Government Professor's Op-Ed Draws Connections Between Recent Events in U.S., Israel | St. Lawrence University

Government Professor's Op-Ed Draws Connections Between Recent Events in U.S., Israel

Ronnie Olesker, associate professor of government, recently had an opinion piece published in RealClearWorld, an online publication dealing with international news and politics.

In the op-ed, Olesker contrasts the reaction in the United States after the killing of George Floyd and the reaction to a killing in Israel that happened only five days after Floyd's death. While Floyd's death inspired a national and international outcry around issues of race and law enforcement, the death of Eyal al-Hallaq barely registered in Israel. Al-Hallaq, an unarmed Palestinian, was shot by Israeli police in Jerusalem.

The death of Floyd, along with other recent episodes of violence against people of color at the hands of police in the United States, has led to a wider acceptance of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In Israel, a parallel movement - Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) - has been simmering, but has yet to rise to the level of BLM. Olesker points out that there is increasing sentiment, especially among progressive Democrats in the United States, to hold Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinians and issues around the annexation of portions of the West Bank. That, combined with the global reach of BLM, is pushing Israel towards a similar flashpoint with BDS. Her recommendation is for Israel to get out in front and address the issues now.

"Instead of debating the extent of the annexation of Palestinian territory, it’s time for Israelis to prepare for their own BLM moment, which might come in the form of a consolidated and effective BDS campaign," Olesker said.

Read Olesker's piece.

RealClearWorld (RCW) was launched in 2008 as part of RealClear Politics, which was founded in 2000. According to its website, RCW is one of the Internet’s leading voices on global news and commentary. Every day, the RCW team curates the smartest news, opinion and punditry from around the world, offering its readers a comprehensive, non-partisan summary of the top world news content of the day.

Olesker holds a Ph.D. in International relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Among the courses she regularly teaches at St. Lawrence are Introduction to International Relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and Middle East Politics.