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 . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, May 02, 2005

Julie Burchill Takes on the AUT

Julie Burchill is one of my favourite writers, as I have said before. In this piece, she takes on the British Association of University Teachers [AUT] over their boycott of Israeli universities.

... you won't find many people trying to explain why a person is prejudiced. 'Oh, they're just ignorant!' is the best you'll get. And it may well be true. Which is why the sight of 'clever' people showing prejudice seems singularly grotesque. What's THEIR excuse?

... Britain IS currently playing host to the biggest ever annual number of violent anti-Semitic attacks, both on people and on property, since the 1930s. Who can blame the teachers, so conscious of their uncoolness, for wanting to get 'down wiv the kidz'? They're too respectable to daub swastikas on a synagogue - but it sure feels good to band together and bully them Israeli academics!

...In one way this turn of events is as unexpected as it is cruel - after all, in this country it tends to be academics who react to anything from mild censorship to book-burning with 'That's how Hitler started!' That they are now doing something Hitler would thoroughly approve of, and did - barring contact with Jews - seems to have escaped them. But in another way, it makes logical, horrible sense. It's not so long since English academia saw nothing wrong with having Jewish quotients as a matter of course, lest the 'best' universities be over-run by those unnaturally smart Heebs. Far from flying in the face of English academic freedom, maybe the latest haters are simply reverting to type.
There are many British academics speaking out against the AUT executive. Let us hope that more join those who are doing so.

[thanks to M.A. for the tip]
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