Saturday, November 22, 2003

Here is a long article in Ha'Aretz about a subject that every now and then pops up in Israeli and foreign media, the boycott conducted by some selfrighteous people who have the hutzpah to call and consider themselves academics, against Israeli academics and academic institutes. Ignoring the fact that many of their Israeli colleagues are highly critical of the Israeli government and active in different pro-coexistence fora, these exponents of what has become a very biased new Left ( which is ready to condemn every act by a Western government but stays mostly silent when the various atrocities committed by the most anti-democratic regimes in the world are concerned ) make it even easier for the fanatics on the Palestinian and Israeli sides of the conflict to achieve their hideous goals. Prof. Oren Yiftachel, from Ben-Gurion University, says some very true things in the article: " The scientific world has to be based on scientific quality and not on who your mother is. In the end, the boycotters will weaken the peace camp, some of whose members are in the universities. If the universities are weakened, that will be good for the right wing. I understand the reasoning behind bringing pressure to bear on Israel, but this method is invalid. It is more logical to put pressure on the United States so it will make its aid to Israel conditional on an end to the occupation. I am critical of what is going on in the territories, but a scientific boycott will not help. It is also flagrantly immoral and could have a snowball effect. If we are being boycotted, then why not boycott all articles by the Americans, because their country invaded Iraq? An international scientific boycott could be declared against any scientist anywhere whose country commits crimes, even though the scientist is not involved."

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