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So @MarcLamontHill, should we boycott breakthrough Tel Aviv U melanoma research?

So @MarcLamontHill, should we boycott breakthrough Tel Aviv U melanoma research?

To cancer patients, the academic boycott of Israel is no joke. It’s deadly serious.

Marc Lamont Hill is a professor at Morehouse College, frequent cable news commentator, and host of his own shows on BET and VH1.

Lamont Hill has voiced support for “revolutionary struggle” against Israel, which he recorded on a video for a Dream Defenders trip to express solidarity with Palestinians against Israel:

Lamont Hill also is a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, specifically the academic boycott of Israel.

This spring Lamont Hill announced that he was voting in favor of a resolution at the American Anthropological Association to boycott Israeli academia under the expansive guidelines of the BDS movement. The boycott failed to pass by a very slim margin.

Among other things, the BDS academic boycott guidelines forbid any cooperation with Israeli academic institutions or any individual faculty members representing such institutions. Israeli universities are not permitted to attend conferences, and cooperation of any nature, including research, is barred. Student interactions are barred under the “anti-normalization” portion of the boycott. There are no exceptions based on field of study.

…  PACBI urges academics, academic associations/unions, and academic — as well as other — institutions around the world, where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation or annulment of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israeli academic institutions or that otherwise promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights, or violate the BDS guidelines.

Specifically, the following events, activities, or situations are in violation of the Palestinian academic boycott:

2. Research and development activities that fall into these broad categories:

(a)    Among academic institutions – Institutional cooperation agreements with Israeli universities or research institutes. These agreements, concluded between international and Israeli academic institutions, typically involve the exchange of faculty and students and, more importantly, the conduct of joint research.  Many of these schemes are sponsored and funded by the European Union (in the case of Europe), and independent and government foundations elsewhere.

In light of Lamont Hill’s support for the academic boycott of Israel, I posed a question to him last April when I read about a joint cancer research project between The Technion in Israel and NY University, Question for @MarcLamontHill – How many must die for academic boycott of Israel?

Not long after I saw Lamont Hill’s annnouncement of his support for the academic boycott of Israel, I saw this article in the Jersusalem Post online, Haifa and NY researchers collaborate on treatment for two deadly cancers:

The Technion – Israel of Technology and New York University Langone Medical Center have initiated a joint cancer research project, targeting the most dangerous form of skin cancer, metastatic melanoma, and mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the protective lining of the lungs and other internal organs.In the first joint collaboration, US and Israeli researchers will test the ability of a nanotechnology based on so-called “nanoghosts” to deliver the promising treatments.

In earlier studies, Technion researchers took a stem cell, removed its contents and then shaped a piece of the cell’s outer membrane into a vehicle to deliver treatments into the brain.

There are dozens if not hundreds of similar medical research projects cooperatively between Israeli higher education institutions and non-Israeli institutions. Under the official academic boycott guidelines, such cooperative projects are banned….

The American Anthropological Association boycott will be mostly symbolic (like that of other groups like the American Studies Association). So perhaps it’s viewed as a no-risk easy ideological and political choice for Lamont Hill and others AAA members. But if they support the BDS academic boycott of Israel for one field of study, they necessarily advance the boycott in all fields of study since BDS makes no exceptions for medical research. The academic boycott is the academic boycott, in for one field, in for all.

Which raises a question I tweeted to Lamont Hill. Since the Technion-NYU cancer research project would be banned under the academic boycott guidelines, How Many People Must Die for BDS?

I tweeted that question to Lamont Hill, and so did many others, but I never received a response.

The other day I read of another breakthrough cancer research project, this time at Tel Aviv University, in cooperation with at least one foreign university. The Times of Israel reported, Tel Aviv University study may lead to melanoma cure:

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) say they have unraveled the metastatic mechanism of melanoma, the most aggressive of all skin cancers.

According to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the scientists discovered that before spreading from the epidermis — the outer layer of the skin where the disease originates — to other organs, a melanoma tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA. These cause morphological changes in the dermis — the inner layer of the skin — to prepare it to receive and transport the cancer cells. The researchers also found chemical substances that can stop the process and are therefore promising drug candidates.

“The threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis — in the tumor cells sent off to colonize in vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones,” said research leader Dr. Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine. “We have discovered how the cancer spreads to distant organs and found ways to stop the process before the metastatic stage.”

The TAU group worked in close collaboration with researchers from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, Israel and the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel….

“Our study is an important step on the road to a full remedy for the deadliest skin cancer,” said Levy. “We hope that our findings will help turn melanoma into a nonthreatening, easily curable disease.”

It’s easy, in the soft subjects like the Humanities and Social Sciences, to view the academic boycott as having no serious consequences for anyone other than Israelis.

But one of the reasons over 250 university presidents, the major university associations, and the American Association of University Professors all oppose systematic boycotts, including the Israel boycott, is the destruction to the free exchange of ideas and scholarly exchanges of the sort that lead to medical and other advances.

To anthropologists and non-STEM academics, this may all seem like harmless virtue signalling.

But to cancer patients whose lives depend on the type of breakthrough research conducted by Israeli universities, often in cooperation with foreign universities, the academic boycott of Israel is no joke. It’s deadly serious.

So, should we boycott breakthrough cancer research because it is conducted at an Israeli academic institution?

I ask again, how many must die for BDS?


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Lamont-Hill doesn’t care. I believe it was the NYT’s Walter Duranty who, after challenged on Stalin’s 1930s crimes (which Duranty was concealing) famously said, “if you want to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.” The few “eggs” was the starvation murder of millions of kulaks.

Hill could care less about melanoma, as long as doesn’t have it.

I don’t think Marc Lamont-Hill expects to ever get melanoma. I’m not sure he cares much for people who usually get it.

Hill is an educated Sharpton. They both crave publicity and they are happy with it no matter the source. Just like the spoiled professional athletes, they have to have something to whine about. What do these idiots think Israel is supposed to do? Surrender to the islamic thugs? All Hill has to do is look at any of the other islamic nations to see which one is even half as successful as Israel and then immigrate there. That way he can not only show his solidarity with the islamic murderers but he can show how well they treat people of color!

Morehouse has certainly declined since MLK graduated. As the Hills of academia continue to preach their racist hatred, we can expect to see national policies move from inclusion to containment. Thus endeth the American dream. Can academia save itself? Does it ever care anymore?

DieJustAsHappy | August 28, 2016 at 6:15 am

Lamont Hill is just another one perpetually singing his “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” (With apologies to B.J. Thomas)

    Estragon in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | August 28, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Online biographies seemed to have been scrubbed of references to his background except to note he attended the elite magnet school Carver High in Philly, but do I not recall reading years ago of a comfortable upbringing, perhaps by parents who were themselves liberal academics?

    Irrespective of whether it is the case with Hill, but note how many careers are built on “advocating for the oppressed,” and how few of those positions are filled with anyone who has been oppressed in any meaningful way.

      DieJustAsHappy in reply to Estragon. | August 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Yep. Another one I came across at Urgent Agenda/Willam Katz:
      He has an excerpt concerning “NAACP FIGHTS AGAINST BLACK CHILDREN,” noting that it and other similar organizations seem to exist for special interests. He states “Eric Hoffer, the ‘longshoreman philosopher’ of the 1950s, said that all causes become businesses, then they become rackets.”

      Sounds familiar …

legacyrepublican | August 28, 2016 at 6:25 am

Lamont Hill is a graduate of a Morehouse College which excludes women and is black only.

By applying BDS academic rules, that makes Mr. Hill a supporter of sexism and racism and he should be boycotted.

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise!” [ had to come up with something since I couldn’t use a kettle metaphor without, you know, getting into hot water ]

Individually, Hill is insignificant, just another leftist insect boring in the foundations of society. He specializes in manufacturing grievance and outrage, a popular discipline among the academic establishment.

Rather, he is symptomatic of the destruction of our educational institutions and the assault upon our cultural institutions by the former ’60s radicals who infiltrated and captured the liberal arts academy, with their heirs and assigns.

– –

In the greater scheme of things, Hills is but another inflamed, infected pustule on the body politic.

Richard Aubrey | August 28, 2016 at 9:01 am

Hill’s power comes from his position. People aren’t taking professors seriously any longer. Hill’s position is that, each semester, a certain number of students have to pretend to believe him. And, unfortunately, some actually do.

BTW, is there a copyright on the sullen-yet-defiant expression? If so, the copyright holder must be richer than a three-armed King Midas.

‘ I believe it was the NYT’s Walter Duranty who, after challenged on Stalin’s 1930s crimes (which Duranty was concealing) famously said, “if you want to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.” The few “eggs” was the starvation murder of millions of kulaks.’

The worst thing about this was that no omelet resulted.

Sure , melanomas are predominantly a problem for fair skinned people and the way they look at it we do not deserve to live.

    Mike H. in reply to dunce1239. | August 31, 2016 at 1:31 am

    It also hits darker skin colors, I think that no one is immune. Speaking as one who has had three melanoma in-situ removed.

Let ’em boycott it.

Darwinism at work.

Lamont-Hill would argue mostly white people get melanoma, so the research project is a race-based inequity he cannot support in good conscience.