The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017, Jewish & Israel News | Breaking Alerts, Commentary, Insights Analysis and Blogs
The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017


Cary Nelson

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cary Nelson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliated faculty member of the University of Haifa, is one of American academia’s most outspoken opponents of BDS and other racist anti-Israel activity on campus.

Nelson began his anti-boycott campaign with “The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel” in 2015, and followed it up with his latest book "Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Movement to Boycott Israel.” It constitutes a ferocious indictment of the BDS movement from a liberal-left perspective, providing important background on BDS and refuting its central claims against Israel.

Nelson also blasted a proposed resolution at the Modern Language Association’s 2017 convention that would have supported such a boycott. The resolution, he said, “is not only anti-Israel but, in its unqualified hostility to Israel’s six million Jews, is fundamentally antisemitic.” The resolution was defeated by a wide margin. (Photo credit:


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David N. Myers

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Ilan Troen

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