In opposing the anti-Israel boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement on campuses, it’s natural to frame the argument as opposition.
Campus BDS is aggressive, and may get even more so this year (although there is one counter-indicator). Whether it’s divestment initiatives, or attempts at academic BDS, the campus war on Israel never rests.
While opposition is important and necessary, it’s not the complete answer.
The other half is continuing to build academic ties with Israeli academic institutions and individuals.
The Times of Israel reports that expanding ties are taking place despite boycott calls, Universities profit from ignoring Israel boycott:
Anti-Israel activity and especially boycott drives make considerable noise on university campuses, but the record shows that schools that ignore or reject the pressure can profit from relationships with Israeli institutions of higher learning — and not just academically.
Cleveland State University recently signed an agreement with the University of Haifa to “develop joint learning opportunities between the two universities,” an official memorandum of understanding (MoU) said. This is CSU’s first academic agreement with an Israeli university
The agreement was signed by CSU President Ronald Berkman and University of Haifa Rector David Faraggi, who was in Cleveland for a two day visit. The MoU, said CSU Communications Director Kevin Ziegler, “provides an affirmation from both sides that we’re going to work together to make this happen. It’s [a way] of saying we’re serious. That we’re going to treat each other like partners on this and make things happen….
Another university already partnering with Israel is Texas A&M, which in 2013 signed a deal with to open a new campus in Nazareth. Texas A&M already has a facility in Israel; the US institution has been working with Ben-Gurion University for several years, and runs an R&D lab with BGU in Beersheba.
The Tower further reports:
Last year, a group of American university presidents visited Israel and met with their counterparts from Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and the Technion. Also last year, Stanford University joined with Hebrew University to open the BioDesign Innovation Institute to develop and market new medical technologies. In February of this year, Princeton University chose the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya to be the first Middle Eastern partner for its Woodrow Wilson School of Diplomacy. A few months later, Massachusetts Institute of Technology expanded its academic ties to Israel by signing a partnership agreement with Ben Gurion University.
Molly Rosen, who published Staring Down the Devil at the University of Michigan in the April 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, and Tessa Nath, who wrote Why Are Student Leaders and Jewish Bruins Under Attack at UCLA? for the June 2014 issue, documented the viciousness and incivility that mark the BDS movement in two major American universities.
And of course, there’s no better example than the joint Cornell-Technion high tech campus (Featured Image) being built in NYC, over the screaming opposition of the BDS movement.
BDS seeks to destroy, we build.
For every hollow student senate divestment resolution that passes (most fail), establish a new academic tie to Israel.
For every libelous “Israeli Apartheid Week” event, invite an Israeli academic to lecture on campus.
For every group like the American Studies Association that passes the academic boycott, insist that your university treat Israelis no differently than other nationalities, something required by law in most jurisdictions and by most universities’ own non-discrimination rules.
Strengthening academic ties with Israel is the best revenge.DONATE
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