Academic freedom and politics

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Fri Apr 26 07:31:51 EDT 2002


This is not a list for political discussion. but of academic discussion and
free interchange of ideas. All academic freedom is based on free interchange
of ideas, whether through personal contact, conferences, correspondence,
articles or monographs. Any attempt to limit or curtail such free
interchange of ideas violates a fundamental principle of academic freedom.
Therefore, any politicization of academia, in whatever direction, except in
the defense of academic freedom, is inexcusable.
It is for this reason that I write the following:
As you may or may not know, a call for a moratorium of all European-Israeli
academic and cultural ties signed by 120 European professors (mainly from
the UK) was published on April 6 in The Guardian. (A similar call has been
initiated in the USA).  In response to protest letters by Professor Hillel
Shuval, Dr. Aaron Benavot and Dr. Eva Illouz, which were circulated in
Israel, Europe and North America, individuals were asked to send an email
OPPOSING this initiative.
To further this protest a special web site has been set up to collect
signatories supporting a new statement of opposition. The web site address
is:

http://www.geocities.com/euroisrael.huji.ac.il

A list of all signatories as of April 24 can be found at:

http://euroisrael.huji.ac.il/lists.html

Even if you have sent an email of support previously, I ask you to visit the
web site, read the declaration and submit your name to the new protest.

I also ask that you circulate this information to colleagues and friends
abroad, especially in Europe, who are inclined to oppose the proposed
boycott.

Thank for very much for your support.
Sincerely,
Jonathan D. Safren
Editor of the English Section
Mehqere Hag - A Journal of Jewish Studies
Center for Jewish Holiday Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office
44905 Israel




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