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The Academic Intifada

Noel Hershfield, May 16, 2016


The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement targeting the State of Israel, has been in existence for at least 15 years.


It is a global campaign to increase economic and political pressure on Israel, to end   the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. They advocate full equality for all Palestinians citizens of Israel, and that the right of return of all Palestinian refugees, and their DESCENDENTS.


They do not mention that Palestinian Israelis serve in the Knesset, are educated in Israeli universities, are doctors, lawyers and professors. The chief executive officer of Apple Israel is a Palestinian Arab.Israeli Arabs, have a higher life expectancy, free healthcare, and a much higher standard of living than their neighbors whose mandate is to destroy the state of Israel.


This organization, was started by Omar Barghouti, who is an Israeli-Palestinian, and who was educated at the University of Tel Aviv, which is an Israeli government funded university. He has a degree in political science. After he obtained his degree he began travelling to the United States Europe, and setting up the BDS movement. At that time were many chapters of the Muslim Brotherhood in these countries, and the funding for these organizations came from the Brotherhood, various NGOs such as Oxfam, and countries including Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Currently it is estimated that there are at least 65 universities in the United States that have BDS chapters. Most of the major universities in Canada also have chapters, as do those in Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and even in Malaysia.


Over the past years there has been a huge increase in the establishment of Middle Eastern studies in the universities. These faculties are funded again by various Arab countries and it is estimated that $800 million-$1 billion have been donated to various universities in order to establish these faculties. Most of the faculties are headed by Arab professors, but many American professors, some of whom are Jewish, are teaching revisionist history about the Middle East. They teach our students that there was once a State of Palestine, which was attacked and defeated by Israelis in 1948, and have colonized the area. No mention is made of the fact that immediately after Israel declared itself a state, they were attacked by seven Arab countries, who were unsuccessful, in their quest to annihilate the Israeli state.


It has become apparent that the BDS movement calls for divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel, but also advocating deligitimization and demonization of the State of Israel and is becoming increasingly anti-Semitic. Increasingly there has been harassment both physically and mentally of Jewish students.

The organizations also claim that Israel is carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people, and they have resurrected the blood libel claiming that the Israeli Defense Forces have a policy of deliberately slaughtering Palestinian children. It is not uncommon now to see these terrorists in training, carrying signs calling for the return of Hitler, and the gas chambers! I personally witnessed these activities in my home city of Calgary, and during an anti-Israel demonstration in front of City Hall.


One of their strategies is to prevent anyone speaking at the University, who defends the State of Israel. The Prime Minister of Israel was prevented from speaking at Concordia University in Canada, and   the Israeli ambassador to the United States was prevented from speaking in California. Hirsi Ali, who as we know as a recipient of many international peace awards, was prevented from speaking at Brandeis University! There are so many examples of this happening, that it would take another paper to document these activities. These organizations howl when they are criticized and   claim that their freedom of speech is being curtailed. But there is no freedom of speech on our campuses for those that advocate for the State of Israel. Unfortunately, these activities are usually met with silence by most university presidents and hierarchy. Those that do speak out are attacked by these radical students and are charged with Islamophobia, which as we all know is the common charge against anybody who dares to voice criticism against radical Islam.


Many organizations have banded together to try and stem the tide, and there has been some success. Never the less the BDS movement has now metastasized into the entertainment industry, the churches, the unions, and also in some high schools in Texas and California.


Israel Apartheid Week is now a common occurrence at many universities. These activities have been witnessed by myself, and other colleagues of mine who belong to Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and is no doubt that this is just a cover for anti-Semitism.


In a bizarre situation, the churches of the Christian community have also been involved in the BDS movement. The World Council of Churches, which is an association of virtually all Christian churches in the world   have agreed to support the BDS movement. This in spite of the fact, that currently Christians all over the Middle East are being attacked, crucified, and slaughtered.   


There is also an attempt, sometimes successful, to boycott Israeli academia, and to destroy scientific and academic communication between universities. This of course is exactly what the Nazis accomplished, and yet the BDS movement in the unkindest cut of all   has accused Israel of being a Nazi state!   These movements are merely a prong in the many prominent attacks by so-called Radical Islam on our Western democratic institutions.


Gulio Meotti, a brave Italian journalist, who lives under heavy security, has dubbed these activities, the cultural intifada, and the academic intifada.


The Israeli government recently did a study on the economic effects of the BDS movement and claimed that it is minimal. But   Melanie Phillips, a British commentator, also under fire in her own country for her views on radical Islam, has stated that that the ethos of our universities have been completely and successfully changed by this movement. Instead of being   crucibles of knowledge, reason, and enlightenment, and the free exchange of ideas, they have become incubators of hatred, bigotry, falsehood, incitement, and intellectual terrorism. I think that this is the g

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