April 21, 2005

More on the boycott

Here are two letters to the Guardian supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
In Israel's universities, less than 1% of tenured full-time staff are Palestinian citizens of Israel, none of them women. About 3% are female Mizrahi (Jews who immigrated to Israel from Africa and Asia), and 5.5% Mizrahi males. For every four Ashkenazi (Israeli Jews of European descent) who are college graduates, there is only one Mizrahi and near zero Palestinians.

Israel's academics perpetrate and benefit from the systematic discrimination against Israel's 70% non-European majority (48% Mizrahim and 22% Palestinian). Israel's Ashkenazi "post-Zionist" professors, brandishing their progressive politics as they use Mizrahim and Palestinians for grantsmanship and as career advancement tools, are just the cynical tip of this apartheid iceberg.
Dr Smadar Lavie
Tel Aviv

I am astounded an army of academics has written to oppose the proposed boycott. The Israeli state practises apartheid policies that are codified in law, including legalised torture, and continues to systematically colonise Palestinian territory occupied by conquest. There is a deliberate programme of impoverishment and state terrorism against the Palestinians. Only days ago three teenagers were killed by Israeli soldiers after they went to retrieve their football in a "no-go area" in Gaza. Where were the protests then?
Surfraz Yousaf
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Guardian actually published eight letters on the subject, four in favour of the boycott and four against. One, shock horror, accused the sponsors of the boycott of anti-semitism.

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