web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Moral Incoherence In Irish Teacher’s Union Boycott

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents some 14,500 members, voted in early April “to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as cooperation in research programmes [sic].”

Why employ academic boycotts against Israeli academic institutions? Because, union members say, the union should “step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by International law and all UN Resolutions against it.”

But facts and history are not the concern of the self-righteous professoriate. Based on this biased language, the boycotters reveal that they have framed the 65 year-old Israeli/Palestinian conflict in such a way that they have determined precisely which side is worthy of opprobrium and which, by virtue of its perennial victimhood, is worthy of complete moral support.

Then, in a disingenuous moral inversion in which academics are forced to assume personal responsibility for a state’s politics and diplomacy, all Israeli scholars are made culpable for the perceived sins of the Jewish state. “BDS is a noble non-violent method of resisting Israeli militarism, occupation and apartheid, and there is no question that Israel is implementing apartheid policies against the Palestinians,” said Jim Roche, a lecturer in the DIT School of Architecture and member of the TUI Dublin Colleges Union branch who proposed the boycott motion. “Indeed, many veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa have said that it’s worse than what was experienced there.”

Reciting this list of Israel’s continuing human rights abuses against the long-suffering Palestinians is, of course, a favorite pastime of the academic Left in the U.S., Britain, and Ireland (not to mention, ironically, inside of Israel’s own universities), so it is no surprise that the litany of Marxist-tainted protests against the victim group of the moment show themselves here as justification for the shunning of Israel scholars from campuses worldwide.

The problem, however, is that this view of Israel is the result of a long campaign of historical distortion, outright lies, and propaganda on the part of the Arab world and their apologists and fellow travelers in the West.

That academics so carelessly throw about politically loaded and inaccurate terms when discussing Israel and sanctifying the Palestinians, words like “apartheid,” “occupation,” and “militarism,” indicates exactly why a boycott that seeks to make absolute moral judgments is bound to be perilous – especially for academics who give the pretense of standing for values of academic freedom, scholarly inquiry, a respect for history and law, and open debate over a complex geopolitical problem.

Critics of the called-for boycott – and there are many who have voiced immediate and thunderous opposition, both of the current Irish version and also of similar academic boycotts in Britain – wonder why, of all countries on earth, countries where actual and chronic repression, genocide, occupation, militarism, and subjugation do exist, Israel was being singled out for the academics’ disdain.

Many, of course, ascribe the obsession with Israeli faults as being symptomatic, and an outgrowth of, a more serious concern: Europe’s long sickness of anti-Semitism. Assuming the Irish union is actually innocent of this pernicious hatred, and that its sanctimonious effort to right the perceived wrongs done to the Palestinians is sincere (though misconceived), what is the just cause or set of values it purports to defend with the boycott?

If the union takes the outrageous first step of denying Israeli academics any discourse at all in what is usually called “the academic marketplace of ideas,” of banishing them from the world of dialogue, research, and learning, has it not already struck a fatal blow to the core guiding principle of the academy? Since when has it been the responsibility of the university to control the actions of the state, or for its members to share culpability for the political decisions of a nation?

And if union members in fact feel that academics shape and influence national policy and political behavior, their choice of the Palestinians, with their legacy of homicidal aggression against Israel, seems just a bit troublesome.

What should not be lost is that in the union’s decision to condemn and boycott Israeli academics, it affirms the perceived ideological superiority of the Palestinian side of the moral equation. It has embraced “Palestinianism” completely as its choice of a cause to defend – with the genocidal terrorism, rabid anti-Semitism, political truculence, internecine violence, and general despair that has defined the Palestinian cause since it was minted in the 1960s as a political tool against Israel.

The notion that universities ought to facilitate a range of opinions and ways of thinking about complex issues should be at the core of academic freedom and a university’s overall mission. It requires, though, that campuses allow many different views and perspectives, and do not try to exclude unpopular thought from being heard in the proverbial marketplace of ideas.

Concern for the long-suffering Palestinians may be a commendable effort, but the isolation and demonization of Israeli scholars as a tool for seeking social justice for that one group “represents a profound betrayal of the cardinal principle of intellectual endeavor,” observes commentator Melanie Phillips, “which is freedom of speech and debate,” something universities should never stop diligently defending.

About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews,” is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Moral Incoherence In Irish Teacher’s Union Boycott”

  1. Steve Button says:

    Most people I know are already boycotting Jewish business —thanks to Jewish Wall Street, and fascist Israel..

    Don't worry—you'll be feeling it soon enough..

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A Jew, a soldier and a Druze watch - very carefully - the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
IDF Stands By as Al Qaeda Offensive Threatens Golan Farmers
Latest Indepth Stories
Gas Pump

If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.

ISIS on the Temple Mount

Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.

Eller-091214-Word

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”

he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.

Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.

During the war, not once was Hashem’s name mentioned to the nation by Israel’s PM or gov’t officials

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.

Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.

It’s a cliché, but nonetheless true that 9/11 changed my life. There is evil in the world. Our grandparents were right.

His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.

We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.

More Articles from Richard L. Cravatts
boycott.jpg

The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression

Cravatts-Richard--new

Jews do not fare well on campuses these days, particularly in the context of the debate over Israel.

The cynical, and historically and factually inaccurate, view has meant leftists frequently denounce Western democracies as imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.

What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.

The ASA has obviously overlooked the pathology of Palestinian society.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents some 14,500 members, voted in early April “to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as cooperation in research programmes [sic].”

As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Northeastern University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), paralleling the moral incoherence of anti-Israel activists demonstrating elsewhere in American and European cities, sponsored a November 15 Boston rally in support of Gaza and, presumably, its genocidal thugocracy, Hamas.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently continued a long tradition of attempting to question a Jewish link to Jerusalem by expressing his mendacious notion that “Jerusalem’s identity is Arab, and the city’s and Christian holy sites must be protected from Israeli threats.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/moral-incoherence-in-irish-teachers-union-boycott/2013/04/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: