More voices of reason add to the growing number of those who believe NTNU’s decision to entertain a boycott measure against Israel, to be ill advised. The Tundra Tabloids deems the whole governing body at NTNU as a bunch of ignorant weasels, and their seminar and boycott measure anti-Semitic. They believe their measure is solely political, but in essence, it’s just plain old anti-Semitism.
For example, Norway maintains academic ties with Egypt, in spite of the fact that one of its most famous centers of “learning”, if you want to call it that, Al-Azhar university, is headed by a man, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who calls for the execution of gays, deems the only good Jew is the one that converts to Islam, and has no problem with murdering the rest.
But that’s not all! Muslim Egypt openly discriminates against its Coptic minority, you know, the ones who were once the majority in Egypt until Islam came breathing down their necks and the rest is history. Yet, NTNU wants to focus on Israel? Nope, there is more to it than actual gripes with Israeli policy, this is nothing more than knee-jerk anti-Semitism. To see how grotesque NTNU’s obsession with Israel actually is, see what they are willing to overlook so they can stick it to Israel. KGS
This has been made available by Vlad Tepes.
[This includes the managements of Oxford and Cambridge universities and the London School of Economics.]
Our friends and colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim will soon be voting on whether to initiate a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Faculty members in Norway have already spoken out eloquently and on point about the reasons to defeat this proposal. Because the decision has the potential to have an impact on debates at academic institutions in many other countries, we would like to join our many Norwegian counterparts who oppose the action.
Years ago the AAUP supported a comprehensive economic boycott of South Africa’s apartheid regime, but we have always opposed focused boycotts of academic institutions. As a number of Norwegian faculty members have pointed out, despite its problems, Israel has the best record of supporting academic freedom of any country in the area. Israeli academics exercise their academic freedom by both supporting and criticizing government policies. A boycott applying to Israeli faculty members thus paradoxically punishes some of the country’s most vocal critics.
But the AAUP’s policy against academic boycotts—detailed in our 2006 statement on the subject–is based on the still more fundamental principle that free discussion among all faculty members worldwide should be encouraged, not inhibited. Certainly those Norwegian faculty members already working on joint projects with Israeli colleagues should not have their academic freedom taken away from them. In the long run, more, not less, dialogue with Israeli faculty members is an important way to promote peace in the region.