Can Anthony Julius finally kill off the Israel academic boycott?

Anthony JuliusWhen even the Guardian reports the anti-boycott backlash with traces of admiration, you have to hope.

Next to the dartboard (Tom Hickey’s on it and I aim for his gob) I hang my pin-ups the newest of which is Anthony Julius – or Aunty Julius as he becomes in times of excitement. The above article quotes him as saying:

“Going for a boycott is gesture politics in the first place but a resolution that comes close but avoids actually spelling it out is a gesture wrapped up in a gesture – it’s nothing more than a bad smell.”

He spoke at Jewish Book Week on the world climate for Jews – he said there had been a turning point and things were getting better. But in the Guardian, the opposite:

“I sometimes think that Jews born in the 1940s and 1950s have been living through a golden period but that the closed season on Jews has now come to an end.”

I also heard David Hirsh slap his desk and tell a small assembly of academics in aggravated tones that he wasn’t going to come back every year to fight boycotts. And if Alan Dershowitz, working with Anthony Julius, succeeds in this THES pledge:

“I guarantee that we will obtain legislation dealing with this issue, imposing sanctions that will devastate and bankrupt those who seek to impose bankruptcy on Israeli academics”

then maybe this will be the last year.

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