The fallout over Israeli academic Neve Gordon’s call for a boycott against his country gathers pace. It’s a position I share with him and we’ve exchanged communication in the last days about this. Israel treats the Palestinians like rabid dogs; the state must be forced to understand that its behaviour is totally unacceptable.
Here’s an online petition to support Gordon and send a message to his institution, Ben Gurion University.
The LA Times, the paper that published Gordon’s original article, runs a news story about the controversy and includes this:
Outrage at the private politics of academic faculty or over academic institutions hosting provocative speakers is common in a country where political passions run high. These incidents could be seen as indications of healthy academic freedom. Earlier this year, left-leaning academics petitioned Tel Aviv University to protest the appointment of Colonel Pnina Sharvit-Baruch as a law-faculty lecturer and demanded the appointment be revoked (it wasn’t). She headed the Israeli military’s international law division during the Gaza operation; the appointment met with opposition on the grounds that she had legitimized controversial strikes against Palestinian civilians during the operation.
Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert blasted the petitioners as “self-righteous hypocrites.”
So far, only around 100 people have signed an online petition calling for Gordon’s dismissal from his tax-payed position, compared with more than 10,000 who signed one Sunday to boycott Swedish companies, including Ikea, over a separate issue. Now there are calls for boycotting the university. The university says it is “exploring its options concerning Gordon’s actions.”