posted this comment to the ASA website: ‘I am a Jew with a daughter and three grandchildren who are citizens of Israel.’” Cheyfitz, who seemingly is repulsed by both Israel and the U.S. for their imperialism and genocidal impulses towards indigenous populations, is a professor of American Studies at Cornell University and, not coincidentally, one of the defenders of discredited academic fraud, Ward Churchill. In his essay, “Why I Support the Academic Boycott of Israel,” Cheyfitz articulated very clearly the prevailing ideology of the ASA – that is, that America and Israel are imperialistic, militaristic powers who have and continue to exploit Third-world victims, and that these countries’ self-pride is misguided and undeserved. “It is worth noting in this respect that just as the myth of American exceptionalism seeks to erase the genocide and ongoing settler colonialism of Indigenous peoples here in the United States,” Cheyfitz pontificated, “so the myth of Israeli exceptionalism seeks to erase Israeli colonialism in Palestine and claim original rights to Palestinian lands.”

Another Jewish supporter of the ASA boycott was the virulent Richard Falk, whose view was that “The ASA outcome is part of a campaign to construct a new subjectivity surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.” Falk, former Princeton professor and now United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories, has claimed that “to divest from companies profiting from business with Israel… is to express solidarity with victims of massive crimes against humanity and to call upon Israel to respect UN authority and the elemental rules of international law by withdrawing from occupied Palestinian territory.” Morally-incoherent views are business- as-usual for Falk, whose repeated comparisons of Israelis to Nazis have made it quite clear that he was clearly ideologically ill-equipped in his UN role as an impartial observer. “The recent developments in Gaza,” Falk wrote in 2007, “are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy.”

Falk constantly looks for ways to condemn Israel and accuse it of perpetrating genocide. He is similar to professor Cheyfitz in one important way: both have “in published word and action opposed settler colonialism wherever it exists, including of course the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.”

Protestations and defenses aside, the issue is far more obvious than the members of ASA care to realize, and much less insidious. Those who speak back to ideologues do so not to suppress criticism of Israel; academic freedom grants the professors the right to spew forth any academic meanderings they wish, but it clearly does not make them free from being challenged for their thoughts.

The collateral notion that, in siding with “Palestinian solidarity,” the ASA can inoculate itself from any accusations of anti-Semitism or even ill-advised academic behavior is another example of the defective reasoning frequently used by those engaged in the cognitive war against Israel. Feeling empowered by the moral self-righteousness they claim in pursuit of Palestinian self-determination, in assisting the victim, they feel free to malign Israel and accuse it of being the world’s primary purveyor of evil.

The core issue is that just as the pro-Palestinian activists within the ASA have the right under the umbrella of academic free speech to express their views – no matter how factually inaccurate, vitriolic, or repellant they may be – those within and outside academia with opposing views also have the right, under the same precepts of free expression, to question the ASA’s views, and to call them anti-Semitic, or racist, or genocidal, or merely historically inaccurate or incorrect if, in fact, that is the case. It is naïve and unrealistic, at best, for ASA leadership to think it could call for such a potentially damaging boycott, which seriously violates fundamental academic principles, without any response from a great many people with opposing views about the wisdom of such an action. That the academics of the ASA do not understand, or choose to ignore, such a fundamental concept is troubling.

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, author of Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews, is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

Breaking Down the ASA’s Decision to Boycott Israel

By Alexander Joffe, Algemeiner
January 01, 2104


A variety of BDS activities took place during December but were overshadowed by the American Studies Association’s (ASA) adoption of a BDS resolution. Though the ASA is a minor academic organization, this BDS move has attracted widespread attention and is likely to be a turning point.

Analysis: Passing the ASA’s BDS Resolution

In November the National Council of the American Studies Association debated a BDS resolution that originated with the organization’s Academic and Community Activism Caucus. The resolution was proposed at the last minute and the debate was dominated by pro-BDS voices. These are typical BDS tactics. The National Council then unanimously agreed to put the resolution forward to the entire ASA membership for a vote.

During the two week voting period eight former presidents of the ASA issued a public statement urging members to reject the resolution, as did the American Association of University Professors. Of approximately 5000 members, the ASA stated that 1252 voted, of whom 66% voted in favor of the resolution while 30% objected. The motion was thus passed by approximately 16% of the ASA’s total membership.

The background of the ASA and the resolution requires separate discussion. The ASA is a second tier academic organization with a strong anti-imperialist and anti-American orientation, and a notable history of promoting connections with a regime-connected Iranian academic. The boycott resolution was put forward by ASA activists who have promoted BDS in other settings. It faithfully follows the templates provided by the (PACBI), U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The ASA Resolution

The ASA has issued several statements articulating what the boycott resolution actually means. The key argument is that “Israeli academic institutions function as a central part of a system that has denied Palestinians their basic rights” and that “By responding to the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, the ASA recognizes that 1) there is no effective or substantive academic freedom afforded to Palestinians under the conditions of Israeli occupation; and that 2) Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights.” These blanket indictments of Israeli universities and academics as being intrinsic elements to the “occupation” are standard BDS rhetoric.

The ASA will therefore refuse “to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.” The resolution is “expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication.” This formula singles out academics with administrative responsibilities, as all academics do at one time or another.

The ASA denies that the boycott of Israeli scholars and institutions constitute a restriction on academic freedom “but helps to extend it” since “The goal of the academic boycott is to contribute to the larger movement for social justice in Israel/Palestine that seeks to expand, not further restrict, the rights to education and free inquiry.” This formula is contradictory.

But the terms of what constitutes “social justice in Israel/Palestine” is clarified by statements regarding the conditions in which the boycott could be lifted. At one point the statement indicates that boycott will continue “until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.” Presumably the ASA will follow the lead of Palestinian supporters of BDS in deciding if any when these conditions have been met.

What those conditions actually will be, however, is articulated (possibly inadvertently) by the ASA statement: “The boycott is designed to put real and symbolic pressure on universities to take an active role in ending the Israeli occupation and in extending equal rights to Palestinians. The international boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement has called for a boycott to be in effect until these conditions are met. (Click here.)”

Since the international BDS movement advocates for the “right of return” that will dissolve Israel as an independent Jewish state, the ASA effectively advocates Israel’s destruction.

Reactions to the ASA

The ASA resolution has produced an unprecedented level of media coverage. The responses have been overwhelmingly negative. The sheer quantity of news items and negative comments suggest that the ASA has, perhaps again inadvertently, elevated BDS to a new level. It has unquestionably catalyzed unprecedented opposition.

Criticism of the ASA has been widespread across the political spectrum, notably an editorial in the Washington Post that characterized the resolution as “utterly narrow-minded” and which pointed out the ASA’s failure to boycott countries with far worse human rights records. Criticism has also come from far-left journals like The Nation and left-center publications like The New Republic, along with numerous publications and commentators from the center and right. The Jewish left organization J Street condemned the resolution, as did the Jewish weekly The Forward. Several commentators on the left, including Peter Beinart, have also condemned the move. Some commentators from the left have pointed to the ASA as a move that will marginalize progressive causes on campus.

The negative responses from the political and cultural left suggest that BDS was either unknown or not taken seriously in these quarters. Conversely, the negative responses suggest that BDS supporters also overestimated the support from the mainstream cultural and political left. In that sense the ASA resolution may ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for BDS in academia.

More substantively, the ASA resolution has prompted a series of responses from academic institutions and leaders. At least five schools, Brandeis University, Penn State Harrisburg, Kenyon College, and Indiana University have dropped their institutional memberships, while others have denied that they are in fact institutional members of the ASA. Reports also indicate that several individuals have also given up their memberships.

Reactions from academic organizations have been negative, including the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Universities, and their leadership. Leaders of an increasing number of universities have issued statements condemning the ASA resolution, such as the chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, who reaffirmed “the right of the faculty to advance their scholarship and research through open dialogue with academic colleagues in all countries.” A similar statement was issued by the chancellor of the University of Alabama system, and the president of Yale University. The president of Wesleyan University also published an op-ed condemning the ASA boycott.

Cornell University law professor William Jacobson has taken a leading role in soliciting public statements from university presidents and organizing a crowd-sourcing effort to expand these contacts. On his website he has posted email responses from several university presidents, including Princeton, Boston University, and Willamette condemning the ASA boycott, along with Indiana University, Washington University in St. Louis, George Washington University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, John Hopkins University, New York University, Middlebury College, and many others.

Jacobson has noted several times on his web site that boycotts are illegal under American law and indicated that he will spearhead a challenge to the ASA’s tax exempt (501(C) 3) status. The legal restrictions on boycotts by American organizations have also been extensively described by Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center. Here, too, the ASA’s victory appears to have created unforeseen effects that will have a negative impact on BDS in academia.

Of equal note are responses emerging from political quarters. In an interview with Charlie Rose, former Harvard University president and Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers reiterated his previous position that BDS is antisemitic in practice if not intent and called on university leaders to shun the ASA. Heads of the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus also voiced their disappointment, a move that suggests legislative moves may be forthcoming. New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind has called on the New York State Attorney General to address the ASA’s “violation of New York State’s Human Rights Law.”

Israeli academics have also weighed in. Martin Kramer, president of Shalem College, a new liberal arts college based in Jerusalem, has pointed out that the ASA has now articulated a specific demand to boycott him. Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, now a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, has reviewed the history of anti-Israel boycotts and American Congressional responses making those illegal. Other Israeli academics have, belatedly, expressed fears that the ASA resolution may lead to other attacks on Israel academics and institutions.

Finally, Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas has stated his opposition to boycotts of Israel, except for products of Israeli communities beyond the “Green Line.” Predictably, however, Palestinian Authority representatives in South Africa have backtracked and issued another statement in which Abbas is said to express his “deep appreciation” for the BDS movement.

After the passage of the resolution the ASA adopted a defensive stance. It posted a series of talking points on its web site to guide members and also purged its Facebook page of critical comments. These moves indicate that the organization is attempting to shape the debate over the resolution but imply that the leadership has been surprised by the negative reaction. When questioned, ASA president Curtis Marez acknowledged that Israel was not the world’s leading human rights abuser but stated that “one has to start somewhere.” This formulation elicited considerable ridicule from observers.

Reports indicate that before and after the resolution that individual ASA members were subjected to pressure and harassment by BDS supporters. A notice posted on the ASA Facebook page and reposted at pro-BDS websites such as Mondoweiss have complained about “abuse” and “intimidation” from opponents of the BDS resolution. Unspecified legal action has also been threatened against critics of the ASA resolution. Supporters of the ASA from within the BDS movement have also complained that criticism of the resolution violates their academic freedom. BDS supporters have generally characterized the negative responses as having been orchestrated by the “Israel Lobby.” Claiming harassment and infringement on academic freedom, when these are precisely their tactics and goals, are standard for the BDS movement.

A major question is which academic organizations will follow the ASA’s lead. The national council of the tiny Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) quickly announced its support for BDS on the basis of “ illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples.” The statement either is unaware of or deliberately ignores the fact that Jews are indigenous to the territory of the State of Israel, as are Israelis to their own state.

Of greater significance are BDS movements in the Modern Language Association (MLA). In January, a panel on BDS will be held at the annual MLA meeting. The panel is billed as informational but consists solely of BDS supporters, including David Lloyd, who had been a leader of the ASA BDS effort, as well as a contributor to the AAUP’s BDS issue of the Journal of Academic Freedom. This is a standard BDS tactic, where dedicated “scholar-activists” go from one venue to another, representing support for BDS in purely impartial, academic terms while in fact the deck is fully stacked against Israel.

To summarize, the ASA BDS resolution has created an unprecedented opposition across the political spectrum and from academic, cultural, and political leaders. The long-term results are difficult to predict but it is likely that the ASA affair has changed the landscape for BDS debates in the United States.

In other news, BDS activities continued in December on a broad spectrum of political, economic and cultural fronts.

Reports indicate that European Union (EU) pressure on Israel to successfully conclude peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority has increased in the wake of the agreement ensuring Israeli participation in Horizon 2020, a seven year, €80 billion scientific, technical and industrial project. Israeli participation had been stalled for several months over EU political proposals that would have forbidden funds to or participation of Israeli institutions or individuals located across the “Green Line.” These issues were apparently overcome through a compromise statement suggesting that Horizon 2020 could restrict Israeli funding and participation but was not automatically obligated to do so. Concurrently, 28 EU foreign ministers promised “unprecedented” aid to both Israel and the Palestinians should an agreement be concluded.

This carrot and stick approach from the EU’s political authorities, as opposed to the technocratic authorities who oversee Horizon 2020 and who were anxious to ensure Israeli participation, demonstrate the manner in which Israel is both linked and unlinked from BDS in Europe. Political authorities occasionally, and sometimes nominally, support the BDS agenda, while scientific and industrial concerns, both public and private, and almost uniformly opposed.

Other examples of political linkage also emerged in December. In one case, a document issued by the British Ministry of Trade and Industry described the “key security and political risks which UK businesses may face when operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” With regard to economic activities involving Israeli communities or industries across the “Green Line” the report states there are “clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity.” Interestingly, the British Consulate in Jerusalem is listed as the contact, suggesting that local British diplomats may be developing or describing policy in different terms than their ministerial superiors in London.

In another case a Dutch company severed its relations with the Israeli water company Mekorot over the latter’s operations in the West Bank. Reports indicated the company made the move after consultations with the Dutch Foreign Ministry. In response, the Israeli government summoned the Dutch ambassador to Israel to protest what were called “ambiguous” Dutch statements regarding boycotts of Israel. The Dutch move was praised by Palestinian officials.

Purdue, IU get it wrong blasting boycott of Israeli universities

By Marlon Bailey, Benjamin Balthaser, Tithi Bhattacharya, Berenice Carroll, Jake Mattox, Bill V. Mullen, Micol Seigel, Shane Vogel,Guest column, Journal & courier /
December 31, 2013

Mitch Daniels, speaking as president of Purdue University, and Michael McRobbie, representing Indiana University, have condemned the American Studies Association for its decision to boycott Israeli universities for their complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Daniels said the American Studies Association action was “as clear a violation of academic freedom as one can imagine,” and McRobbie said that the resolution will have a “chilling effect on academic freedom.”

Daniels and McRobbie are wrong. The American Studies Association resolution violates no one’s academic freedom. The resolution is directed only at Israeli institutions, not individuals, and has no bearing on research and scholarship.

As the American Studies Association has written, the boycott is “limited to a refusal on the part of the ASA in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others).”

Further, writes the American Studies Association, “We are expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication. U.S. scholars are not discouraged under the terms of the boycott from traveling to Israel for academic purposes, provided they are not engaged in a formal partnership with or sponsorship by Israeli academic institutions.”

What the resolution does is recognize the role of Israeli universities in discriminating against Palestinians and actively participating in an occupation that has been condemned as illegal by the United Nations.

For example:

• Israeli universities provide the military-intelligence establishment of Israel, as Omar Barghouti has noted, with research — “on demography, geography, hydrology and psychology, among other disciplines — that directly benefits the occupation.” Israeli universities also commit acts that contravene international law, such as the construction of campuses or dormitories in the occupied Palestinian territory, as Hebrew University has done.

• Israeli universities systematically discriminate against Palestinians. While Palestinians make up 20 percent of the population of Israel, they are less than 10 percent of the university student body, and less than 1 percent of campus staff. According to Uri Jacobi Yeller, “Palestinian applicants are three times as likely to be rejected by Israeli academic institutions than Jewish applicants.” Palestinians are discriminated against in allocation of dormitories, which is based largely on military service. Similarly, most scholarship and grants to Israeli universities are based on service in the Israeli Defense Force.

Mitch Daniels, speaking as president of Purdue University, and Michael McRobbie, representing Indiana University, have condemned the American Studies Association for its decision to boycott Israeli universities for their complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Daniels said the American Studies Association action was “as clear a violation of academic freedom as one can imagine,” and McRobbie said that the resolution will have a “chilling effect on academic freedom.”

Daniels and McRobbie are wrong. The American Studies Association resolution violates no one’s academic freedom. The resolution is directed only at Israeli institutions, not individuals, and has no bearing on research and scholarship.

As the American Studies Association has written, the boycott is “limited to a refusal on the part of the ASA in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others).”

Further, writes the American Studies Association, “We are expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication. U.S. scholars are not discouraged under the terms of the boycott from traveling to Israel for academic purposes, provided they are not engaged in a formal partnership with or sponsorship by Israeli academic institutions.”

What the resolution does is recognize the role of Israeli universities in discriminating against Palestinians and actively participating in an occupation that has been condemned as illegal by the United Nations.

For example:

• Israeli universities provide the military-intelligence establishment of Israel, as Omar Barghouti has noted, with research — “on demography, geography, hydrology and psychology, among other disciplines — that directly benefits the occupation.” Israeli universities also commit acts that contravene international law, such as the construction of campuses or dormitories in the occupied Palestinian territory, as Hebrew University has done.

• Israeli universities have tried to repress campus activity perceived as anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe was asked by the president of the University of Haifa to resign after he came out in public support of the boycott, divest and sanctions movement. Pappe instead left Israel for a position at Exeter University in the U.K.

• Scholars and students at Palestinian universities have almost no academic freedom and work under constant threat. As Riham Barghouti and Helen Murray have written, Palestinian students and scholars are subject to “closure of institutions, military obstruction of access, arrests and deportations, the killing and injuring of students and teachers and attempts to criminalize the Palestinian educational process.” In December 2008, Israeli bombed the Islamic University of Gaza, destroying six buildings, including a research lab and women’s dormitory.

• Given the opportunity, the large majority of Israeli academics have shown little concern for supporting academic freedom for Palestinians. As Haim Bresheeth and Sherna Berger Gluck have pointed out, a few months before the Gaza incursion by the Israeli Army in December 2008, a petition for academic freedom in the occupied territories was circulated to more than 10,000 Israeli academics. The petition, requesting that the Israeli government allow Palestinians the same freedom enjoyed by Israeli academics, was signed by only 407 Israeli academics — 4 percent of the total.

For these reasons, more than 800 of the leading scholars in the world voted in an open election by a 2-1 margin to support the American Studies Association boycott of Israeli universities. As UCLA historian Robin D.G. Kelley wrote in support of the resolution, “Much like the academic boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era, the point of the resolution is to pressure academic institutions and the state, complicit in the policies of occupation, dispossession and segregation to comply with international law and make real academic freedom possible.”

In fact, the greatest threat to academic freedom related to the boycott resolution has come from U.S. university presidents. Kenyon College President Sean Decatur and IU President McRobbie have reportedly suspended their American studies programs’ membership in the American Studies Association as a result of the ASA’s democratic vote. McRobbie has reportedly done so without any consultation with American Studies faculty, a chilling violation of faculty governance and academic freedom. The next thing we might imagine are university presidents closing entire academic programs because of actions taken by professional organizations with which they disagree.

Daniels, meanwhile, said Purdue officials are “checking into” whether Purdue departments have affiliations with the American Studies Association.

Any move by the university administration to override faculty, student, program or department policy or democracy would clearly undermine academic freedom and faculty governance at Purdue.

The American Studies Association membership should be applauded for joining the struggle for Palestinian equality as one of the most important global civil rights campaigns of our time, and for voting to extend and protect academic freedom for those who do not have it.

Purdue, IU and all universities should do the same.

Marlon Bailey, associate professor of gender studies and American studies, Indiana University-Bloomington; Benjamin Balthaser, assistant professor of English, Indiana University-South Bend; Tithi Bhattacharya, associate professor of history, Purdue University; Berenice Carroll, professor emerita political science and women and gender studies, Purdue University; Jake Mattox, associate professor of English, Indiana University-South Bend; Bill V. Mullen, professor of English and American studies, Purdue University; Micol Seigel, associate professor of American studies and history, Indiana University-Bloomington; Shane Vogel, associate professor of English, director of cultural studies, affiliated American studies department, Indiana University-Bloomington.

55 US universities speak out against Israel boycott/a;

Jewish leaders say reconsideration of American Studies Association vote a sign universities oppose BDS

By 124
December 31, 2013

Fifty-five higher learning institutions in the US have come out against a recent decision by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations commended the schools who have made public statements opposing the measure passed in a vote earlier this month.

“This remarkable response is a clear declaration that American academia will not be party to the efforts to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” said Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chairman Robert G. Sugarman and executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein in a statement.

The Conference of Presidents had reportedly written to each of the institutional members of the ASA outlining why the boycott call was unjustifiable and blatantly discriminatory.

“The response is very encouraging and we are grateful that so many took the time during a holiday week to respond. We continue to urge the rest of the members to speak out against the action and to disassociate from supporting the ASA,” the leaders said.

On Monday, the president of the American Council on Education added her voice to those calling to reconsider the motion. Molly Corbett Broad called the ASA boycott “misguided” and damaging to academic freedom, calling on ACE’s 1,800 member institutions who support sanctions to reconsider their actions.

“Many of these same scholars would decry efforts by trustees, governors or state legislators to infringe on faculty teaching and research activities at their own institutions, and yet these boycotts involve more sweeping repercussions, impeding global academic relationships and the constructive exchange of ideas among countries and cultures,” Corbett Broad said.

The decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions was made unanimously by the ASA’s 20-member national council on December 5 and ratified by two thirds of the member institutions.

According to the ASA website, the boycott will not ban collaboration with individual Israeli academics.

“The ASA understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the ASA in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law,” the ASA website said.

“We are expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication,” it said.

Israel’s University Presidents Association released a statement in response saying: “We call on our colleagues, members of the academy from across the world, to condemn these boycotts.”

The boycott is part of a larger movement, BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. The Association for Asian American Studies already voted in Spring 2013 to support this boycott.

ASA’s statement said the organization believes that the decision to honor the call for the Academic Boycott of Israeli institutions is “an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.”

According to its’ website, the American Studies Association has 5,000 individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers

Notes and links
BDS supporter appointed as first Muslim regent of California University, read this and the post below for the vicious attacks on a Muslim student regent uttered by many right-wing Jewish groups.
The new anti-Semitism, and the campaign to silence American critics of Israel, August 2013

Drive to eradicate dissent threatens Ben Gurion University, includes at least nine pleas/petitions in defence of academic freedom at Ben Gurion university, none from any of the defenders of academic freedom in the posting.
State council seeks to shut down ‘leftist’ department at BGU, +972, 2012

Birzeit University: Silencing Humor Al Akhbarm June 19, 2012

Occupied Jerusalem – Birzeit University in Palestine is in the midst of a controversy that threatens to destroy its reputation as a bastion of academic freedoms. A university professor is under investigation for hanging cartoons drawn by an Emirati youth commenting on social issues. The complaint, led by a small Salafi group on campus, has uncovered an environment of collusion between the university administration, the faculty, and Gulf donors.

The “freedom of expression” conflict started when Professor Mousa al-Budeiri, from the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department, hung up two cartoons on his office door – and all hell broke loose.

The Awareness Bloc, the student arm of the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb al-Tahrir), launched a fierce attack on Budeiri, including takfiri campaigns deeming him an apostate and demanding his expulsion from the university for “insulting Islam.”

The bloc went further when it succeeded in coercing the university, which, instead of supporting him, succumbed to the Islamists’ threats and took a series of measures against the professor.

Shin Bet recruiters enticing Palestinian medical students with Jerusalem entry permits

Ha’aretz, May 2010
The Shin Bet security service is trying to recruit Palestinian medical students as a condition for granting them entry permits to Jerusalem, according to two medical students at Al-Quds University pursuing internships in Palestinian university hospitals in the city.

The two students told Haaretz that a “Captain Biran” who said he was the Shin Bet agent responsible for monitoring the university told them to report on other students and their activities as a condition for renewing their entry permits. After both refused, they were effectively prevented from choosing a residency specialty and continuing their medical training.

The Shin Bet said in response that the two students’ entry permits had not been renewed for security reasons. The agency did not refer to the students’ allegations that agents tried to blackmail them in exchange for renewing their permits.

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