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    Author: Occam's Razor

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    Occam's Razor

    This post is a follow up to a story we ran earlier this week, Third World Quarterly publishes “The Case for Colonialism” leading to censorship demands. An article (pdf) by Portland State University’s Bruce Gilley, in Third World Quarterly arguing the “Case for Colonialism” provoked a backlash that was professionally threatening to the author. Here is the abstract of the article:

    Bruce Gilley of Portland State University (image above) published an article titled “The Case for Colonialism” in the decidedly anti-Colonial journal Third World Quarterly (home of the Edward Said Award). In its self-description, Third World Quarterly writes:
    TWQ examines all the issues that affect the many Third Worlds and is not averse to publishing provocative and exploratory articles, especially if they have the merit of opening up emerging areas of research that have not been given sufficient attention.
    Gilley is no newcomer to controversy.

    We've written extensively of the disturbing phenomenon of anti-Israel activists taking over professional and academic associations (even associations in memory of holocaust victims), and diverting them for their own radical political agendas. This has been especially pronounced in the long battle that seems to dominate large portions of the social sciences and humanities academy: we refer of course to the apparently serious question of whether the academy should be devoted to the furtherance of knowledge and wisdom...or whether it should be devoted to fighting the State of Israel.

    We have previously covered the never-ending saga at the anti-Israel obsession of some members of Modern Language Association (MLA). Those members have engaged in a years-long attempt to get MLA, the largest academic society in the humanities, to boycott Israel and to officially join the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement. After the radicals’ massive defeat at the MLA business meeting at the annual convention in Philadelphia in January, they are on the defensive: not only was their resolution to boycott Israel (2017-2) defeated by the Delegate Assembly, but a counter-resolution (2017-1), calling on MLA to reject academic boycott, was approved and placed before the general membership.

    “Jewish Voice for Peace” bills itself as a Jewish pro-peace organization. But JVP is not a Jewish organization. At most it claims to support “Jewish traditions of social justice” as set forth on its 2016 listing of Core Values. JVP also is not a pro-peace organization. As our extensive coverage over the years has demonstrated, JVP in reality is dedicated to delegitimizing Israel by providing an “as a Jew” cover for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and others who seek the destruction of Israel.

    The Modern Language Association is at it again: at this year’s annual MLA meeting in Philadelphia, academic boycotts of Israel are on the agenda. Thus continues the Settler Colonial attempt by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) to hijack American faculty organizations. The 24,000 member organization, comprised of faculty in the fields English and other non-classical foreign languages, will be debating (again) whether to boycott their colleagues in Israel, and would extend to the Academy of the Hebrew Language. The vote on January 7th involves the 297 members of the Delegate Assembly.

    We wrote recently how BDS is a settler-colonial ideology, in that it invades, conquers, and subjugates other movements to advance anti-Israel actvism. There are few instances where this is more apparent than Dream Defenders, one of the key groups in the Black Lives Matter movement. Dream Defenders was initially formed to protest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in Florida, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. Yet, following the pattern of many organizations who organize under the ideology of 'intersectionality', Dream Defenders has transformed itself from an organization fighting for a change in the criminal laws of the state of Florida, into one which is identified with the bizarre attempt to link Black Lives Matter to the Palestinian cause. The struggle to protect young black men in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. from allegedly unlawful police violence apparently also involves 'liberating' Palestine, i.e. the destruction of the state of Israel, and bizarre crushes on terrorist organizations like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. How? Why? What is the connection? Everything's connected, say advocates of intersectionality.

    We wrote recently about the Black Lives matter platform statement (under the name MB4L: Movement for Black Lives) and, in particular the “Invest-Divest section,” which attacks Israel and accuses Israel of ‘genocide’ and being an ‘apartheid state’. As reported, the statement was condemned by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston, and the Anti-Defamation League. Subsequent condemnations were issued by the American Jewish Committee, the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as the more left-wing J-Street (the liberal “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” lobby group), and T’ruah: the rabbinic call for human rights.

    The American Anthropology Association (AAA) has announced that the resolution to boycott Israeli university put before the membership was narrowly defeated. For our earlier coverage of the years-long effort of anti-Israel radical faculty to demonize and boycott Israel, see here, here, and here. [embed]https://twitter.com/AaaAdip/status/740022609321005056[/embed]

    This post is an update on the upcoming vote to boycott Israeli universities at the American Anthropological Association (AAA). For previous coverage, see here and here. As a reminder, at the Denver meeting on November 20th, attendees passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The resolution is now being voted on by the general membership, starting April 15, through May 31. Passage of a boycott means, among other things, that AAA will not cooperate with Israeli universities or the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA), will not supply journals and databases to them and will not allow graduates of Israeli universities to partake in career fairs. It calls upon its membership to do the same, and more: e.g. not attend conferences at Israeli universities, not accept grants from them; this in addition to the “common sense” boycotts that are probably already in place.

    We wrote earlier about the upcoming academic Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) vote at the New York University graduate student union. In that context we mentioned similar efforts underway at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia. Well, it didn’t take long! The Doctoral Students Council at the CUNY Graduate Center has just announced that a vote on a resolution calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions will take place at their meeting on April 15th. CUNY Graduate_Center_Flags_460px_306px

    We reported previously on the deceptive anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign at NYU, in which BDS supporters try to co-opt unrelated divestment movements, such as fossil fuel. This campaign has now morphed into a boycott petition at NYU’s Graduate Student Union (GSOC-UAW Local 2110). Meanwhile the deceptive tactics continue. This episode illustrates, yet again, the strategy of pro-Palestinian activists in taking over student governments and other associations and hijacking them for their own agenda. If all goes according to plan, there will be a referendum on a Boycott and Divestment petition that includes a call for Academic Boycott and a call to shut down NYU-Tel Aviv). The referendum, open to all union members, is tentatively scheduled for April 18-22. NYU GSOC Logo We cover below the following: I. Some background on anti-Israel activity at NYU II. Background on SJP's Divestment campaign at NYU III. Background on BDS at the University of California's union last year IV. Background on NYU's new radicalized union. V. Discussion of the petition itself (including (a) the process; (b) campaigns and (c) the substance of the actual resolution) VI. The opposition campaign and counter-petition (which NYU faculty, students, and alumni can still sign) VII. Conclusion

    We wrote previously about the scheduled anti-Israel resolutions at the seasonal faculty association meetings in 2015-2016. We are now in the midst of this season, with the American Historical Association (AHA) annual meeting in Atlanta this week. Once again, we see an attempt to politicize a reputable scholarly organization by a small group of radicals with an anti-Israel agenda. On the table at the AHA Business Meeting on Saturday, January 9, 2016, is a resolution condemning Israel's alleged mistreatment of Palestinians in education. Under the AHA Constitution, if the resolution passes the Business Meeting, it goes to the AHA Council for approval, non-concurrence or veto. If the Council votes not to concur, it goes to a full membership vote.[*] Unlike resolutions at the American Studies Association in 2013 (which passed) and currently at the American Anthropological Association (pending a membership vote), the AHA resolution does not explicitly call on the AHA to adopt the academic boycott of Israel pushed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Rather, the AHA resolution is similar to the resolution which previously failed to pass a membership vote at the Moddern Language Association in 2014, denouncing Israel for allegedly violating the academic freedom of Palestinians. But the AHA resolution is just as much a part of the BDS agenda, and would set the stage in later years for a full BDS resolution at AHA. Where BDS supporters think they can pass a full academic boycott they do; where they think they can't, they try interim steps. I analyze the AHA resolution below.

    The academic year in progress features several Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions to boycott Israeli universities by major academic professional organizations, as well as preparatory boycott activity to lead up to votes in future years. Here is the schedule, in chronological order, based upon what we now know: 1. National Women’s Studies Association (Boycott Resolution Voting Now through Nov. 25) 2. American Anthropological Association (Denver, November 20)(Boycott Resolution Vote) 3. Middle East Studies Association (Denver, November 21-24, 2015)(Boycott Activity) 4. American Historical Association (Atlanta, January 7-10, 2016)(Boycott Resolution Vote) 5. Modern Language Association (Austin, TX, January 7-10, 2016)(Boycott Activity) Each of these boycott resolutions adopts the general PACBI dictated BDS guidelines.
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