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Daring to Criticize Israel

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Daring to Criticize Israel


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Careers are risked by doing it.

by Stephen Lendman

Addressing this issue responsibly risks rebuke, ostracism, or job loss. For some, it's a career ender. Scoundrel media writers and broadcasters are vulnerable. So are university professors.

Joel Kovel lost his Bard College position for writing books like "Overcoming Zionism" and calling Israel "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses."

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DePaul University denied Norman Finkelstein tenure. It  then fired him for speaking out and writing books like "The Holocaust Industry."

Political activism and honesty about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict also cost tenured professor Denis Rancourt his University of Ottawa job.

UCLA Professor David Delgado Shorter 's now targeted. His academic freedom's at stake. On April 4, department chair Professor Angelia Leung rebuked him. She said his web site was being reviewed for posting inappropriate material pertaining to the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. More on that below.

California Scholars for Academic Freedom (CSAF) include 134 academics at 20 state universities. "The group formed as a response to various violations of academic freedom that were arising from both the post-9/11/2001 climate of civil rights violations and the increasing attacks on progressive educators by neo-conservatives."

Arab, Muslim or Middle East scholars are especially vulnerable. So is anyone criticizing Israel. CSAF's "goal of protecting California scholars" broadened in scope. Its members "recognize that violations of academic freedom anywhere" threaten it "everywhere."

On April 18, CSAF wrote UCLA Academic Senate chair Professor Andrew Leuchter. It addressed Shorter's rebuke and the broader academic freedom issue.

It expressed concern that Leuchter "overstepp(ed his) authority (by) honoring of complaints by a clearly partisan political group over collegiality and protocol regarding treatment of tenured faculty at UCLA...."

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The AMCHA Initiative made the complaint. AMCHA is Hebrew for "your people." The organization "strives to bring together Jewish people from all over California so that they might speak in one voice in order to express their concern for the safety and well-being of Jewish college and university students."

It also one-sidedly supports Israel and Zionist ideology. Its record includes harassing faculty members critical of Israeli policy. It airs views openly in the press. Targeting academic freedom shows how far it's willing to go. Its history includes accusing UC campuses of ignoring anti-Semitism and allowing anti-Israeli protests. On issues regarding the Jewish state, it tolerates no criticism.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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