Good for Anthony Julius QC and Alan Dershowitz. They have written a tightly-argued and totally compelling article in the London Times, explaining why not only the boycott, but the boycotters themselves, are anti-semitic.
And Ruth Gledhill, the Times Religion Correspondent has just posted this blog on it:
and in today's Jewish Chronicle, the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, has called the boycott campaign a 'witch-hunt'.
As Melanie Phillips pointed out a while ago, in England it is a greater crime (or is it sin?) to accuse a person of being antisemitic than to actually be an anti-semite.
And this is so true. When, around two years ago, I wrote to the Director General of the BBC, suggesting that a statement by one of their favourite broadcasters might be anti-semitic, he responded by informing me that my accusation might be thought of as defamatory. I took that as a veiled threat.
Before that, when a male Muslim student tried to prevent me from teaching about the Qu'ran at Manchester University's Department of Religions and Theology because 'the Jews are perfidious and you are doubly unclean, being both Jewish and a woman', what did the department do about it?
Told me to shut up and forget about it, 'because he's not very bright', that's what.
Funny, then, that the department is considered to be one of the three best of its kind in the country.
And here we have the nub of the matter. Because academia in England is now at an all-time low. Standards are truly appalling. In my own field of Jewish Studies, you can obtain an MA without knowing a word of Hebrew. Languages are sidelined. And because languages are sidelined, so is language per se.
If proof were needed of this, let's take a completely different example: last night's Moral Maze on BBC Radio 4.
I downloaded this programme late last night, because I know the producer and this was his first go at producing what is one of the BBC's flagship radio programmes.
The subject was abortion. One of the females (an academic, of course) couldn't deal with journalist, Melanie Phillips', rigorous academic arguments against abortion on demand and therefore stated - on air, noch - that Melanie didn't know what it's like being a woman who has experienced pregnancy.
I mean: is Melanie female? Has she had kids? Is she a person at all? Funnily enough, the male Catholic journalist on the programme (who was even more rigidly against abortion on demand than Melanie) was let off the hook.
It was hard to believe that the accuser was actually supposed to be an academic.
And that brings me to the Church of England. Two years ago I was invited by the Greater Manchester Diocese to give a talk on why there was an impasse in dialogue between the Orthodox Jewish community and the Church of England.
It started off all polite. But that soon changed. They didn't like my rational arguments. They therefore didn't deal with these, but accused me of being responsible for the War in Iraq. I was yelled at and threatened. And yet, I hadn't asked for the meeting: they had.
And when I cited Melanie Phillips, I was nearly shown the door. Was this because she writes for the Daily Mail? Or was it for more sinister reasons?
Which is why I applaud today's Times article by two distinguished lawyers, and also their examples from the Church.
At Pesach I was back in England and was contacted by Anthony Julius. He is writing a book about English anti-semitism and wanted the latest on the Church of England. I gave him everything I knew and he was grateful for that.
To my mind, there is no doubt about it: in present-day England we have a phenomenon of hysteria, similar to that which took over the early Church Fathers. It was then bequeathed to the various Councils who ruled against Jews and instigated the idea of the desecration of the host and the various blood libels. The same hysteria was present during the mediaeval Crusades against the Jews and in the methods used by Hitler et al in countries whose populations were overwhelmingly Christian, but which had been enriched by many centuries of Jewish life. In fact in Germany, Spain and Italy (the main centres of fascism) Jews had predated the Christian settlement there.
And one of the major factors contributing to the particularly British type of anti-semitism is a combination of academic dis-ease and the karma of colonialism, which then breeds an unhealthy empathy with failure and violence.
But let's end on a high!
In the 'fascist, apartheid' University of Haifa today, a very attractive young female lecturer spoke about the influence of Arabic culture on the Jewish poets of Spain - including poems on wine and love. And, what is more (talk about chutzpah!!) she chose to give the talk in that 'fascist, apartheid', but to me (mea culpa) completely miraculous language of modern Hebrew!