In a sign of identification with Israeli academics, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger had told British academics carrying out a boycott against Israelis to add his institution to their blacklist, the Jewish Week reported last week.
"Add Columbia to the boycott list," Bollinger was quoted by the Jewish News as saying. The report said he was "the first American college president to speak out on the issue."
"Bollinger, in an interview with The Jewish Week Tuesday, said he was at a loss to explain why he was the first to speak up against the threatened boycott," the report added.
"Maybe there is a sense that it is so shocking that it speaks for itself. It may be that people think it will dissolve into nothing because it will be ultimately voted down by other people and so it will be a marginal event," he said.
"This is so troublesome," Bollinger told The Jewish Week. "I think it is so unrepresentative of what universities do and believe — but Columbia in particular — that it really calls for a very strong denunciation," he was quoted as saying.
High-school kids hear pro-Israel attorney
Meanwhile, human rights attorney Alan Dershowitz arrived at a Massachusetts high school as part of an effort to counter anti-Zionist linguist Noam Chomsky, who recently visited the same school, the Jewish Advocate said.
"With a turnout of approximately 140 students and 14 parents at the lunchtime discussion, Dershowitz opened his speech with a brief history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, saying that the Jewish state has offered numerous peaceful solutions that have repeatedly been rejected by the Palestinians," the Advocate said.
The school's principal, Brian L. Salzer, described Dershowitz's talk as "excellent, engaging and feisty."
"The kids asked excellent questions and Dershowitz pulled no punches when sharing his thoughts and perspectives," he was quoted by the Advocate as saying.
Quebec secessionists hold anti-Israel rally
"Parti Québécois MNA Daniel Turp and Bloc Québécois MP Réal Ménard led a demonstration in downtown Montreal last weekend denouncing Israel's 'illegal occupation' of Palestinian land and its practice of 'apartheid,'" the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported.
According to the report, "one man in the front held a Hezbollah flag in his hand." The political coalition which organized the demonstration also "called on the Canadian government to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund," CJN added.
During the demonstration, "approximately 1,000 marchers stopped in front of the Indigo bookstore to call for its boycott because majority owners Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz established the Heseg
Foundation, a fund to support former Israel Defence Forces members who have no family in Israel," CJN said.
Amir Khadir, co-leader of Québec solidaire, a new sovereignist party, declared during a speech "that Israel's actions are 'a shame for all humanity.'"