Professor Larry Haiven of Saint Mary’s and retired Professor Zayid take aim at our article that appeared in the March 08 issue of the Gazette. (Letters, March 28)
The professors are adept in the art of willful blindness.
Larry Haiven suggests that a writer for Haaretz determined that anti-Semitism was not linked to BDS campaigns at U.S. universities.
Professor Haiven should know the Regents of the University of California unanimously adopted a new policy on discrimination linking anti-Semitism to opposition to Zionism, the ideology asserting that the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in historic Palestine.
The Regents determined that “manifestations of anti-Semitism have changed” as a result of debates over Israel on college campuses and “expressions of anti-Semitism are more coded and difficult to identify.”
Bonnie Reiss, the vice chairwoman of the Board of Regents, noted that students opposed to Israeli policies, and those questioning the state’s unequal treatment of non-Jews, had fostered a dangerous environment for Jewish students. This was attributed to the effort to pressure Israel to change its policies through a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, known as BDS. It was necessary for the University of California to address anti-Semitism, Reiss said.
Turning to Professor Ismail Zayid’s letter, it withholds information about the circumstances of who was to blame for the start of the Six Day War in 1967. Before the war began, Egypt led a blockade against Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba. Professor Zayid surely knows that a statement signed by 3,742 academics from 128 universities in the US asked that the blockade of Israel be broken “to safeguard the integrity of the state of Israel”. Among the signators were several Nobel laureates. (New York Times, June 4, 1967).
What does Professor Zayid suppose 80,000 of Nasser’s troops were doing amassed close to Israel’s border prior to the onset of hostilities?
Professor Zayid prefers not to mention that the population of Israel in 1967 was 2 million people while the combined population of hostile countries in close proximity was over 80 million.
Nor does Professor Zayid mention an expression of support from King Faisal to Nasser upon outbreak of hostilities. The New York Times quotes Nasser as saying the “battle is waged for the elimination of Zionism”, a statement that was understood to mean the elimination of Israel was the aim.
To remove any doubt of the animus toward Israel prior to the Six Day War, the New York Times on June 4, 1967 reported that all of the representatives of Arab oil-producing nations issued an ultimatum to those who might support Israel. The participants of this high-level meeting, held in Baghdad, included Iraq; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Libya; Algeria; Qatar; Bahrain; Abu Dhabi; Egypt; Syria and Lebanon. ‘Arabs Weigh Steps To Halt Oil Flow’
Perhaps Professor Zayid will admit that the above nations were intent on Israel’s destruction decades before the world heard of Benjamin Netanyahu.