University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey Denounces ASA Boycott of Israel

A big Mazel Tov to University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey, who joins the growing list of college and university leaders (191 and counting, according to intrepid blogger Avi Mayer) who have denounced the American Studies Association’s pernicious academic boycott of Israel. (Read about it here.)

As I discussed extensively in my book, The Liberal Case for Israel, while Israel is by no means perfect — no government is — even under the most distorted, jaundiced view, her transgressions pale in comparison to her neighbors, and in fact to most countries in the world.  Singling out the Jewish State for a boycott is hypocritical at best, anti-Semitic at worst.

Bravo to President Jim Ramsey.  Here’s his letter:



ramsey-portraitJanuary 8, 2014

Dr. M. Peter McPherson


Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

1307 New York Avenue, NW

Suite 400

Washington, DC 20005

Dear Peter,

The University of Louisville is committed to diversity and to ensuring the free exchange of ideas on our campus.  We promote the ability of our faculty to share knowledge, research, and ideas with university faculty throughout the world.  Because of our view that the free exchange of ideas is paramount to academic freedom, we oppose any effort to boycott academic institutions regardless of the political systems in which they operate.

We appreciate the position of the APLU that any boycott could limit the ability of UofL professors and researchers to collaborate with faculty whose institutions are targeted by the boycott.  This could hinder not only UofL’s efforts but those of colleges and universities across the United States to find new cures for diseases, to develop new sources of energy, or to bridge cultural divides.

Thank you for the leadership of the APLU and I wanted to communicate to you that I support the APLU position.








Dr. James R. Ramsey



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