See the previous post for more on this story as well as links to my previous posts about this.
Lara Portnoy, student member of the committee tasked with re-inventing the rule preventing [EDIT: Name removed as requested] from studying in Israel, a Yid herself and President of MESA (Middle-Eastern Student Association), has sent me a link to the JPost article I wrote about in the previous post. You can read it here.
I’d like to take this time to respond to a couple of comments that were left on the previous post. First, I’d like to respond to Richard Silverstein, proprietor of the excellent Israeli and American Jewish news blog, Tikun Olam.
Richard wondered if this is an issue of Drew simply refusing to endorse a decision to study in Israel or a refusal to accept credits from Israeli universities. I imagine that if a student transferred to Drew from an Israeli school, they would have no problem with their credits transferring. However, Drew sees accepting credits from an Israeli university, which a Drewid studied at while enrolled at Drew as equal to an endorsement of what our insurance company believes is reckless self-endangerment.
An individual called “lori,” who left no link nor email address with her comment, also visited the previous post and left a comment. Lori may have found her way here via Google search. I have had many visitors to the blog in the last couple of days via Google searches along the lines of “[EDIT: Name removed, as requested] + Israel” and “Israel + Drew University.” Regardless of how she found her way here, she said:
“This isn’t a circus. It’s wrong for Drew not to accept credits from Israel’s universities. The insurance excuse is bull – there are plenty of policies that cover study abroad in Israel. Drew needs to step up here or risk its standing not just with the Jewish community. Israel’s universities have led the way in tech and biomedical research and have Nobel nominees. Look what happened to British academia when they tried to play politics with Israel. Shame on Drew for not trying harder.”
If lori had examined my previous posts on this story, as the post she commented on suggested that readers do, she might not have made this comment. I’ve already addressed most of these issues in previous posts.
Lori says that “the insurance excuse is bull.” That confuses me. Apparently, many other small liberal arts colleges have the exact same bull insurance excuses. No one is arguing with the lori’s comment that, “Israel’s universities have led the way in tech and biomedical research and have Nobel nominees.” That is all true. That is also not the issue.
What angers me about lori’s comment is her attempt to equate this with British academia’s recent boycott of Israel. This is an analogy that simply does not hold up. In the case of the British academics, this was a concerted effort to make a statement about Israel. There were members of the British academic community saying flat out that they were opposed to Israel and Israel’s actions. In the case of Drew, this is really and truly an issue of insurance. No one here has said anything about Israel doing anything wrong.