In a statement, the Ex-president of the country’s leading organization said that he was almost forced to leave the meeting at New York University discussing the academic boycotts of Israel. The meeting was organized by the New York University of International Faculty and was free and open for all, but he had to face such behavior because of his popular opposition to these tactics.
Nelson, a prominent leader of the anti-BDS MLA Members for Scholar’s Rights went on to say that Judith Butler – a literature professor from University of California-Berkley and the New President of the MLA for 2020-21, was in the lead of the session and had officially paused the session and had proposed a vote to throw Nelson out of the meeting.
He further reported that Butler had directly asked him to remove himself from the building and respect their decision when he did not, Butler went forth to declare that the presence of Nelson would not allow them to continue with the meeting’s agenda of BDS planning as decided.
The rest of the session, however, was then dedicated to questioning further of Nelson’s motives for him attending a session that is so against what he supports. They also interrogated him about the notes he took.
“Graduate students and contingent faculty were worried I would take down names and affiliations and derail their careers,” Nelson had said. “How, I don’t know. The Mossad [Israel’s intelligence agency] does not take orders from me.”
Nelson also went on to say that among 30 to 50 attendees, there was one who went on to say that his presence was helpful as “practice being in a hostile department in a hostile country.”
Furthermore, Butler and David Palumbo-Liu – who is a Professor at Stanford University went on and said to the crowd gathered for the meeting that all of them were ‘victims’ of MLA’s votes of not adopting BDS.
“They told the people they had been sinned against, that they were victims of unethical conspiracy within MLA,” Nelson said. “They wanted to install in folks this sense of injustice.”