No justification for boycott
Thursday June 3, 2004
Prof Rose states quite correctly (Life, May 27), that the vast majority of academics in Israel are not donning sackcloth and ashes or beating their breasts over the fate of their Palestinian colleagues. But then again, neither are English academics, or American or Norwegian, Japanese or even French.
What is to be gleaned from all this? Possibly it is that, weighing the facts, this attempt at a boycott, feeble as it is, is totally unjustified.
Consider the logic of this letter, published in The Guardian's. Life section today. The majority of "English academics, or American or Norwegian, Japanese or even. [!] French academics" haven't joined in the academic boycott of Israel. That's impossible to know as the majority of academics will never be called upon to work with Israeli institutions or academics. Now look at where "Mark Cohen's" letter came from: "By email". No address given. I presume this was the best the Zionists could do in terms of a critique of an article by Professor Stephen Rose and it was sent from nowhere. Normally The Guardian. wouldn't print a letter without an address and telephone number so what was so special about this letter with its absurd abstraction of facts? Well we can ask the readers' editor but the last time I did that it was over The Guardian's. use of the word "slaughter" to describe the killing of Israelis by Palestinians. The readers' editor described my complaint of bias as being "unfounded" and then disingenuously rattled of a set of irrelevant statistics from The Guardian's. database. I wonder how he'll react to my complaint of bias this time.