(JTA) — A group of Jewish academics who oppose the boycott Israel movement decried a campaign against a Dartmouth professor who backed BDS, saying it has negatively impacted academic freedoms.
N. Bruce Duthu, an associate dean and faculty member in Native American studies at Dartmouth College, declined his nomination as dean of faculty earlier this year due to intense controversy over his past statements supporting the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel.
In response, eight members of the Alliance for Academic Freedom, a proponent of Liberal Zionism, noted Monday in an opinion piece in Inside Higher Education that while Duthu signed a petition supporting academic boycotts of Israel, he “embraced” Dartmouth’s official opposition to academic boycotts and pledged to continue to do so as dean of the faculty.
Pro-Israel critics of Duthu, the op-ed writers suggested, treated Duthu “unfairly” and did a disservice to “the cause of Jewish studies [and] Israel studies.”
On May 22, Duthu declined the nomination as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Dartmouth amid concerns over his support for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.