Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Boycott of Israel boycotters doesn't threaten academic freedom [Letter]

The principle of academic freedom cited in The Sun's March 10 editorial "A chilling effect" protects academics from having their research, publishing and teaching judged according to extraneous moral, religious or political criteria, and from being punished for expressing controversial, unpopular and even incendiary ideas.

However, academic freedom does not require the state to fund such purely political activity as membership in an organization which promotes a discriminatory boycott that targets Israeli scholars and institutions, thereby undermining the public policies of creating a globally networked university system, and developing and expanding Maryland's economic ties with Israel.

While faculty and students of public universities are entitled to advocate on behalf of causes as morally repugnant, pernicious and anti-Semitic as boycotting Israel, the pending legislation ensures that the expense of doing so is not borne by Maryland's taxpayers.

Jay Bernstein, Baltimore

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Israel has acted responsibly against Hamas [Letter]
    Israel has acted responsibly against Hamas [Letter]

    The recent letter writer critical of Israeli actions in Gaza ("Israel committed war crimes during its invasion of Gaza," Oct. 1) conveniently forgets the origins of the Gaza conflict and the effort that Israel made to reduce civilian casualties. Hamas for the last eight years has been firing...

  • Why isn't Israel joining the fight against ISIS?
    Why isn't Israel joining the fight against ISIS?

    President Barack Obama's ISIS war plan includes seeking support from Arab nations and others in the battle in Iraq and Syria, but why is Israel sitting the war out when both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and our government have proclaimed Israel to be our staunchest ally? Is it too much for...

  • Hopkins is hypocritical on academic freedom
    Hopkins is hypocritical on academic freedom

    On Sept. 26, an interdisciplinary cohort of students, faculty and staff at Johns Hopkins University answered President Ronald Daniel's call to join the conversation on academic freedom, which he wrote, "deserves dialogue and debate" ("Hopkins welcomes debate on academic freedom," Feb. 26)....

  • Hold Israel accountable for war crimes
    Hold Israel accountable for war crimes

    The Sun editorial, "Horror in Peshawar" (Dec.16), describes the Taliban attack in Pakistan that left 140 children dead and states, "What happened there can only be described as an atrocity committed by murderous criminals." Why didn't The Sun equally condemn the actions of Israel, which...

  • Israel's actions in Gaza were self-defense
    Israel's actions in Gaza were self-defense

    In condemning Israel for finally taking action to counter terrorist and rocket attacks, Ray Gordon ignores the history of the last nine years of the conflict between Hamas and Israel ("Hold Israel accountable for war crimes," Dec. 23). After Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza without any...

  • What if Obama spoke to Knesset?
    What if Obama spoke to Knesset?

    I wonder how Benjamin Netanyahu would feel if President Barack Obama wrangled an invitation from an opposition Israeli politician to push the Obama-Iran plan in the Knesset without informing the Israeli prime minister ("Israel spy HQ bucking premier, opposing Iran sanctions," Jan. 23). But...

  • Netanyahu visit: Maybe Congress should delegate all its policy work to foreign leaders
    Netanyahu visit: Maybe Congress should delegate all its policy work to foreign leaders

    Has Speaker John Boehner has a brilliant idea in inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress on the subject of Iran ("Netanyahu invitation unwise," Jan. 27). What else can he do when, apparently, no Republicans in the House have what it takes to address the issue?...

  • Palestinians have more to answer for at the ICC than Israel
    Palestinians have more to answer for at the ICC than Israel

    I must respond to your recent report that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has launched a preliminary probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories ("International Criminal Court opens probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories," Jan. 17).

Comments
Loading