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Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is an independent non-profit international community network of academic scholars. According to the SPME's Web site, the organization's goal is to seek peace in, "the Middle East is consistent both with Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders, and with the rights and legitimate aspirations of her neighbors".[1]

Contents

Mission

The stated mission of the organization is to, inform, motivate, and encourage faculty to use their academic skills and disciplines on campus, in classrooms, and in academic publications to develop effective responses to real or perceived anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements. SPME welcomes scholars from all disciplines, faiths groups and nationalities who share their desire for peace and commitment to academic integrity and honest debate.[1]

SPME examines issues of suspected anti-semitic or anti-Israel biases in the mandatory multicultural religious and ethnic teachings on campus and in the community and works to maintain "intimidation free" campuses. SPME deals with academic integrity with respect to fabricating and falsifying data when discussing the Middle East, and responds to alleged anti-Israel and anti-semitic incidents on campus as they arise, especially in classrooms and university sponsored events.[1]

SPME publishes the SPME Faculty Forum bi-weekly during the academic year and once a month during the summer months and breaks.

History

The organization was founded in 2002 by Dr. Edward Beck , Dr. Judith Jacobson, Columbia University and Dr. Ruth Contreras of Vienna Austria. Members of the Board of Directors have included:Matthias K√ľntzel, Ernest Sternberg, Laurie Zoloth, Gerald M. Steinberg, Efraim Karsh, Daniel Pipes, Peter Haas, Stanley Dubinsky, John R. Cohn, Rev. India E. Garnett, G. Don Morris, Leila Beckwith, Philip Carl Salzman, Donna Robinson Divine and many others. The organization states that it has nearly 30,000 members from 2500 campuses worldwide. Its network includes college and university presidents and Nobel Laureates.[1]

In 2008, SPME was in a partnership with Jewish National Fund. MediaWatch International, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, Technion, Ben Gurion University and University of Haifa initiated the Faculty Fellowship to Israel Summer Institute.

In 2009, Dr. Edward Beck stepped down as Founding President and was succeeded by Prof. Rabbi Peter Haas of Case Western Reserve University and Prof. Samuel Edelman of California State University-Chico was named Executive Director.

Views on anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism

Regarding anti-Israel and anti-semitism on college campuses, the organization states, that they, "do not contribute to peace for anyone affected." The organization states that they agree with Thomas L. Friedman's comment that, "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."[2]

Academic boycott against Israeli academics

In response to Britain's University and College Union's resolution calling on its members to "consider the moral implications of links with Israeli academic institutions," SPME started an online petition signed by thousands of non-Israeli academics stating, "We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded,"[2] Michael Yudkin of Oxford University, a SPME member, debated John Chalcraft of London School of Economics on the issue of boycotts against Israeli academics[3]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "About SPME," online posting, official website of SPME.
  2. ^ a b Yaakov Lappin (June 13, 2007). "'WE'RE ALL ISRAELI ACADEMICS':non-Israeli academics vow to 'decline any activity from which Israelis are excluded'".  
  3. ^ John Chalcraft and Michael Yudkin (May 30, 2007). "CHALCRAFT VS. YUDKIN: SHOULD WE VOTE FOR A BOYCOTT? BRITISH ACADEMICS DEBATE BREAKING LINKS WITH ISRAELI COLLEAGUES". The Guardian.  

External links

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Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is an independent non-profit international community network of academic scholars, which according to its founder, conducts "pro-Israel advocacy".[1] According to the SPME's Web site, the organization's goal is to seek peace in, "the Middle East is consistent both with Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders, and with the rights and legitimate aspirations of her neighbors".[2]

Contents

Mission

The stated mission of the organization is to, inform, motivate, and encourage faculty to use their academic skills and disciplines on campus, in classrooms, and in academic publications to develop effective responses to real or perceived anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements. SPME welcomes scholars from all disciplines, faiths groups and nationalities who share their desire for peace and commitment to academic integrity and honest debate.[2]

SPME examines issues of suspected anti-semitic or anti-Israel biases in the mandatory multicultural religious and ethnic teachings on campus and in the community and works to maintain "intimidation free" campuses. SPME deals with academic integrity with respect to fabricating and falsifying data when discussing the Middle East, and responds to alleged anti-Israel and anti-semitic incidents on campus as they arise, especially in classrooms and university sponsored events.[2]

SPME publishes the SPME Faculty Forum bi-weekly during the academic year and once a month during the summer months and breaks.

History

The organization was founded in 2002 by Dr. Edward Beck , Dr. Judith Jacobson, Columbia University and Dr. Ruth Contreras of Vienna Austria. Members of the Board of Directors have included:Matthias K√ľntzel, Ernest Sternberg, Laurie Zoloth, Gerald M. Steinberg, Efraim Karsh, Daniel Pipes, Peter Haas, Stanley Dubinsky, John R. Cohn, Rev. India E. Garnett, G. Don Morris, Leila Beckwith, Philip Carl Salzman, Donna Robinson Divine, Kenneth L. Marcus, David Menashri and many others. The organization states that it has nearly 60,000 members from 3000 campuses worldwide. Its network includes college and university presidents and Nobel Laureates.[2]

In 2008, SPME was in a partnership with Jewish National Fund. MediaWatch International, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, Technion, Ben Gurion University and University of Haifa initiated the Faculty Fellowship to Israel Summer Institute. The Program was offered again in 2010

In, November, 2009, Dr. Edward Beck stepped down as Founding President and became President Emeritus. He continues to serve as an Officer on the Board of Directors. He was succeeded by Prof. Rabbi Peter Haas of Case Western Reserve University. Prof. Samuel Edelman of California State University-Chico was anamed Executive Director in February, 2009. The other current officers are Judith Jacobson, Columbia University, Vice President for Internal Relations; Ruth Contreras, Vienna, Austria, Secretary; and Leila Beckwith, UCLA, Treasurer.

Views on anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism

Regarding anti-Israelism and anti-semitism on college campuses, the organization states, that neither "contribute to peace for anyone affected." The organization states that they agree with Thomas L. Friedman's comment that, "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."[3]

Academic boycott against Israeli academics

In response to Britain's University and College Union's resolution calling on its members to "consider the moral implications of links with Israeli academic institutions," SPME started an online petition signed by thousands of non-Israeli academics stating, "We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded,"[3] Michael Yudkin of Oxford University, a SPME member, debated John Chalcraft of London School of Economics on the issue of boycotts against Israeli academics[4]

Notes

  1. ^ Fighting Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism on the American University Campus: Faculty Grassroots Efforts. An Interview with Edward S. Beck, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2 January 2005
  2. ^ a b c d "About SPME," online posting, official website of SPME.
  3. ^ a b Yaakov Lappin (June 13, 2007). "'WE'RE ALL ISRAELI ACADEMICS':non-Israeli academics vow to 'decline any activity from which Israelis are excluded'". 
  4. ^ John Chalcraft and Michael Yudkin (May 30, 2007). "CHALCRAFT VS. YUDKIN: SHOULD WE VOTE FOR A BOYCOTT? BRITISH ACADEMICS DEBATE BREAKING LINKS WITH ISRAELI COLLEAGUES". The Guardian. 

External links


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