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  ISRAEL    
 
 
  ISRAEL  
 

OPEN LETTER TO BOYCOTTING BRITISH SCIENTISTS
Emeritus Professor Kenneth Preiss
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
preiss@bgu.ac.il

17 March 2009

 When the German government of the 1930's forbad the teaching of "Jewish science" such as relativity, they were operating rationally within their perverted frame of logic. In a rationality accepted by most of the public, including scientists, Jews had been deemed to be a pestilent menace. For the sake of humanity they needed to be eliminated from every aspect of society, and the urgency of this mission took precedence over the search for scientific truth.  

This policy was based on a lie, and we know now that in its treatment of the Jews, Germany lobotomized itself. Germany has to this day not returned to the standing it had then in the scientific world. It does not escape attention that a country that in the 1920's was at the pinnacle of scientific achievement, by the 1940's had plunged to the lowest depths of vile, cruel and immoral wickedness. If this happened in Germany, it can happen elsewhere. 

This is what comes to mind when I hear of the proposal to boycott the presentation of Israeli scientists at the venerable Science Museum near my fondly remembered alma mater of Imperial College. Israelis are tired of justifying themselves to the world. Israelis, both as individuals and as a society, do much for the less fortunate of the world and they do so because this is their character, not for approval of others. 

Despite the ongoing quest by the Arabs to destroy Israel, this includes infrastructural, medical, trade, scientific and cultural assistance to many, including the Palestinians a group that has brought upon themselves much suffering but manages to convince a willing world that its problems are due to others. This is not the place to amplify upon this matter that has been written about abundantly elsewhere. In today's world many people prefer to remain ignorant of that reality. It is enough to wander around any Israeli hospital, enquire where the staff and patients come from, and see the equality of treatment each gets, irrespective of whether they are Jews or Arabs.  

Free and honest debate would show that Israel treats the Palestinians better than any other nation would, including the British. The Palestinians have much to thank Israel for, even though mendacity about this subject seems to fill the airwaves, the Internet and newspapers. As for the mini-war in Gaza I cannot recall a conflict in which the party attacked and defending itself adhered so assiduously to the laws of war while the aggressor so blatantly disregarded those laws. In the Orwellian reports of that war the roles have been reversed.

                                                                                    The text below shows the process we observed in the 1930's and where it led, and the parallel process observed today.

 In 1929 a very serious global financial crisis started.

        In 2008 a very serious global financial crisis started.

 Over the next decade a medium sized power (Germany) armed in contravention of international agreements, threatened its neighbors, and used latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

A medium sized power (Iran) is arming in contravention of international agreements, threatens its neighbors, and uses latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

 The world powers, led by England, tried to convince Germany to cease its threats. Appeasement did not work.

The world powers try to convince Iran to cease its arming and its threats. Appeasement is not working.

 At the end of the decade a world war started that lasted 6 years and in which 56,000,000 people, 2.2% of a world population of 2,500,000,000, died.

Does history repeat itself? If so, 150,000,000 people, 2.2% of the world's current population of 6,700,000,000 , will die.

 In the decade leading to World War 2 there were those who said that war was inevitable, but no one anticipated, nor could even imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity inherent in that catastrophe.

There are those who say that war is now inevitable, but even they do not anticipate, nor can they imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity that would be inherent in that catastrophe.

 We understand in retrospect the process that led to the tragedy called World War 2. Had that prior process not existed, the trigger that included Austria, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain, Churchill and Poland would never have materialized. We do not know whether we are now in a process that could lead to over 100 million cruel deaths, and if we are we certainly do not know what will trigger that war.

 In light of the proposed boycott of Israeli scientists it is worth remembering that it was difficult for German scientists to oppose the boycott of Jewish scientists in the face of German public opinion. Had they done so the chain of events that led to World War 2 may have been diverted. If indeed we are now in a process where eventually an unpredictable event will trigger the tragedy of World War, you the boycotting British scientists, probably unsuspectingly, will have been part of that process.

 You have stepped onto the slippery slope.

 

 
 

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