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1,350 Academics Sign Petition Opposing Boycott of Israel

More than 1,350 academics from universities and colleges from around the world have signed a petition opposing faculty or student boycotts of Israel.

The online petition of the Faculty for Academic Freedom was posted on Oct. 5.

“We, the undersigned academics, vigorously support free speech and free debate but we oppose faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students,” the introduction to the petition reads.

The petition appears to be in response to a petition signed, as of Monday, by more than 800 anthropologists from around the world, who endorsed a boycott of Israel and its academic institutions. Their statement was posted on Oct. 1 on the website jadaliyya.com with 231 signatories and a call for others to add their names to the list.

The anti-boycott petition was signed by academics from countries such as France, Britain, the Netherlands and Russia, as well as the United States and Israel.

The petition states that an academic boycott “violates the very principle of academic freedom.” It also says that: “The factual record does not support the accusations and narratives of the BDS movement. Many are based on overstatements, cherry picked evidence, outright falsehood, or on disputed or highly biased data.”

The boycott also harms prospects for the very peace it is calling for, according to the petition, which states: “By demonizing and seeking to isolate one of the two parties to the peace process, the anti-Israel BDS movement sets itself apart from the global consensus for peace.”

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