Concerns Escalate Over Dartmouth Dean's Support For Anti-Israel Boycotts

We encourage members to "boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state, and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies."

In an article for The Observer, The Haym Solomon Center's Paul Miller writes about concerns surrounding the appointment of Professor N. Bruce Duthu as dean of faculty at Dartmouth College. The concerns stem from Duthu's support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement. An email response from Duthu about the controversy was obtained by the Solomon Center and several excerpts follow below: 


I write in response to recent charges that my support of a statement issued in December 2013 by the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions should disqualify me from serving as Dartmouth’s next Dean of the Faculty. I continue to believe in the right of private citizens to express criticism of any country’s government policies. At the same time, I do not believe that a boycott of academic institutions is the appropriate response. Instead, I support sustained, open, and collegial engagement with fellow academics, including collaborative research and teaching.

As scholars dedicated to the rights of indigenous peoples, we affirm that our efforts are directed specifically at the Israeli state, not at Israeli individuals. The NAISA Council encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state, and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies. We champion and defend intellectual and academic freedom, and we recognize that conversation and collaboration with individuals and organizations in Israel/Palestine can make an important contribution to the cause of justice. In recognition of the profound social and political obstacles facing Palestinians in such dialogues, however, we urge our members and supporters to engage in such actions outside the aegis of Israeli educational institutions, honoring this boycott until such time as the rights of the Palestinian people are respected and discriminatory policies are ended.

Miller's piece in the Observer goes on to state: 

In the email, Duthu points out that Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon made clear in a 2013 statement that the school will not support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions or academic boycotts of any kind.

Duthu writes, “In my role as Associate Dean for International Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs, I have embraced this position and as Dean of the Faculty, I will continue to fully support it.”

The response by the newly appointed dean has not eased the concerns of Dartmouth Economics Professor Alan Gustman.

Professor Duthu’s response to the Faculty is an attempt to avoid the anger his public advocacy of BDS has created without repudiating the reasons his positions created this anger in the first place. The BDS movement is anti-Semitic. The chant of the BDS movement, from the river to the sea, is anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and profoundly anti- Jewish. It refers to sweeping the Jews out of Israel.

Professor Gustman went on to note Dartmouth’s history of anti-Semitism and believes Duthu's appointment will only exacerbate those problems.