Saturday, April 16, 2005

 

Against academic boycott of Israel

I'm gritting and gnashing my teeth as I write this, but Harry's Place has a worthwhile petition up against an academic boycott of Israel, proposed by the teachers' union of the University of Birmingham. If the link doesn't work just surf to the main site.

I'm no fan of boycotts in general, but academical boycotts I find downright offensive. Regardless of what country is in question. The idea of science and academia, to me, is that they should be unpoliticized, as internationalized as possible and generally working towards the betterment of humanity as a whole. Academic boycotts negate all of this - by depriving academics of other nationalities of knowledge and the possibilities to exchange knowledge, and by making academia into petty political playgrounds.

Let's hope this infernal boycott proposal ends up in the paper bin where it belongs.

Merlijn de Smit

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