Is an Academic Boycott of Israel Justified?
Over the past several years those who are opposed to some of the policies of the
Israeli government, or even to the existence of the State, have proposed an academic
boycott of Israel as one of the weapons in their campaign. In this article I want to
consider whether the use of this weapon can be justified. In all moral discourse
questions about justification have to be universalisable, so to discuss the question
whether an academic boycott of Israel is justified we need to start by considering
whether academic boycotts in general can be justified, and if so when and how. I
believe that it is possible to show that academic boycotts can be justified only in
the most extreme of circumstances, and that these circumstances certainly do not
prevail in Israel today.
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