Finally, Intellectuals against Israeli Apartheid

First, a British professor refused to write for an academic journal funded by Israeli universities, saying that he was taking part in a boycott of Israel.

“Alas, I am unable to accept your kind invitation, for reasons that you may not like,” wrote Professor Richard Seaford, from the University of Exeter in England. “I have, along with many other British academics, signed the academic boycott of Israel, in the face of the brutal and illegal expansionism and the slow-motion ethnic cleansing being practiced by your government.”

Then, on May 29, 2006, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted for a proposal in favor of an academic boycott against Israel.

In March, the London Jewish Chronicle reported that the British magazine Dance Europe refused to publish an article on Israeli choreographer Sally Ann Freeland and her dance company. The magazine conditioned the publication of the article on an explicit declaration by Freeland against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, which she refused to make.

The tireless work of the the “Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, an umbrella organization for dozens of Palestinian NGOs. PACBI

The impeccable academic credentials of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the authors of a paper on the influence of the pro-Israeil lobby on US politics, have been attacked. Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books (published the article), was on the defensive immediately after the publication of the article. Now she is striking back: Wilmers defended their article, saying: “I know Israel thinks it is a monstrous presumption. But then I don’t think that the way that Israel behaves is terribly helpful. The article doesn’t talk about a ‘Jewish Lobby’ or a ‘Cabal.’ I feel very clear about that. We were very conscious of that risk.”

Peter Beaumont of The Observer writes: “Wilmers believes, too, that the angriest denunciations of anti-Semitism — while designed to serve the purpose of censorship by those attempting to forestall criticism of Israel — may actually encourage anti-Semitism in the long run,” and quotes Wilmers: “Really, one of the most upsetting things is the way it can contribute to anti-Semitism in the long run just by making so many constant appeals and preventing useful criticism of Israel. No one can say Israel’s posture does not contribute to anti-Semitism, yet charges of anti-Semitism are used to justify that policy.”