January 6, 2014

REX MURPHY: The Failed Boycott Campaign Against Israel.

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, of which this latest boycott attempt is offspring, has been around since 2005. Its popularity with the hard left coincides with the rise of Israeli Apartheid Week activities on North American campuses. But something has happened in recent years: I notice that the response to the latest urging from the claque of self-styled anti-Zionists is not being received with nearly the same respect as previous iterations. The ASA has been taking withering fire from all quarters. Over 100 American universities already have come forward to say that they want nothing to do with any such boycott.

Catholic University president John Garvey offered a splendid volley: “The Association has appointed itself as a kind of inept volunteer fire department, aiming to put out the Israeli-Palestinian conflagration by throwing gasoline on the fire. That’s not exactly right. It has decided to pour gas not on the source of the fire but on bystanders, some of whom are trying to extinguish the flames.”

Another response, from Richard Slotkin, emeritus professor at Wesleyan University, is admirably succinct: The boycott “is wrong in principle, politically impotent, intellectually dishonest and morally obtuse.”

Yes, this movement is not merely inept, it is evil. The ASA needs to be made an example of, sufficient to deter similar evil in the future.

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