Israel Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Kills Scholarship

I like the logo, but what a mess. The University of Texas was right to resist the call to boycott Israel by excluding two Israeli authors from an anthology in honor of the late Elizabeth Fernea dedicated to Middle Eastern women’s writing. When the press refused to boycott the Israeli contributors some thirteen of the original contributors pulled their contribution, scotching the project. About this Kamran Scot Aghaie, director of the center at UT, was quite clear. You can read a more complete version of his remarks at Inside Higher Education. Boycotting scholarship is a destructive act with which a university press should have no truck. It’s also a dehumanizing one, this phobic idea of putting persons  under glass or behind a moral-political pale.  This is a clear case as to how, in an open society, BDS does more harm to its organizers than to its intended target. The self-righteous pride in killing the project expressed by Huzama Habayeb, who organized the boycott, can only be described as, at the very least, self-mutilating.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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