Sunday, May 08, 2005

Israeli Professors and the AUT

A fascinating article, Israelis Need Not Apply, by Fanzia Oz-Salzberger, a historian of British history at the University of Haifa. The U of Haifa is one of two Israeli universities now being boycotted by the AUT, an association of British academics, because of supposed collusion with the Israeli government against the Palestinians. Oz-Salzberger argues that the evidence for the boycott is based on the case of a libelous thesis, which was failed because of the falsification of evidence, not because of a political agenda. More importantly, she argues that the boycott by British-intellectuals is overly political, anti-intellectual and a blow to free speech. It is also ironic considering the role the British had in creating the current political situation in the Mid-East. The argument is definitely worth a read for people interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the interaction between Academia and politics, and free speech.

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