I applaud and thank the leadership of the University of Miami and Florida International University for their moral clarity and intellectual integrity in opposing the American Studies Association’s call for an academic boycott of Israel.
While reasonable minds may differ on certain policies of the Israeli government, the actions of those who uniquely single out the Jewish state for censure are nothing less than anti-Semitic — in effect, even if not by intent. The unjust demonization of Israel has become frighteningly commonplace in too many environments, not least the halls of academia.
Tragically, the ASA resolution will not be the last attempt on the part of those who seek to delegitimize Israel and call into question its right to exist as the Jewish homeland. That demands our ongoing vigilance and activism.
Edmund Burke reminds us that, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Our local universities have done something, and something important: They have spoken out on the right side of this issue, both out of a sense of fairness with respect to Israel and equally in support of the cherished value of academic freedom. On both accounts, they are to be gratefully commended.
Jacob Solomon, president and CEO, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Miami