A recent study showed ways in which faculty can play a role in fighting the BDS campaign on campus
AEN in the News
Mark Yudof had just gotten off the phone with Jewish community leaders in central Illinois, where a campus debate was raging over the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
It was one of many such calls Yudof gets as chair of the national advisory board for the Academic Engagement Network, one of the main groups pushing back against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement at U.S. colleges and universities.
With the principal humanities academic organization in the US voting overwhelmingly to formally reject the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a leading member of the anti-BDS effort welcomed the rejection of a “radical fringe” who had “hijacked the organization for partisan politics.”
Amidst the rancor of anti-Israel propaganda, Prager University is waging a digital war. If such battles are won by whopping numbers of online views alone, its strategy seems to be winning. But not everyone agrees.
Some professors fear a “chilling effect” on free speech and academic freedom after President Jane Close Conoley made a statement to the campus opposing the Associated Students, Inc. resolution to divest in Israel, prompting several response letters from legal organizations, professors and the California Faculty Association.
A young academic activist organization has found success helping faculty members on campuses across the US promote what founders see as the “inherently connected” causes of supporting freedom of speech and Israel.
Two American scholars called an anti-Israel motion being brought before the upcoming conference of the Modern Language Association (MLA) a “shameful maneuver” that highlights the worrisome politicization of academia.
Referring to a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution that is being put to a vote at this week’s MLA 2017 Convention, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Jubilee Professor Cary Nelson — one of many academics opposing the bill — told The Algemeiner that it reveals “deep and increasing corruption” in the humanities and social sciences.
While the University of California, Irvine is taking a series of “good first steps” towards combating antisemitism, the “proof will be in the pudding” of implementation, the heads of two leading campus organizations told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of campus watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, and Kenneth Waltzer, executive director of the Academic Engagement Network — a group of American college faculty members who oppose the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — were responding to a recent UC Irvine report that issued recommendations on how the school can align itself with and adopt the University of California Regents Principles Against Intolerance.
Academic freedom — the freedom to explore any subject wherever it leads and to exchange ideas with colleagues of one’s choosing — lies at the heart of the academic enterprise. Without this freedom, our universities would be servants of special interests and political ideologies. This would create the safe space some students seek in which students would be spared exposure to vigorous give-and-take on contentious issues. But this would be an education stripped of intellectual diversity.
These are the demands of the academic BDS (the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement — to cut off debate, stop the exchange of ideas with Israeli academics, and coerce faculty around the country to follow the dictates of a narrow political movement.