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Boycotting Israeli Academia

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The British University and College Union (U.C.U.) recently voted in favour of discussing a boycott of Israeli academia to protest Israel's continued occupation and abuses of Palestinian academic freedom. This action has caused no end of furor from Jews and Israel supporters around the world, as well as the obvious anger of Israelis and Israeli academics – including furious calls for counter-measures.

People like Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz claims to have set-up a team of 100 of the world's best lawyers to "devastate and bankrupt" anyone targeting Israeli universities. Dershowitz also said he would get tens of thousands of the world's most prominent academics to boycott British academia. This call was immediately supported by 2,000 American scholars, including nine Nobel Laureates, who vowed to boycott any event that excludes Israelis.

The British and global media has been filled with articles by academics, some arguing the case for a boycott and others arguing against. I hate to say that I am – for once – forced to sit on the fence, wait, and see what happens.

Awhile back I would have supported a boycott, after interviewing Ilan Pape, an Israeli academic and avid campaigner for the boycott initiated by Palestinian civil society, which has been struggling to take any kind of hold. Ilan Pape, like many supporters of the Palestinian boycott, draw parallels between South African apartheid and Israel. They believe because the boycott of the S.A. apartheid regime was instrumental in bringing equality in South Africa, a similar-type boycott could force Israel to moderate its behaviour and eventually grant equal rights to Arabs in Israel and a viable state of self-determination to the Palestinians.

I now believe that any boycott of Israel might do nothing more than worsen the siege mentality inside Israel, which comes from relentless and frequent attacks – firstly from the surrounding countries and now from the surrounding Palestinian terror groups.

This siege mentality causes Israelis to believe that relinquishing any land will place them into the same strategic weakness that led them defending massive attacks in 1948 and 1967. As Reuven Kossover, an Israeli Jew commented: "Any solution that strips us of strategic depth is suicide. A country whose borders are 16 kilometers wide can be cut in half by a determined tank attack."

In fact Israelis are always at threat, and the threat is usually portrayed by their government as a threat to their very existence. Jews, who endured the Holocaust – the worst atrocity of the 20th century – know all about fearing for their existence. Then they were granted a supposed Jewish haven by the U.N. General Assembly and the British, who were given control of Palestine after World War II. Immediately they had to fight to create their state, against an Arab enemy wanting to drive them into the sea.

The surrounding Arab enemies never accepted the creation of Israel, so the Jews feared that the next war could be just around the corner. If anything, another attack was more likely due to Arab anger about the forced expulsion of Arabs by Jewish forces.

In 1948 Israeli and Jewish solidarity was at an all-time high; after the Holocaust and successfully repelling the first Arab attack. According to the Israeli government, the Arabs had left their homes willingly – or on the word of the Arab invaders, who told them to leave and return when the war was won. Of course, Israelis were going to believe their government over the ruthless Arabs.

So, Israelis were living in their new State of Israel – in fear of the next war, which came in 1967, then in fear of the next war, which came in 1973. Their fear has been heightened by regular skirmishes with Palestinian and other terror groups since the first Intifada began in 1987, culminating in the Lebanon war and a major Gaza incursion last summer. Now Israel is embroiled in further Gaza fighting, and Israelis live in fear of the next rocket or terror attack. As if that wasn't bad enough, their government's propaganda is telling them that a nuclear Iran will cause a second Holocaust: The sort of propaganda picked up by U.S. conservatives, Presidential candidates and anyone desiring U.S. control over Iran's oil reserves.

This constant existential fear has increased the siege mentality to incredible proportions, along with Jewish solidarity, preventing any real resentment of Israel's oppression from within.

Actions that would further heighten this siege mentality and further increase solidarity between all Israelis in supporting their government's policies will continue to push the possibility of any lasting peace further into the distance.

However, the reasons I am not completely against the boycott is that I still agree with Ilan Pape on the possibility that such a boycott by academics might make Israelis begin to look at their government's actions more closely. This might begin a wave of discontent at their government's handling of the occupation. While it would probably start small, it might grow in the course of time.

And the amount of anger that this has caused inside Israel shows that it is very hurtful to them; their desire to end it may eventually cause them to begin forcing change from within.

Also, the media hype is drawing attention to the fact that intelligent people are so opposed to Israel's actions that they are willing to put the U.C.U. and its credibility on the line to take a stand. This is important because Israel has continually gotten away with its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention – which Israel says does not apply to the occupied territories – and U.N. Resolutions and U.N. and other international laws. And not least because of unwavering, unquestioning and unconditional U.S. support, which has run at an all-time high under Bush, and the candidates who might succeed him as President show no signs of ending it.

So, support of Israel seems to be important in the quest for American votes. Also a factor is the large amount of campaign funding from the Jewish community seeking to ensure continued U.S. support for Israel.

However, if the threats of counter-boycotts and such like don't stifle the debate or lead to the boycott being trashed, the U.C.U.'s controversial stand could finally begin to change the level of support for Israel in the U.S. and around the world. If this happens in America, then politicians and presidents may be forced to change their stance toward Israel. This in turn may force Israel to fall into line with international law, and maybe even to end the occupation and find a lasting peace.

So I’m going to sit on the fence over this, and see where it leads.

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About Liam Bailey

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Liam,

    I’m almost impressed by this article. Just one little problem. You make much of the “siege mentality” in this nation. It is not some delusion of hypersensitive Jews. It is the recognition by Israelis of reality. We are under siege. This is not a “siege mentality”; this is the painful recognition of reality by a people that has been deluded by the bullshit of Oslo and delusions of peace peddled by the Americans and the Europeans.

    The immediate enemy – the Arab terrorists based in Gaza, Judea and Samaria – have wet dreams of our deaths. Fortunately for us, they are too busy killing each other to concentrate too hard on us – right now; and I do expect eventually to hear the firing of rifles and machine guns in the mountains of Samaria, as Hamas goes after Fatah here. But eventually we will return to our place in the terrorists gun-sights.

    Then there is Iran, regularly calling for our demise, and the Syrians doing what they can to build an alliance with Iran. I realize after an evening of talking with traitors like Pappe you can convince yourself of any kind of nonsense.

    But the intent to destroy us most assuredly there. And the clear perception of that intent is only bolstered by the “academics” and other “professional” types in the UK who show just what deceitful bastards inhabit the “upper” classes of British society – the scum of the earth.

    It will be nice to see how the efforts of a pissed off Jewish lawyer work in isolating the stink this shit would give off.

    And frankly, I can’t wait to see how counter-boycotts start to affect you Brits. It’s about time you got a taste of the medicine you so self-righteously dish out – to all the wrong people.

    Open wide, say “ah” – as the castor oil of Jewish anger starts to go down your throats.

    Have a blessed Sunday…

  • chris leadbeater

    “This siege mentality causes Israelis to believe that relinquishing any land will place them into the same strategic weakness that led them defending massive attacks in 1948 and 1967.”

    In 2007, can anyone still believe the propaganda claims of the “massive attacks” in 1948 and 1967,especially anyone who claims to have read Ilan Pappe?

  • http://7colorlagoon.com/blog1 Howard Dratch

    I am still unsure, Liam, if your history of seeming anti-semitic attacks are satire, messages from the Dark Side, or (since you write on your blogs: “Currently necessity dictates that I work full time in a supermarket, but my heart is in my writing. You can commission articles. One off cover-letters for employers, which I am excellent at. Sales pitch for company brochures or a personalised poem for advertising campaigns or greeting cards. Anything you need written, I will write it well.”) if Palestinian or Iranian PR people have hired you for this series.

    After all, you wrote:

    Whether Ahmadinejad said “Israel must be wiped off the map” or not, the comparison to Hitler and the holocaust is a blatant misrepresentation of one of the world’s most horrific acts. In 1938 the world was a different place, not least in the perception of Jews. 1938 was in an era when stereotypes were treated as fact and taught to children. Discrimination was accepted, in some cases even expected of people. Jews were stereotypically evil, greedy and devious and persecuted because of it.

    I follow the Arab saying that “He who repeats an insult is the one insulting you.” Do you truly believe that “Jews…(are) evil, greedy and devious?”

    If I interviewed you I would have to ask: When did you first feel that one group — Jews — were responsible for the ills of the world or even drunk driving?

    You make excellent points about the Bush administration’s policies except that you make a regime noted for having the least number of Jews in it since FDR sound as if it is a great supporter of Israel. What in your life caused you to ignore facts and let your imagination run so free?

    I must ask, since any other explanation is hard to accept in a supposedly civilized person: Is your series of anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Arab articles a huge practical joke? Satire? A distorted version of humor?

    Most importantly — Are you a Mel Gibson fan? Or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

    The Ahmadinejad who said (from the official Iranian translation) on 2 January,

    Regarding nuclear technology, he said that the enemies would definitely not be able to stand the will of the Iranian nation.
    He added that the nations’ resolve is like a roaring river which will rid the world of such dirty individuals.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I thought I’d allow just a little reality to seep in to burst this eh “bubble.”

    One of a number of reports on the “poor Palestinians”. For a bunch of starving underfed refugees, they sure have a of energy.

    I wonder what those British journalists who want to boycott us think – especially that stupid little twat who cried tears as she reported on the death of that little child fucker, Arafat.

    Finally his legacy is being honored the way it should be…

    Arafat’s Nobel Prize, Suha’s gowns looted

    Hamas gunmen who destroyed late PA chairman’s Gaza house did not spare prestigious award he won, as well as garments left behind by his widow

    Roee Nahmias
    Published: 06.17.07, 11:30 / Israel News

    The Hamas gunmen who broke into the Gaza house of late Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat on Saturday, also stole his Nobel Peace Prize and his widow’s evening gowns, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

    “This morning the Hamas gangs and militia broke into the home of the leader and symbol, Yasser Arafat, broke the door and entered his house under gunpoint. They stole and looted its content, stepped on his picture and military uniform and stole his personal documents,” the report said, using harsh words against Hamas.

    Gaza Chaos
    Crowd loots Gaza home of Arafat / Ali Waked and Reuters
    Witnesses say crowd took furniture, wall tiles and personal belongings from villa of deceased Palestinian leader; Fatah gunmen attempt to kidnap Hamas-affiliated official in Ramallah
    Full story

    According to the report, “(The gunmen) smashed the badges and gifts he received from world leaders, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize medal.”

    It appears that the gunmen also visited the private room of the late leaders’ widow, Suha Arafat.

    “The militiamen broke into his wife and daughter’s rooms on the second floor of the house and stole the women’s clothes. They also stepped on the picture of the ‘shahid rais’ (martyr chairman) with his daughter Zahwa and his wife, Suha Arafat.”

    Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman was enraged by the incident, saying that “this crime took place after Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal promised that Arafat’s house would not be touched.

    “This is a real crime which was preceded by crimes of killing, slaughter and theft by the gangs of the Hamas militia and its executing force in the presidential headquarters in Gaza, as well as the execution of Fatah officers.

    “These crimes will reveal to the entire world the face of the Hamas leadership and the political leadership which rose to power. The Palestinian people will not forgive these criminal gangs which broke into the home of the great Palestinian shahid, Yasser Arafat. This crime will remain a mark of disgrace on the forehead of the Hamas leadership and its criminal gangs,” he added.

  • Dr Dreadful

    SR: Walgreens called. Your prescription is ready. I really think you need to go pick it up NOW.

  • sr

    Doc, just got back from Walgreens. The prescription you ordered is for hemroids. Should I take them with water or stick them up my nose? Thanks for your help Doc.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Hemorrhoids you say? That would explain why you, Billybob and that other alias you invented today (can’t remember its name) have been acting like sore asses the last couple of days.

    As I’ve told you before, I’m an evil doctor, not an MD, so I’m not the person to ask for medical advice unless you want it to be instantly fatal. But I believe that you have great potential for evil so I will give you free advice just this once. Listen carefully. Your nose is exactly the wrong place to put them. Now what you need to do is take your pills and stick them up your… well, you know.

  • sr

    Doc, stick them up your… Dude these pills are about the size of a watermelon. No wonder your an evil doctor.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’ve told you folks many times over. You need us – WE DO NOT NEED YOU! Check it out. Boycott us and and we will get the last laugh.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I got an interesting e-mail today; a fellow cleaning his “to send” bin with a letter to the BBC. Just so that everyone understands, there are loads of people who think like I do in Israel. He, like I, regards the ruling secular elite here as a pack of disgusting unJews who have no part in this land and who will be held to justice – be it divine, or human, for their crimes against the People of Israel.

    Mr. Thomson, the fellow addressed, is from the British(dhimmi) Broadcast Corporation.

    ********************************************************

    Mr. Thomson,

    We “protest”…

    RADIO FREE ISRAEL and our associates wish to protest to you sir!!!
    We heard with shock and I may add, dismay and consternation that there is some talk there in Britain to void your boycotts and to change the BBC. And we say.. Stop that immediately, if not sooner!

    Your aggregation must not void your boycotts nor you should change the BBC’s “reporting”.
    Our pleading to you is sincere. We, meaning the Jewish People, know British history in relation to our people as well as to others. We are particularly aware of the events in GB dating from before the year 1290 in Kent and after the 1600’s in general… as well as during and after the “mandate”. And we demand that you keep being yourselves!

    Should you undo any of the basic British defining parameters by doing things such as voiding the boycotts and or changing the BBC, or stopping from partitioning others lands, refraining from usurping others resources, etc, you run the terrible risk of finding that no one will be able to be sure that you remain British. Whatever that “being British” is.

    You have worked far too hard to be as false, pillaging, treacherous, usurping, anti-Semitic as you are, to abandon now your laurels.

    Be consistent man!

    Furthermore… It has come to our attention as well, that several EU Cro Magnon tribes are DREAMING of another “final solution”.

    Bad form chaps… That is far from being in the cards.

    So you folk do not continue to work under the wrong impression. We want to make sure that you do not run in neutral you see.

    We are well aware that the UN “resolution” was only a strategic maneuver to assuage the Allies tacit complicity with Germany in many aspects of the Holocaust. The UN resolution was never meant to stick. Was it Mr. Thomson?

    And we prepared for “that moment”…
    Having set that record straight…
    Sit back, pour yourself some cherry wine and internalize the following lines as if so doing would save your derriere. You may well do that by listening WELL. And as you do it, pass the following along to the rest of your co travelers.
    Are you at ease? GREAT!

    What you are ’bout to read is not from a post Ben Gurion-Rabinist-Peresite. It is not unJewish pawing or unJewish styled idiotic wordmanship. We do not seek or see any elevation emanating for your “peerships” or “lordships”. And conclusively the following is not from Tel Aviv…

    It is the CORE JEWISH folk word to you, pitched right down the middle of the plate.

    Listen well.

    The same jeopardy you set upon our people, shall be set upon you all. Clear enough Mr. Thomson?
    Some examples of how it will work. But before we do that allow me to suggest to you to forget the cadre you have bought to be in control here in your behalf. They are on their way out. Their destination is quite clear to all willing to be aware. That garbage may do some damage yet, but basically they are gone.

    ITEM #1: You arm our enemies. As you do that we will arm your enemies. (Include ourselves). See Thomson, the moment you do such things you are immediately, our enemy as well.

    ITEM #2: You or parts of you boycott us. As you do that we will make damned sure harm is inflicted to you in the same fashion.

    ITEM #3: Your media actions against our people. As opposed to others, we have no intention of engaging you on prattliings and verbal virtuosity. Through other Media tools available to us we will act in such fashion that can rest assured that your people shall be harmed as much as we can as well.

    ITEM #4: You deny supplies needed for scientific or military applications. We generally could care less, but in passing we will make sure that your systems are just as affected.

    And all shall be done OVERGROUND in your plain sight.

    THE LAND OF ISRAEL

    History records support the claim that our Nation never assumed anyone else’s Land overseas. We never invaded the Cro Magnon caves. Or for that matter never desired your pagan locations. etc.
    It has been invariably you people invading, slaughtering, pillaging, enslaving, torturing, stealing, raping and assaulting us. Until now, that is. Watch your steps.

    Not only have we not taken foreign lands by force but neither have we shipped our military to “protect”, partition, conquer others away from our Land. In turn you have done so consistently all over the world.

    What constitutes our Land? The Jewish National Heritage in their Land of Israel form and its limits are imprinted in the oldest records at hand. The Torah recites precisely what is ours and, rigidly, on that, we post a claim. Presently the new revitalized and JEWISH leadership in the making is entirely dedicated to re possess what was allocated to us thousands of years ago as recorded.

    RIGHT TO EXIST:

    There is a direct relation between the Jewish RIGHT to exist and your right to exist. As you undermine ours, we shall do exactly the same to you. Not that we enjoy that, but you folk have to come to terms on that you will not be allowed any longer to endanger our people.
    We EXIST and that is PREDICATED UPON G-d’s Creation and that will NOT now or will ever be related to your whims.

    HOW DO YOU RANK?

    After over 60 years of carefully observing your actions we conclude that you are an infirm hybrid aggregation unworthy to be taken into account with regards to our rights to our Land or freedom. Not that anyone else or combinations of any types as you are prone to assemble, do have that right. They do not. Yet. Your aggregation is particularly identified as inimical to us on that respect.

    As to providing your kind with allowances to “create”, “partition” or re formatting states or to waive rights to exist or not to exist or in what form to exist. Forget that chucky! We utterly REJECT and will harshly oppose any attempt by you to do so again against the JEWISH NATION. The Crusaders and Mandates are over Thomson.

    Stop and think for a moment.

    You do not honestly believe that you, inheritors of a multiple wife murderer Church and otherwise claiming connection to the Piltdown fabrication, can get away with denying RIGHT to EXIST to anyone, do you?

    About that “boycotting” .

    Personally I could care less if you boycott or not, but there is a fly on that ointment. If your Islamic pals fail to complete their job on you, you should carefully enter all of the above and following into your calculations.

    We have researched the boycotts by you folk and concluded as follows:

    FINDINGS:

    During the last two decades, at least that long, few Eretz Israel residents used a British text or product. Some jackasses bent on showing off do buy a Rolls or Jaguar here and there and turn themselves into laughing stock.
    But credit is given where credit is due… ;)

    In the Tel Aviv region, (where else, if not there…), there are a few bars that, for some strange reason, would serve warm beer. Then again, I have seen many make believe Jewesses living there romping around wearing old beaten up fur coats in the middle of Summer. LOL Near the Mann Auditorium in particular. A sorry sight indeed.

    There are indeed a few British made medical drugs for sale. Those will be easily replaced.
    We can confirm that somewhere around there is a black Spitfire aircraft, used by the late Mr. Weitzman.

    Regretfully, flying that, and an apparently skewed sense of connection to Britain, may have caused the bribe infection that later affected and ruined him. Lets call that the ACETONE connection, shall we?

    We also found six Leyland buses carcasses in one junkyard. I have been told that a few more rotting in several other junkyards or have been melted for steel. You should be pleased to know that I have seen two or three being used as field outhouses by large tract farmers.
    In the other hand…

    As a Senior Engineer in military avionics and as a Teacher as well as Professor contracted by the relevant Ministry as Collegiate Graduation Officer, I do not recall a single tool, instrument, part, scientific text of British make being used.

    Further. In over twenty five years of direct or indirect work with the US DoD and IMoD and on the most advanced military avionics systems, including some added to the AV-8 to make that irrational contraption appear to be a flying machine, never seen a British text or paper of any value.

    I also worked on medical imaging systems for many years without ever seeing a British made item.
    Also while a Senior in the telecommunication industry never seen a British product. Not an integrated circuit, nor a resistor, capacitor, transistor, nothing. Zilch! The valves and a few CRT’s made there and that for some strange reason were used in some aircraft in the past are not longer made by you… Gone.

    There are some jet engines of your make though. Probably designed now at the East Berlin, Germany, Development Center you keep there.
    Don’t bother. I visited the Industrial Park myself.
    Precious, is it not?

    I must tip my hat at your ability to, in spite of being utterly irrelevant at best, still manage to deceive one and all.

    (Oops! There goes the one London type taxi cab roaming my town. Made in Taiwan…) Ugly square box that…

    In retrospect, the above facts point to a remarkable situation!

    WHAT do you people, in fact, do? Other than harming, partitioning, enslaving, assaulting, stealing from one and all.

    Nah! I have not forgotten LAS ISLAS MALVINAS nor I dismiss admiral Bedford’s incompetent idiocy and the fate of the Fleet he commanded when your predecessors attacked Buenos Aires in the 1840’s… BTW… Why did you chaps hang Bedford?
    As a youngster I part took on a couple of outings against Her Majesty’s Rail “buyers” roaming the Argentinean fields to steal grain and cattle. At that time your repulsive gangs controlled the rails and shipping in Argentina. Standard Brutish work that.

    As I mentioned above, WE KEEP EXACT RECORDS about your history.

    I am positive that you people have been boycotting all along, but basically you only proved by so doing that here at least, no one gives a flying petunia about you. I do understand that the feeling is mutual and I am prepared to joyfully live with that.

    We do have one request that you may like.
    You must keep those field crews here. They provide no end amusement, those stupid clowns in shorts, freckles and long teeth, perambulating with their Islamic side kicks as assistants… spying to find out how to pick up or preferably fabricate something likely to harm our people some more.

    Quitting that old chap? Not a chance. Being British and vicious anti-Semitism are one package.
    Seriously now, with as much seriousness any Brit deserves…

    It is exhilarating to see you enhancing your links with Islam. Perfect match. Regretfully Princess Diane, who was a bit ahead of the rest of the British on that, got murdered. But, to everyone’s relief… we saw a few weeks ago some photographs of her former hubby, the prince… visiting with some Islamic gals.

    NOW and to complete our note to you Mr. Thomson. Allow us to introduce to you and all, PILTDOWN!
    Photo of the Piltdown men contemplating Eoanthropus dawsonii
    From there, the Britons graduated into “creating states and peoples” in the same fashion. The “Arafatonicus Britaniensis” being the latest.

    May I suggest to y’all to go back there and dig, maybe you will find some more ape bones for your experts at fraud to fabricate more of your ancestors out of those bones… or even Dawson will pop up there… The reader must be informed that British Royal Academy associates in one way or another promoted the above shown HOAX.

    Please keep boycotting.

    SHmuel Halevi
    RFI
    Eretz Israel