Why we need an academic council 2

January 3, 2003

Oren Yiftachel's problem in submitting his research paper to the journal Political Geography ("Student unions reject academic boycott of Israel", THES , December 20/) illustrates the indiscriminate and unjust nature of a blanket boycott of Israeli academics.

Yiftachel's political views lie to the left. His paper has a Palestinian co-author. We should applaud this Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. It will do more for Palestinian liberation than the blind refusal to acknowledge that Israeli academics are doing something to foster Middle East relations.

While the journal has reversed its decision not to "handle" the paper, the final approved form has yet to be accepted. Yiftachel should next time get his Palestinian co-author to submit their joint work. It would be interesting to see how an editor squares belief in a boycott with a refusal to "handle" a paper submitted by a Palestinian.

Ian Reid
Loughborough University

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