The head of Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies Jake Lynch explains why it’s appropriate to academically boycott Israel:
Israeli academics are the source of a great deal of significant criticism of, and opposition to, Israel’s policies…so there is no suggestion that individual contacts should now cease. Discussions about peace journalism have been considerably enhanced by the participation of wise and clever Israeli academics, and that should continue. At an institutional level, however, universities are deeply embedded in the system of occupation and militarism.
I’ve led a call for the University of Sydney to cancel institutional arrangements with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Technion University, in Haifa. Though small in scale, these contacts are symbolic of a commitment to help Israel enjoy normal relations with the outside world, despite its record. For this to cease now would be our contribution, however minor, to raising the social, economic and political cost of militarism as an alternative to dialogue and negotiation. And that would bring a long overdue boost to the cause of peace with justice.