There are those who are concerned about Israel’s approach to the Palestinians, but if these academics think a boycott is the right way to address those concerns they are profoundly mistaken.
The truth is that their zealotry overides the objectivity that is so paramount in academic study, and this means their idea of morality is entirely selective.
They ignore the fact that Israel is an open democracy. They never criticise suicide bombers and those who brainwash them.
They ignore the fact that totalitarian states abound in the Middle East and elsewhere throughout the world with appalling human rights records, involving torture, beheadings and grotesque corruption.
Yes, the border dispute with the Palestinians needs solving but it is, in fact, one of the least bloody conflicts in the world today.
When these people claim that their attack on the Jewish state is not in any way bigoted or anti-Semitic, you have to start asking them questions. When was the last time Israel beheaded or crucified criminals? Any time recently? No, of course not. Saudi Arabia did so only last month.
All Israeli women have the same rights as women in any Western country. In each neighbouring country they are second-class citizens and in a number of them can be stoned for alleged ‘adultery’.
But where are the academic boycotts of Saudi, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, Syria and everywhere else?
But apart from all this, academic boycotts are utterly self-defeating.
Israeli research institutions lead the world in breakthrough technologies. They benefit all of us who rely on computers and mobile phone technology.
They also lead the world in medical advances, and have more scientists per capita than any other state in the world. Every patient who has benefited from the latest surgery techniques — or hopes to benefit from the cutting-edge research into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many more diseases — will rely on discoveries made in Israeli research facilities.
Universities and research institutions in particular shouldn’t be boycotting Israel. They should be thanking the country, for they rely on it.