Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Ameinu Joins with Liberal Academics to Combat Israel Boycott

Ameinu, a liberal Zionist institution, is joining forces with over 50 leading pro-Israel academics to battle the growing academic BDS movement against Israel

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 19th, 2014 in News » World

Since the American Studies Association announced its academic boycott of Israel, several academic institutions have done all that they can to display that the BDS Movement against Israel is not symbolic of a consensus, though unfortunately, the boycott did reach Ontario when University of Windsor students announced a similar agenda earlier this month.

Despite it, over 90 universities have since distanced themselves from the ASA, New York state proposed an anti-boycott bill, and now, over 50 leading liberal academics have announced a new pro-Israel initiative developed by Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization. The initiative looks to battle this academic boycott of Israel and to protect freedom of expression, notably on the Israel-Palestinian issue.

“We are progressive scholars and academics who reject the notion that one has to be either pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. We believe that empathy for the suffering and aspirations of both peoples, and respect for their national narratives, is essential if there is to be a peaceful solution,” read the introductory statement from the Academic Advisory Council of Ameinu.

The president of the organization, Kenneth Bob, said that they hope to address the “false dichotomy” regarding Israel that he states is promoted largely by those who harbor left-wing political agendas.

“This initiative of progressive academics around the issue of academic freedom puts a focus on the false dichotomy expounding by some on the left between supporting Israel’s right to exist and criticism of particular policies towards the Palestinians,” he added. “We hope to bring to light a new, third way of both embracing a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict and rejecting academic boycotts aimed at Israelis and Israel.”

This new movement spawned by Ameinu also looks to provide a space for which academics can discuss the boycott, provide materials on the Middle East conflict, and develop new methods to finding peace in the region.

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