How about not academically boycotting people or institutions just because you disagree with their views or governments?
For background on the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita, who was denied a job offer at U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign allegedly due to his tweets, see my prior posts:
- Anti-Israel Prof. Steve Salaita loses job offer at U. Illinois over hateful tweets
- U. Illinois Prof: Zionists partly to blame for recent outbursts of anti-Semitism
No one knows for a fact why his job offer was denied at U. Illinois, but the presumption is that it concerned his bizarre, vulgar and unhinged tweets. His defenders try to portray this as viewpoint discrimination, as if he lost out just because he criticized Israel; at this point that is entirely speculative as to the basis for the university’s actions.
[See video discussion here, couldn’t be embedded due to formatting problems][new embed code added – thanks to commenter]
The whole thing may come down to contract law.
As mentioned in my post Steven Salaita controversy points to the hypocrisy of anti-Israel academic boycotters, we are seeing the hypocritical posturing of people who seek to destroy academic freedom through the academic boycott of Israel nonetheless invoking academic freedom to defend Salaita (himself an anti-Israel boycott leader).
Jonathan Marks points out at Commentary that they are The Uncritical and Intemperate Partisans of the Boycott-Israel Movement.
As noted in an Update to my prior post, NYU Prof. Lisa Duggan, current President of the American Studies Association and a very aggressive supporter of the academic boycott, has tweeted out for University Presidents who opposed the anti-Israel academic boycott to come to Salaita’s assistance on grounds of academic freedom (see Featured Image). That article was written by another anti-Israel boycotter, David Palumbo-Liu of Stanford.
There’s something beyond hypocrisy about this.
Duggan, one of the most vigorous enforcers of anti-Israel academic boycott who even organizes conferences devoted to pushing the boycott agenda, now seeks the help of those who reject her boycott actions on grounds of academic freedom?
I’ve tried to think of a better description than hypocrisy.
The best I could come up with is “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” or one of its variants.
Obviously not in the anti-Israel academic boycott playbook.
Update: Interesting take by a grad student at HuffPo, Anti-Israel Professor Shouldn’t Have Gotten a Job:
Let’s relish in the irony for a moment: the same folks who advocate for the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) of Israeli academics now claim that anyone should be able to express academic viewpoints without repercussions. Try telling that to Hebrew University professors in Jerusalem that the BDS-crowd wants to ban from American schools.
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