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Israeli prof rebukes Irish on academic boycott

An Israeli professor visiting Ireland rebuked a group of Irish scholars for advocating an academic boycott of Israel. Tel Aviv University’s Asher Susser said the 61 professors and lecturers who called for a boycott in a letter to the Irish Times in September unfairly singled out Israel for criticism. “What surprises me is that these academics choose to focus on Israel as the only focus of their criticism of the entire international community,” Susser said. “I’ve never heard them talking about boycotting Sudan, for example, for committing genocide.” The South African-born professor also rejected the charge, made separately by some of the signatories, that Israel is an “apartheid” state, calling comparisons to South Africa “ignorant, propagandistic or both.” Susser was in Ireland to speak to academics and journalists at the invitation of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin and the Israeli Foreign Ministry.