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ISRAELI UNIVERSITY HEADS ESABLISH BDS COUNTER

University Heads Establish BDS Counter Forum

The Committee of University Heads in Israel announced on Tuesday the establishment of a forum to counter future academic boycotts against Israel.

"An academic boycott is an unacceptable and dangerous process contrary to the spirit of research, undermining its foundations. This is an increasingly growing phenomenon with one aim - attacking the state of Israel and the research performed within its borders," said Prof. Menahem Ben Sasson, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and chairman of the Committee of University Heads in Israel on Tuesday.

To date, academic boycotts have surfaced primarily in the humanities disciplines, though there remains great concern among Israeli universities and officials that the phenomenon will spread to encompass the sciences.

 

 

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Israeli-University-heads-establish-forum-to-counter-academic-boycotts-361952

Israeli university heads establish forum to counter academic boycotts
Boycotts have surfaced mainly in the humanities but there is concern that the phenomenon will spread to encompass the sciences.

By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI
08/07/2014

The Committee of University Heads in Israel announced on Tuesday the establishment of a forum to counter future academic boycotts against Israel.

The committee will be headed by Prof. Zvi Ziegler, Professor Emeritus at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and chairman of Israel's Inter-University Senate.

"An academic boycott is an unacceptable and dangerous process contrary to the spirit of research, undermining its foundations. This is an increasingly growing phenomenon with one aim - attacking the state of Israel and the research performed within its borders," said Prof. Menahem Ben Sasson, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and chairman of the Committee of University Heads in Israel on Tuesday.

According to Ben Sasson, the boycotts aim to attack the state by damaging its "most important national resource" - scientific academic research. "For a long time this important resource has come under attack internationally by anti-Israel parties who are encouraging academic boycotts against the state," he said.

As part of its activities, the forum aims to examine and map out the scope of the threat, gathering information on future potential boycotts as well as coordinating with relevant parties and institutions in Israel and abroad to minimize the damage.

"We see the importance of information regarding cases of discrimination against Israeli researchers such as rejecting articles for illegitimate reasons, refusal to take part in conferences alongside Israeli researchers or discrimination against inviting Israeli researchers to conferences," said Ziegler.

According to Ziegler such activities "oppose the universal principal of science" and have no place in an academic setting. "Foreknowledge of boycott endeavors will help us thwart the initiative before it stews," said Ziegler.

To date, academic boycotts have surfaced primarily in the humanities disciplines, though there remains great concern among Israeli universities and officials that the phenomenon will spread to encompass the sciences.

In December, the 5,000 member American Studies Association (ASA) announced it would participate in a boycott of Israeli universities and academic institutions. It was later joined by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA).