THE AUSTRALIAN: Letter against Jake Lynch and BDS by Denis MacEoin, Editor, Middle East Quarterly, UK 15Dec12 December 15, 2012

The Australian   -   15 December 2012

JAKE Lynch must take us all for imbeciles. His letter (11/12) boasts of all the wonderful Jewish or Israeli people who have been invited to his Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

He asks if his and the centre’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement had anything to do with the nationality of Dan Avnon, “how come we have hosted recent talks by professors Ilan Pappe and Jeff Halper — two prominent Israelis who appeared in a personal capacity?”.

He also asks how come the centre awarded last year’s Sydney peace prize to Noam Chomsky, a prominent Jewish intellectual?

How come is simply answered by saying that these three speakers have been and are among the leading anti-Israel intellectuals anywhere in the world. Criticism of Pappe and Chomsky is international. I wrote to Sydney University to protest at Lynch’s anti-academic, anti-free speech, and anti-Israel stance. I am not an imbecile. I have been an academic for most of my life, and I have long ago learned how to read between the lines.

Lynch’s letter to The Australian is profoundly dishonest, in its pretence of open-mindedness, something for which he has no time. An honest letter would have revealed the interests and political leanings of his invitees.

It’s clear he has never invited and does not want to invite anyone with pro-Israel and pro-Jewish attitudes. His mind is set in concrete, and people with fixed ideas do not deserve to teach or research in any university. The sooner the university fires him, the sooner there will be fresh academic air to breathe.

Denis MacEoin, editor, Middle East Quarterly, Newcastle, England

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