Boycotts and Bias

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The New York Sun

In an apparent effort to relieve the boredom brought on by the impending end of the academic year, British professors have voted to consider a boycott of Israel. Meantime, perhaps to relieve the boredom of being Canadian, the Ontario wing of Canada’s public-employee union voted to support their own boycott of Israel (Kudos to the Anti-Defamation League for bringing this to our attention). And just for kicks, Saudi Arabia appears to be reneging on its own promises, proffered as part of its World Trade Organization accession talks, to lift its boycott on Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports.

We’ve given up trying to analyze what would lead otherwise intelligent-seeming people to spurn the one free democracy in the Middle East while insisting on subsidizing the chaotic quasi-entity next door that, of late, is governed by a terrorist faction. Saudi Arabia’s action can be attributed to naked anti-Semitism, while the union members and professors are guilty of misguided progressivism that arrives at the same result as naked anti-Semitism. The British academics are both European and academics, two categories with a lamentable tendency to anti-Israelism.

The ADL is advocating an American boycott of academics who advocate boycotts of Israel. The ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, says, “Those who advocate a boycott single out Israel for condemnation while ignoring massive and genuine human rights violations all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and the Sudan, to name just a few.” For now, those boycotting Israel will deprive themselves of Teva pharmaceuticals, Gottex swimsuits, the novels of Amos Oz and Aharon Appelfeld, and the research of Nobel laureate Hebrew University economist Robert Aumann. As Israel’s economy and culture flourishes and innovates while Europe, Canada, and Saudi Arabia slump into stagnation, sooner or later the boycotters may come to realize it is their loss.

The New York Sun

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