It would of course be too much to expect that sulking Norwegian (and mediocre) academics and researchers would be honest enough to openly admit that they are implementing a de facto boycott of Israeli academics.
This is what you get from people who have been wearing their secret networks throughout the years and now – just before they are to be removed from active duty (yeah, agism sometimes is a good thing) they get all the satisfaction they never could get before by boycotting Israeli academics.
I am not sure if the Israeli academics have noticed, since they are busy providing the world with real scientific break troughs such as finding a possible cure for diseases such as Alzheimer, cancer and other diseases that represent a serious threat to human health and welfare. So that some little gnomes at the end of the world have decided to introduce Israel boycott by ways of deceptions is probably not much of a concern. In particular not since Israel as the only non-European country was invited to join the EU Horizon research program.
Nevertheless, it is disappointing that Norwegian academics are denying the Norwegian society the benefit of better and more research. Not only that, but now they brag that more and more universities are considering Israel boycott (which is a blatant lie – all the leading universities across Europe have rejected the notion, despite heavy pressure from in particular unions and student groups).
But if the track record of the boycotters are as impressive as Tore Sivertsen, an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences who started the academic and cultural boycott of Israel drive in 2009, we probably need not lose sleep over the onslaught. One would almost wish that Dr. Sivertsen would have shown the same libido for Norwegian dairy cows as he has for boycotting Israel, but it appears that he is fairly unproductive in his professional capacity, since the prevalence of painful and costly diseases in dairy cattle continues to be on the rise in Norway, with the detrimental effects on animal welfare and the public purse as can be expected.
Nevertheless, it is useful to know who the people behind this campaign are, and how they operate through shadowy networks.
lifted from aftenposten.no
– Those who are calling for a boycott are lost in a maze
When religion professor Torkel Brekke invited three Israeli researchers to Norway , he was told that the timing was particularly unfortunate .
Fawad Ahmed Ashraf
The debate about academic and cultural boycott of Israel is growing in several places in the world.
In 2010, the University of Oslo said no to the introduction of an academic boycott of Israel. The visit to the mini conference last week sparked however, reactions from a colleague , says Torkel Brekke .
– A professor in Arabic wrote an email that was sent to many, including the department manager. It said that it was reprehensible that we collaborated with the University of Tel Aviv when there is a broad boycotts line going on in the world.
Tel Aviv University is a public university ,largely seen as belonging to the liberal left in Israel , said Brekke, the person behind the invitation along with a professor of Middle Eastern Studies , Eberhard Lutz Edzard .
The purpose of the visit was to establish a partnership with Israeli academics and establish exchanges of teachers and students. One of the invitees is an expert on Islam in Europe and works with Muslim minorities.
– The University of Oslo offers no courses in Judaism, and I think the university has failed its responsibility. The goal of the collaboration is that we are visited by guest professors who teach in Jewish thought , and that we will eventually get a permanent position in the field .
– Wrong Timeing
The critical email was sent by Gunvor Mejdell, professor of Middle Eastern and African Studies .
– Personally I reacted against my colleagues by saying that I do not think it was the right time to enter into collaboration with this institution , she says, and justifying it with the expansion of settlements .
Mejdell said she restricts cooperation with Israeli universities for conferences and exchange of ideas and articles , and do not participate in organized projects based at an Israeli university .
Brekke believes that his colleagues are inconsistent.
– If we were to boycott Israel because of politics, then we should also boycott a number of other countries. Both India and Sri Lanka have major human rights problems, but I can not stop working with individuals and institutions there. If you want to boycott Israel and still be consistent, one is left with Iceland and Sweden, Brekke says, pointing out that he makes an exaggerated point
– I also think Israel today conducts an unfair and counter- productive policy, but those who call for a boycott are lost in a moral maze.
Environments in the U.S. and England boycott
Recently, the British trade union for academic staff and professors decided to boycott Israeli universities, and the United States adopted the American Studies Association ( ASA ) in late February to do the same , says Morten Levin, Professor of Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU in Trondheim. ASA has over 5,000 members and 66 percent voted for the boycott.
– The boycott of the United States is epochal , because Israel has always had a fundamental and unquestionable support of American public opinion and the public.
In 2009, Levin, who believes the Israeli researchers should not have been invited to Oslo , and 100 employees initiative that NTNU official should boycott Israeli institutions, but the University board voted down the proposal. New international developments have been positive for the Norwegian boycott debate , he said.
See also: Norwegian trade with Israel increases
– Why is this debate increasing ?
– Because the experience of a 20 -year commitment to peace runs out in the sand. The blame is not uniquely Israeli , but there is no doubt that Israel is the heavy military power with the United States as its closest supporter .
– Aren’t the universities the liberal voice, whom you should work with?
– The point is not to stop talking to Israel. The boycott is institutional, something all the Norwegian universities should adopt . Boycott is a nonviolent protest form that may have a significant impact , says Levin.
Brekke stressed that he will continue to work together and believe their colleagues ‘ attitudes may be a threat to academic openness.
The debate spreads
– I notice that idea and debate spreads, and we contribute says Tore Sivertsen , an associate professor at the Norwegian life sciences institution. In 2009 he established the call ” Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel ,” AKULBI , along Sonja Krogh and physician and researcher Ebba Wergeland. AKULBIs core is university and the art world .
The group recently printed new pamphlets and leaflets to distribute , says Sivertsen.
– During a performance in Bærum Cultural Centre in the fall of Batsheva Dance Company, we stood outside and handed out pamphlets . The company is part of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s campaign called ” Brand Israel” , who try to paint the judgment and give a positive image of the country internationally , so people should not think about politics , he said.
– The campaign started in 2009, when the proposal for a boycott of Israel were raised by staff at universities in Tromsø , Trondheim and Oslo, and was raised to the board at the universities .
This proposal was rejected by all the boards .
– Today we are at the core of Oslo, and members of the other university cities. We have developed a website, and extended work gradually. We hope to further increase our activity gradually.
Well, now the rest of the world knows, Sivertsen et al. This little shitty blog is read in the most interesting quarters and I know the news will spread fast. Get used to the idea that you will be a very negative source for your academic institution. Luckily, only a few more years and off you go to retirement. And we are many many behind you eager to erase the poison you have helped to spread.