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The boycott of Israel

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The suggestion there should be a debate about an academic boycott of Israel has prompted attempts to close down the discussion as being anti-semitic, most recently by Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, (famous for defending OJ Simpson inter alia) on Channel 4 news.

I do think that the day we had to accept lectures on human rights from the White House came to an end when they set up the university of Abu Ghraib, the college of Guantanamo bay and the various little CIA torture schools around the world.

It is particularly sickening to see a boycott defined as terrorism or "giving aid and comfort to terrorism" to use the White House doubletalk. There is no more peaceful method of protest than a boycott.

If I no longer buy Jaffa I am not likely to bring down the Zionist government, but I am saying I refuse to be an accomplice in the appalling treatment of the Palestinians by that government.

(Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Dershowitz published an essay in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled "Want to Torture? Get a Warrant," in which he advocates the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects if there were an "absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives coupled with probable cause that the suspect had such information and is unwilling to reveal it." He is described in America as a "civil libertarian". Standards have slipped haven't they.)

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