Friday, January 09, 2009

My friend Stuart Gabriel (UCLA) sends me a petition

And I signed it. I encourage other scholars to do so:

Scholars For Peace in the Middle East

*Promoting Academic Integrity and Honest Debate*

*Petition to Protest Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Proposed
Boycott of Israeli Academics*

/Written by: SPME Board of Directors/
*January 8, 2009* *To: Academic Colleagues From Around The World to
Protest Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Proposed Boycott of
Israeli Academics*

We, the undersigned university faculty members from around the world
call upon the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
to oppose any resolution to ban Israeli academics from teaching in
Ontario or anywhere else. The current resolution invokes, as
justification for the proposed ban, bombing that damaged the Islamic
University in Gaza on December 29. Sid Ryan of CUPE's Ontario University
Workers Coordinating Committee says: "Israeli academics should not be on
our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and
the assault on Gaza in general." No other country's academics have been
the targets of such union action before, whether or not their country
was at war. Israel is engaged in a war to defend its people against an
enemy that has been firing missiles at Israeli civilians for years. The
enemy, Hamas, had been using the Islamic University as a training camp,
launching pad, and weapons depot. Oth! er universities in Gaza were not
Hamas facilities and were therefore not bombed.

The proposed ban clearly represents ethnic discrimination, and the
proposed ideological litmus test is a violation of free speech. The
members of the University and College Union in England recently rejected
a similar proposal because of its discriminatory nature, and we urge the
Ontario CUPE members to reject the proposal now before them.

To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we,
the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for
purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli
academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli
academics are excluded.
*? *Visit Scholars For Peace in the Middle East website

*? *To Sign this petition go to

*? *To see current signatures go to


homer said...

Are you kidding?
I suppose the Israeli attack is not racist. I suppose the Israeli academic institutions are not racist. I suppose the behavior of Israel and the US towards palestinians is not racist. But, if I were to suggest that we isolate the racist institutions of israel, or eliminate the subsidies my tax dollars give to the israeli military, or suggest that the US announce the withdrawal of any protection for Israel, that would be racist.
How can you sign any document that suggests Israel is "defending" itself? Palestinians deserve no rights?
It makes me nauceous to hear you scream bloody murder over such a trivial matter, but not raise any concern over the Israeli actions against palestinians.

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