For those of you who missed it, here is a link to the debate on the Today programme between the witless pro-boycotter, Sue Blackwell and the impressive anti-boycotter and President of Al-Quds University, Prof.Sari Nusseibeh.
Two interesting things come out of it:
(a) I suspect that Blackwell’s odd claim one should make a “moral stand against oppression which has gone on for centuries” is a slip of the tongue. But who knows. Perhaps she really does imagine that she’s playing a part in a manichean struggle between Jews and Palestinians which is centuries old. Or perhaps she’s referring to the position of Palestinians under successive rulers, from the Romans, through the Crusaders and the Ottomans, and on to the British and Israelis. But who can say what is going on in her mind?
(b) Sue Blackwell seems open to the idea, in the right circumstances, of boycotting Arab institutions which organise racist events. While I hope that she’d fail in her attempts to boycott any academic institution, perhaps we could suggest a variety of boycott campaigns, not limited simply to the Middle East, to which she might also want to devote her time. A more pluralistic approach among boycotters might help to avoid the distinct impression that theirs is principally a campaign of jew-obsessives.