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May 28, 2015 12:20 pm

President Rivlin Warns BDS Movement is ‘Strategic Threat’ to Israeli Academia

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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin offered to be a “soldier” in combating what he warned is the rising trend toward the academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

Speaking from the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem on Thursday, Rivlin told the heads of Israeli universities and colleges that “I am a soldier in your army” in the fight against BDS efforts.

The Israeli president said he had expressed to several world leaders his concerns about “the way the civilized world is talking about academic freedom while infusing academia with politics.”

He said he never imagined a threat like the BDS movement to Israeli academia.

“The atmosphere in the world is changing and a situation has been created in which we can’t not raise the issue as a very serious strategic threat,” said Rivlin.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Israeli university president’s committee and Haifa Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie told Rivlin that BDS activism has moved from the periphery of campus life to the forefront, and called for “strategic action.”

Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Ben Sasson said most boycotts of Israeli academia were still quiet, with professors increasingly declining to come to Israel for academic conferences, for example.

Rivlin vowed to bring up the issue with diplomats in Israel and abroad, according to Israeli news portal Arutz Sheva.

“The struggle against academic boycott is a strategic issue and I will make sure to raise it at every relevant forum on the international relations level and other institutions,” said Rivlin.

“When I see the global concern against phenomena such as antisemitism I make it clear that antisemitism destroys the society in which it functions and no doubt there are aspects of this phenomenon in this issue as well.”

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    Egyptian Islamic clerics Sheik Said Al-‘Afani and Sheik Muhammad Abd Al-Salam appeared on Egytian Al-Rahma TV on 2009 January 17.

    This is what they said:


    “(The Jews) are the accursed people, who incurred the wrath of Allah.
    They are the offspring of snakes and vipers, the slayers of our Prophet Muhammad, whose death was a consequence of his being poisoned by a Jewish woman.

    We should know that the Jews are the slayer of all the prophets.
    They killed the prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) and the prophet Zakariya.
    The slaughtered the righteous prophet Yahya, and they presented his head as a gift to an Israelite prostitute. Our hatred of them [the Jews] is purely on religious grounds, and not because of the pure, sacred land, which was blessed by Allah, or because of Gaza…

    Not only because of Gaza, not only because of [the] al-Aqsa [mosque] and so on.

    We hate them [the Jews], first and foremost, because of their enmity towards Allah, and because they slayed our prophets. Let me clarify that it is our duty to hate them, as part of our faith.”


    “Right [correct]. People have become confused about this, some think that it is a territorial or national issue, or that it has to do with the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque; but the issue is much broader, it is a matter of faith. We are obligated to hate them because they are a murderous people, and the enemies of all that is good and of Islam.”

    SOURCE: Why Muslims hate Israel?
    (a pricelessly honest video from MEMRI TV)