Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Harvard, Israel, and Sodastream

It figures that, before Christmas, we'd have to have at least one story to provoke significant annoyance, at least to me. This one involves Harvard University, and thankfully, this time the right thing was done.

Here is the story in question. It appears a few Palestinian "student activists" tried to get Israeli-made Sodastream machines removed from the university campus in a protest action. This time, the university's leadership found out and intervened, overruling lower-level officials' decision to boot Sodastream off campus. Among other points made, the university provost and president said that politics ought not to have any place when it comes to procurement for the university. In addition, in this dispute it seems only one side of the debate was heard—that of the "Palestinian student activists."

Sadly, it seems to me that many institutions of higher learning in the US only hear one side of any debate, and that is the hard to port side. Hopefully this is a tiny step toward redressing that imbalance. As an aside, I'd like to see university students spending more time studying and less time out picketing and protesting. You're in school to learn, not to agitate and waste your parents' money (or mine through taxes).

The "apartheid" slur frequently aimed at Israel gets very tiresome as well. Before you whack the only true democracy in the Middle East, ask a few Jewish or Christian folks what it's like to be "dhimmi" class in Islamic-ruled nations. It isn't fun.

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