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Anit-Semitism And Singling Out Israel For Academic Boycott

by | 8th, June 2007

THEY are boycotting Israeli academia. They want to boycott Israel. But in “It’s time to end the vilification of Israel” Howard Jacobson looks at why they want to silence ther Jews:

Whether it’s in the best of taste to like Jews better when they’re in concentration camps than when they’re in their own country I leave to less interested parties to decide. But this, I think, is obvious: you cannot proudly present one clean hand and not expect people to wonder what you’re hiding in the other. A person cleared of anti-Semitism might still be guilty of something else. If anti-Semitism is repugnant to humanity, then it is no less repugnant to humanity to single out one country for your hatred, to hate it beyond reason and against evidence, to pluck it from the complex contextuality of history as though it authored its own misfortunes and misdeeds as the devil authored evil, to deny it any understanding (which is not the same as sympathy or succour), and – most odious of all – to seek to silence its voices.

And:

Will someone, in the light of that, explain to me what universities are for? Is not scholarship meant to constitute a sacred bond, an implicit assurance that here at least, in the free academy of the mind, the conversation will always go on no matter how bitter the disagreement, no matter how unorthodox or incorrect or even offensive the views expressed? Can that person be fit to teach, I ask, who closes his intelligence to such an exchange, who seeks to silence opinions he does not share, and who believes the only truth is his?



Posted: 8th, June 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink