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March 18, 2014 10:06 pm
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Pro-Israel Liberal Academics Launch New Initiative to Combat Boycotts of Israel

avatar by JNS.org

A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protest against Israel in Melbourne, Australia, on June 5, 2010. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgMore than 50 leading pro-Israel liberal academics announced a new initiative by Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization, to combat academic boycotts of Israel and to protect freedom of expression on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“We are progressive scholars and academics who reject the notion that one has to be either pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. We believe that empathy for the suffering and aspirations of both peoples, and respect for their national narratives, is essential if there is to be a peaceful solution,” said the founding statement of the Academic Advisory Council of Ameinu’s “The Third Narrative” initiative.

Kenneth Bob, president of Ameniu, told JNS.org that the initiative hopes to address the “false dichotomy” over Israel that is promoted by the left.

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“This initiative of progressive academics around the issue of academic freedom puts a focus on the false dichotomy expounding by some on the left between supporting Israel’s right to exist and criticism of particular policies towards the Palestinians,” Bob said.

He added, “We hope to bring to light a new, third way of both embracing a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict and rejecting academic boycotts aimed at Israelis and Israel.”

The new initiative will also organize a space in which progressive academics can address boycott activity, create materials on the Arab-Israeli conflict and academic freedom, and take other actions on critical issues.

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