Bintel Blog

Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Donna Shalala and Pat Robertson Agree

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Donna Shalala and Pat Robertson

Pro-Palestinian activists in British trade unions have been busy for the past several months promoting anti-Israel boycotts. This week Israel’s allies responded in force: with not one but two full-page ads in The New York Times.

The first ad, published Sunday and organized by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, blasted boycott bids from British academic and public service unions: “Not only do such boycotts pander to hardliners, they also glorify prejudice and bigotry.” The statement was signed by 57 Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, F.W. de Klerk (perhaps not the best addition, given that boycott proponents are fond of comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa), writer Wole Soyinka, Northern Ireland peace activist Betty Williams and a slew of economists and scientists — and, of course, Elie Wiesel. (An earlier version of the statement can be downloaded in PDF format.)

The second ad, taken out by the American Jewish Committee and titled “Boycott Israeli Universities? Boycott Ours, Too!”, listed 286 university and college presidents and chancellors who endorsed a statement from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger denouncing academic boycotts of Israel. (Eighteen more have since signed on.)

Signers spanned the political spectrum, from former Clinton administration Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala (University of Miami) to televangelist Pat Robertson (Regent University). Shalala was one of nine organizers, along with the chiefs of Brandeis, U.C. Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern, Penn State, Tufts, Willamette and the president emeritus of Princeton, Harold T. Shapiro.

Signatories included the heads of five of the eight Ivies. Missing were the chiefs of Yale, Brown and Harvard (where controversial former president Lawrence Summers had previously sparked a furor by calling anti-Israel divestment efforts “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent”).


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Boycotts, Nobel Prize, Campus

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.