July 24, 2024
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The Prejudice-Promulgating Professors

Academics traditionally wear the mantle of freedom of expression with great pride. They embrace the open exchange of ideas and embolden others to engage in independent thinking and knowledge-enhancing exercises. These scholars are generally well-respected and their disciplined pursuit of academic excellence in their respective subject areas is extremely noteworthy.

Like most things, however, there is an exception to the rule. Unfortunately, when it comes to professors encouraging freedom of expression in the world of academia, that exception is the State of Israel.

In a bizarre deviation from the norm in academic circles, there are a growing number of professors who seem to believe that a double standard is somehow acceptable when it comes to Israel. On one hand, they promote inclusiveness and individuality. On the other hand, they have inexplicably chosen to support an academic boycott of Israel.

This movement, which is known as Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), has gotten some traction over the past several years. It gained further momentum when the members of the American Studies Association, a U.S.-based organization that is comprised of university professors, recently voted to endorse the boycott effort.

The rationale among supporters of BDS is that this movement is a means by which they can protest what they claim to be Israel’s inhumane and inequitable policies toward, and treatment of, the Palestinian Arabs.

The audacity and hypocrisy of these professors is incredible. They hold themselves out to be bastions of free expression, yet they have chosen to stifle a country that happens to be the sole democratic nation in the Middle East region, and which has made tremendous inroads in the academic world and great strides in developing innovative ideas and emergent technology. They have taken the extreme measure of condemning the State of Israel over its handling of the Palestinian Arabs, yet they turn a blind eye to the countless acts of terror perpetrated against innocent Israelis by their Arab neighbors.

The backers of the BDS movement allege human rights violations against Israel and single out the Jewish State, however, they apparently ignore the egregious and blatant human rights violations that are pervasive in other nations around the world.

In its 2013 World Report, Human Rights Watch, an organization that monitors and reviews human rights practices throughout the world, outlined a plethora of human rights violations that occurred in 2012. For example, basic rights of freedom of expression and association are routinely restricted by the government in numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam.

In Colombia, human rights defenders are under constant attack. In Cuba, the government suppresses all political dissent. In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Honduras, human rights activists and journalists are threatened, arrested and killed. In Iran, executions for various offenses are prevalent. In Iraq, detainees are arbitrarily tortured and peaceful protesters face intimidation and violence. In Mali, political upheaval resulted in the displacement of 400,000 residents. In Syria, tens of thousands of people have been killed as anti-government protests morphed into an all-out armed conflict. In Tajikistan, the government restricts religious expression and education, and domestic violence against women and children is commonplace. In Uganda, the government’s security force routinely engages in acts of torture. In Uzbekistan, torture is widely utilized in the criminal justice system, freedom of expression is limited and the government sponsors forced child labor. In Venezuela, opponents of the government are intimidated and prosecuted.

The twisted tales of heinous human rights violations that are taking place around the globe are sickening. Yet, remarkably, the professors involved in the BDS movement do not seem too concerned, as they have not taken any steps to initiate boycotts against the countless countries that sanction these crimes against humanity.

As self-professed defenders of human rights, the academics’ silence in the face of such overt human rights violations is deafening. In fact, it makes me wonder if their Israeli boycott actually has anything to do with human rights at all.

The BDS movement is nothing more than an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic exercise. The professors who enthusiastically support the boycott have shamelessly shed their academic integrity in favor of intolerance and traded in their scholarly books for bigotry. This misguided group of professors is unapologetically promulgating prejudice. Instead of singling out Israel for fallacious human rights infringements, the BDS group should turn its attention to the myriad cases of serious human rights violations that occur on a daily basis around the globe.

Stop picking on Israel solely because it is a Jewish State and focus on places and situations that are actually worthy of protestation. My dear professors, your narrow-mindedness is unbecoming, unprofessional and unpardonable.

N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and a principal of Paul Revere Public Relations, a public relations and political consulting firm. Visit him on the Web at TroodlersTake.blogspot.com, www.PaulReverePR.com, or www.JewishWorldPR.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: _troodler

By N. Aaron Troodler, Esq.

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