Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Publish It Already" Roundup

I have an article coming out very soon in the Florida International University Law Review that is, I think, quite pertinent to some ... high-profile issues ... that have recently come up. But "very soon" isn't soon enough. Argh.

Some things taking up browser space:

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A white former(?) prosecutor gets himself arrested, both to see what the criminal justice system is like from the other side and, inadvertently, to discover just how hard it is to get arrested if you're a white guy in a suit.

David Hirsh writes an open letter to Claire Potter, who famously opposed-then-supported the ASA BDS resolution. Potter responds here. I'd greatly appreciate if Hirsh continued this conversation; his energy to do such things vastly exceeds my own, and Potter's response was not just unconvincing, but worrisome in how seemingly little thought she's given to the application of her radical politics to the Jewish context. Anti-Semitism, for her, seems to be a slur that impedes open discussion, rather than a central point of analysis anytime largely non-Jewish institutions act upon their Jewish counterparts.

Walter Russell Mead has a stellar essay on the ASA boycott. I would quibble slightly at where he draws the line regarding anti-Semitism, but it's mostly semantic -- I don't think anti-Semitism necessarily requires conscious or even unconscious malign intent. Though I might set that threshold for saying a person is anti-Semitic, it is not a necessary condition for an action to be. If an action is taken without due regard and consideration for Jewish rights and equality, that's anti-Semitic regardless of the intention of the actor (the corollary being, one can say or do something anti-Semitic without being anti-Semitic). There is no right to opine on marginalized minorities without knowing about them.

In just a few days, two universities (Brandeis and Penn State - Harrisburg) have pulled out of the ASA.

Finally, on a happier note, my congratulatiosn to Mais Ali-Saleh, valedictorian at Israel's Technion University (Israel's premier tech university). Ali-Saleh is a Muslim Arab woman, and I have no doubt that she's faced considerable discrimination. But that makes her perseverance and accomplishments more laudable. Incidentally, if Ms. Ali-Saleh did ask to speak at an ASA invent (and, we'll say, in her "official capacity" as Technion's valedictorian), would she be boycotted? If the answer is yes, it seems to run counter to the movement's supposed goals of solidarity. If it is no, then the boycott is overtly discriminating against Jews. A tough call, and a question I've long wondered how BDSers would answer.

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