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Bassem Eid Tag

Bassem Eid is a Palestinian human rights activist, who argues that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a sham that harms Palestinians. Eid is a frequent speaker in the United States, including on college campuses. Eid presents a Palestinian point of view not often heard on campuses, where radical faculty and student groups place all blame for the conflict on Israel. In this short video, Eid addresses BDS:

WAJ Intro: The post below is by Prof. Cary Nelson, a leading scholar and expert on issues of academic freedom and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He was co-Editor of The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (2014)(from the cover of which the Featured Image was taken) and was Editor of Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Movement to Boycott Israel (2016). Prof. Nelson's very important research report addresses the lack of academic freedom at Palestinian universities. That subject has been of interest to me for some time, but has not been well documented. There are few if any investigative groups who can operate and write freely in areas controlled by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, including universities. Reporting critical of the regimes is suppressed violently.

Late last month, Vassar College students narrowly rejected a proposed Israel-boycott. Legal Insurrection led the way in exposing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity at Vassar over the past two years. Key parts of the problem were vocal faculty who were hostile to Israel and favorable towards the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Vassar administration, while opposed officially to BDS, seemed frozen by the aggressive tactics of student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Despite the repudiation of the boycott, reports of anti-Jewish hostility and administration inaction increased so much so that Jewish students solicited help from outside groups. Thirty four Jewish and civil rights groups participated in the letter to Vassar College President. Thursday, the AMCHA Initiative issued a press release detailing Vassar student concerns and the response from outside groups:

The University of Chicago has the distinction of being recognized by FIRE as a model for free speech in higher education. At the same time, the school is home to a number of BDS activists who typically engage in the shouting down of people with whom they disagree. This dichotomy has led to an ironic impasse on campus. While the administration is committed to free speech, some members of the student government are not. This struggle has been going on for some time. In April, the College Council passed a resolution to divest from Israel. The Chicago Maroon reported:
College Council Passes Resolution Recommending Divestment College Council (CC) approved a resolution last night calling on the University of Chicago to divest from 10 companies that the resolution’s proponents say enable Israeli human rights abuses in Palestine.

Bassem Eid is a well-known Palestinian Human Rights activist who has been critical of human rights abuses and corruption in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas-run Gaza. Eid is an advocate of peaceful co-existence, and has made enemies in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement because Eid believes BDS is harmful to Palestinians. He also criticizes the organizations that promote BDS as looking out for their own financial interests. Here is a short interview which summarizes his views. https://youtu.be/K9YQwtDibGc?t=14s Eid is a frequent speaker in the United States, including on college campuses. Eid presents a Palestinian point of view not often heard on campuses, where radical faculty and student groups place all blame for the conflict on Israel.
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