Israeli University Professor Calls for Boycott

A Ben-Gurion University professor called for a boycott of Israel for being an ‘apartheid state,’ causing a stir in Israel.

"The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state," Neve Gordon, a political science professor, wrote in an Op-Ed last Friday in the L.A. Times. "It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid trend in Israel is through massive international pressure… I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005 and has since garnered widespread support around the globe."

Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi disavowed the comments. "We are appalled by Dr. Neve Gordon’s irresponsible remarks, that morally deserve to be completely and utterly condemned," Carmi said in a statement. "We disapprove of Gordon’s disastrous views and reject his cynical exploitation of the freedom of speech in Israel and the university."

But the Association for Civil Rights in Israel condemned Carmi for curbing freedom of speech by denouncing Gordon’s Op-Ed.

Meanwhile, supporters of the university living in the Los Angeles area threatened to withhold their donations from the university, according to Ha’aretz, which cited a letter sent to the university’s president from Yaakov Dayan, Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles.

On an interview with Ynet, Gordon said he did not mean a wholesale boycott against Israel, but a gradual one that would begin with a boycott of products produced in the West Bank and against companies who support Jewish settlements in the area.

(JTA)

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