Academic Boycott for Non-Academic Reasons. Stupid

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I understand boycotts - they are a way to express our sadness or disappointment in another entities actions and behavior. The concept allows me a "voice" in another's decision making. We have seen all kinds of boycotts -- from companies that refuse to serve those of color to stores that stock items made of real fur. Our involvement with generally is an economic sense. We withhold our fiscal patronage unless an entity changes it's ways. Basically, we spend our money in places which don't violate our personal interests whether religious, sexual, or political.

Now Time Magazine reports:

(NEW YORK) — The American Studies Association has become the largest U.S. group of scholars to approve a boycott of Israeli universities.

The boycotts are in protest of Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The American Studies Association says their action aims to ban American academic groups and schools from working with Israeli universities and not a ban on work between individual Israeli and U.S. scholars.

Here's what seems peculiar to me. This group, the American Studies Association wants to withhold American cooperation with the Israeli education system? Really? Why?

Politics. This group of educators are taking one of our strongest allies and trying to exert their own conscience on whom? Students? Is that who should be targeted when it comes to "unconscionable" policies? Is this a joke?

If the ASA wants to use it's power for some good, how about boycotting interaction with emerging nations that shoot and kill female students just because they seek an education? That's murder. Ask Malala. Ask the other girls in her country. Anywhere in that region. Oh, and let's not forget Africa and it's denial of learning to young girls. Just look at Lawrence O'Donnell's K.I.N.D. program, kids in need of desks.

I'm all for boycotts, but they should be targeted where most necessary. Let's put a point in that. Attack ignorance, but economically. Don't use education and the sharing of ideas and thoughts as a threat. If anything, open the doors. Show the offenders what they're doing wrong. Don't hide your head in the sand. Keep the great inter-communications on high educational levels open. Maybe great scientific and economic inventions and theories and medical cures have come from Israel. They may have a horrible prime minister, but don't blame the kids.

Open the educational cooperation. Don't be a dropout. Don't be a dope. Face it, this boycott is s-t-u-p-i-d.

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  • Riccardo Cabeza

    Say no to war crimes. Say no to Apartheid Israel. Maybe the US should stop giving free money weapons and Intel too.