The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel denounces in the strongest terms possible the recent vicious attacks on those at Purdue University advocating for Palestinian rights. As has been reported previously by Palestine Legal and Jewish Voice for Peace, attacks on pro-Palestinian activists have increased on a national scale, with members of Congress, state legislators, and college administrators working to destroy BDS and intimidate its proponents. Their efforts are often prompted by representatives of the State of Israel and groups like the AMCHA Initiative and Canary Mission. But these recent attacks at Purdue are of a new and much more sinister nature.
Students and faculty alike have been attacked not only for their anti-racist, anti-zionist activism, but also through the use of slanderous and malicious lies about their personal lives, as a means to discredit them. Smears go far beyond being called “anti-Semitic,” a by now standard and discredited accusation. The kinds of character assassination detailed in the recent article in The Electronic Intifada go beyond the political advocacy of those involved to cast unfounded and false aspersions about their private lives and personal behavior.
These new tactics show the moral and ethical poverty of those behind the attacks, and also the intellectual bankruptcy of the anti-Palestinian argument. They show signs of desperation and fear. Nonetheless they do real harm and damage to our colleagues and comrades. These attacks are meant to isolate and intimidate. We issue this statement both to condemn these attacks and to serve notice on the perpetrators. You will not diminish our efforts, and now that your tactics are known, you should know they will be of much less use to you. In fact, in their abjectness and disgraceful viciousness, they do more damage to your cause than to ours. We stand by our comrades and allies and reaffirm our commitment to the struggle for Palestinian rights.