How the Boycott-Israel Movement Corrupts Science

October 12, 2020 | Ruthie Blum
About the author:

Molecules, a prestigious chemistry journal based in Switzerland, recently decided to cancel the publication of a special January issue over a single article by an organic chemist named Mindy Levine. But no objections were raised over Levine’s conclusion or the quality of her research; rather the issue at hand was her byline, which listed the university where she currently works as “Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel.” This address enraged group of chemists, led by the Nobel prize-winner George Smith, as Ruthie Blum explains:

[These scientists] demanded that Levine’s article be nixed unless the location of her academic affiliation were “correctly and factually” edited. . . . They insisted, thus, that the address be changed to read: “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory.” . . . Molecules asked Levine to correct the error of her affiliation.

Levine courageously refuse to give in. Blum continues:

This is not the first time that Ariel University—whose 16,000 students and 450 senior faculty members include all sectors of Israeli society, including many Arabs and Druze—has been targeted by left-wing academics who toe the Palestinian line.

As the Palestinian news agency WAFA proudly reported on Monday: “In 2018, more than half of the invited speakers withdrew from a scientific workshop at Ariel University following appeals from Palestinian and international scholars. Prominent scientists published a letter in the Guardian stating that science should not be used ‘to normalize [Israel’s] occupation of the Palestinian territories.’”

Indeed, it is Smith . . . and the editors of Molecules—not Levine—who are putting propaganda over academic freedom in the “larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results.”

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