‘Shocking betrayal’ as pro-Israel historians backtrack to support pro-BDS academics

“This is a shocking betrayal of the majority of pro-Israel historians,” said Moshe Phillips, national director of Herut North America, an American Zionist activist movement.

By World Israel News Staff

Just two days after American historians overwhelmingly defeated two anti-Israel resolutions at the American Historical Association’s annual conference, several leading opponents of the resolution have reversed themselves and are now planning to join anti-Israel academics in attacking Israel.

“This is a shocking betrayal of the majority of pro-Israel historians,” said Moshe Phillips, national director of Herut North America, an American Zionist activist movement.

The two resolutions, which falsely accused Israel of mistreating Palestinian Arab academics, were introduced at the historians’ conference in New York City on January 5, 2020. They were defeated by votes of 80 to 41, and 61 to 36.

The resolutions were authored by anti-Israel historians affiliated with the radical group Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD). That group endorsed anti-Israel pro-BDS extremism back in 2014.

Herut has learned that three prominent historians who opposed the anti-Israel resolutions have now backtracked.

Sharon Musher of Stockton University, David Greenberg of Rutgers University, and Alice Kessler-Harris, formerly of Columbia University, sent an email on January 7 to other opponents of the resolution, announcing that they “plan to approach H-PAD to see if we might jointly pursue constructive strategies to support our shared concern for the free movement of all scholars and students, including Palestinians.”

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“It’s outrageous that these supposedly pro-Israel historians are planning to collaborate with the pro-BDS extremists of H-PAD,” said Phillips. “Their letter strongly implies that they agree with H-PAD’s false accusation that Israel persecutes Palestinian Arab academics.”

Herut’s Phillips said: “Musher, Greenberg and Kessler-Harris write as if they are the leaders of the pro-Israel faction in the AHA — and as if other pro-Israel historians naturally should support their scheme. In fact, nobody elected Musher, Greenberg and Kessler-Harris to be the leaders of the pro-Israel historians, and their actions do not represent the views of most pro-Israel historians.”

In their letter, Musher, Greenberg and Kessler-Harris say they “hope” that if they collaborate with H-PAD in criticizing Israel, that “will encourage a moratorium on repeated submissions of similar and previously rejected resolutions.”

Phillips commented: “There is no need to cower in fear at the prospect of H-PAD introducing resolutions. Of course they will continue introducing resolutions — because that is what Israel-haters do — and opponents will have to combat them with the power of historical truth. You can’t appease Israel-bashers by joining in their attacks on Israel. Appeasement never works, Jewish historians of all people should know that.”