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Monday, May 15, 2006

Union don'ts

From today's New York Times:
Britain's biggest union for college and university teachers plans to ask its 67,000 members to consider boycotting Israeli lecturers who do not publicly dissociate themselves from what it called Israel's "apartheid policies."

The language is from a resolution to be put to the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education at its annual conference in Blackpool from May 27 to 29.


The contentious resolution is one of two relating directly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The first, concerning Hamas's victory in Palestinian elections, enjoins British academics "to continue to help protect and support Palestinian colleges and universities in the face of the continual attacks by Israel's government" and to "contact the Palestinian Authority government to reaffirm that support."

The second cites "Israeli apartheid policies including construction of the exclusion wall, and discriminatory educational practices." It "invites members to consider their own responsibility for ensuring equity and nondiscrimination in contacts with Israeli educational institutions or individuals, and to consider the appropriateness of a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves from such policies."

From today's New York Times:
They buried Lior Anidzar on Sunday. He was 26. His family and friends, and his new wife, put him in the sand of this southern suburb of Tel Aviv, then keened over his grave. His mother, Yvonne, fainted and was taken away in a wheelchair.

Lior Anidzar worked in a garage, for a dealer of car parts. He was a gregarious young man, and he wanted to open a restaurant of his own.

He was in the north on April 17, during the Passover holiday, but then stopped by the shop near the old Tel Aviv bus station where his wife, Maya, worked. They had been married two weeks, and had lived in their new apartment here for four days.

He wanted to take her to lunch, she said, but she was busy and not hungry. He went to the Rosh Hair restaurant, a working-class place of falafel and shwarma, the Arabic foods, eaten in pita bread, that Israelis have adopted as their own.

Then Sami Salim Khamad, himself only 21, from Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, walked into the restaurant and blew himself up on behalf of a Palestinian militant group called Islamic Jihad. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the killing of civilians, but the new Palestinian government of Hamas defended it as a legitimate act of resistance to Israeli occupation.

"I give myself," Mr. Khamad said in the video issued by the militant group after the bombing, "for the sake of God."

God seemed distant that day to Lior Anidzar and 10 others who were killed in the bombing. More than 65 people were wounded. Mr. Anidzar, with internal injuries and serious burns, but young and strong, held on for a month. He died early on Saturday.


At the funeral, the former chief rabbi of Israel and now chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Israel Meir Lau, said Lior Anidzar "had fought for his life, and fought for his bride," and the mourners wailed, and "now he's gone to the gates of Heaven, and that's a separation forever." Here Rabbi Lau himself began to cry, and said, "A father saying Kaddish," the prayer for the dead, "for his son!"

Then he shouted, "Who are these savages who do these things, and no one takes the hand outstretched for peace?" He stopped, then said: "Heaven is not for such people. For what do they give their lives? To kill innocents? This is religion? No, this is a distortion of all mercy and all religious feeling, and I want the Muslim clerics to tell the truth, that murder doesn't bring paradise."

The new health minister of Israel, Yaakov Ben-Yizri, intoned, "The people of Israel pay a heavy price, to hold onto our lives and our country." He added: "We won't just take it and be silent. We have a strong army. We have no choice: to see it, and hit them a real shock." Lior Anidzar's friend Alon said, "How did we get to this place?" Then he broke down: "We'll never forget you, Lior, Lior. We all loved you. It's hard to separate ourselves from you, Lior, Lior, Lior!"

For more on the potential boycott of Israeli scholars and educational institutions, see my post here.

Anonymous Pierre duPont Copeland IV said...

Interesting to see the thugs in the academy slowly but surely resolving the logical cleft stick they are caught in of anti-Semitism and Palestinian terrorism. They are doing so in the time-honored fashion of the left: blaming it on the Jews and sanctioning their slaughter.

I am an optimist by nature and I do believe the day will come, many years hence, perhaps, when the academic left will finally have run its course. Good and thinking people will scratch their heads in wonder, marveling that their forebears stood back as these fraudulent savages hijacked the institutions of higher learning, both here and abroad. They will note, as few do now, how little difference there is between the Nazi and Marxist.

Anonymous Robin said...

As an academic myself, I often shake my head in wonder at my colleagues. Israel isn't perfect, but it's a Western-style democracy surrounded by nations that wish its destruction and that have attacked it repeatedly over the last 60 years. What's so hard to understand?

Apropos of the above comment, by Mr. Copeland: After 9/11, I noticed that the doors of the secretaries and custodians at my college had American flags on them. I found no professor's door with one. I only found comments on how this was "blowback" from foreign policy meddling or how the BBC used old footage to depict rejoicing Palestinians and how dishonest that was. That was the extent of the outrage. I bought a Navy Jack sticker(red and white stripes with a snake and a "don't tread on me" caption). It's still on my office door.


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