We believe in the principle of academic freedom. However, we also believe in the principle of not supporting schools whose programs we, and our constituents, find to be odious and wrong.
Maybe if they started small, say supporting the Kurds against Turkey and Iraq it might have a bit less anti-Semitic tinge?
In the last week, we have been contacted by members of the Brooklyn College community and beyond about the political science department’s co-sponsorship of a panel discussion on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
"The student group explicitly asked us if we would like to 'endorse' or 'co-sponsor' the event; we explicitly opted for 'co-sponsor.'"
Although you disassociated yourself from Hamas and Hezbollah’s violence, you did stress the “extreme” importance of “understanding [them] as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global left.”
Does that mean you have no particularly strong objections about their pervasive misogyny, their blatant homophobia, their cult of death, their genocidal discourse? They are the antithesis of everything we on the global left stand for: the dignity of voluntary human interaction. They display all the most prominent and negative traits of the totalitarian impulses that imprisoned minds and murdered tens of millions in the last century. How can you not denounce loudly the shocking notion that a group that pervaded with such violently regressive attitudes be even thought of as “social movements that are progressive.” What about them is progressive?
On the contrary: the background to anti-Israelism is Arab and European anti-Semitism; it is only the façade which purports to be progressive and liberal.
The Jerusalem Post recently published an article reporting that some organizations are opposed to my receiving the Adorno Prize, an award given every three years to someone who works in the tradition of critical theory broadly construed. The accusations against me are that I support Hamas and Hezbollah (which is not true) that I support BDS (partially true), and that I am anti-Semitic (patently false).
I do not endorse practices of violent resistance and neither do I endorse state violence, cannot, and never have. This view makes me perhaps more naïve than dangerous, but it is my view. So it has always seemed absurd to me that my comments were taken to mean that I support or endorse Hamas and Hezbollah! I have never taken a stand on either organization, just as I have never supported every organization that is arguably part of the global left – I am not unconditionally supportive of all groups that currently constitute the global left. To say that those organizations belong to the left is not to say that they should belong, or that I endorse or support them in any way.(emphases hers)
The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.
pursuant to an agreement with, a requirement of, or a request from or on behalf of the boycotting country
Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive internal security service, have spoken out as a group for the first time and are making stunning revelations.
The men who were responsible for keeping Israel safe from terrorists now say they are afraid for Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state.
Israeli film director Dror Moreh managed to get them all to sit down for his new documentary: “The Gatekeepers.” It is the story of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories, as told by the people at the crossroads of some of the most crucial moments in the security history of the country.
“If there is someone who understands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s those guys,” the director told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Against the backdrop of the currently frozen peace process, all six argue – to varying degrees – that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is bad for the state of Israel.
If the State of Israel would get up tomorrow morning and get out of Gaza, and seriously begin dismantling illegal settlements, then I believe, from my years of familiarity with our future partners, that the Palestinians would come to the table.
Well look, I couldn’t disagree more violently with BDS as they call it, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. As you know I’m a big supporter of Israel, as big a one as you can find in the city, but I could also not agree more strongly with an academic department’s right to sponsor a forum on any topic that they choose. I mean, if you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea.
The last thing that we need is for members of our City Council or State Legislature to be micromanaging the kinds of programs that our public universities run, and base funding decisions on the political views of professors. I can’t think of anything that would be more destructive to a university and its students.
You know, the freedom to discuss ideas, including ideas that people find repugnant, lies really at the heart of the university system, and take that away and higher education in this country would certainly die.
This is a city that loves and protects freedom—academic freedom, religious religious freedom, sexual freedom, cultural freedom, political freedom. We are the freest city in the world, and that’s why we’re the greatest city in the world.
Yet another objection, sometimes uttered by the same people who made the first, is that BDS does qualify as a viewpoint, but as such, ought to be presented only in a context in which the opposing viewpoint can be heard as well. There was yet a qualification to this last position, namely, that no one can have a conversation on this issue in the US that does not include a certain Harvard professor, but that spectacular argument was so self-inflationary and self-indicting, that I could only respond with astonishment.
One could be for the BDS movement as the only credible non-violent mode of resisting the injustices committed by the state of Israel without falling into the football lingo of being “pro” Palestine and “anti” Israel. This language is reductive, if not embarrassing. One might reasonably and passionately be concerned for all the inhabitants of that land, and simply maintain that the future for any peaceful, democratic solution for that region will become thinkable through the dismantling of the occupation, through enacting the equal rights of Palestinian minorities and finding just and plausible ways for the rights of refugees to be honored. If one holds out for these three aims in political life, then one is not simply living within the logic of the “pro” and the “anti”, but trying to fathom the conditions for a “we”, a plural existence grounded in equality ... what will be just for the Jews will also be just for the Palestinians, and for all the other people living there, since justice, when just, fails to discriminate, and we savor that failure.
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