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Pre-"Occupation," No Universities at all

US Academic Group May Boycott Israeli Universities

The academics decry the "Israeli Occupation" as harming the academic aspirations of Palestinian Arabs, yet prior to the "Occupation" there wasn't a single Arab university in Gaza or the "West Bank"

Arab students from the Birzeit University cover their faces during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Atara checkpoint close to their university as they protest against Israel's military action on the Gaza Strip. November 19, 2012.

Arab students from Birzeit University
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

Oh those American academics are at it again.  Always trying to prove they are on the cutting edge of political correctness, professional academics know full well that the cheapest and easiest way to do that is to attack Israel, thereby establishing their street cred as true champions of the world’s favorite underdog, the Palestinian Arabs.

This time it is the American Studies Association. At its annual meeting, this year held in Washington, D.C., the ASA entertained a resolution calling upon the association to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The resolution was proposed by the ASA’s Academic and Community Activism Caucus, and was endorsed by the current president, Curtis Marez of the University of California at San Diego and the president-elect of the Association, Lisa Duggan, of New York University, according to the site Inside Higher Ed.

When the Boycott Israel resolution was discussed at the meeting, 37 out of 44 speakers favored passage of the resolution. The JTA, not known as a right wing media outlet, described the 90 minute session as characterizing the Jewish State as “the colonizer, the settler state, the perpetuator of apartheid.”

A primary reason offered in the body of the petition in support of the boycott resolution is that the Israeli “Occupation” has a severely deleterious effect on the academic freedom rights of Palestinian Arabs. To wit:

Palestinian universities and schools have been periodically forced to close as a result of actions related to the Occupations, or have been destroyed by Israeli military strikes and Palestinian students and scholars face restrictions on movement and  travel that limit their ability to attend and work at universities, travel to conferences and to study abroad, and thereby obstruct their right to education

The petition goes on a bit in that vein, and includes the fact that foreign academics face interference when trying to reach “Palestinian” academic institutions.

So here’s the irony.

The “Occupation” began at the end of the 1967 war, when Israel gained control of the areas referred to by so many as the West Bank and Gaza. It stands to reason, then, since the American Studies academics are aghast at the horrors visited upon the Palestinian Arab students, Palestinian Arab academics and Palestinian Arab academic institutions by Israel, that they wish the Middle East to return to that prior state of bliss, to life as it existed before the “Occupation.”

In other words, all those who blathered on, urging the ASA to approve the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions presumably would prefer that there were no Palestinian Arab institutions of higher learning.

Because not a single one of the 19 degree granting institutions serving the Arab Muslim population of the “West Bank” or Gaza existed before 1967.

That’s right, before the hegemonic Israeli Occupying Forces arrived, nobody could go to college in “Palestine.”

Several universities were established in the 1970′s, including the University of Palestine, which is located in Gaza, and was founded in 1972.  Prior to the “Occupation,” Egypt controlled Gaza and maintained the Palestinian Arab population living there under unrelenting military rule.

An Najah National University, located in Nablus, the largest of the Palestinian Arab universities, was established in 1977.

Even Birzeit University did not grant its first bachelors degrees to graduating students until 1976. This school was known as Birzeit College as far back as 1942, but that name simply reflected the local custom of referring to high schools as “colleges,” as acknowledged on Birzeit University’s own website.

The American Studies Association Boycott Israel resolution is modeled on the 2004 call by Palestinian Arab academics for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, which was modeled on the boycott campaign against South Africa during its Apartheid regime.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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16 Responses to “US Academic Group May Boycott Israeli Universities”

  1. Loren Gee says:

    How dare you post the facts! American university professors 'know' the 'truth', regardless of what history shows

  2. Myriam Obadia says:

    Indeed how dare they shine a light on the hypocrisy of Professorial PC

  3. Nick Thomas says:

    It's Bush's fault.

  4. The U.S. university system has been Anti-American and Anti Israel for a long time. : Facts don't enter into our Education in the U.S. and haven't since the Liberals and other Left wingers took over the educational system. UNFORTUNATELY, I have found that a LARGE part of this movement are American Jews…. Overall, American Jews are liberals and I DON'T equate them with the Israeli. I support Israel and now that Israel is a friend and defender of truth and freedom.

  5. Charging forward into ignorance and darkness…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ignorance and arrogance characterize many academics and students with regard to their retarded and mean-spirited attacks on Israel (without evidence).
    Most of these attacks regarding Israel are easy to disprove and discredited, as the writer has done by pointing out the absence of Palestinian places of higher learning prior to 1967. However, the new liberals do not need evidence or facts to make their case. All they need is their abundant prejudice which is reserved only for Israel. It is funded by unions, churches, wealthy Arab nations, Iran and American special interest groups. It is encouraged by an Obama administration who have made the demonization and endangerment of Israel their #1 priority.
    If Israel were some black dictatorial, starving, hell-hole country or an Islamic Apartheid terror state or some European country falling under sharia law with no-go zones for non-Muslims, there is never a word of protest; as if these places where hundreds of thousands of people live without freedom and terrorism/war is killing on a daily basis. Women’s groups and gay groups ignore killing by Islamists of their own kind. Irrationality is the new norm and students, who cannot find Iran on a map, are fed lies about one country – Israel. Academe is doing the work of what the propagandists did during the Nazi era and there is no push back by Jews who believe that doing something will somehow make the situation worse – they call their own activists extremists and leave the Islamic and leftist extremists to do their evil work.

  7. Yechiel Baum says:

    Obviously the USA "academics" went through the public school system and have no academic logic that they will then downgrade the educational capabilities of the universities that they would benefit and learn from the superior Israeli universities

  8. Anonymous says:

    Correction:

    Ignorance and arrogance characterize many academics and students with regard to their retarded and mean-spirited attacks on Israel (without evidence).
    Most of these attacks regarding Israel are easy to disprove and discredited, as the writer has done by pointing out the absence of Palestinian places of higher learning prior to 1967. However, the new liberals do not need evidence or facts to make their case. All they need is their abundant prejudice which is reserved only for Israel. It is funded by unions, churches, wealthy Arab nations, Iran and American special interest groups. It is encouraged by an Obama administration who have made the demonization and endangerment of Israel their #1 priority.
    If Israel were some black dictatorial, starving, hell-hole country or an Islamic Apartheid terror state or some European country falling under sharia law with no-go zones for non-Muslims, there would never be a word of protest; as if these places where hundreds of thousands of people live without freedom and terrorism/war is killing on a daily basis do not exist to the academic community. Women’s groups and gay groups ignore killing by Islamists of their own kind. Irrationality is the new norm and students, who cannot find Iran on a map, and are fed continuous lies about one country – Israel. Academe is doing the work of what the German propagandists did during the Nazi era and there is no push back by Jews who believe that doing something will somehow make the situation worse – they call their own activists extremists and leave the Islamic and leftist extremists to do their evil work.

  9. I suggestNO JEWISH FUNDING for these universities, as well no Jewish students to study in those evil places.

  10. Cathy Sherman says:

    ho hum, I guess it's because they're jealous of all Israel does. Can't be any other reason for making such fools of themselves.

  11. This is a silly boycott. American universities are driven by profit, and much of their income, beyond charging students and arm and a leg for a toe's worth of education, comes from government grants and tech development. Israel's universities are too valuable to US companies and the government, and once the Israelis develop ftl drives and cold-fusion reactors, even the most prideful professors of bs studies will have to recognize Israel's place. Because Jewish people have been persecuted over the years, some of these new pieces of technology and medicine haven't been invented yet. We're behind the curve in terms of human technological achievement because of ignorant people like this. If mankind only knew the losses beyond the death toll…

  12. The 1949 UN decreed that Israel would have access to its Hebrew University campus on Mt Scopus but the Arabs never permitted this until Israel's reonquest of 1967.

  13. Robert Davis says:

    Robert Davis : Israel ,is not "occupying" its own land only an ignorant lefter or arab would say it is. ?At the San Remo Conference arabs got 21 States and Jews only one ie Palestine of which arabs were given 3/4 ie Eastern Palestine. Why could arabs not be transferred to Eastern nPalestine? just because they want to take the WB from,the Jews as well. What kind of "academic" is this who does not know or understand this? Is this a PISS Academy?

  14. Robert Davis says:

    If they "know" why do they LIE? by stupidity? are they sooo stupid and dumb,half wits? If a guy is dumb it is useless for him to learn anything. Learning is no good for a fool or an animal. I know leftist jews are more than stupid,if they teach anything it can be only stupidity. They should be ousted.

  15. Loren Gee says:

    I wonder if they will boycott the Arab institutes – every single one of them were built by the Israeli government.

    Until Israel did that – the Arabs had built NO higher education institutes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – nor had they ever built any hospitals.

  16. Edwin Rowe says:

    Why is Israel building universities for Arabs? Everything they are given they use as a weapon against Israel. Stop trying to show the world how good the Jews are. The world doesn't care and does not want to know.

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