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As a member and supporter of AAUP for the past sixteen years, I wish to
express my wholehearted support of the response to the "'Statement on
the Postponement of the AAUP Conference on Academic Freedom and
Boycott'" that has been submitted to you by Professor Emeritus, Shlomo
Avineri, Professor Yossi Ben-Artzi, Dr Jon Pike, Dr Jonathan Rynhold,
Professor Gerald Steinberg, and Professor Michael Yudkin.
If the AAUP wishes to organize a general ethical and philisophical
discussion on academic freedom and academic boycotts, then I believe
that the organization should find appropriate representatives of various
opinions, drawn from different disciplines. The AAUP should also see to
it that such a discussion does not become a forum for a particularist
political perspective, one that focuses on one country and one boycott
agenda to the relative exclusion of others.
Related to this, I note that Joan Scott has publicly derided those who
questioned the appropriateness, agenda, and timing of the Bellagio event
as being part of "a carefully orchestrated campaign to abort the
conference by a lobby of people (pro-Israel occupation) who believe that
any representation of a point of view other than theirs is ananthema".
This statement on its own should preclude Dr. Scott and others like her,
who see Jewish conspiracies as the source of all their opposition, from
participation in such a conference, if the plan to have such a
discussion is revived.
My continuing membership in the AAUP is predicated on the assumption
that the organization is fair, ethical, and above politics. I would not
like to see my faculty union railroaded, as the British AUT was, into
becoming a ideological platform for one, myopically anti-Semitic
U of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom,
Associate Scholar, Sign Language Research Lab
Affiliated Professor, University of Haifa
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