Behind the Boycott - Page 9

These detractors ignore several key points . First , Israelis and Palestinians are both native to the land of Israel — indeed , Jews have resided there for over 2,000 years — so there is nothing colonialist about the existence of a Jewish state . Next , the conflict is not a racial one but a national one , with two nations each claiming the land as their own . Finally , and most importantly , Israel extends full rights to all citizens — Jewish , Arab , or otherwise . By inaccurately comparing the situation in Israel to Apartheid , BDS ignores both the facts on the ground and the history of the conflict , and makes a two-state solution — which can only work if built on trust — less likely .
Some academic organizations , such as the American Studies Association , have voted in recent years to boycott Israel . While the specifics may vary , these academic boycotts generally include refusal to work with Israeli universities and professors . Lee Bollinger , president of Columbia University , had this to say about one such boycott in the UK : “ I find this idea utterly antithetical to the fundamental values of the academy , where we will not hold intellectual exchange hostage to the political disagreements of the moment . In seeking to quarantine Israeli universities and scholars this vote threatens every university committed to scholarly and cultural exchanges that lead to enlightenment , empathy , and a much-needed