Saturday, December 28, 2013

University Backlash Against ASA Resolution

Hat tip Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers and CAMERA

As any reader of this site knows, I don't hesitate to criticize academia. To its credit, however, the list of universities continues to grow of those who are speaking out against the anti-Israel academic boycott resolution of the American Studies Association. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has an excellent collection of statements issued by universities and other academic associations including the much larger Association of American University professors, hardly a conservative-led group. As opposed to the 5,000 members of ASA, AAUP consists of some 48,000 members.

The message here should be loud and clear: These ASA folks would be the first to scream academic freedom when they don't get their way. Yet they would deny that same academic freedom to academics and universities in Israel. In addition, we don't see them passing resolutions to boycott universities and academics in places like Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, China, or dozens of other countries where human rights don't exist. Only Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, the only nation that protects religious minority rights. Why is that?

"We have to start someplace," is the answer of ASA President Professor Curtis Marez of UC San Diego. How disingenuous. No, it is because the entire boycott effort against the Jewish state is well-orchestrated by Palestinian activists and their operatives on university campuses all over North America (including Canada). Why do you think that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the number one issue of contention on campuses everywhere? The various Muslim Student Associations and their sister group, Students for Justice in Palestine, work very hard to ensure that, much to the annoyance of the vast majority of students on campus, most of whom won't speak out lest they be accused of being "Islamophobic Zionists" or some such rot.

So kudos to the universities who are standing up and telling the ASA that they can pass all the resolutions they want. It's not going to change a thing. It's just a lot of noise, much like the cheering of the Wrigley Field bleacher bums.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

How dare you compare the ASA to loyal fans of the Chicago Cubs?

Anonymous said...

American Conservative points out the Marez quote you use is distorted:

Gary Fouse said...

OK Anonymous, there is your talking point. Here is the main excerpt:

"He argued that the United States has “a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because it is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel.” While acknowledging that the same could be said of a number of oppressive governments, past and present, he said that in those countries, civil society groups had not asked his association for a boycott, as Palestinian groups have.'

So your point is that Marez also said the above which should have been included for "proper context".

As stated in the American Conservative article, the US has provided aid and support to a number oppressive regimes past and present, but in those countries,"civil society" groups had not asked his association for a boycott as Palestinian groups had. Am I quoting that right?

What does this change? Because people like the Omar Barghoutis of world or the other anti-Israel groups asked them to do this, it makes a distinction? That's about as lame as it gets.

No wonder you write anonymously. Smart move-much smarter than your defense of Marez.