Saturday, August 5, 2017

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

by A.J. Caschetta  •  August 5, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • In the last 12 months alone, Turkish President Erdogan has closed at least 15 universities and confiscated their property. Invoking Article 301 of the Turkish penal code -- which amorphously criminalizes insults to "Turkishness," the Turkish government or the Turkish military -- he has also closed down numerous publishing houses. He has forced Turkish journals to remove from their editorial boards scholars who criticize him. Hundreds have been fired and blacklisted. Unable to work in Turkey and, with their passports confiscated, unable to leave, they represent the worst-case scenario of every comfortable Western academic who has ever bemoaned the "chilling effect" of Republican presidents and congresses, or who have proclaimed as "McCarthyism" any criticism of their own work.
  • Real suppression, however, making their persecution fantasies seem absurd, is mostly met with silence. Where is the moral indignation? Yet, there is no shortage of howls of "injustice" and BDS movements criticizing even the slightest perceived infringement of human rights in Israel, a country that ensures human rights and equality under the law to all its citizens.
  • But when it comes to Turkey -- sssshhhhhh... Right now, the silence of these organizations tells more about them and their real motives than about the object of their unjustified indignation: Israel.
The 1128 original signatories of a petition, written in Turkey in January 2016, that demanded the Turkish government "end the massacre of the Kurdish people," were subjected to sustained attacks and threats from the government and nationalist groups. Pictured: Some of the signatories of the "Academics for Peace" petition pose in front of a banner reading, "We will not be a party to this crime."
In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. After last July's failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they profess is especially notable in those whose careers are focused on the demonization of Israel through various attempts to destroy Israel by suffocating it economically.


No comments:

Post a Comment