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The Anti-Jewish Boycott Scores Victories on Campuses, But University Presidents Refuse to Boycott Israel

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But what happens when these students become the presidents of these universities? Will pro-Israel Jewish students be banned? Much of the pro-Israel Jewish establishment (AIPAC in particular) has done an appallingly bad job in advocating for Israel and confronting the anti-Semitic Democrat Party.

Much of the pro-Israel Jewish leadership is just not accustomed to this kind of warfare and is simply at a loss as to how to fight the BDS movement and the Democrat Party.

A strong and well funded pro-Israel organization is desperately needed in the United States. One that knows how to fight a war.

“BDS on Campus Scores Victories but University Presidents Refuse to Boycott Israel,” by Alexander Joffe, SPME, March 28, 2019. 

As the spring semester progresses BDS campus BDS activities have ramped up sharply, albeit with mixed results, with faculty now taking leading roles against university administrations. The continuing antisemitism crisis in Congress, however, shows how the BDS movement has contributed to shifting overall public perceptions, making boycotts and even Israel’s ‘existence’ viable questions instead of absurdities. BDS and its antisemitism have spread widely and have capitalized on the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ opposition to ‘white supremacy,’ and increasingly, allegations that complaints about antisemitism are ‘Islamophobic.’ The spiral of division in American politics and culture shows no sign of abating.

Analysis

BDS on campus increased sharply in March. The most consequential move was the decision by a mixed faculty-student body at Pitzer College to end its semester abroad program with the University of Haifa. The campaign was led by faculty members over the objections of the university administration and students. During the lead up to the final vote the voting body limited the number of students who could participate in the vote and excluded a campus media outlet that had been critical of the campaign. Representative Rashida Tlaib also expressed support for the proposal.

In the aftermath, the university president, who had spoken out strongly against the proposal, announced that he would disregard the vote, which produced outrage from BDS supporters. The campaign was clearly designed to create a confrontation between the faculty and the administration, challenging traditions of faculty governance and invoking questions of ‘academic freedom.’

The Pitzer vote is prima facie evidence of intent to discriminate on the basis of ethnic and national origin. Like the case of the University of Michigan faculty who announced they would not write letters of recommendation for students to study in Israel, the Pitzer vote implies that individual faculty members are already discriminating against students covertly.

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