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March 18, 2014 10:06 pm

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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