June 8, 2007


It's time to end the vilification of Israel: Forty years ago, Israel's victory in the Six Day War was greeted in the West with widespread relief. So how come she's now the most shunned nation in the world - fair game for boycotts and vilification? History has been subtly rewritten (Howard Jacobson, 08 June 2007, Independent)

Heigh-ho, it's boycott time again. Just as surely as young men's fancies turn seasonably to love, and folk long to go on pilgrimages, so do the Zionophobic zealots of our universities start on hearing the boiling of their blood and decide to have another go at ostracising their fellow academics in Israel. This year it's the turn of the newly merged Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) to pass a resolution to proceed to a boycott of Israeli scholars. Not yet a done deal but as good as. A boycott in waiting. The three think-alike monkeys of academe cover their faces in excited anticipation: see no dissent, hear no dissent, speak no dissent.

By its nature a boycott is not a precise instrument, so no distinction is drawn between Israeli academics who actively support their government, those who speak vociferously against it, or those who just go quietly about their biomedical researches. "Passivity or neutrality is unacceptable," the resolution says. All are guilty by association with the heinous ideology of their country, that is to say, guilty by simple virtue of being Israelis.

I do not say "by simple virtue of being Jews". The last thing today's boycotters want, having learnt from their last failed attempt, is to pass for anti-Semites, and the last thing I want, when they tell me they are not anti-Semitic, is to contradict them. There is almost an obligation on Jews to be reassuring. No, no, of course it is not anti-Semitic to be a critic of Israel. Please be as critical as you like. But it is a false syllogism which goes Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic; I am a critic of Israel; therefore I am not an anti-Semite. Zealotry acquaints us with strange bedfellows, and in their loathing of Israel some without a grain of anti-Semitism in their bodies lie down with others who are composed of almost nothing else.

Kind of like being non-racist but anti-illegal-immigrant.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2007 7:12 AM

No, kind of like being "for guest worker" but not being labeled "slave trader". Kind of like being crime-enabler but not being called amnesty-supporter.

Posted by: sam at June 8, 2007 7:48 AM

Are you saying Sam, that guest workers, while choosing to work freely, are slaves? That they aren't fit to make that decision? Sounds kind of racist to me.....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 8, 2007 11:00 AM

Sounds like apples and oranges OJ.

Posted by: Genecis at June 8, 2007 12:04 PM

"That they aren't fit to make that decision? Sounds kind of racist to me....."

Good point Robert. Thus you would agree that American citizens are fit to decide how many immigrants to allow legally and you would not encourgage evading that law, Right?

Posted by: h-man at June 8, 2007 12:18 PM

Got that right, H-man. Americans have decided how many immigrants to allow, "legally" and "illegally". Note the different responses to nuts on planes and workers on corners. You keep wanting the power of the state to act as the stormtroopers, because you can't get Americans to do it. And while I will not encourage evading that law, neither will I or other Americans will lift a finger to enforce this racist, unAmerican "Laws". Americans respond to threats, like morons with exploding shoes, not to good, hard working people who's only crime was to dodge the twenty year line and the bribes the INS requires. Here in America we cheer when the little guy outsmarts the big bully. Good luck changing that....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 8, 2007 2:00 PM

Indeed, every poll demonstrates that the American people want the illegals here but want them legalized.

Posted by: oj at June 8, 2007 2:17 PM


It is. Both are fruits, but they're different varieties of fruit.

Posted by: oj at June 8, 2007 2:18 PM

"Indeed, every poll demonstrates that the American people want the illegals here but want them legalized."

Sure, like this one from Rasmussen:

"The immigration bill failed because a broad cross-section of the American people are opposed to it. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters are opposed. Men are opposed. So are women. The young don’t like it; neither do the no-longer-young. White Americans are opposed. Americans of color are opposed.

The last Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll found that just 23% of Americans supported the legislation. When a bill has less popular support than the War in Iraq, it deserves to be defeated."

Reminds me of when OJ was blaring how Bush was going to carry "50-0" states in 2004, or how Republicans were poised to get "60-40" seats in the Senate.

Posted by: sam at June 8, 2007 2:46 PM

Yes, the legislation didn't do what Americans favor. Of course, Americans oppose every piece of legislation ever passed when you get down to specifics. That's why the legislative process is compared to sausage making.

Posted by: oj at June 8, 2007 4:21 PM