Boycott this, you Limey wankers!

Boycott Israeli professors? Go ahead and boycott me, while you’re at it.

Where can I sign up as an honorary faculty member of Haifa University? The only way to defeat a boycott is to make it too expensive to enforce.


1. I don’t know anything about Scholars for Peace in the Middle East except what shows up on its website. But apparently SPME is organizing exactly what I proposed above: a process by which academics can apply for adjunct faculty status at Haifa and Bar-Ilan, thus putting themselves squarely in path of any boycott. “I am Spartacus.”

2. The AAUP has issued a strong statment of condemnation. You can endorse that statement here. There are 170 signers so far, including Roger Waldinger, Jane Mansbridge, Donald Black, and Nathan Glazer.

It should go without saying — though perhaps in this case it does not — that opposing a boycott of two universities in Israel and their faculty and students (with an exception for those willing to sign a sort of “disloyalty oath” to the State of Israel) does not mean supporting the policies of the current Israeli Government. If Cuban or Sudanese academics were the target of the same sort of boycott, I’d be applying for adjunct positions at the Universities of Havana and Khartoum.

If I understand the situation correctly, the U.S. government has deliberately made it hard for Cuban academics to visit the United States, and I regard that as an outrage. That doesn’t make me an admirer of Fidel.

As to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, my view hasn’t changed since 1967. As Ben-Gurion said just after the Six Days’ War, if Israel remains an occuplying power it will inevitably turn itself into Sparta. No, I don’t have any particular ideas about how to get out of the current hole, but I’m sure that neither Jews ruling over Arabs nor Jews expelling Arabs from their homes is either justifiable or sustainable. And the fact that all the Arab regimes have behaved worse (the Jewish communities in Baghdad and Alexdria both thousands of years old, have been virtually destroyed) is neither here nor there.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: