Two recent letters to The Gazette, opposing the Kramer Bill [“Bills attack academic freedom, free speech,” March 12; “Kramer’s bill suppresses academic freedom,” Feb. 19], also voiced support for the American Studies Association’s (ASA) academic boycott of Israel. What should be pointed out is that the boycott is meant solely to single out and punish Israel for being a Jewish country, using the “occupation” of a “Palestinian” people as a cover.
Despite the blindly accepted narrative, no part of Israel has ever actually existed as a sovereign, independent Arabic entity known as “Palestine.” The “Palestine” moniker itself, which harks back to the Roman invasion of Israel during the Second Temple period, was purely regional and political in nature. Prior to 1967, there was neither a “Palestinian” country nor people, and prior to 1948, a “Palestinian” was a Jew, not an Arab.
That this whole contrived “Palestinian” narrative, from “settlements” to “occupation,” passes as fact on a college campus is troubling enough, but when organizations like the ASA receive public funds for it, then it amounts to state-sanctioned anti-Semitism.
However, the ASA and their supporters are free to boycott Israel on their own expense. They are free to boycott Google and IBM, along with other technology leaders, whom have set up shop all over Israel. They are free to boycott Facebook and Apple, whom have engaged Israel’s cutting-edge start-up culture, as have many media and technology companies worldwide.
When they or a loved-one seek medical attention, they are free to request that no Israeli advances in science, medicine, surgery, therapy or rehabilitation are employed. In fact, I will gladly supply them with the seemingly endless list of Israeli innovations and contributions to science, medicine, technology, media, design, engineering, research and security worldwide, all of which enhance our daily lives, and are products of Israel’s world-class academic institutions, the same ones that the ASA seeks to cut Maryland’s college students off from, based on nothing more than a hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
Jason Pearlman, Silver Spring