Posted by: Lister | July 19, 2007

Mini Boycott of Hebrew University

From David Hirsh at Engage (via Hulkagaard@JSF). This targeted boycott is given, I assume, as an alternative to a total boycott. David Hirsh is against the latter.

There is racism against Arabs in Israel. Lots of it. And there is racism in Israeli universities. Here is an example reported in Ha’aretz. It says that there has been a quiet unofficial policy at the Hebrew University Sports Centre to reject applications from Arab students to join it. Angry HU students protested, calling for a boycott of the “racist pool”. Meretz-Yahad youth chairman Uri Zaki called it an “apartheid pool”. I support this boycott.

This is an example of a racist policy that is being opposed by anti-racists in Israel. I hope the students win their campaign, and I hope that in the near future the “apartheid pool” will be transformed into a rainbow pool. And then the students will call off the boycott of the pool.

There is racism in Israel and we should oppose it. And we should support Israelis and Arabs and Palestinians who also oppose it. This is the stuff of politics. It does not follow from this that “Israeli Universities are racist” or that “Israel is a racist state”. It follows that Israel is a place that suffers from a particular version of a widespread problem – racism. Some Israelis secretly blackball Arab students who want to swim, while other Israelis oppose this nasty dirty practice. This incidence of racism is being exposed in the Israeli press and on Israeli TV.

His link to Haaretz doesn’t work. This article has the same picture.

The sports center is intended to serve students and staff at Hebrew University.

However, a Channel 10 TV news footage revealed that Jews who were not affiliated with the university were allowed to obtain memberships while Arabs not affiliated with the university were turned away.

[…] Hebrew University said it was looking into the Channel 10 investigative report.

But in an interview broadcasted Thursday on Channel 10 a former employee at the center said the discriminatory policy came at the instruction of the center’s management.

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