Wednesday, 6 November 2013

letter the oz 6/11..South Africa boycott hurt liberals, too

South Africa boycott hurt liberals, too


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I CANNOT agree more with Dean Sherr when he asserts that the academic boycott of a left-wing Israeli academic plays into the hands of right-wing Israelis ("Boycott boon to Israel's Right", 5/11).
I grew up in South Africa during the height of the boycott of what was then a right-wing apartheid regime.
At the time I supported the sports boycott and recognised the effectiveness of the economic boycott, but where the boycott extended into academia or the arts it served only to reinforce a laager mentality (circle the wagons) among liberals and thus ultimately benefited the apartheid government.
Justin Templer, Neutral Bay, NSW
PROFESSOR Jack Lynch is in trouble because his diehard support for boycott, divestment and sanctions has no place at a university. The excellence of a university and its moral authority lie in teaching young people how to think, not what to think; how to choose, not what to choose; to explain ideas, not to defend them. When a university takes to promoting causes rather than courses, when it allows preaching to replace teaching, it puts in jeopardy the very values upon which our educational system is built. Vandalism could scarcely do worse.
Chuck Volpe, Bellevue Hill, NSW
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