The New York-based Center for Jewish History has recently appointed UCLA Professor David N. Myers as its CEO despite his approval for a boycott of Israel and membership in extremist anti-Israel organizations. Despite communal protests and voices of outrage including from Knesset leaders and the Zionist Organization of America, the organization's leadership has supported Myers.
Perhaps the reason for that is that there are actually even more extreme leaders than Myers in place on the Academic Advisory Council of CJH, including NYU Professor Hasia Diner as the CJH website reveals.
Ms. Diner authored an op-ed which states she refused to sign a document that she "believed in 'the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem as capital' for the Jewish people. It encouraged 'Aliyah to Israel,' that is, the classic negation of the diaspora and as such the ending of Jewish life outside a homeland in Israel.”
Diner continues, saying that Israel is
a place that I abhor visiting, and to which I will contribute no money, whose products I will not buy, nor will I expend my limited but still to me, meaningful, political clout to support it. The Israel that I loved, the one my parents embraced as the closest approximation to Eden on earth, itself had depended well before 1967 upon the expropriation of Arab lands and the expulsion of Arab populations. The Law of Return can no longer look to me as anything other than racism. I abhor violence, bombings, stabbings, or whatever hurtful means oppressed individuals resort to out of anger and frustration. And yet, I am not surprised when they do so, after so many decades of occupation, with no evidence of progress.
I feel a sense of repulsion when I enter a synagogue in front of which the congregation has planted a sign reading, “We Stand With Israel.” I just do not go and avoid many Jewish settings where I know Israel will loom large as an icon of identity.
Protests outside of the Center for Jewish History commence this week, as does an advertising campaign urging donors to stop supporting the institution.