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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Responding to "Delegitimization of Israel, BDS initiatives and the recruit of Israeli academics"


Editorial Note

We received several comments to our post "Delegitimization of Israel, BDS initiatives and the recruit of Israeli academics".

Adi Moreno wrote that "from reading your words I get a very uncomfortable feeling of persecution and silencing. Do you maintain that any academic who supports the movement of BDS is an enemy of Israel and anti-Semite? And if in publishing the names of Israeli and Jewish speakers who expressed support for this position are you trying to narrow down their moves?  Can supporting the boycott as a call to non-violent resistance be an intellectual position which is legitimate, even if not acceptable by you?"

One reader responded to Moreno that the International BDS movement does not recognize the Jewish people's right to their own state and therefore is illegitimate. As for those BDS supporters working in the Israeli academia, they are hypocrites because they draw salaries from government institutions they wish to boycott. No organization can employ someone who work blatantly against it. Boycott activity by a university researcher is equivalent to that of a salesperson in a retail store who convinces customers not to buy from his store. 

Another response came from Dr. Tamir Libel who seemed to question IAM's credibility: "I am interested to express my protest in regard to the outrageous allegations against the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung. I do hope that the directors of this important German foundation will take appropriate legal means to settle the issue."

It is not clear why Dr. Libel is so worked up about our description of the RLS.   The Foundation is named after the Polish Communist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg and, since its inception has supported radical socialist activities.  By its own admission, the Stifftung takes great pride in promoting progressive causes in Israel and beyond.  The personnel chosen to run the regional offices reflect this trend.  Dr. Katja Hermann, the head of the RLS in Ramallah, has a long record of promoting activities which are hostile to Israel.  She, like many other Western pro-Palestinian activists, has hoped that a third intifada can dislodge Israel from the territories.  

Moreover, the conference resolution endorsing academic boycott of Israel which was supported by 400 participants at the 7th International Conference of Critical Geography held in Ramallah at the end of July 2015 was supported by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Clicking the link leads to the conference supporters, a list of logos following the statement "We are grateful for the support and/or generous donations from" and Rosa Luxemburg is one of them.  Of course, the RLS can support its favored causes.  But it takes a special kind of intellectual arrogance to describe our fact-based post as "outrageous allegations."  

We repeat, Israeli academics who delegitimize Israel live in a particularly insidious bubble, protected by tenure and the most expansive set of academic freedoms in the Western world.  And the tax payer is left with the bill.


Images of the Rosa Luxemburg Regional Office Palestine website:


On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 4:08 PM, Tamir Libel <tlibel@ibei.org> wrote:
Dear all,

I am interested to express my protest in regard to the outrageous allegations against the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung. I do hope that the directors of this important German foundation will take appropriate legal means to settle the issue.

Personally, as a former Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at University College Dublin I have firsthand familiarity with the Irish academic world and could only regret the false portraying of Ireland (and Irish universities) as hostile to Israel and Israelis. 

Best regards,
Tamir Libel

Dr. Tamir Libel
Beatriu de Pinos research fellow
Barcelona Institute of International Studies
Ciutadella Campus (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25
08005 Barcelona, Spain
Tel: (+34) 93-542-3028

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Adi Moreno <adimoreno@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:45 PM

שלום דנה,
תודה על העדכון אך מקריאת דברייך עולה אצלי תחושה מאד לא נוחה של רדיפה וסתימת פיות. האם לשיטתך כל אקדמאי שתומך בתנועת הבד"ס הוא עוכר ישראל אנטישמי? והאם בפרסום שמותיהם של מרצים ישראלים ויהודים שהביעו תמיכה בעמדה זו את מנסה לגייס אותנו להצר את צעדיהם? 
האם תמיכה בחרם כקריאה לפעולת התנגדות לא אלימה יכולה להיות עמדה אינטלקטואלית שהיא במרחב הלגיטימי, אף כי היא לא מקובלת עלייך? 
וספציפית לגבי אירלנד, יש הרבה קווי דמיון והרבה שיתוף פעולה היסטורי בין תנועת ההתנגדות האירית לבין תנועת ההתנגדות הפלסטינית. אני יכולה רק לקוות שגם סופנו יהיה דומה, לפחות מבחינת השקט והשלווה השוררים כיום באירלנד והאופן בו מתקיימים בה חיים משותפים, על אף שהמתיחות הדתית והחברתית לא עברה מן העולם. 

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