Archives: May 2002

Thu May 23, 2002

Correspondence with Miriam Shlesinger re Boycott

The following emails were exchanged between 23 May and 6 June 2002. Various sections have been quoted in the press out of context. This is the complete record of the correspondence. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 23, 02 | 1:16 am

Fri May 17, 2002

WHY ACADEMIC BOYCOTT - A reply to an Israeli comrade

Dear Baruch Kimmerling,

Last week, you published in Ha'aretz a moving letter defending the freedom of expression of a group of Israeli professors, including myself, who signed a European petition calling for a moratorium on European support to the Israeli academia. Here is what you wrote:

"The Coordinating Council of the Faculty Associations [of the Israeli universities] issued a public statement, which appeared in Ha'aretz on May 6, denouncing the call of scientists in Europe and North America to declare a boycott on the Israeli academia, following... supposed war crimes that the State of Israel committed in the occupied territories. As someone who acted immediately and actively against this boycott, because I saw this as a blatant violation of academic freedom, which is the essence of academic research and teaching, I was shocked by this statement. The shock stems from the content of the document, which not only denounces the boycott, but also denounces that minority of the Israeli academic personnel that support the proposed boycott. For precisely the same reason that one should oppose the boycott, one should oppose the denouncement of academic members who think differently. Instead of insisting on the freedom of speech and thought of all its members, the council launched an attack on this freedom.... I demand the immediate resignation of those responsible for this outrageous public statement."

Posted by: Dimitris Asimakoulas on May 17, 02 | 6:20 pm