The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel

In the summer issue of Democracy Journal, David Greenberg reviews “The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel,” edited by Cary Nelson & Gabriel Noah Brahm. Greenberg highlights that this volume “encompasses a broad range of opinions, with left-leaning contributors (Michael Bérubé, Martha Nussbaum, Mitchell Cohen) nestled alongside right-leaning ones (Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Richard Landes). The contributors’ differences suggest a raucous seminar more than a manifesto, and the diversity of opinion stands as a refreshing counterpoint to the propagandistic nature of so much literature on both the BDS left and the chauvinistic pro-Israel right.”

According to Greenberg, the book also provides a much needed counterweight to the tireless output of anti-Israel activists:

“Almost all the energy … now resides with BDS supporters. A few years ago, Jon Stewart, explaining why the Tea Party was mobilizing while ordinary Americans were quiescent, quipped that most of us ‘have lives.’ Although a silent majority of students and faculty surely see both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most of them don’t have the time or inclination to organize, or to subsume their studies or scholarship or teaching to activism. Because of this imbalance, there has emerged a small library of BDS advocacy books—by the likes of Omar Barghouti, a Qatari-born academic who received his Ph.D. at Tel Aviv University, and Judith Butler, primarily known as a scholar of gender theory—but no book-length scholarly criticism of BDS. Until now.”


Read the entire review at Democracy Journal.