Boycott Israel? Desmond Tutu, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, Uri Avnery, Farid Essack

On September 29 the University of Johannesburg’s ruling body met to discuss a proposal from the boycott campaign that it should sever its research links with Ben Gurion University.  It set an ultimatum for BGU and it postponed the decision for six months.  To read Desmond Tutu’s support for this move, click here.

Click here for the response of David Newman, who is Dean of Social Science at BGU. This proposal in South Africa sparked renewed debate on the Engage website.

Neve Gordon, a supporter of the boycott campaign, wrote an article about academic freedom in Israel here.

David Hirsh wrote a critique of a piece by Neve Gordon on academic freedom in Israel.  Read it here. David Hirsh wrote a second piece tracing Neve Gordon’s journey from sharp critic of the boycott campaign to important supporter.  Read it here.

Robert Fine, meanwhile had an engagement with Desmond Tutu published in the South African Mail & Guardian, here.

Last year Uri Avnery, the veteran Israeli campaigner for Palestinian rights, published a critique of the Israel-apartheid analogy and a critique of the boycott campaign, which related explicitly to the positions of Desmond Tutu and Neve Gordon.  Read it here.

Ran Greenstein, a supporter of the boycott campaign in South Africa responded to Engage here, in a trenchant critique of the Fine and Hirsh articles.

Robert Fine responded to Greenstein’s response.

Farid Essack also responded to Robert Fine in the South African press.

Ran Greenstein came back to Robert Fine here.

David Hirsh challenges Ran Greenstein’s “as a Jew” and “not in my name” stance here.

Robert Fine responds to Ran Greenstein’s argument about “Jewish and Democratic” here.

More from Ran Greenstein and David Hirsh on antisemitism here.

Robert Fine responds again here.

More from Ran Greenstein and Robert Fine

11 Responses to “Boycott Israel? Desmond Tutu, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, Uri Avnery, Farid Essack”

  1. Antisemitism and the boycott: David Hirsh responds to Ran Greenstein « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] me of follow-up comments via email. Send me site updates « Boycott Israel? Desmond Tutu, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, U… Blog at WordPress.com. Theme: Garland by Steven Wittens and Stefan [...]

  2. More from Ran Greenstein and Robert Fine « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] More from Ran Greenstein and Robert Fine November 15, 2010 — David Hirsh The links to the debate so far are all here. [...]

  3. Frank Adam Says:

    This sort of behaviour always reminds me of how the house arrest of Galileo destroyed science in Italy for over a century; how Soviet / Russian genetics and biology still has not recovered from the Lysenko episode.

    Academic work has progressed precisely pro rata to the lifting of religious tests for entry since the Galileo episode.
    Those who wish to campaign against or otherwise bully states they do not like should do so on political platforms and not by confusing research issues.

  4. University of Johannesburg boycotts Israeli University « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] This piece, by Matthew Kalman, is from the Chronicle of Higher Education. For much more on the debate around the South African campaign for an academic boycott of Israel, cli… [...]

  5. Engage’s arguments against the academic boycott of Israel « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] boycotts Israeli University « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism on Boycott Israel? Desmond Tutu, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, U…Karl Pfeifer on Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung report on prejudice in Europemassklo on Cutting our [...]

  6. bob Watt Says:

    David Hirsh’s article – for which thanks- throws up some interesting contradictions and challenges. He correctly recognizes that contemporary anti-Semitism is both atavistic and irrational and then – with the necessary apologies – seeks to rebut it. This is a pretty thankless task because, as Hume points out, “reason is the slave of passion”; not one passionate anti-Semite is going to be convinced.
    Would a more fruitful line of attack be to point out the contradiction in the anti-Semitic ultra-left (principally SWP inspired) position? The SWP position – which has infected UCU -is based upon the distortion of ‘democratic centralism’ (itself far from democratic!) into a cult of personality – in brief ‘If Tony Cliff said it – it must be correct.’
    Modern Trotskyism has replaced analysis with paraphrase. In the hands of the SWP words are used, not to dissect the argument , but further to ramify and support the pre-existing conclusion.
    Hirsh’s analysis is powerful; but irrational hatred cannot be defeated by even the most artful and subtle argument. In that sense the first part of his article is the most powerful – do not dignify evil and madness dressed up to look like serious political debate with an answer!
    best wishes
    bob

  7. UJ’s Curious Israel Boycott | Africa Says:

    [...] Brits — had finally isolated Pretoria’s securocrats. So I understand the sentiments of members of the ANC and other prominent South Africans who advocate a boycott, I firmly believe that many Israelis are blind to their complicity in [...]

  8. UJ’s Curious Israel Boycott : NL-Aid Says:

    [...] and Brits — had finally isolated Pretoria’s securocrats. So I understand the sentiments of members of the ANC and other prominent South Africans who advocate a boycott, I firmly believe that many Israelis are blind to their complicity in [...]

  9. The University of Johannesburg Boycott « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] Here are links to the debate from last october relating to the decision of the University of Johanne…  Included here are pieces from Desmond Tutu, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh and Farrid Essack. [...]

  10. A reply to Claire Potter: in a fight to boycott Israelis, remain vigilant to the danger of antisemitism | Engage Says:

    […] A set of debates from Engage with South Africans about the boycott movement in South Africa is to be…. […]


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