BDS is petty: professors hope to alter world affairs by denying letters of recommendation to their students

Academic culture is supposed to be a model of cooperation that transcends political, cultural, national conflicts. I’ve worked on joint collaborations that included American, Iranian and Israeli researchers, all working together with common professional goals. It’s supposed to be a demonstration of what we can accomplish through positive engagement. But then something like BDS comes along and tries to derail the whole project, putting political conflict ahead of academic values. The results are petty, damaging, and ultimately ineffectual. These professors are trying to change the world by withholding letters of recommendation from students who want to study in Israel. This is simply an act of sabotage against young people who depend on them but don’t share their views. Just nauseating.

Why Evolution Is TrueWhy Evolution Is True wrote the following post Wed, 10 Oct 2018 09:15:17 -0600
Discipline for University of Michigan prof who wouldn’t write a letter for a student to study in Israel; but another UM teacher refuses to write a similar letter on anti-Israel grounds
Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty! (Is that ableist?) You may remember the fracas about John Cheney-Lippold, a University of Michigan (UM) cultural studies professor who refused to write a letter for a student, Abigail Ingber, who wanted to study in Tel Aviv for a semester. (See my four posts on it […]
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#BDS #israel #CriticalTheory #activism
Israel detains a BDS supporter

The anti-Israel BDS movement (“boycot, divestment and sanctions”) is an immoral boycott, since it mainly pressures “soft targets” like scientific, academic, and cultural exchanges, and other civilian activities unrelated to Israeli legal policy. But I disagree with Israel’s stance that they have the right to totally control who enters their borders. I believe in the right to move as a basic human right, that includes the right to study and collaborate across borders. It is for precisely the same reason that I condemn BDS that I have to also condemn Israel’s response to it.

Israel is refusing entry to an American student because she once supported a boycott


Alqasem, whose father is of Palestinian heritage, was refused entry to the country on the basis of a law barring foreign nationals who publicly back or call for any kind of boycott against Israel.

#Israel #BDS
I can appreciate the irony of it being an American being denied crossing someone else's border for a change.