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Editorials

IU, Purdue rightly disavow anti-Israel academics

McRobbie
Daniels

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement is, at its core, anti-Semitic. How else would you – could you – describe a movement that targets Israel for violations of human rights and chooses not to attack China, Russia, Sudan, North Korea and Saudi Arabia, among many others?

An academic group, the American Studies Association is supposedly devoted to interdisciplinary study of U.S. culture and history. It voted to boycott institutions of higher learning in Israel and joined the “boycott” part of BDS.

So we are proud to live in a state where one of its premier colleges, Indiana University, took the lead in condemning the ASA and where another leading school, Purdue, quickly supported IU President Michael McRobbie.

“Indiana University joins other leading research universities in condemning in the strongest possible terms the boycott of institutions of higher education in Israel as proposed by the American Studies Association and other organizations,” McRobbie said. “Boycotts such as these have a profound chilling effect on academic freedom, and universities must be clear and unequivocal in rejecting them….

“Indiana University will contact the ASA immediately to withdraw as an institutional member.”

Mitch Daniels, the Purdue president, said: “I strongly commend President McRobbie’s statement and action. … This is as clear a violation of academic freedom as one can imagine.”

A Purdue spokesman said neither the university nor any of its departments had any institutional relationship with the American Studies Association.

Three cheers to IU and Purdue.

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