Israeli lecturer's boycott call attacked

Dr Neve Gordon of Ben Gurion University called for a boycott of Israel in the the LA Times which was condemned by his university collegues


August 23, 2009
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Ben Gurion university lecturer Dr Neve Gordon

Ben Gurion university lecturer Dr Neve Gordon

A Ben-Gurion University lecturer who called for an international boycott against Israel has been attacked by his own university.

Dr. Neve Gordon told the Los Angeles Times that he thought Israel had reached a historic crossroads and only dramatic measures could ensure its survival.

"It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organisations, unions and citizens to suspend co-operation with Israel," he wrote.

"But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself."

The political science lecturer added: "I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country's future."

His remarks were condemned by senior administrators of the university. University President Professor Rivka Carmi said: “We are shocked and outraged by his remarks, which are both irresponsible and morally reprehensible.

“This kind of Israel-bashing detracts from the wonderful work that is being done at BGU and at all Israeli universities. Academics who entertain such resentment toward their country are welcome to consider another professional and personal home.”

Prof Gordon later attempted qualify his remarks in an interview with YNet. He told them: "The intent was for a graded boycott sensitive to content and circumstances.. I stress in the article that the boycott should begin with products produced in settlements, and if this doesn't help to move on to companies who blatantly support the settlements."

He added, "I believe that a graded boycott sensitive to content and circumstances will not bring destruction to the state, but will empower it because it will encourage the return of occupied lands and the reaching of a peace agreement with the Palestinians – which will in turn normalize relations with many Arab countries that will change their stance on Israel in the international arena."

Last updated: 3:37pm, August 24 2009