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Writer misinterpreted Krauthammer’s column

The recent letter, “Krauthammer confused about intent of boycott,” misinterprets Charles Krauthammer’s column on the American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israeli universities. The writer twists the columnist’s words to use it as a jumping off point to encourage everyone, especially Jews, to boycott Israel.

Krauthammer clearly supports Israel as a defender of human rights. In his column, he mentions the incredible religious and racial diversity within Israel’s universities, along with affirmative action for minorities such as Arab students. He was equally clear about the hypocrisy of an academic boycott against Israel.

Krauthammer is not alone in his condemnation. Abroad, Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi and Sri Nusseibeh, both administrators at Al-Quds University, oppose the boycott. Sadly, there are over 50 Palestinian professors who are engaged in joint research projects with Israeli universities who could lose their grant money because of this.

Back home, presidents of over 150 U.S. colleges and prestigious organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education and the Association of American Universities, have spoken out against it.

What is confusing is why the letter writer would think an academic boycott of Israel (or any country) is a good idea. Palestinian professors at Israeli universities have complete academic freedom. They can teach, conduct research and use any textbooks they like. The writer claims his support of an Israeli boycott is not motivated by anti-Semitism. But if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck, it is a duck. The boycott is a call to isolate Israel because it is a Jewish country. Say what you want, that’s anti-Semitic.

Elinor Weiss

East Amherst