Lara Alqasem & Study Abroad in Israel


The story about Lara Alqasem, about which you can read here, is a far more serious threat to academic study abroad programs in Israel than this or that professor or TA refusing to write letters of recommendation to students interested in going to Israel to study for a semester. Alqasem is a Palestinian American student accepted to an MA program at the Hebrew University to study human rights. Detained for almost a week at Ben Gurion International Airport, she is not being let into the country by the government which found her name listed among supporters of  BDS. First and foremost is the gross injustice to Alqaem as a person and the suffering caused her. Second is that these kinds of actions on the part of the Israeli government will more than warrant calls in the United States to cancel programs of study at Israeli universities for American students. This would be based on the principle that American universities should not be in the business of supporting programs not open to every student, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and politics. Consider signing this petition here on her behalf.

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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