Letter to the Editor 01/22/2014

To the Beacon:

Recently there was a piece in the Beacon in favor of the anti-Israel boycott as a statement of solidarity with “Palestinian civil society.” Wrong. The PA (the Palestinians’ government) opposes the boycott.

The same article claims to speak for the majority of FIU students in supporting the boycott. Unless there is some tiny bit of evidence, this claim is also bogus.

There are many, many reasons why more than 200 American colleges and universities oppose the boycott, but I want to highlight three:

  1. When there is conflict, we need more, not less, dialogue. Universities have traditionally promoted open discussions, which is a crucial role that universities play in democratic societies. This boycott wants to diminish, not enhance, discussion. Nothing could be more counter-productive.

  2. Israeli universities are at the very cutting edge of technological advances in medicine, agriculture, IT, aerospace and security. The world needs these discoveries; so to bar Israel from scientific collaboration would be to deny life-saving technologies to the people of the world. That is simply stupid.

  3. This boycott is profoundly selective, it singles out Israel while ignoring human rights abuses by China, Cuba, Iran, and the list goes on. Given the global history of anti-Semitism, singling out Israel while there are much, much worse offenders makes one question the motives of the boycott-happy, anti-Israel movement itself.

Most all of the FIU community is grateful to President Rosenberg and Provost Warzok, as well as more than 200 other American academic leaders, for speaking out in favor of dialogue, open discussion, and cooperative research.


Nathan Katz


School of International and Public Affairs

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