Shalom Life | October 13, 2014

Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

Over 620 academics (and counting) have signed a petition that condemns the BDS movement against Israel

By: Daniel Koren

Published: September 23rd, 2014 in News » World

Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

As the year 5774 comes to a close, one of the most alarming trends that gained momentum this Jewish year is the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which, over the past year, has seen several educational institutions taking part in an academic boycott of Israel, including the American Studies Association, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, the University of Windsor, and several others.

Most recently, the University of Ohio student senate President Megan Marzec poured a bucket of fake blood onto herself encouraging Ohio U to divest from Israel, not before having pro-Israel students removed from a senate meeting for reading from conservative blog posts that state why an academic boycott of Israel would not serve any university's best interests.

As talks of BDS continue to plague the academic world, and ostracize Jewish and Israeli students around the globe, there is finally a petition that condemns this unjust movement, one that "vigorously" supports "free speech and free debate" while opposing "faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students.”

Thus far, over 620 members of academia have signed.

The petition was launched on Sept. 15th, and is critical of the BDS movement against Israel, as it “violates the very principle of academic freedom.”

It is also critical of BDS for basing its “accusations and narratives” on “overstatements, cherry picked evidence, outright falsehood” or “disputed or highly biased data.”

Alan Dershowitz, an emeritus professor at Harvard Law School, has lent his signature to the petition, as well as City University journalism professor Eric Alterman, UCLA computer science professor Judea Parl, and Deborah Dash Moore, director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.

Read an excerpt from the Petition below:

We, the undersigned academics, (faculty, full time and part time, academic staff including librarians, researchers, post doctorates,technicians and technologists, administrators, and trustees) vigorously support free speech and free debate but we oppose faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students.

Our opposition is rooted in the following core principles.

1. Academic freedom: The BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement discriminates against Israeli institutions, professors, and students for no other reason than their nationality and the policies of their government. Thus BDS violates the very principle of academic freedom….

2. Truth: The factual record does not support the accusations and narratives of the BDS movement. Many are based on overstatements, cherry picked evidence, outright falsehood, or on disputed or highly biased data.

3. Peace: The two-state solution …. By demonizing and seeking to isolate one of the two parties to the peace process, the anti-Israel BDS movement sets itself apart from the global consensus for peace.

4. Access to World-leading Scholarship: BDS would have the practical impact of undermining academic cooperation and would deprive universities significant Israeli contributions in many academic areas, especially scientific research….

If you are a faculty member (currently or emeritus), a member of academic staff, an administrator, trustee or a graduate student, please head here now to sign the petition, in a bid to teach others just how unfair, unjust and unacademic the BDS movement against Israel is.

Someone make sure to send this to Roger Waters. I'm sure he'll want to sign.


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