Sunday, October 2, 2016

Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book

Academic freedom is considered a bedrock of democracy and yet do you know that both the USA and Israel gag such freedom? Well, if you doubt me, read this article of Stephen Cohen in the Counterpunch by clicking here.
He writes, "University is intended to be a melting pot, a grand experiment of sorts, to unite the diverse not in “acceptable” uniform thought but in the notion that ideas must be free and robust to be healthy… all ideas… the good, the bad, the uncomfortable. Yet, today, all across  the United States it seems that purity of  thought has become synonymous with the idea of a sound “healthy” education."
"For Israel it’s not enough to invade our lecture halls at prestigious schools such as De Paul, the   University of  Illinois, Oberlin, CUNY or Columbia to drive “controversial” pro-Palestinian academics   of the likes of Finkelstein, Salaita, Karega, Schulman, Massad and Dabashi from college lecterns; or to strong-arm a university such as Berkley to suspend a course that presents a view of settler colonialism at odds with the Zionist narrative. Indeed, now through well funded pro Zionist proxies Israel seeks to  fundamentally redesign those same halls to promote and suit its own geopolitical needs and interests," writes Stanley Cohen, a peace activist.
"Recently, from coast to coast, well funded organizations such as the Amcha Initiative and the Canary Mission have labored to intimidate university administrators and faculty in an effort to punish what they call anti-Semitism in the classroom. In the name of acceptable academic freedom, these groups promote an Israeli view of free speech, one where diversity of thought is under constant attack in  the  class rooms and the streets  in  an  effort to silence  Palestinian dissidents and their supporters by one means or another."

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