Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Brit Universities Debate Boycott
of Israeli Universities

I have never understood why so many British academics are so determined to attack Israeli academics who, for the most part, are much more democratic and much more oriented toward academic freedom than academics at many other universities in the Middle East. Maybe it's because they hold some grudges about having lost the Middle East as a protectorate after WWII? Maybe it is because of horrible guilt about having done such a poor job as protectors during their interwar regime? I don't know, but they are still at it [thanks to BenS and Clive for the link]:
The Association of University Teachers' annual council, which
begins on April 20 in Eastbourne,
will also debate whether to boycott three of Israel's eight universities - Haifa University, Bar Ilan University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem - over their "alleged complicity with the government's policies" on the Palestinian territories.

...The boycott being proposed is in response to a call from a PLO-front group, "The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel," which called for a boycott last year. They have been joined by a host of other anti-Jewish organizations and web sites. In autumn 2003, Oxford University suspended Andrew Wilkie, a professor of pathology, for two months after he refused to accept an application from an Israeli student for a PhD because he had a "huge problem" with Israel's "treatment of Palestinians." We know of no British academic who boycotts Palestinians for the treatment by the PLO of Jewish children on buses.

... One of the most comic accusations by the British boycotters concerns my own university, the University of Haifa, whom they accuse of "restricting the academic freedom of researchers whose theses were critical of Israel." What they are referring to is a fraudulent MA thesis that was prepared by a far-leftist aging student political activist under the supervision of Ilan Pappe, Israel's academic answer to Lord Haw-Haw, in which they fabricated a non-existent "massacre" of Arabs that supposedly took place in 1948, perpetrated - they claimed - by the Hagana Jewish militia. It was a "massacre" that Arab journalists on the scene in the village in question never witnessed and for which no evidence at all has ever been uncovered. The Hagana vets sued the student for libel, and the student - in the presence of his lawyer in court - signed a confession that he had invented the enitre "massacre." For full documentation of the affair, see here. Pappe was not fired for the fraud, although he should have been, nor was he "suppressed." None of that matters to the British boycott pogromochiki.

I would urge a counter-boycott of these British universities if they had anything to offer that might be worth boycotting.
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