Divisive Move Only Serves to Impede Peace
B’nai B’rith International strongly condemns the newly announced academic boycott of Israel by a group of scholars from the United Kingdom.
In a full page ad in the Guardian newspaper called “A Commitment by UK Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians,” more than 300 professors say they are boycotting Israeli universities to call attention to “the intolerable human rights violations” it says Israel perpetrates against the Palestinians.
To be sure, with more than 194,000 academics in the United Kingdom, the 343 signers represent a tiny minority. But such public calls bring disproportionate attention to their misguided view.
It is astonishing to think how these university professors are intentionally ignoring the situation in the region and focusing instead on Israel, while disregarding such realities as the current terror campaign against Jews in Israel, who have been shot, stabbed and rammed with cars by young Palestinians.
The approach a week ago by 150 British artists announcing opposition to a cultural boycott of Israel notes engagement is how to understand others. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, joined those opposing a boycott.
Academic freedom is a hallmark of the Israeli university system. It is astonishing that these British academics have their eyes trained only on Israel, rather than on the numerous nations which inhibit academic freedom and systematically abuse human rights of their citizens.