Civil Discourse and Academic Freedom

Middle Eastern Studies Association Mocks Academic Freedom

When the American Studies Association and the professional organizations of other ethnic studies associations moved recently to boycott Israeli academic organizations for various political reasons, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the professional organization of academics studying and teaching about the Middle…

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Academic Boycotters Talk Academic Freedom

Last February, Brooklyn College’s political science department was under attack for co-sponsoring a panel in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. In the heat of the controversy, Brooklyn College President Karen Gould issued a statement defending the political science department.…

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There they go again

Last year, Brooklyn College’s political science department voted to officially affiliate itself with a talk by two advocates of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. In other words, these professors openly endorsed boycotting (among other groups) fellow academics based solely…

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Boycotts, Bias and Politics in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Academic boycotts are, by their very nature, blunt weapons to be used with extreme caution. When implemented, they silence the open exchange of knowledge, and promote the antithesis of academic freedom. Such extreme measures cannot be justified when casually invoked…

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The Very Foundations of the University

The modern Western university faces an existential threat. The danger is not what you think. It is not the cuts in government funding,1 the skyrocketing cost of tuition, the explosion of student debt,2 the rise of massive open online courses,3…

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Clear, Simple and Wrong

The famous American cultural critic, H.L. Mencken, once said that, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” I am reminded of this bon mot every  time I hear of a BDS campaign that…

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All Quiet At Brooklyn College’s Most Recent Anti-Israel Talk

When activist Ben White spoke at Brooklyn College last week on the topic of “Israel: Apartheid, not Democracy,” there were no evictions, no disruptions, no names mysteriously left off the list of RSVPs. Unlike a similarly controversial event there last year, there…

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