At Harvard, Reckless Sponsorship of Anti-Israelism

HARVARD CRIMSON
by Sara K. Greenberg
November 18, 2014

I never imagined that a day would come when some of the world’s leading corporations would fund calls for Israel’s destruction, let alone at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. But that is exactly what happened last week at Harvard.

My invitation to “Harvard Arab Weekend” promised to provide a “mosaic of perspectives and insights on the most pressing issues in the Arab world.” Many of the panels appeared worthy of the conference’s corporate support from McKinsey & Co, The Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bank Audi, Strategy&, and the energy giant Shell. And yet featured prominently on the conference agenda was a panel devoted to the destruction of Israel: “The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement: Accomplishments, Tactics and Lessons.”

The panel’s moderator, Ahmed Alkhateeb, began by noting that a primary goal of the BDS movement is “promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties” in what is today Israel. As President Barack Obama pointed out in 2008, this goal stands in opposition to a “two state solution” and “would extinguish Israel as a Jewish State.” And in an op-ed published in Al Akhbar newspaper, Cal State professor As’ad AbuKhalil, an outspoken advocate of the BDS movement, affirmed that “the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel.” This is the “unambiguous goal…[and] there should not be an equivocation on the subject.”

He’s right. While Jews are the majority in the democratic state of Israel today, the BDS movement imagines and seeks a state in which Jews would ultimately become the minority, implying the end of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination…..The panel at Harvard was not a debate about the goals and merits of BDS—it was an endorsement……

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