Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Academic freedom? Not if you mention divesting from Israel.

The response to any criticism of Israel continues to border on hysteria. As featured in The Nation, Neve Gordon, an Israeli professor at Ben-Gurion University, released an Op-Ed in favor of international divestment and soon received "death threats" and demands for his "exile." University President Rivka Carmi told Gordon to "consider another professional and personal home," stating the Op-Ed was an "abuse of the freedom of speech." Apparently, the freedom of speech in Israel only supports positive assessments of the country's relationship with Palestine. Zionists continue to prove that when confronted with a well-reasoned argument for the end of Israel's apartheid policies, the public can expect nothing short of a "firestorm" in retaliation. On Columbia's campus, the taboo of speaking out against Israel is also in full effect. In this atmosphere, it becomes even more important for supporters of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination to refuse to be silenced. Gordon's piece was slandered as "morally reprehensible" but in reality, it is those who continue to back the atrocious human rights violations in Palestine that must be held accountable.

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