Hundreds of Israeli professors and academics have signed a petition slamming Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s stated intention to take action against professors who support an academic boycott of Israel.
Petitioners include Haifa University rector Prof. Yossi Ben Artzi, Israel Prize laureates professors Benjamin Isaac and Yehoshua Kolodny, and former education minister Prof. Yuli Tamir.
Read on in Ha’aretz. As a staunch anti-boycotter I hope they are successful in overturning this attempt to criminalise boycott.
Update – some more on this.
Firstly, I mis-titled this post, I think – an inadvertent provocation.
The petition was initiated by Israel’s Forum for the Protection of Public Education. They don’t translate into English (i.e. they aren’t seeking international attention) but Google sort of does (and the original is here).
This petition needs to be considered in the context of the bill to outlaw Israel’s homegrown boycotters, which does not distinguish between the implicit eliminationism of a whole-Israel boycott and the implicit acceptance of Israel’s and Palestine’s co-existence in the boycott of settlement products. The 552 signatories of the petition are not fighting for the right to boycott – they explicitly do not endorse boycott – but against the intrusion of an unsurprisingly defensive government into what is said and considered on campus, and for the right, when one academic’s expression of freedom begins to interfere with that of their colleagues, of the institution to respond on its own behalf.