Britain's Lecturers' Union Votes for a Boycott of Chinese Universities and Academics,

because China denies its students academic freedom. Oh, no, that's not right — it voted for a boycott of Saudi universities and academics, because of Saudi Arabia's second-class treatment of women. Whoops, I got that wrong — it voted for a boycott of Iranian universities and academics, because of Iran's oppressive government.

D'oh! Wrong again. As best I can tell it hasn't voted for a boycott of any of them; it only voted for "a boycott of Israeli universities and academics yesterday, in protest over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians." Of course.

Thanks to Aeon Skoble for the pointer.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. British Lecturers' Union Boycott Discussions:
  2. Israel and the South African Analogy:
  3. Britain's Lecturers' Union Votes for a Boycott of Chinese Universities and Academics,
Israel and the South African Analogy:

Advocates of boycotts of Israel and Israelis, such as the British boycott Eugene blogs below, often draw an analogy between Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and South African apartheid. And just as South Africa was boycotted, they argue, so should Israel be boycotted.

For reasons that should be obvious to any objective observer, I find the South Africa analogy to be both absurd and obscene. However, let's assume for the sake of argument that Israel's occupation of the lands it captured in 1967 is indeed morally analogous to South African apartheid.

The relevant analogy would then have to be as follows. South Africa has publicly declared its willingness, indeed eagerness, to end apartheid, and in fact allowed the African National Congress to return from exile and administer most of South Africa, subject to government security conditions. The ANC and the South African government then launched into final status negotiations, at which time the South African government once again expressed its willingness to end apartheid, and offered a deal which most objective observers thought met 95% or so of the ANC's stated demands, and went much further than most observers thought that the South African government would ever be willing to go.

The ANC responded not by demanding the other 5%, not by launching a worldwide public relations campaign seeking to press the South African government to accede to its final demands, but by launching a terrorist war against the white civilian population of South Africa, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths.

A few years later, the South African government unilaterally ended apartheid in about half of the disputed territory, turning sovereignty over to the ANC, and expressed its hope that the ANC would govern responsibly and that its withdrawal from this territory would ultimately form the basis for a new chapter in their relationship.

Instead, the black population of South Africa voted in a new government composed of black supremacists, who expressed openly and vigorously their hatred and contempt of white people, and swore that they would never negotiate any accommodation with the South African government, short of turning all of South Africa into a black supremacist state, with whites being forced to return to their "homelands". The new black government used its new territorial sovereignty to establish terrorist bases, smuggle weapons, and establish new military and political ties to other organizations that had genocidal views toward South African whites. White South African towns faced a constant missile barrage from this territory.

Even knowing the hatred leveled at South Africa during apartheid years, I find it hard to believe that under these circumstances anyone with a modicum of respectability would have been calling for boycotts of the South African government.

The long and the short of it is that calls to boycott Israel are not about "the occupation," but about calling into question the legitimacy of Israel per se. The boycotters are not anti-occupation, they are pro-Hamas. As such, they are morally culpable in Hamas's genocidal anti-Semitism, totalitarian Islamism, and so forth. Those who voted for the boycott should reveal their names publicly, so that people of good moral conscience can decide whether THEY should be boycotted.

British Lecturers' Union Boycott Discussions:

The Oxford chapter of the British University and College Union reports that -- notwithstanding the Times Online story, which I blogged about last week -- the UCU motion was only to "discuss" a boycott, rather than actually to call for a boycott. I can't speak with confidence as to what the motion amounted to in context, but I thought I'd pass along the information.

Thanks to Nicholas Sarwark for the pointer.