Israeli Professors Censured for Joining Call to Disinvest in Israel

A group of [Ann Arbor] residents has begun a
movement to call on their town to divest [from
investments it may hold in companies or funds
which do business in Israel], in the same way that
it once divested from investing in countries
investing in South Africa during the days of
apartheid…In addition to voicing their
opposition at every opportunity, there is one
simple thing that anybody can do: “just don’t
buy ‘Made in Israel’ products.”

TEL AVIV – Yisrael Ba’aliya has sharply criticized
a group of intellectuals for joining in a call for
Ann Arbor, Michigan, to “divest from
investments it may hold in companies or funds
which do business in Israel.”


A group of residents has begun a movement to call
on their town to divest, in the same way that it
once divested from investing in countries
investing in South Africa during the days of
apartheid.


“We hope you will pass the strongest possible
resolution to divest Ann Arbor from any investments,
transactions, or pension funds it may hold in
companies or funds which do business in
Israel,” the support letter states.


The letter was signed by 11 people, including
Tanya Reinhart and Rahel Giora, both professors of
linguistics at Tel Aviv University; Anat Matar,
associate professor of philosophy at TAU; and
Jacob Katriel, a professor at the Technion.


The “fury and anger” of Yisrael Ba’aliya
executive director Eli Kazhdan is aimed
particularly at them, and he believes their
universities should take action against them.


“We believe the people who run the
institutions should ask them to stop using their
names as calling cards. It is one thing for them
to publish articles in Yediot Aharonot criticizing
the government.


“Going to the US, calling us an apartheid
state, and calling for disinvestiture – using the
names of institutions that receive funding from
abroad – it’s infuriating.


“Israel has enough problems to deal with right now without this new detrimental and harmful strategy,” he said.


But Giora said that “if the government can go
and seek American aid, I have just as much right
to tell the Americans not to help us.


“Remember, there were plenty of people in
South Africa who supported the call for
divestiture – just because I’m Israeli does not
mean I can’t support it.


“And I can criticize something that supports
my institution. I’m not getting paid to shut
up.”


Giora said the initiative in Ann Arbor was inspired
by her colleague Tanya Reinhart, who is currently
residing in Holland. In late October, Reinhart
published an article, widely distributed on the
Internet, in which she called for opponents of
Israeli policy to take economic as well as
political action.


In addition to voicing their opposition at every
opportunity, Reinhart wrote, “there is one simple thing that anybody can do: Boycott Israel – join, for starters, the consumer boycott which has been going on for a while in various places in Europe.


It is easy to do – just don’t buy ‘Made in Israel’
products. But it is also a useful means of
political activity and education.


“In the days of the South Africa boycott,
people used to sneak into supermarkets and paste
‘South Africa’ stickers on the relevant products.
Leafleting outside supermarkets, explaining why we
boycott Israel is a good way to get the
information through.


Israel is not the US. It is a small country with
hardly any economy and with a self-image
completely detached from reality. It can be
stopped.”


[ also see related links:

Appeal to Boycott Israeli Goods and Leisure Travel – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1293

Assassinations and the West’s Collective Short Memory – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1529

34 Palestinians killed since recent “ceasefire” – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1511

Assassination of Palestinian Leader – Another Step Towards War – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1461

Israel Bombs Palestinian Civilians to “Deter Terrorism” – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1442

Collective Punishment Leaves 500 Palestinians Homeless – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1432

Al Khader Today: the True Face of the Israeli Occupation in a Nutshell – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1426

Israel Targets Palestinian Infrastructure, Using U.S. Weapons – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1027

Palestine 101: Palestinian Refugees & Washington’s Role In Mass Expulsions – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=965

Israel/Palestine: A Recent Chronology – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1016

Palestine 102: “Barak’s Generous Offers” A Political Map of Israel’s Proposed Borders with Palestine – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1404

How It Came to This: A Palestinian’s View – http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=860 ]

Author: Allison Kaplan Sommer

News Service: Jerusalem Post – 11.17.01

URL: http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos07933.html