In order to “better understand the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine,” a group of self-proclaimed social-justice advocates are currently touring Israel and the West Bank. The problem with the seemingly noble mission? Everything.
To start, the trip is organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), an anti-Israel non-governmental organization (NGO) that promotes BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and lawfare campaigns against Israel.
Next, some of the trip’s participants are so involved with efforts to delegitimize Israel that two were denied entry visas.
One of those, Katherine Franke, is a Columbia University professor who is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns both on and off campus. Franke participated as a panelist in the Spring 2016 “Apartheid Week” event, “The Case for Academic Boycott [of Israel],” co-hosted by SJP and JVP, where she distributed an informational sheet “Boycotts Through History” that described the 1934 Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses as a “counter-boycott” to boycotts of goods from Nazi Germany. She also signed the pro-BDS “Faculty Petition” supporting a call for divestment, is an editor of Columbia’s Center for Palestine Studies’ Nakba Files website, and, according to her CCR bio, is a member of the Steering Committee for Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) Academic Advisory Council. Franke uses her appointment at the Law School and role as Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law to further her own anti-Israel activism and BDS in her coursework and in bringing anti-Israel events and NGOs into the Law School.
Vincent Warren, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, was similarly denied entry.