Monday, October 22, 2012
AAUP and BDS
I see from a post on Mondoweiss that the official position of the AAUP is to reject BDS against Israel on the basis that an academic boycott of the last remaining apartheid state is a violation of the principles of free speech. Did the AAUP also publicly come out against an academic boycott of South Africa in the 1980s? If not why not? Would not the principle of freedom of speech apply equally in both cases? This is of course not surprising most "radical" professors in the US are strong opponents of any type of action against Israel. The only partial exceptions appear to be Judith Butler and some math professor at UCLA. The position of the AAUP and "Tenured Radicals" such as Claire Potter in strongly opposing any action against Israel is far more typical of the self identified left wing radical professors in the US. They should just be honest and admit that they are not radical at all on this issue or any other. Instead they are upholding established and orthodox left wing values that have dominated US universities for decades without any significant challenge. For some reason one of these values is support for Israel which does not make them much different from Gingrich or Romney when it comes to the Middle East.