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Gordon with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2002 Photo: Channel 2
Gordon with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2002 Photo: Channel 2
 
 

Israeli lecturer endorses international boycott of state

Dr. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University writes in Los Angeles Times Israel an apartheid state, only massive international pressure could save it. University says in response Gordon overstepped academic freedom boundaries

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 08.22.09, 21:41 / Israel News

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Dr. Neve Gordon, a political science lecturer at the Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba called for an international boycott of Israel in a Los Angeles Times opinion article published Thursday. Gordon, who wrote a book titled "Israel's Occupation" thinks a boycott is the only way to save Israel from itself.

 

The University condemned Gordon's statements Saturday, accusing him of crossing red lines.

 

"It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel," he wrote.

 

"But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself."

 

Gordon claims Israel has reached a historic crossroads and that now is the time for dramatic measures. "I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country's future," he explained.

 

The Israeli academic described Israel as an apartheid state and stated that the Jews and the Palestinians in Israel, who live in the same area, are subjected to totally different legal systems. He wrote that many Palestinians lack the most basic human rights and are stateless, whereas "by sharp contrast, all Jews - whether they live in the occupied territories or in Israel - are citizens of the State of Israel."

 

Gordon believes that the two-state solution is the way to stop the apartheid state and that the only way to achieve this is through massive international pressure.

 

"The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories," Gordon said.

 

He concluded, "Putting massive international pressure on Israel is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians does not grow up in an apartheid regime."

 

'Overstepping boundaries'

The Ben-Gurion University stated in response, "We strongly condemn the article. Its author has crossed all red lines while blatantly overstepping the boundaries of academic freedom. The University champions academic freedom and encourages it among its staff…however, we believe it also has its limits."

 

The statement continued: "When a member of the academic staff publicly speaks or publishes statements, he enjoys the freedom to express his opinions without fear; however he must restrain himself and stress he does not speak for the establishment where he teaches. Gordon has abused this freedom in a blunt and cynical manner."

 

Ilana Curiel contributed to this report

 

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