The current issue of the Faculty Forum brings our readers news and reports of ongoing problems. The famous French historian, Fernand Braudel, stated that there are several types of history: fast-moving history, slow-moving history, and history which hardly moves at all. According to Braudel, individual events are essentially ephemeral, like “fireflies in the night.” Thus, we may think of the well-organized and orchestrated campaign to delegitimize the Zionist cause, Israel and the Jews, as forming a backdrop of slow-moving history, upon which the battles of the political war on American campuses and beyond are now being waged.
The slow-moving backdrop to this ongoing program of delegitimization frequently takes the form of the BDS campaign, a well-organized push for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel. Its purpose is to isolate and single out Israel and its supporters for punishment by boycotting its products, commercial and cultural ties, and, not the least popular performers who would like to give concerts in Israel. Since the World Conference against Racism which took place in Durban in 2001, the enemies of Israel adopted the world campaign against Apartheid South Africa as their model. They have no interest in compromise, co-existence, or even the “Two-State Solution.” They hope that by using political agitation combined with guerilla warfare they can force Israel into isolation and discredit and bring about its politicide, nothing less than its complete demise.
On the campuses, in the United States and elsewhere, the BDS program has captured the imagination of idealistic students (who generally are not be well informed) and assumed the proportions of a serious human rights program. In the popular mind its goals have mistakenly become identified with the larger quest for world justice. Not the least, one of the methods of its sponsors is to undermine and split the general consensus of support for Israel by spreading their propaganda in the academic world especially by recruiting Jewish intellectuals.
It is within the context of this protracted conflict that the Faculty Forum brings its readers several timely articles and a rich selection of book reviews (courtesy of the Jewish Political Studies Review). We are particularly glad to run an original article by Professor Gabe Brahm of the Northern Michigan University.
We hope that you will find this issue informative good reading and, as always, we welcome your feedback.