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#################### Geoff Seidner
Thursday, 19 December 2013
The Oz Cut and Paste re BDS 19/12
University boycott drive sure looks 'anti-Semitic in effect, if not necessarily in intent'
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The New York Times, December 15:A GROWING campaign among American professors to isolate Israel reached a milestone when a large group of scholars is expected to reveal whether its members endorsed an academic boycott of Israel to protest Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
The American Studies Association has never before called for an academic boycott of any nation's universities, said Curtis Marez, the group's president and an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego. He did not dispute that many nations, including many of Israel's neighbours, are generally judged to have human rights records that are worse than Israel's, or comparable, but he said, "one has to start somewhere".
Former president of Harvard University, Larry Summers, on US public broadcaster PBS, December 15:
THIS particular academic boycott is much worse, it is much worse because the idea that of all the countries in the world that might be thought to have human rights abuses, that might be thought to have inappropriate foreign policies, that might be thought to be doing things wrong, the idea that there's only one that is worthy of boycott, and that is Israel, one of the very few countries whose neighbours regularly vow its annihilation, that that would be the one chosen, is I think beyond outrageous as a suggestion. I said some time ago with respect to a similar set of efforts that I regarded them as being anti-Semitic in their effect, if not necessarily in their intent. And I think that's the right thing to say about singling out Israel.
Doing wrong can never be acceptable. Summers:
IF there was an academic boycott against a whole set of countries that stunted their populations in some way, I would oppose that because I think academic boycotts are abhorrent, but the choice of only Israel at a moment when Israel faces this kind of existential threat I think takes how wrong this is to a different level.
Damned statistics, Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald, yesterday:
YOU have heard of painting by numbers, but these days the great fad is management by numbers. I call it the metrification of business -- although it's just as prevalent in the public service. If you know what the initials KPI stand for you'll know what I'm talking about. When the push for micro-economic reform was at its height, someone got the bright idea that if you calculated and made public the equivalent of key performance indicators for all the many responsibilities of the state governments, you'd encourage them to compete amongst themselves to improve their standing in the league tables . . . I've been around long enough to know measurement can be a trap.
Gittins, on the launch of The Sydney Morning Herald Wellbeing index, December 6, 2011.
OUR purpose is not to supplant GDP but to fill the vacuum left by the absence of a timely, more comprehensive, single indicator of social progress. The problem is we have fallen into the habit of regarding GDP as something much more: the nation's bottom line, a measure of the progress our society is making, the supreme indicator of our wellbeing . . . GDP was never intended to fill that role and, as every economist will concede, it is quite inadequate to the task . . . Among the many limitations of GDP is that it fails to take adequate account of the natural environment . . . GDP takes no account of the way the quality of our health contributes to Australians' wellbeing.
Twittering on. Bernard Keane, 29706 followers, December 16:
DEAR The Oz, thanks for republishing my tweets but I reach more people on Twitter than your freefalling readership cheers BK.
The Australian, November 16:
THE latest monthly EMMA (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data release, covering the 12 months to October, showed stable newspaper print and digital audiences for most titles compared with the September period. News's national title The Australian (totalled) 3.2 million.