Why is it that most critics of Israel in American academia come from the liberal arts departments as opposed to the hard sciences?
I don’t know the numbers when it comes to Israel’s critics, so I’m hesitant to theorize about why this might be the case. After all, it might not be the case.
We could spin out some story or other about faculty in liberal arts departments tending to operate farther to the Left on the political spectrum, or having a broader set of interests that includes global affairs, or spending more of their time thinking about justice or reading dissident literature or writing about human rights, or just having more time on their hands.
But, at least from where I sit, there’s really not so much criticism of Israel in American universities generally — though there are certainly notable exceptions that get a fair amount of attention.
With the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians this year, and with the recent international talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program, it’s been a pretty quiet few months with regard to criticism of Israel. That said, the lack of progress on both of these fronts, coupled with ongoing Israeli settlement construction, has me a bit surprised that things are so quiet in the U.S. on matters pertaining to Israel.