Mar. 8, 2019
- California Campuses Take Lead Against Israel Boycott – Thomas Elias
In California, speeches by Israelis are regularly disrupted or shut down. Jewish students have been stopped at mock military checkpoints set up by Palestinian students and their allies. And student government representatives have been subjected to intimidation.
But backlash is coming. President Melvin Oliver of Pitzer College in Claremont vetoed a faculty vote to end an exchange program with Haifa University, saying it is plain wrong, discriminatory and inconsistent to boycott Israel so long as Pitzer, along with many other American colleges, “promotes exchanges and study abroad in countries with significant human rights abuses.” “China, for example, has killed, tortured and imprisoned up to 1 million people in Tibet and utterly obliterated the Tibetan nation. China currently has 1 million Muslims imprisoned in ‘re-education’ camps. Why would we not suspend our program with China?”
As Oliver implied, Israel is singled out among all nations for student and faculty protests because it is primarily a Jewish state. And one definition of anti-Semitism is singling out Jews or Israel to be punished for supposed but unproven actions that have been documented on a much larger or much more brutal scale in many other countries.
No college faculty, for example, has even considered voting to boycott Saudi Arabia for its state-sanctioned assassination and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But Israel is excoriated for defensive acts. (California Focus)