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Ron Radosh

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

December 17th, 2013 - 10:38 am

It is not surprising that in 1970, the American Jewish Committee charged “that the activities and statements of the Black Panthers had been so consistently anti-Zionist and anti-Israel that it was almost impossible to make the distinction between that attitude and anti-Semitism.” Its minister of information at the time, Eldridge Cleaver, said in a December 1969 interview, “Zionists, wherever they may be, are our enemies. We totally support the armed struggle of the Palestinian people against the watchdogs of imperialism.”

As for Davis, she excelled in her long career as a leading defender of and apologist for all left-wing tyrannies. When the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, Davis supported the invasion, and condemned Czech dissidents as traitors who deserved arrest and imprisonment. Her spokesman and comrade, Communist leader Charlene Mitchell, explained that,

those who were jailed in Eastern Europe were trying to undermine their governments and that those who went into political exile were attacking their own countries and therefore undeserving of her support.

It is most revealing of the mentality of those few who voted for the ASA resolution they they come from the background of left-wing defenders of totalitarianism. Simply go down the list of comments from other signers who voted in favor, and you will quickly find that my description of where they are coming from is on target.

As for Davis’ reference to Martin Luther King, Jr., the late American civil rights leader was a forthright defender of the state of Israel, and an opponent of those who criticized it. Davis insults the memory of King by seeking to invoke him in trying to create a movement against Israel. That the ASA board, which presented the resolution, would proudly list Davis’ statement in favor of the resolution reveals its own far leftist mindset. But I shouldn’t be surprised: It turns out the ASA has “An Angela Y. Davis Award” for “Public Scholarship!” You can’t make this stuff up, and if you did, no one would believe you.

Now we will see a demand that other professional organizations in the humanities join the ASA in seeking to call for an academic boycott of Israel. Next will be an effort to convince the members of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association to join with them. The first is largely composed of left-wing scholars, and I would not be surprised if this group — to which I used to belong but long ago quit — will join the ASA.

The ASA vote is a sad day for those who believe in academic integrity and real academic freedom.

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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
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All Comments   (25)
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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
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
Considering the state of US academia today it's probably to Israel's advantage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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