Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"He speaks the truth"

For the part in the video where Clive Seligman called on the audience on Monday at York University to do something about Hamas and read from Article 7 of the Hamas Charter (and was booed and called a racist), go to 02:15:30 here.

You can't hear the audience clearly but many were loud and rude; you can see and hear the moderator's response to the audience.

You can't boycott an institution

After the answer period, there was a back-and-forth exchange between the panelists.

Here is something that Clive Seligman said:

“I have no problem with you taking a stand or anyone voluntarily deciding not to deal with Israelis or Israeli institutions or even Jews if they don’t want to. But you’re not taking a stand only for yourself. If your university is successful in imposing a boycott, you’re forcing even those colleagues of yours who disagree with you to take the same stand as you and that’s what I find objectionable. When you talk about a boycott, you’re not talking about a voluntary boycott, you’re banding together to some way use the policies of the university to impose behaviour on academic matters on every single member of the university, students as well as professors.

"And you have, I think, twice made some argument that there’s a difference between boycotting institutions and boycotting individuals.

“You can’t boycott an institution. Individuals work in the institutions. When you prevent a research collaboration, you are preventing a collaboration among individuals in the country that’s doing the boycotting and in the country that’s the victim of the boycott.

“You cannot get out of essentially the moral irresponsibility of saying, ‘There are exceptional times that I alone define and if I am successful in getting my whole university to do this, even those who disagree with me must yield to my definition of exceptional times…’”

Demonizing One Country

During the answer period, Howard Adelman started off by saying that this experience was painful for him.

This is part of what he said:

“The issue of what Israel is and does should be a separate debate and this debate should have been about academic institutions and positive and negative things about doing… but it becomes a debate of, as the first speaker – rather the questioner [my note: Ted Belman of Israpundit] – said, about demonizing one country and it becomes a separate debate and puts the people on the other side in impossible positions because it’s two different debates.”

Video here.

Video of Monday's "debate" at York University

Thank you to Clive Seligman for sending me the link to videotape of the "debate" on academic boycotts held on Monday at York University.

Wake Up

The only thing worse than listening to a truckload of anti-Israel propaganda is listening to it twice and that's what I'm doing. I'm taking a break but first I want to share with you this powerful statement by Clive Seligman which was cut short by shouts and arguments from audience members.

At Monday's so-called debate on academic boycotts held at York University, during the question period, audience members asked their questions one after the other; when they were done, each member of the panel was given time to respond.

Clive Seligman was first to respond. This part of his response was at the end of his allotted time.

“People have a right to opinion. The whole point of academic freedom is to prevent individual professors from being intimidated. The kinds of people that Professor Sears talks about, and some people in the audience talk about, who are, ‘Oh my God, how can you talk about Israel. Every time we talk about Israel, the whole wrath of the world descends on us.’

“Give me a break! You haven’t stopped talking about anti-Zionism. It is in the papers every single day. Half of all motions at the United Nations Council on Human Rights are about Israel. Wake up and talk about what’s happening today in the world, what’s happening in Pakistan in the Swat Valley today as we speak, what’s happening in Darfur, what’s happening in Sri Lanka. Israel is not the only country in the world and I have nothing but pity for people who think that Israel is by far the only country worthy of attention and the only country that…”