Archived debate – Martin Shaw, David Hirsh, Norman Geras – is the proposal to boycott Israeli academics antisemitic?

David Hirsh wrote a piece arguing against the proposal for an academic boycott of Israel because – amongst other reasons – such a boycott would be antisemitic.  Hirsh in democratiya [pdf]

Martin Shaw responded that while he opposed the boycott, he didn’t think it was antisemitic.  And Hirsh responded to his response.  Hirsh and shaw. [pdf]

Norman Geras responded four times to Shaw’s insistence that it was wrong to characterise such a boycott as antisemitic.

Norm’s second response to Shaw.

Norm’s third response to Shaw.

Norm’s fourth response to Shaw.

Martin Shaw’s response to Norman Geras includes this accusation:

[Norman Geras] “really ought to question why he gives his support to David Hirsh’s dogged campaign to tar the boycott movement with anti-semitism. This charge, in this and many other cases, is little more than an underhand way of attempting to discredit opposition to Israel. In the end it raises more questions about the commitments of the anti-anti-semites than it does of the anti-Israelis.”

Classic Livingstone Formulation.  We don’t raise the issue of antisemitism because we believe that we observe antisemitism. We do it for some other reason.  We do it in order to attempt to discredit opposition to Israel.  It is a charge of bad faith which is commonly leveled against Jews who oppose antisemitism.

Martin asked for evidence of antisemitism, before making an analogy between what Israeli forces do in Gaza and what the Nazis did in the Warsaw Ghetto.

One Response to “Archived debate – Martin Shaw, David Hirsh, Norman Geras – is the proposal to boycott Israeli academics antisemitic?”

  1. 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 about antisemitism in the boycott movement are to be found here. […]


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