Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Talking-back: reacting to posts made on Haaretz on the british academic boycott of Israel

Posted by worriedlebanese on 15/06/2007

It is no coincidence and it should not come as a surprise that such a reaction [as the academic boycott of Israel] comes from England. It’s in London that the Boycott Movement (that latter became the Anti-Apartheid Movement) against South African products during the apartheid started. And the UK is in many ways responsible for what happened during and after it was given a mandate over Palestine. The regime the Jewish majority (a minority then) set up and is supporting today is a form of Apartheid of a very particular sort, but an Apartheid regime nevertheless.
Humanists, academics and human rights activists cannot condone such a regime and it is only normal they react to it. The question that I ask myself is how effective and productive is the boycott?
I personally believe it’s counterproductive, especially if it triggers hysterical reactions, justifications, accusations and not an ounce of self-criticism.
Boycott is not the solution. Argumentation, open dialogue, non-polemical debate is the only way forward.

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