Monday, June 04, 2007

Fighting the British Boycott of Israel

Since I am on a little kick here of defending Israel, I thought I'd mention the following.

The ADL has started a campaign against the efforts for the British Journalist and Academic boycott of Israel. In addition to a letter that you can sign (click here to sign the letter), they are running a series of anti-boycott ads. Click here to see a PDF version of one of their print ads. The basic gist of the ads is that to single out Israel for a boycott while ignoring brutal and ruthless regimes like Iran or Sudan is a form of antisemitism.

Criticism of Israel can be an important part of social and political discourse, but it is the failure to appreciate the context that is the antisemitism. Israel is a democratic country that values freedom, individual rights, and religious pluralism. It often fails to meets its own ideal, but at least it has these ideals, unlike Iran, Sudan, and countless other countries where differences are not tolerated, rights are not recognized let alone respected, and where the very work that journalists and academics engage in can land you in jail or worse.

The moral inversion of singling out Israel and not countries that are by far and away much worse is why this boycott is rightly called antisemitic.

A related anti-boycott page: An Open Letter to the People Known as Members of Britain's University and College Union

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