BDS Starts at the Universities, and There It Must Be Defeated

Jan. 18 2017

In the U.S., the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS)—together with the various modes of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda that come with it—has primarily made itself felt on college campuses and in academic organizations. Looking at the movement’s origins and methods, Dominic Green proffers some suggestions for combating it:

BDS seeks to transform the atmosphere of university intellectual and social life, in order to effect changes in government and business policy. BDS activists seek to control the intellectual environment, to create a “safe space” for the indoctrination of a biased and often false view of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus, the practice of BDS tends toward the abuse of free speech, in that BDS activists frequently seek to curtail the freedom of others.

BDS uses strategies of exemplary stigmatization, intended to demonize the state of Israel and its supporters. Inevitably, and often by design, such intimidatory strategies include charging American Jews as complicit with the “racist” and “colonialist” Israeli state, or with “neoconservative” policies at home. While the freedom of speech of Jewish and pro-Israel students is BDS’s primary target, its strategies aim to curtail the freedom of speech of all students and faculty. . . .

The students should be treated like wayward children [whose] broad ignorance and deep sentimentality are being exploited by BDS advocates. At Vassar in 2016, the administration warned that if the student body voted to endorse BDS, the administration would cut funding for student social activities. The BDS supporters withdrew their motion. The college disco was more important than the struggle with colonialist imperialism.

University administrators may be afraid of alienating their faculty, but they are more afraid of alienating their alumni donors. Vassar has also reported a 6-percent decline in alumni donations. At Oberlin, Jewish alumni have also organized and withheld donations. Private colleges are businesses. Rather than censoring BDS advocacy, it is better to talk to the administrators in the real languages of the academy, professional and financial. Until then, BDS will remain the intersectionality of fools.

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Read more at New Criterion

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israel on campus, University

 

What Israel Can Offer Africa

Last week, the Israeli analyst Yechiel Leiter addressed a group of scholars and diplomats gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss security issues facing the Horn of Africa. Herewith, some excerpts from his speech:

Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. . . . For decades, [however], the notion that the absence of peace in the Middle East was due the absence of Palestinian statehood prevented a full and strategic partnership with African countries. . . . The visits to Africa by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—in 2016 to East Africa and in 2017 to West Africa—reenergized the natural partnership that was initiated by Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.

There is much we share, many places where our interests converge. And I don’t mean another military base in Djibouti. . . . One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us. . . . But the one critical area of cooperation I’d like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security, or rather food insecurity.

Imagine Ethiopia’s cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the two or three that they produce today. Imagine an exponential rise in (organic) meat exports to Middle Eastern and even European countries, the result of increased processing, storage, and transportation possibilities. Cows today can have a microscopic chip behind their ears that sends messages to the farmer’s computer or mobile phone that tracks what the cow ate, what its temperature is, and what care it might need. Imagine a dramatic expansion of the wheat yield that can make Ethiopia a net exporter of wheat—to Egypt, perhaps in the context of negotiations over the waters of the Nile.

Israel has proven technology in all of these agricultural areas and we’re here; we’re neighbors. We are linked to Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, in so many ways.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Africa, Ethiopia, Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology