Monday, February 1, 2016

The Cowardice of the Academics

Yesterday I posted about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I noted how, under Mao, Chinese intellectuals and professors turned against each other in a rush to show who was the most ideologically correct.

Today, I will post about the new face of Western anti-Semitism, the Boycott Divest Sanction movement against Israeli academics. Western academics who work in the sciences are not part of it, but academics in the humanities and social sciences are rushing ahead to denounce Israel and to show off their cowardice.

The movement itself is monstrously stupidity. So-called liberal and progressive academics are trying to punish their Israeli peers because they want to take the side of a people they consider to be victims of oppression: the Palestinian people.

The politically correct left is siding with people who stone adulterers, who practice honor killings, who jail women who have been raped and who consider homosexuality a capital crime.

Are these American academics stupid or what?

We can answer by offering two hypotheses.

First, academics are cowards. They are not afraid of Jewish students or Israeli intellectuals but they are afraid of Muslim terrorists. (For the record they are not afraid of Christians either.) They must believe that they are buying protection by denouncing Israel and punishing its scholars.

Second, academics who believe that Western civilization is a scourge that must be wiped out are happy to side with anyone who opposes it. And this must include the one nation and the one religion that is thriving in a region where Islam is currently dying. Since Western civilization was founded in the Bible, opposing it leads easily to anti-Semitism.

Academics who think that they are smart cannot see through the anti-Semitism of a Martin Heidegger; they are happy to teach their students to think like Nazis. They teach their students the art of deconstruction, which really means the art of the pogrom. No one should be surprised to see that their students start acting like Red Guards or Brown Shirts.

The boycott movement is certainly not limited to the United States. Europe seems to be taking the lead. It makes a perverse sense. A continent that tried to get rid of all of its Jews is being rewarded by an invasion of Muslim refugees. And it leftists are embracing them as victims of Israeli and Western imperialism and colonialism.

Some countries have been more welcoming than others. Some countries have been more willing to allow their daughters be raped and molested by immigrants. But, even countries that have generally looked serious about their willingness to confront Muslim terror, continue to insist that the fault for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies with Israel and that they must force the Israelis to make more concessions to Palestinian terrorism. Here I am thinking of the craven attitude of the otherwise courageous current French leadership.

As for the face of the boycott, Time magazine reports on it:

As a global boycott movement against Israeli universities gains steam, Israeli professors say they are feeling the pressure from their colleagues overseas. Although the movement ostensibly targets universities, not individuals, Israeli academics say they are often shunned at the personal level. They experience snubs at academic conferences, struggle to get recommendations and can experience difficulty publishing their work in professional journals.

It ought to be obvious that the BDS movement is a fraud. Considering how well the Arab Spring worked out, considering how much democracy it brought to the region and considering that Gazans do have independence and autonomy, saying that the fault lies with Israel is just anti-Semitism masked by ideology.

Time continues:

The academic boycott is part of the broader pro-Palestinian “BDS” campaign, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Inspired by the anti-apartheid movement, BDS organizers say they are using nonviolent means to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence.

Israel says the campaign goes beyond fighting its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and often masks a more far-reaching aim to “delegitimize” or destroy the Jewish state. But the BDS movement’s decentralized organization and language calling for universal human rights have proven difficult to counter.

As it happens, Palestinians believe that Israel itself is occupying lands that belong to Palestinians—it was Allah’s will.  Palestinians who are hard at work digging terror tunnels see sanctions as a way to destroy Israel. They have never said anything else.

Which academic groups have signed on to BDS?

In recent years, the Association for Asian American Studies, the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association have approved boycott measures.

In November, a meeting of the American Anthropological Association overwhelmingly endorsed a motion supporting a boycott of Israeli universities.

When the feminist group put its name on the list it revealed, yet again, that feminism is an ideology that uses women. How can a feminist group support the way women are treated under Shariah law in Gaza while attacking female Israeli academics? The group should never again say that it is standing up for women.

As of now the boycott has only had a limited effect. The Association of American Universities has condemned it:

Peretz Lavie, president of the Technion, Israel’s premier science and technology university, said the effect of such decisions has so far been minimal.

Lavie, who chairs the Association of University Heads in Israel, said relations between Israeli and American universities remain strong at the institutional and leadership levels, and praised this month’s decision by the Association of American Universities reaffirming its opposition to the boycott. The group, which represents 62 leading U.S. universities, said the boycott “violates academic freedom.”

One wonders what our politicians think of this. And one wonders whether our president has taken a stand for or against it. Or is he remaining neutral?

Minimal impact does not mean no impact:

[Prof. Rachelle] Alterman said she has begun to feel a “coldness” from some colleagues at conferences that was not there in the past. She said some colleagues refuse to attend conferences in Israel, and editors at professional journals tell her it is difficult to find people willing to review papers by Israeli academics.

It’s the face of prejudice and discrimination:

In one recent case, a British colleague coolly rejected a request to assist one of her graduate students.

“I am afraid that as part of the institutional boycott being observed by some academics in relation to Israeli organisations I am unable to help with your request,” the British professor wrote in an email.

The next time you bemoan the Muslim invasion of Europe, think to yourself that perhaps they are simply getting a chance to live their ideology.


Anonymous said...

and now Obama has contributed his part:

priss rules said...

This Divest stuff goes back to South Africa and Apartheid.

I remember because I was in college in the 80s and early 90s.

The 'left' always needs something new to be outraged by.

Sam L. said...

As well, priss, to beat over the head with, regardless of the worth of it. For the Left, multi-culti RULES, feminism drools. Honesty does not exist.

Anonymous said...

A tiny strip of land on the Med, pop 7 M or so, 20% Muslim Arabs. Founded by survivors of horrific genocide. Vs the entire ME and Islam, pop 1.3 B. And now much of Western academia and Polite Society.

It boggles my mind.

On a recent SNL show, I saw the actor (Adam Driver?) who started on "Girls" and advanced to Star Wars. He was that week's Intro MC. He showed a photo of himself in Marine uniform in which he served for a time.

A few weak clammy claps followed by uneasy silence. Disgusting. The audience was obviously too sophisticated to respect our Military.

I saw the rot begin in earnest over a decade ago, with the new crop of Flag Officers. Their heroes were Tycoons & bank CEO's. The future looks grim. -- Rich Lara