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SJP calls for boycott of University of Chicago course taught by retired Israeli general

The anti-Israel group accused the course of being “nothing less than the incursion of Israel’s military complex onto the university’s campus.”

A Students for Justice in Palestine march. Credit: JCPA.
A Students for Justice in Palestine march. Credit: JCPA.

In an op-ed published Tuesday by The Chicago Maroon, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) called for a boycott of a course taught by retired Israeli Defense Forces General Meir Elran.

“Elran’s course represents nothing less than the incursion of Israel’s military complex onto the University’s campus,” SJP claims. The anti-Israel group also accused Elran of “anti-Palestinian violence.”

Elran is currently teaching at University of Chicago as a visiting professor through an exchange program sponsored by the Israel Institute, a nonprofit organization that connects colleges and universities with scholars who teach courses about modern Israel.

This latest attack on Elran is part of a much wider campaign against Israeli professors by SJP. In an Instagram post last January, the anti-Israel group called for the boycotting of classes about Israel or by Israelis.

“Jewish national identity is a recent invention of the settler colonial Zionist project,” SJP wrote in that social media regarding a course taught by Stephanie Kraver titled “Narrating Israel and Palestine through Literature and Film.”

The Instagram post also targeted Israel Institute visiting professor Meital Pinto and her courses titled “Multiculturalism in Israel” and “Gender Relations in Israel” for boycott.

The Israel education organization StandWithUs has previously urged University of Chicago to condemn SJP for telling its supporters to boycott “Zionist classes.”

“A boycott of ‘Zionist’ classes and the professors who teach them can amount to discrimination based on religion, ethnicity and/or national origin,” StandWithUs wrote to the university’s president and dean before describing SJP’s boycott campaign at the school as “a blatant attempt to normalize anti-Semitic discrimination and targets your own faculty and course offerings.”

Elran has not specifically commented on SJP’s campaign, but said that he will “continue teaching…in accordance with the best practices of the University of Chicago.”

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