Couldn't disagree more with recent Israel letter

I couldn't disagree more with the letter, "Opposing Israeli policies isn't anti-Semitic," (Jan. 21). I agree that opposing national policies of any nation is a right worthy of defense, and not necessarily anti-Semitic in Israel's case. However, boycotting the academics of a democratic nation with free speech, a robust judiciary and a diverse university population, is not opposing national policies; it is silencing the very diverse voices that all should want to encourage.

By listening to the Israeli academics, the letter writer might find those very people who are working towards policies that he would support. And holding Israel and her academics to a standard higher than that of other nations is an age old strategy and looks a lot like anti-Semitism. When the ASA boycotts academics of all nations with repressive policies and a lack of basic human rights for its citizens, I will cease to call its actions anti-Semitic. But I will continue to take a stand that opposing those nations' policies is not going to be accomplished by silencing or ostracizing their academics.

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