Israeli academics easy targets

Israeli academics easy targets

Could there be a clearer manifestation of anti-Semitism? According to an article in the New York Times, organized academics in the United States have voted to disallow Israeli academics to attend their conferences and professional group meetings.

Curtis Marez, president of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego, agreed that many nations have worse civil rights records than Israel, but that Israel’s scholars must be boycotted to show academic disapproval of oppression. One has to begin somewhere, he said. Let’s disregard China whose brutal grip over Tibet has caused over a hundred monks to immolate themselves in public protest. Too big, no Jews. Forget Syria (and its military and chemical suppliers, Iran and Russia), whose regime uses sarin gas to torture and kill the children of those who oppose the government. Too complicated, no Jews. How about Russia whose army leveled Grozny and the surrounding towns rather than allow Chechnya to be free? Too provocative.

Israel deserves to be the first to be chastised. It’s a small country, plenty of Jews, and one can be at once anti-Semitic and innocent of anti-Semitism. Besides, Israel’s own academics often excoriate Israel’s excesses. It’s okay. It’s a popular thing to do.

Full of umbrage,