EssaysThe LeftTheory & Practice

On the Academic Calls to Boycott Israel, Part I

The Jewish Question and the debate over the Israeli academy

This post is the first part in a three-part series, which will be posted over the remainder of the week.

If Israel is a contentious topic of conversation in mainstream and alternative news media, in everyday exchanges at the grocery store or the dinner table, it comes with at least as much vitriol when discussed in academia. Recent calls by members of professional associations such as …


Israeli Academics Condemn the Slaughter and Endless Oppression of the Palestinian People

This protest petition just came to our attention. As a pubic service we are circulating it here. In the coming days, analysis from alternative perspectives will follow, including pieces by Nahed Habiballah, Benoit Challand and yours truly. – Jeff Goldfarb

The signatories to this statement, all academics at Israeli universities, wish it to be known that they utterly deplore the aggressive military strategy being deployed by the Israeli government. The slaughter of large numbers of wholly innocent people, is placing yet more barriers of blood in the way of the negotiated agreement which is the only alternative to the occupation and endless oppression of the Palestinian people. …


How My Social Justice Failed My Family

I’ve never felt more helpless than when I heard my dad tell me that he was selling the house where I was raised. After using my student loans to help cover the overdue mortgage payments, we were still unable to stave off the inevitable. Facing the prospect of the bank foreclosing on the house, my father was forced to sell my childhood home. And despite my knowledge of the precarious position of middle and working class black people and the enduring nature of poverty, particularly in an area like the Mississippi Delta, I still feel like it’s at least partially my fault.

The sociologist in me says that divorce often plunges black families into poverty. My parents divorced in 2009. The sociologist in me says that the economic downturn disproportionately damaged black people. My dad lost his job soon after the divorce. …