Both Judeophobes and Judeophiles agree that Jew
s are smart, but when it comes to thwarting anti-Semitism, Jews can be pretty dumb.
In 2004, Israel
i Cabinet minister Natan Sharansky attempted to convene the heads of Israeli universities to devise counter-strategies to the then-temporarily subdued movement to boycott their scholars and campuses. Immured in their ivory towers, they were so oblivious to the gathering threat that it took Sharansky six months to facilitate the meeting, where they insouciantly dismissed his concerns: "When [the boycott movement] gets stronger again, we'll get organized."
By contrast, rabid enthusiasm always dominates the annual internationally co-ordinated Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), the fourth of which unfolds on six Canadian university campuses Feb. 3-10. Jubilant promotional material informs us that IAW 2008 will be "celebrated" for the first time at Palestinian universities. More ominously, IAW 2008 will include the founding conference of "High Schoolers Against Israeli Apartheid." Toronto's Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid pronounces itself "a proud participant in the global movement."
Tonight, I am speaking to the Jewish community of London, Ont., about academic bias against Israel. I will have with me my review copy of Academics Against Israel and the Jews, for which Sharansky wrote the foreword, including my column's opening anecdote. Holding it aloft, I will declare, "Everything you need to know about global campus anti-Zion-ism and how --and how not -- to fight it is contained in this book. If this Jewish community cares about Israel's survival, you will read it and act on it now."
A collection of essays by knowledgeable scholars and pro-Israel activists, Academics Against Israel and the Jews is an important new information resource, for it is the first comprehensive analysis of this subject extending beyond a single country.
Case by case, and with rigorously documented thoroughness, knowledgeable insiders offer their respective forensic analyses of the activism and the intellectually corrupt ideologues fueling it in various academic hotspots as familiar as Canada's York University and as unfamiliar as the Universities of Utrecht and the Australian National University in Canberra.
The essays are sobering but reader-friendly, and written with a view to education, not retaliation. Amongst other fascinating facts, we discover in these pages why only one university in Spain (Navarre) is friendly to Israel; why United Kingdom academics are particularly boycott-obsessed; and why Jewish students in North America are far better placed to combat anti-Zionism than those in Europe.