The academic boycott debate revisited once again

October 30, 2010
Richard Kuper


In a posting The academic boycott of Israel revisited on our website a fortnight ago, we carried part of a renewed debate on the topic, with a contribution by Ran Greenstein and a response by Robert Fine. Since then there have been many rejoinders and responses. We reproduce the Greenstein-Fine debate in its entirety here and here, the latest contributions dated 28 October.

A lot of the discussion and disagreement, does not concern the academic boycott issue narrowly conceived but ranges widely, over the nature of Zionism as a national movement, the question of the nakba and the issue of ‘ethnic cleansing’, the extent to which Israel is being singled out, the nature of a ‘Jewish’ state, and much else besides. None of these issues in new but the Fine-Greenstein exchange casts fresh light on them and approaches them in challenging and respectful ways.

In addition we’d like to draw attention to the links to the entire debate given on the Engage website. Many of the contributions have elicited a wide range of responses largely – and not surprisingly given the range of contributors to these discussions on that website – critical of Greenstein. Greenstein has taken the trouble to take many of these criticisms seriously and to respond to them as part of the threads. Readers who wish to follow the nuances of the discussion to their limits will gain much from reading the extensive comments to many of the postings.

Link to the original Greenstein-Fine exchange

Link to the subsequent responses and rejoinders

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