Written by Debra Nussbaum Cohen Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Published: 10 December 2015 10 December 2015
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[Pro-Israel groups is taking Campus BDS very seriously as a huge threat to Israel's continued settlements, occupation and system of injustice . . .]
Joining a list of like-minded groups, the Academic Engagement Network aims to engage academics on 50 to 100 campuses, to counter the rising tide of vocal supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
NEW YORK – Enlisting faculty members at American colleges and universities as allies in the fraught battle against the BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) movement is the main objective of a new organization that is being launched on Wednesday.
The Academic Engagement Network seeks "to preserve and defend freedom of expression on university campuses,” said Ken Waltzer, its executive director – especially at a time when students are protesting against and preventing pro-Israel presentations and debates on campuses around the country.
“We want to promote a sane middle ground of support for a two-state solution, and embrace uncompromising support for human rights for Arabs, Jews and others," Waltzer, emeritus professor of Jewish studies at Michigan State University, told Haaretz. "[We] are adamantly opposed to the BDS movement, and want to catalyze campuses in robust debate in matters regarding Israel, Palestine and the Middle East."
“We’d like to have five to 15 faculty members [affiliated with the AEN] on each of 50 to 100 campuses,” said Mark Yudof, chairman of the organization's national board of advisers.
“We’re well-connected with the leadership of higher education in America. There are strong relationships," he said. However, he added, “We don’t delude ourselves. Most faculty don’t want to be involved."
Read more on Haaretz . . . . http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/.premium-1.690705