No Solution in Boycotting Israel

(Scotsman-UK) George Kerevan - Prof. Stephen Hawking's stand is dangerous because it violates the cardinal virtues of scientific discourse that emerged with the Enlightenment: that the rational pursuit of knowledge, unencumbered by political or religious prejudice, betters all mankind in the end. That the free pursuit of truth is more likely to undermine ignorance and oppression than strengthen it. And that ending national and religious enmities is better achieved by academics meeting and co-operating, than by keeping them apart. Israel was not founded by religious "colonizers" but by left-wing socialists. Certainly, many Jews came to Israel from abroad, fleeing the pogroms of Europe. But they also came fleeing pogroms in North Africa, Iraq and Iran. If anyone is naive in this debate, it is those who think the abolition of Israel will result in a secular, democratic Palestine with free universities teaching the theory of evolution to women students. The Church of Scotland has blundered into the Israel-Palestine issue with great big muddy boots. A report destined for this month's General Assembly says that the Bible does not promise the Jewish people a home in the Holy Land; that the Old Testament promise "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession" was actually "metaphorical."

2013-05-17 00:00:00

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