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Ron Radosh

A Sad Day for the Academy: The ASA Vote to Boycott Israel

December 17th, 2013 - 10:38 am

Yesterday, the American Studies Association voted to approve the National Council’s resolution to endorse an academic boycott of Israel. In yesterday’s vote, 66.05% of voters endorsed the resolution, while 30.5% of voters voted no and 3.43% abstained. The relatively small 5000 member academic group is largely composed of leftist or left-leaning academics, and I am not surprised that the small amount who actually voted–1252 out of the entire membership–voted in favor.

The reason that the vote has received so much publicity is because the ASA has become the second American group to join its European counterparts in calling for such boycotts. The even smaller Association for Asian American Studies passed a similar resolution last April, without much publicity.

Yes, as many have pointed out, the vote is largely symbolic. Yet the board members who rammed the vote through without fully announcing its campaign do not seem to even slightly comprehend their hypocrisy. Scores of regimes throughout the world — including Iran, North Korea, Communist China, Castro’s Communist Cuba, Assad’s Syria, and many others — lack any rudiment of real academic freedom. Dissenting scholars are simply not hired or, if exposed by informers for the regime, are immediately fired. Yet the ASA has picked on the Middle East’s only existing democracy to protest and call for an academic boycott.

Indeed, Israel has many left-wing scholars who regularly in the press and in their academic works, especially in history and the humanities, freely criticize the government and society in which they live. Hasn’t the ASA ever heard of the group long ago dubbed “the New Historians,” whose works challenge Israel’s very legitimacy? Actually, the ASA position is even opposed by the Palestinian Authority’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas. An advisor and spokesman for Abbas, Majdi Khalidi, told the Times“We are neighbors with Israel, we have agreements with Israel, we recognize Israel, we are not asking anyone to boycott products of Israel.” It’s pretty extreme to be to the left of the very Palestinians the ASA claims to be defending. (I leave it for another time to question Khalidi’s claim that they “recognize Israel.”)

If you go to the list of supporters, directly after the report of the membership vote, you will see the second name. It is none other than the former Communist Party, U.S.A leader Angela Y. Davis. In her statement attached to her name, Davis says:

The similarities between historical Jim Crow practices and contemporary regimes of segregation in Occupied Palestine make this resolution an ethical imperative for the ASA. If we have learned the most important lesson promulgated by Dr. Martin Luther King—that justice is always indivisible—it should be clear that a mass movement in solidarity with Palestinian freedom is long overdue.

Davis also was a member of the Black Panther Party and lover of the black terrorist George Jackson, who died in a prison shootout. His younger brother Jonathan took a judge hostage and was killed in a courtroom, using guns he had taken from Davis’ home, for which she was put on trial. The Black Panther Party, which called itself Marxist-Leninist, believed that the heart of the Middle East conflict, as Stephen Norwood reports in an important new book, “was a war between heroic Palestinian guerrillas and ‘Israeli pigs.’” The BPP believed that Jews had no claims whatsoever to Palestine. Ancient Hebrews only lived there for 100 years, while the Arab Palestinians had a “continuous residence in Palestine until they were expelled by the Zionists in 1948.”

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Top Rated Comments   
It's not a "sad day for the academy" at all. It's just another day at the office.

Don't expect this crap to end as long as we keep sending along the subsidies for it. We send these institutions billions directly and indirectly through "student aid and loans" so they can moon our way of life with impunity.

As Milton Friedmann pointed out decades ago, "When you subsidize something, you get more of it."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At this point, American academia needs to be defunded, gutted and purged relentlessly until it ceases to be a vast leftist indoctrination camp. I'm hopeful that online education will put many of these parasitic leftist college professors out of business forever. If all else fails, natural death is always an effective mechanism for removing the dinosaurs who cling to bankrupt ideologies.

The big problem for American "conservatives" is that your Judeo-Christian morality is ridiculously tolerant and easy to exploit. Leftists, liberals, Islamists and others mock your morality and just run your kind over repeatedly. The real right wing is a vital force of nature: pagan, Nietzschean, militant, immune to Judaic guilt-mongering and merciless in attacking leftism. There aren't a lot of us, but our will is unbreakable and our will to power inexhaustible. At this point, an invigorated rightist, pagan spirit may be the only thing that can save America from a dystopian socialist future.

Join the Sith, embrace the power of the dark side, or watch your Republic fall further into ruin!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a Solution:

The Evil genie is out of the Bottle. It all began in 1967 when the Israeli Forces reclaimed all of Jerusalem but in a moment of weakness and misguided secular-Jewish largesse decided to allow the Muslim's Al Aksa Mosque to remain undisturbed on Temple Mount. Temple Mount is a Spiritual Vortex, given to the Jewish Nation to safeguard by the Holy ONE, the Omnipotent Force of all Forces in the Universe, with strict instructions as to what is allowed and forbidden on this most Awesome and powerful Spiritual Powerplant on planet earth. The Jewish People have no Spiritual claim to the Holy Land when they do not fulfill their 'part of the bargain', that is, their G-d given responsibility under the Covenant to serve as
Custodians of the Mount. In effect, fulfilling that responsibility, more than any historical claims or 'legal' titles of ownership is what gives legitimacy to the Jewish possession of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
On a deep and subconscious spiritual level this truth is felt if not understood not only by the European Union and United Nations but particularly by our half brothers in the Muslim world who have rightfully concluded the weakness and spiritual faithlessness of the Jewish Nation in spurning G-d's Will. Their fraudulent possession of Temple Mount and the Israeli Government's complicity in reinforcing of this fraud by officially forbidding any Jewish prayer or even for Jews to set foot there has caused a world-shattering metaphysical imbalance, a short-circuit so to speak.
Since 1967 the cancer of Radical Islam has metastasized world-wide, threatening every civilization with physical and spiritual destruction. The 9-11 attacks, Islamic unrest and Sharia in Europe, everywhere Islam has a presence, the dread and unspeakable menace of two nuclear armed Islamic States, Pakistan and soon Iran just to name a very few nightmares. Is this a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that all three major religions hold Jerusalem as sacred ground to be fought and died for? A coincidence that Jerusalem is never mentioned in Islam's holiest book, Koran, yet thousands of times in Jewish Scripture!
The truth is that nothing can stop this Cancer from spreading. Not Armed forces, Drone assassinations, Civil laws or security checkpoints. Not even the false panacea of a 'successful' political settlement with Arab Palestinians in Judea/Samaria for 'Palestinian' Statehood there will turn the tide and return the 'Genie' to the 'box'. Those are nothing but band-aids on soon-to-be terminal cancer. And more and more as the nations of the world, including formerly friendly ones in European Capitols and Washington D.C. Quietly have begun to openly question the merits, even the 'legitimacy' of the Jewish State, the situation facing Israel has become dire. Far worse than Iranian nukes is this other threat. Sadly, more and more American Jews have come to question Israeli status in that region. The BDS movement grows on American University campuses, most troubling as it now includes growing numbers of young liberal Jewish students, men and women.
Militarily, politically, philosophically, morally ...Israel is becoming weakened on many fronts. It is not certain the Jewish State can survive much longer under the expanded front.
Unless...The Jewish Nation will do what should have been done in 1967. Remove the Al Aksa from Temple Mount. Restore the balance to the Spiritual Vortex as was intended by the Holy ONE. There Is No Other Way. Yes, it will be painful. The region and world will bleed with Muslim fury and world-violence. For a while. And then, the cancer will die as the Genie of Spiritual imbalance is returned to the Bottle. There Is No Other Way. And Time Is Running Out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
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Stupid question of the day-Israel doesn't threaten(promise?)to drive Iran into the sea-is Iran also boycotted?I'd also ask that question of the preening "divestment" posers.I'd call them stupid cattle,but they're actually leading,herding the cattle.My God-what a bunch of Yankee cowboys-YEEEEEE-HAAAWW!!!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Watch them run to a Jewish doctor if they get cancer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wonder how many of the ASA members are Jewish residents of the areas that the Mandate gave to Israel that ended up in Muslim hands? Oh, wait, they killed or exiled all of them...

Never mind....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To Yoelarry

No one has said it better.

The spiritual battle remains unacknowledged by many, including writers here at PJM, but there are powers and principalities raging in the heavens whose effects are manifest here in our physical plane.

Your insight is original and gives much to ponder. I hope you would not mind if your post is copied and shared.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What are they going to do, attach yellow Stars of David to the jackets of Israeli scholars ?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And of Jewish ones who supported this.Are they cowards or collaborators?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This phony intellectual, America hating, loathsome excuse for a human is STILL in this country she "hates?" I would have thought she'd been gone to Cuba long ago. She must be completely miserable living in the country she said she detests. The "revolution" she so desperately wanted, didn't come. That she is obviously unhappy and irrelevant makes me joyful.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you believe that "the revolution she so desperately wanted, didn't come," you're not paying attention.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not a "sad day for the academy" at all. It's just another day at the office.

Don't expect this crap to end as long as we keep sending along the subsidies for it. We send these institutions billions directly and indirectly through "student aid and loans" so they can moon our way of life with impunity.

As Milton Friedmann pointed out decades ago, "When you subsidize something, you get more of it."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At this point, American academia needs to be defunded, gutted and purged relentlessly until it ceases to be a vast leftist indoctrination camp. I'm hopeful that online education will put many of these parasitic leftist college professors out of business forever. If all else fails, natural death is always an effective mechanism for removing the dinosaurs who cling to bankrupt ideologies.

The big problem for American "conservatives" is that your Judeo-Christian morality is ridiculously tolerant and easy to exploit. Leftists, liberals, Islamists and others mock your morality and just run your kind over repeatedly. The real right wing is a vital force of nature: pagan, Nietzschean, militant, immune to Judaic guilt-mongering and merciless in attacking leftism. There aren't a lot of us, but our will is unbreakable and our will to power inexhaustible. At this point, an invigorated rightist, pagan spirit may be the only thing that can save America from a dystopian socialist future.

Join the Sith, embrace the power of the dark side, or watch your Republic fall further into ruin!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's always been amazing to me that so many of our academics seem to be as dumb as dog droppings. Perhaps they spend so much time within the walls of academia that they are largely ignorant of the real world around them. You also have to wonder if the rivers of money that go to tertiary institutions from Saudi Arabia have anything to do with it.
Academics of all people should be aware of the importance of a free vote and protection from blackmail of those who dissent from the main body of opinion.
We're fast approaching the separation of the terms intellectual and academic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I walked through a speech or two of hers (A. Davis) in Sproul Plaza decades ago.

A young self-serving yeller and screamer then and an old tedious pontificator now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lessons for Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson - she learned well
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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