On Wednesday, October 29, at 7:30 p.m., the Jewish Studies program at Kalamazoo College will host a panel discussion titled, “Boycott Divestment Sanctions: Alternative Narratives.” The discussion will take place in the Mandelle Hall Olmsted Room and is free and open to the public. This program will add to the campus discussion of the issue of boycotts and divestment targeting Israeli companies and academics by placing the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians into a broader political and historical context. The panel will also consider the implications of some of the rhetoric surrounding the BDS movement.
Participants include historian Kenneth Waltzer and political scientist Yael Aronoff, both members of the Jewish Studies program at Michigan State University (Aronoff is the present director of the program, and Waltzer is her immediate predecessor), and political scientist Amy Elman, the Weber Professor in Social Science at Kalamazoo College. Both Waltzer and Aronoff will consider the issue of Jewish self-determination (which is often left out of BDS discussions), and provide a critical assessment of BDS and its implications. Elman’s presentation will discuss her recent research on the European Union and its policies toward Israel and Jews, and the inherent contradictions contained therein. Jeffrey Haus, director of Jewish Studies at Kalamazoo College, will moderate the program, which will also include a question and answer period for the audience.