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Associate Professor Curtis Marez of the University of California at San Diego, president of the organization that endorsed a boycott against Israel's academia, is a dolt, according to columnist Jeffrey Goldberg.

Reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s excellent column in the Tuesday NY Post (Gang that can’t scapegoat straight), I was reminded of a classic Richard Pryor joke about a man who killed his entire family, and when police asked him why he did it answers: “‘Cuz they was home.”

Curtis Marez, a University of California at San Diego associate professor of ethnic studies and president of the American Studies Association that voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israel, is a dolt, writes Goldberg. Not because his organization is promoting a stupid policy that will only end up biting them on their lower backs, but because he’s too dumb to deny his own rabid hatred of Jews.

When a reporter asked him why Israel, alone among the countries of the world, was chosen for excoriation and isolation — the ASA has heretofore boycotted no other country — Marez “did not dispute that many nations, including many of Israel’s neighbors, are generally judged to have human-rights records that are worse than Israel’s, or comparable.” Marez then compounded his error by telling the reporter, in his organization’s defense, that “one has to start somewhere.”


“Let’s stay with this statement for a moment,” writes Goldberg. “It is true that, if you believe that boycotting academic institutions is a way to change the behavior of repressive governments (though I don’t know many people who think this way), then ‘one has to start somewhere.’ It seems, though, that one might want to start with China, where a prominent economist, Professor Xia Yeliang, was recently dismissed from Peking University; one state-run paper charged him with arguing for ‘freedom and democracy.'”

They could have also picked on Afghanistan‎, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia‎, Austria and Azerbaijan, each one of which has a thick folder of its recorded human rights violations – and that’s juts the A’s!

In Israel’s group, the I’s, they could have chosen Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, and the Ivory Coast, for a plethora of violations, from torture to public hangings.

Goldberg continues: “Is it a coincidence that these academics are singling out the world’s only Jewish-majority country for boycott? Only to those who know nothing of the history of anti-Semitic scapegoating. This isn’t to say that Marez and his colleagues are personally anti-Semitic. Larry Summers, a past Harvard president, said he considers boycotts of Israel ‘anti- Semitic in their effect if not necessarily in their intent.’”

Finally, Goldberg points out that “The American Studies Association is an unimportant group; larger academic organizations have come out, as Summers did, against the idea of academic boycotts.”

Also, according to Goldberg, the Palestinian Authority chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, who supports the boycott of settlement-made goods, has come out against broad anti-Israel boycotts.

“The ASA is more Palestinian, in other words, than the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Goldberg concludes.

Turns out there are some antisemitic idiocies that unite left and right inside the Jewish body politic.

That’s a good thing…



  1. Notice there's never one word in these defenses of Israel about the actual behavior that's the subject of the boycott. All we get is a pathetic "Yeah, well China's doing it too." How much nicer it would be for the Jewish people if the defenders of Israel could say, "These charges are completely unfounded." But, alas, there is too much truth in the accusations raised by the boycotters (including Dr. Stephen Hawking, the successor to Albert Einstein as the smartest man in the world).

  2. harrylax30 – But these charges are completely unfounded. They are based on a wrong interpretation of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying country to transfer its own civilians to the occupied area. Except that occupation implies a sovereign, and the area known as "West Bank" was not recognized as belonging to Jordan (only the U.K. recognized the 1949 armistice line as an actual border. The U.S. State Dept. refers to the area as "Disputed Territories," which they are.

    That area was never annexed by Jordan. So it had no sovereign. When it was occupied by the IDF, it was an internationally recognized no man's land.

    Mind you, for the entire period of 19 years from 1948 to 1967, there was no effort by Jordan to give the local Arabs of this territory a Palestinian state or to bring back there the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

    And while one state recognized the unique status of the "West Bank," the Gaza strip was never annexed by Egypt, which for 19 years maintained martial law there, with a nightly curfew.

    Hence to dub any Jewish settlement activity in these areas as being against international law is to employ a hefty dose of revisionism and to ignore history. It also supposes that the average resident of the Palestinian Authority prefers life in an independent Palestinian State over a life as an equal citizen of Israel.

    Just search the reaction of Arab cities inside "green line Israel," like Teibe and Um al Fahem, when it was suggested that they become part of a swap, making them part of Palestine in return for absorbing the settlements into Israel. They screamed their hearts out, and for good reason. In Israel they are citizens of a Western democracy, with equal access to voting, education, health services, and over there it's a third world heart of darkness, with people being dragged out of their homes and beaten up for saying stuff on their Facebook pages.

    Never mind the regular public executions on the streets of Gaza.

    No one would suggest that Israel is an angelic state that hands out flowers and popcorn to everyone. But to suggest it even remotely belong with human rights hell holes like China, North Korea, Russia, and much of Africa – is simply unacceptable, and rooted in Jew hatred.

  3. this editorial takes the easy way out here, abetted by the collaboration of Goldberg with a NY Times editor who cut back Marez’s quote to 5 words after the first version of the story included two paragraphs explaining the ASA’s position in more detail. Here is the rest of the quote: “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.” Both of these things are true, but it’s far easier for right-wing hacks to generate a reductive meme that pretends this is all Marez said. That is the only reason he sounds “blithe”: because right-wing hacks cut back a substantial quote to 5 contextualized words, and you and others ran with it in an effort to have an easy “glib” story. This is irresponsible, shoddy journalism. You should be ashamed.

  4. The “defense” is not that “everyone’s doing it.” The defense is that Israel is doing the right thing in virtually every respect and its enemies are doing totally wrong, totally evil things to Israel.
    1)Though numerous nations have severe citizenship and rights restrictions for people who fail to fit into a narrowly defined definition, Israel offers freedom of religion, speech, association, and—in fact—all the standard, accepted Western democratic freedoms to all of its citizens regardless of religion, race, creed, gender, or ethnicity.
    2)Though numerous nations have conducted wars of conquest, all of Israel’s military activity has been in self-defense. Israel has been repeated attacked, often in concert, by numerous surrounding states. The choice Israel faces is stark: self-defense vs. death. They choose self-defense and I, though not Israeli and many others in the United States, support them in that choice. I believe that they are going to continue holding fast to that determination regardless of whatever difficulties they may confront in doing so.

    The complaint seems to be that in the course of defending itself Israel acquired additional territory which it has not returned. Israel has been trying to give back the territory to those who attacked it but to no avail. Why? Because its attackers, having lost the wars slyly calculated that by refusing to conclude the peace, including the resettlement of the refugee crisis that they themselves created, they could ultimately undermine Israel and accomplish by subterfuge what they could not accomplish by war—the demise of Israel.

    Quite frankly, the disputed territories would present little problem if the surrounding nations would deal fairly with Israel and resettle the so-called Palestinians. Most of Gaza could go to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan. Almost none of these people are refugees in any ordinarily recognized sense. In virtually every other case of armed conflict refugees are quickly relocated to more suitable areas and only the refugees themselves are considered to be refugees, not all their descendants plus everybody else who wanders in from outside regions. In addition to creating the problem of Arab refugees, the Arabs also created a Jewish refugee problem by expelling an even greater number of Jews who had previously been rightful productive citizens of those countries. Unlike the Arabs, Israel did the right thing; it took in those refugees, who have never received a penny of compensation for their confiscated properties. The Arabs should do the same for their own people.
    It is both shameful and ludicrous that anyone would think of boycotting Israel. If you want to find a country that is evil enough to boycott virtually every other country in the region certainly qualifies. But not Israel.

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