Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ceren - Forum With Israeli Scientists “Offends Muslims”

Omri Ceren
26 October '11

It’s come to this:

University of Sydney scholars set to exchange ideas with visiting Israeli experts on neuroscience, tissue regeneration and other cutting-edge research areas are being warned the event will offend potential Muslim undergraduates.

Associate Professor Jake Lynch, director of the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, has urged his colleagues to withdraw from the research gathering, and the university administration to cancel it. Dr. Lynch has been a strong supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign designed to isolate Israel. He says he has been asked to intervene by the Campaign for Justice and Peace in Palestine….

He says most Muslim students live in the west and feel “a sense of resentment and alienation resulting from the predominance of pro-Israeli voices in Australia’s political and media discourses.”

The poor dears. They feel “resentment and alienation” from “political and media discourses,” and because of that doctors aren’t allowed to make progress on curing brain diseases. Really, there’s nothing like having the director of a “Peace and Conflict Studies” program explain why the mere presence of Israelis at a scientific conference aimed at human betterment is an affront to Muslims. And to think, some people have suggested that anti-Israel viciousness in the Ivory Tower has allowed hatred to cloud clear thinking.

Australia has managed to nurture a fairly active – albeit still very fringe – anti-Israel boycott movement. The insanity has touched the country’s mainstream parties, but it remains a broad embarrassment to normal Australians and to mainstream Australian politicians. Australian media has been complicit in fomenting anti-Israel bias – taking articles about how Israel wants genuine, not indirect peace talks and headlining them, “Israel to reject new peace talks” – but even they couldn’t stomach [former Australian Prime Minister] Rudd’s hysterical overreaction to the use of Australian passports in the al-Mabhouh hit, which included abandoning Israel to the UN’s Goldstone lynch mob.

All of which is to say, don’t expect Lynch’s call to become anything but the passing disgrace that it is. His instinctive rhetorical appeal to multicultural victimhood – nonetheless – is deeply revelatory personally and institutionally. Pathetic appeals to Muslim resentment, marshaled as pretexts for halting scientific research and medical progress. Perfect.

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