Despite the fact that intense hatred of Israel is commonplace within the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), its members have so far refrained from endorsing a boycott, contenting themselves with “deploring” criticism of boycott resolutions by other academic associations as “intimidation.” If MESA does end up initiating a boycott, Martin Kramer suggests a vigorous response—a counter-boycott:
The BDS campaign claims that boycotting Israeli academic institutions is a perfectly legitimate response to their “complicity” in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Well, what about MESA’s complicity in promoting rabid hatred of Israel that some believe spills over into Jew-hatred? What about MESA’s complicity in the whitewashing of Hamas?
In the spring, [boycott supporters] Rashid Khalidi and Judith Butler mobilized signatories to a letter insisting that “boycotts are internationally affirmed and constitutionally protected forms of political expression.” By the simplest logic, that applies equally to counter-boycotts. And why shouldn’t the same bare-knuckle techniques used by the academic boycotters not be deployed against them in an academic counter-boycott?