As a student in the UK, I witnessed first-hand how negative memes about Israel gain rapid traction in campus settings.
The nature of these “academic” debates have generated a climate where a significant fraction of British society sees nothing untoward about the following image, taken from a rally held in the heart of London:
With the recent news of the ASA vote to boycott Israel it is concerning that a campuses in the US are embarking on a similar journey. Although the US is very different to the UK, it would seem prudent not to be complacent.
As a college town, Ithaca can expect to be ensnared in these debates (see this recent editorial in the The Ithacan for a classic example of misinformation).
What can you do? If you are an academic, you can join the effort to contact the academic institutions who are members or support the ASA so they can take an appropriate stand against academia being hijacked in this discriminatory manner. This response is being coordinated through the Legal Insurrection blog.
As community members and parents, we should be cogniscent of the fact that our college-bound children will increasingly be required to address issues arising from the activities of those who seek to delegitimize Israel.
Now is the time to pay attention to our children’s education and strengthen their connections with Israel. Let’s make sure that our children have the historical facts and understanding that will enable them to rebut anti-Israel propaganda and stay confident and secure in their minority identity.