The American Anthropological Association's membership may have narrowly defeated a resolution to boycott Israeli academics, but the existence of the resolution itself is a violation of the discipline's core principle that researchers not make value judgments about the societies they study. Except, argues McGill U. anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman, "when it comes to Jews" and the Jewish state, Israel. For the AAA's executive board and half its membership, singling out Israel for condemnation from among all the nations raises no issues. The only word for this selective demonization, says Salzman, is "anti-Semitism." His essay, sponsored by CW, appears today at The Daily Caller:
One of the core principles of modern anthropology is cultural relativism, the idea that researchers must not make value judgements about the societies they study. Anthropologists think of themselves as setting aside their biases and preferences in order to see a society and culture "from the native's point of view." Whether studying the raiding activity of Bedouin tribal nomads, witchcraft by African villagers, or head-hunting by grieving Philippine tribesmen, anthropologists embrace the sentiment that "nothing human is alien to me."
Except when it comes to Jews. Once again, Jews and the Jewish state have been uniquely selected for official opprobrium by the American Anthropological Association (AAA).
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