Disciplined for Acting with Integrity

Wald, Alan
http://solidarity-us.org/atc/198/pro-palestinian-profs/

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/01/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23464

The smear campaign against two profs at University of Michigan participating in BDS harks back to McCarthyist attempts to silence the left at that same institution.

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

At the start of the September 2018 term, two young instructors felt ethically compelled to take action in support of the pro-Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. John Cheney-Lippold, an Associate Professor of American Culture, and Lucy Peterson, a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Political Science, declined to write letters of recommendation for two undergraduates who wanted to participate in study abroad programs in Israel.

In e-mail communications, Cheney-Lippold and Peterson clearly explained that this determination was not based on any attributes of the students themselves: Non-compliance in letter writing was owing to a human rights embargo against institutions of a state carrying out brutal discrimination.(2) The instructors were happy to assist the two students in other ways....

The two U-M students would be slightly inconvenienced in a manner hardly uncommon on a large campus where faculty bow out of recommendations for many reasons. In distinction to the friendly apologies offered by Cheney-Lippold and Peterson, too many faculty never even bother to acknowledge receiving a request for a letter!

Within days, however, sensationalized news reports appeared online and then sparked a global controversy in which Cheney-Lippold and Peterson were charged with anti-Semitism, the mistreatment of their undergraduates by denying them "academic freedom," and even abetting terrorism. Headlines include "BDS Bully: U-M Professor Discriminates Against Student Wanting to Study in Israel" and “University of Michigan Enabling Terrorist Sympathizers?
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