In Enforcing Silence: Academic Freedom, Palestine and the Criticism of Israel, eds. David Landy, Ronit Lentin, Conor McCarthy (Zed Books/Bloomsbury 2020)
In January 2018 the Israeli Knesset approved a bill bringing academic institutes in the occupied West Bank under the jurisdiction of Israel’s Higher Education Authority. According to Haaretz, the legislation is “one of a series of laws designed to enact creeping annexation of the West Bank and apply Israeli law to the settlements” (Zur 2018). The bill was enacted despite opposition by leading Israeli academics who warned that it would damage the agreement reached between Israel and the European Union to maintain the separation between institutions within the state of Israel and in the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, and that it would lead to demands that Israel be removed from scientific cooperation programmes such as the prestigious EU Horizon 2020 programme (Zur 2018).
EDITED BY: DAVID LANDY, RONIT LENTIN AND CONOR MCCARTHY
ZED BOOKS / BLOOMSBURY 2020
“Criticism of Israel has become the litmus test of ‘academic freedom.’ Anyone believing that this is, at bottom, a straightforward and unquestionable notion will change their mind after reading this very stimulating and useful book” (Prof. Gilbert Ashcar, SOAS)
As global support for Palestinian justice grows steadily, the silencing of criticism of Israel takes new aggressive forms. To understand why this is the case, and how the politics of Israel-Palestine has become indelibly connected to academic freedom, read this valuable and wide-ranging collection (Prof Bashir Abu-Manneh, University of Kent)
The published article is available through the link. I re-wrote the final paragraph, as it spoke of ‘human empathy’ which I do not find useful when speaking of political solidarity.
Israel’s response to the passing of the Occupied Territories Bill in the Dail last week entailed, on the one hand, threatening to impose severe economic-political measures against Ireland, including taxing Irish imports and suspending bilateral economic and commercial agreements with Dublin. On the other hand, Israel accused Ireland of antisemitism, often weaponised against any criticism of the Israeli colonisation of Palestine and its ongoing infringements of international law. Continue reading “Ireland, Israel and the Occupied Territories Bill”