When academics cooperate with Israel, they lend its apartheid policies a veneer of respectability.
The task of critical intellectuals is to challenge the spurious legitimacy that some of our colleagues in universities have conferred on Israel and to expose the lies told by officialdom.
Our task is all the more important, considering that the Irish media has for the most part refused to investigate our country’s academic cooperation with Israel.
At our launch, Academics for Palestine presented a list of more than 140 Irish academics who support calls for a boycott of Israel.
This builds on a previous initiative some of us took during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in 2006, when more than 60 academics signed a letter to The Irish Times seeking a moratorium on EU funding for Israeli universities.
Last year the Teachers Union of Ireland, which represents university lecturers, also voted to support the academic boycott against Israel.
The academic boycott is a legal and peaceful way for Irish academics — and academics everywhere — to take action against the Israeli occupation.
Given Ireland’s own history of oppression, it is only natural that we should stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Conor McCarthy teaches English literature at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, near Dublin.
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