27 June 2013

How clean water makes fools of the BDS

There is a wonderful irony in this report. and a "debate" that took place on the Engage website a couple of years ago.

The article linked to (from The Times of Israel) reports that the Mayor of Chicago (one Rahm Emanuel, one-time Chief of Staff to President Obama) accompanied staff from the University of Chicago to a signing of an agreement over research towards cleaner water technology with Ben Gurion University. Ben Gurion University is the lead institution on this, and countries round the world are likely to benefit from the "clean water" technology that will result from this co-operation. The most needy beneficiaries will be those from the Third World of course. Hence the irony.

That controversy revolved around the University of Johannesburg pulling out of an agreement to research methods of creating clean water supplies in Third World countries with Ben Gurion University. The fact that Palestinian universities were (and are) still in partnership with BGU escaped the U of J academics. Notable among them was one Ran Greenstein, an Israeli-born Prof of Sociology at Johannesburg. If you read through the comments at the end of the article cited in this paragraph, you will notice that Greenstein avoids all requests (demands, more like) that he provides evidence for his claims about Israel.

What I found most interesting (actually, quite disturbing) was his complete blind spot as far as any comparison that might be drawn between the creation of Bantustans in South Africa and his allegations about the "expulsion" of Arabs from what became Israel.

And this person (Greenstein) is supposedly a highly educated intellectual. Can one be so when they so willfully ignore the need for sourced evidence?

By Brian Goldfarb.