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‘Israel is Doing Far Too Little to Fight Boycotts’

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld speaks on the subject of the boycotts against Israel and what can be done against them.
By Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 12/30/2010, 9:48 PM / Last Update: 12/31/2010, 5:11 AM

According to Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Israel should do a lot more when it comes to the international boycotts against it.

Gerstenfeld, who is Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), took part on Thursday in the Ariel Conference for Law and Mass Media at the Ariel University Center of Samaria, where he gave a talk on “The Academic and Political Boycott of Israel.”

Gerstenfeld told Israel National News TV’s Yoni Kempinski that he believes that the boycotts are “a serious issue” because they essentially affect civil rights.

“These boycotts affect the civil rights of individuals,” said Gerstenfeld. “They are highly discriminatory. To a certain extent they are racist. Many people on the left, the anti-Israelis, are what I call humanitarian racists. They look away from the incredible crimes in the Arab-Muslim world, in the Palestinian world, which is a world permeated by criminality: criminality against human rights, war crimes, and many other crimes.”

Despite the harmful effect of the boycotts, Gerstenfeld believes that Israel “is doing far too little” against them, with the exception of a handful of Israeli diplomats in countries such as Norway or the UK. “In other countries it’s not always very effective and people are not doing their best,” he said.

Gerstenfeld believes that universities, who are almost always under attack, should take action against these boycotts. “The universities should stop their attitude which I would call nearly parasitic. They are the main people attacked. They should also be the main people who fight against it. Certainly the Israeli government should start investigating this issue in far more detail. Devote more human resources to it, devote more financial resources to it.”

He added that there are many ways to fight these boycotts, and while responding to them rather than ignoring them sometimes gives them more legitimacy, he believes that “it’s like a business feasibility study. You have to analyze each case, how you’re going to harm your enemy. People who boycott us are, to every extent, our enemies in the war against us.”