The nutcases at Israel Academic Monitor are disseminating a hysterical rant by Uriel Reichman, president of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel’s largest private university. It accuses the BDS movement of being a slippery slope that will lead to international military attack against Israel. Now, you might wonder who this fellow is and whether this means anything. Unfortunately it does. Reichman is a leading Israeli secularist who supports the writing of an Israeli constitution. He was a founder of the Shinui party, served in the Knesset, and eventually left politics in a snit when he was not named minister of education.
One of the reasons he has gone apoplectic is that his school depends for many of its students on the Diaspora (you can see their ads in Haaretz regularly). If BDS is successful, IDC will be severely damaged financially. Here are some of his ravings:
The plan to terminate the Jewish state is no longer based on winning one major all-out war. The planned strategy is based on two long-term operations. One is continuous, low intensity, violent campaign. Such terror acts directed at civilians are aimed to break the citizens’ will-power and to cause internal debates and chaos.
The other part of the strategy is taking place abroad. Activities aimed at spreading hatred against Israel and arguing that the Jewish state has no right to exist are taking place daily. Such as, for example, the claims that Israel is an apartheid state, a colonial state, a racist entity, a society that faked its history to claim rights to a land that does not belong to it, and so on. By doing so, public opinion is built [sic] to demand boycotts against Israel, to start criminal proceedings against I.D.F. commanders, to move governments and several nations to impose sanctions on Israel and finally, perhaps, to call international military activity against us.
Paranoia strikes deep, into this Israeli’s heart is will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Enough Buffalo Springfield. The fact that this otherwise distinguished university educator has practically taken leave of his senses over BDS is quite interesting.
But the real whopper comes in this passage when Reichman actually accuses Prof. Neve Gordon of supporting not only BDS, as he did in his L.A. Times op-ed, but “military action” against Israel. Do I even need to tell you how insane this comment is?
The most extreme allegations against Israel are often made by a small anti-Zionist group of Israeli university professors. Their ideas are widely circulated and are especially effective because they are made by Israelis. Recently, in an article published in the Los Angeles Times, an Israeli professor called his audience to boycott Israel on all levels, to “save that apartheid state from itself”…The professor who wrote the L.A. article would probably support the use of international military forces, in case the sanctions fail…
Daniel Levy has begun calling such attacks part of the pro-Israel smear industry. He is indeed correct and I’m sorry to say that Prof. Reichman has joined the fold. Not an ounce of truth in this statement. Pure utter garbage. And to think this fellow is actually the president of an Israeli institution of higher learning. It simply boggles the mind. He and Alan Dershowitz were made for each other.
To hear more on the BDS movement, watch this panel including Neve Gordon. Go to about 3:00 into the video for the beginning of the story.