Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anti-Zionist Academics Attempt to Delegitimize Israel Study Abroad


In response to California State University (CSU) reinstating its study abroad programs in Israel -- suspended primarily for safety reasons in accordance with State Department warnings -- 'over 100' professors and students signed a letter in opposition by alleging that, "CSU participation with the government of Israel in the proposed study abroad program could be interpreted as an endorsement of the international crime of apartheid."

Wasting no time in countering this attempt at thwarting the academic freedom of students, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) issued a heavily endorsed letter of its own to CSU's chancellor, providing a comprehensive refutation of the boycotters' claims. Especially relevant are these arguments:

"As for Arab students, or students with "Arabic or Muslim names being denied access to Israeli institutions of higher education”, we suggest that the authors of this petition check the student roster at Haifa University. Previous students from the CSU Israel Overseas Program found their program at Haifa University filled with a significant number of Arab students, and students with "Arabic or Muslim names" in their classes, in the student center, in the library, and in activities at free speech areas on the campus. All the major universities and colleges of Israel admit Arab/Muslim students and charge them the same tuition costs as Israeli Jewish students. Students who participated in CSU's Israel Overseas program in the two years before it was suspended reported that their interactions with Muslim/Arab students were among the most enriching aspects of their experience in Israel.

"The apartheid canard. A common and false charge against Israel is that of apartheid. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word that originally denoted the system of racial segregation and curtailment of rights of the non-white population of South Africa between 1948 and 1994. It is difficult to imagine a country more diverse and less segregated than Israel, where 15 religions have official status and where Muslims, Arabs, Christians, and others are represented in all professions, serve in the military and the Knesset (Israeli parliament), and play leading roles in sports and the arts. Like other countries, Israel has its share of ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods, but it may well be less segregated than most other countries in which CSU has programs."  Read the entire letter here.

1 comment:

  1. Palestine will be Jew-free - the absolute and total apartheid, separation of people. The PLO is using an apartheid smear campaign against Israel. The terrorists will think of anything to demonize Israel, to attack its civilians and to claim it is the victim, in order to have its own racist apartheid government. Propaganda, lies, pure and simple.

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