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Chomsky's Boycott

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/12/13/israel-chomsky-boycott-academic/
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 13, 2010
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/12/13/israel-chomsky-boycott-academic/
      December 13, 2010
      Chomsky’s boycott
      By Semra E. Sevi

      Israeli academics, having led the way in the fields of biomedical,
      semiconductor, and weapons technologies, have much to provide the world.

      However, the ensuing conflict between Israel and Palestine has impeded
      this development. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign
      against Israel has been an extremely contentious issue on campuses
      around the world. Its supporters see the campaign as an effective means
      of pressuring Israel to uphold international law. On the other hand, its
      critics see it as rife with double standards and as a counterproductive
      approach to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.

      Attempting to censor and silence the dialogue is never the answer. Only
      an open exchange of ideas from all academics will lead to a true
      understanding and, ultimately, a resolution. There is always hope in
      education.

      Boycotts of researchers or research institutions contravene the purpose
      of academia, which is deeply rooted on the freedom of inquiry and
      freedom of speech.

      Recently, I coproduced an interview with Noam Chomsky for TVOntario, in
      which he discussed the Middle East, America’s foreign policy, and the
      BDS campaign. In that interview, when asked if he supported BDS, Chomsky
      stated that he is unconvinced of the tactic.

      “I would not support an academic boycott. I did not even support them on
      South Africa, apart from specific racist practices, like hiring,” said
      Chomsky.

      In correspondences with Chomsky, he elucidated his stance on the issue,
      “I have always been skeptical about academic boycotts. There may be
      overriding reasons, but in general I think that those channels should be
      kept open.”

      Supporters of the academic boycott argue that Israeli academics cannot
      exempt themselves from a boycott on the grounds of academic freedom
      while they fail to speak up for the academic freedom of Palestinians. To
      this I say, it does not make it right to censor an academic just because
      they do not shed light to the Palestinian plight. It truly is
      unfortunate that Palestinians are denied education, and I wish we could
      change that, but students in many places are denied education. And if we
      boycott Israel it does not end there. Why not boycott the whole world?
      Simply because you cannot. Why, then, should the Palestinian cause be
      more important?

      Chomsky has been directly connected to BDS from its roots, signing a
      controversial Harvard-MIT petition in 2002, which he agreed with in
      principle. It called for making U.S. government aid conditional on
      dismantling settlements, the divestment of Harvard and MIT assets from
      U.S. companies that sell weapons to Israel, and the divestment from
      Israel all together. However, Chomsky was against the last tactic, which
      called for divestment from Israel.

      “There's not much to say. I've been involved in BDS activities since
      long before the term was invented. It's a tactic, not a principle. Like
      any tactic, one has to evaluate particular proposals. Some are fine,
      some counterproductive,” stated Chomsky.

      Former Harvard University president and Director of the National
      Economic Council Lawrence H. Summers’s sentiment regarding the academic
      boycott of Israel was resounding, “I found it shocking and deeply
      troubling that a substantial group of faculty members at major
      universities would propose seriously, and indeed seek to pressure, for
      universities like Harvard to sell, to divest, any stock, any company
      that did any business with Israel. It seemed to me that such a boycott
      that singled out Israel was profoundly misguided.”

      When asked about boycotts in general, Chomsky asked, “Why boycott Israel
      and not boycott the United States? The U.S. has a much worse record.
      Apart from Israel, the United States is by far the world’s major arm
      supplier.”

      In specific to academic boycotts, Chomsky iterated that, “Harvard
      University has always been deeply implicated in implementing U.S.
      foreign policy, from providing the leading personnel for major war
      crimes (Bundy, Kissinger, etc.) to the activities carried out in the
      [Kennedy] Government School, and much else. These vastly exceed
      University of Tel Aviv’s contributions to war crimes – quite apart from
      the fact that Israeli crimes are in fact US crimes, a tiny fraction of
      them.”

      “Bundy and Kissinger are two of the major war criminals of the modern
      era. There is a long list of others. The [Kennedy] Government School is
      utterly outlandish. Among its more ‘benign’ activities is having the
      head of the [Carr] Human Rights Center, [Sarah Sewell], write the
      introduction for David Petraeus’s famous [military] counterinsurgency
      manual.”

      Universities are probably the least malign of all the actors in this
      conflict. “If we want to boycott those directly involved in atrocities
      let us go after the corporate system, the governments, and the citizens
      who pay taxes, etc.,” said Chomsky

      “Academic institutions are among the least of the participants, and they
      offer some of the best hope for confronting these crimes. However,
      they’re not above the fray by any means.”

      Chomsky, one of the many staunch supporters of Palestine is still
      fighting, having turned 92 today. When asked if the fire still burns
      inside of him at his age, he responded with a resounding yes.

      Semra E. Sevi, a staff writer at The Varsity, is a political science
      concentrator at the University of Toronto.

      --
      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
      in charge on this island?
      Professor: Why, no one.
      Skipper: No one?
      Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
      -- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"
    • Ilan Shalif
      Chomsky s anarchism was never without a flaw... His Zionists roots were never been uprooted for clean. Even if he thinks the BDS tactic supported by all
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 13, 2010
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        Chomsky's anarchism was never without a flaw...

        His Zionists roots were never been uprooted for clean.

        Even if he thinks the BDS tactic supported by all Israeli anti Zionist is not the best
        tactic he could declain to criticize it in public.

        His claim that Israeli settler colonialist (naZionist) project is not the worst crime is
        beside the point.

        As the Israeli academic system is part of the Israeli state system, exempting it from the
        BDS is just another Israeli apologist act.
        Ilan


        Dan Clore wrote:
        > News& Views for Anarchists& Activists:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
        >
        > http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/12/13/israel-chomsky-boycott-academic/
        > December 13, 2010
        > Chomsky’s boycott
        > By Semra E. Sevi
        >
        > Israeli academics, having led the way in the fields of biomedical,
        > semiconductor, and weapons technologies, have much to provide the world.
        >
        Yes, especially to the murderous regimes in Africa and south America...

        > However, the ensuing conflict between Israel and Palestine has impeded
        > this development. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign
        > against Israel has been an extremely contentious issue on campuses
        > around the world. Its supporters see the campaign as an effective means
        > of pressuring Israel to uphold international law.

        The Israeli apologetics of various kinds:

        > On the other hand, its
        > critics see it as rife with double standards and as a counterproductive
        > approach to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
        >
        >
        > Attempting to censor and silence the dialogue is never the answer.
        >
        Especially the dialogs between the Israeli secret service interrogators and the tourtered
        Palestinian prisoners...
        >
        > Only
        > an open exchange of ideas from all academics will lead to a true
        > understanding and, ultimately, a resolution. There is always hope in
        > education.
        >
        The core of Israeli academy was serving as tool of the naZionist project like the Israeli
        Highest court of "justice".

        > Boycotts of researchers or research institutions contravene the purpose
        > of academia, which is deeply rooted on the freedom of inquiry and
        > freedom of speech.
        >
        Germany too had an academic system in the 1930s...
        >
        > Recently, I coproduced an interview with Noam Chomsky for TVOntario, in
        > which he discussed the Middle East, America’s foreign policy, and the
        > BDS campaign. In that interview, when asked if he supported BDS, Chomsky
        > stated that he is unconvinced of the tactic.
        >
        I wonder if it is because the linguistic text of it are not superb.
        >
        > “I would not support an academic boycott. I did not even support them on
        > South Africa, apart from specific racist practices, like hiring,” said
        > Chomsky.
        >
        Well, we know what is the principle... It is now just a consideration of price.
        >
        > In correspondences with Chomsky, he elucidated his stance on the issue,
        > “I have always been skeptical about academic boycotts. There may be
        > overriding reasons, but in general I think that those channels should be
        > kept open.”
        >
        It is not skepticism about the effectiveness of this tactic. It is just a way to cover up
        the objection to do all the means needed to force the Israelis to end their crimes against
        the Palestinians.
      • Echo of Freedom
        ... I know that there s a lot to reply to here, but i will focus on this last point, as it explains the whole issue rather well. It is *not* usefull to do all
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 7, 2011
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          > It is not skepticism about the effectiveness of this tactic. It is just a way to cover up
          > the objection to do all the means needed to force the Israelis to end their crimes against
          > the Palestinians.

          I know that there's a lot to reply to here, but i will focus on this last point,
          as it explains the whole issue rather well.

          It is *not* usefull to do "all the means needed" for anything.

          The main point of anarchism is that means and ends go together. You do not
          install a dictatorial system which then in a few generations is suppose to
          wither away.

          It does make sense to boycott commercial institutions, which have direct
          contribution to the Israeli state, but does not make any sense to boycott
          academics who have no input into it.

          The mention that Germany in 1930s also have had academics was made. And one of
          the leading sexuality institutes was in fact in Berlin, until it was destroyed
          by the Nazi state (for the publications dealing with homosexuality). It would
          make no sense to call for its boycott prior to destruction based just on the
          fact that it was geographically located in Germany.

          --
          http://freedom.libsyn.com/ Echo of Freedom, Radical Podcast

          "None of us are free until all of us are free." ~ Mihail Bakunin
        • Ilan Shalif
          Means are not justified by end they do not serve. Anarchists who claime that the end justify their unacceptable means are either cheating or ignorance. ...
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 7, 2011
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            Means are not justified by end they do not serve.
            Anarchists who claime that the end justify their unacceptable means are either cheating or
            ignorance.

            Echo of Freedom wrote:
            >
            >
            > > It is not skepticism about the effectiveness of this tactic. It is
            > just a way to cover up
            > > the objection to do all the means needed to force the Israelis to end
            > their crimes against
            > > the Palestinians.
            >
            Some people are reluctant to use all the means that are needed for putting end to the
            Israeli occupation that are compatible with our education for anarchism but harm the
            Zionist community, are still emmotionaly tied to the zionist project of building Israel.
            >
            > I know that there's a lot to reply to here, but i will focus on this
            > last point,
            > as it explains the whole issue rather well.
            >
            > It is *not* usefull to do "all the means needed" for anything.
            >
            To kill a nasty person for stopping his mall behavior is example of bad means for good end.
            >
            > The main point of anarchism is that means and ends go together. You do not
            > install a dictatorial system which then in a few generations is suppose to
            > wither away.
            >
            The claim that installing a dictatorial system which then in a few generations was wrong
            because of two main reasons. The installing a dictatorial system was not the best mean to
            prevent restoration of capitalism. The second wrong reason is that dictatorial system
            wither after a few generations into capitalism.
            >
            > It does make sense to boycott commercial institutions, which have direct
            > contribution to the Israeli state, but does not make any sense to boycott
            > academics who have no input into it.
            >
            Say who? If you are ignorant about the dynamics of the Israeli society you can claim lot
            of things and your motivations are questionable.
            >
            Academics who support the Zionist settler colonialism project contribut to its strength.

            The effects of successful acts of boycot contribute a lot to the demoralization of the
            Israeli public and elite that support the occupation.

            Any success in one subject of boycott contribute to all the other subjects.
            >
            > The mention that Germany in 1930s also have had academics was made. And
            > one of
            > the leading sexuality institutes was in fact in Berlin, until it was
            > destroyed
            > by the Nazi state (for the publications dealing with homosexuality). It
            > would
            > make no sense to call for its boycott prior to destruction based just on the
            > fact that it was geographically located in Germany.
            >
            All the Israeli academic institutes support the Israeli state even when the more liberals
            have some criticism.

            It is authoritarian from people who pretend to be antiauthoritarian to attack the Israeli
            academians who call for boycott of the Israeli academian institute.

            Ilan S.
            member of the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall
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