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UK Professors Advised To Drop Israeli Boycott

Buried in the education section of the UK’s Guardian:

Lecturers drop Israeli universities boycott call after legal advice

James Meikle, education correspondent
Saturday September 29, 2007

The prospect of an academic boycott of Israeli universities receded sharply yesterday as leaders of the lecturers’ union contemplating the move were told it would be illegal. The British University and College Union (UCU) immediately suspended regional meetings called to discuss the “moral implications” of existing links and hear from Palestinian trade unionists living under Israeli occupation who had called for the protest.

In May, delegates at the union’s annual congress in Bournemouth provoked an international storm, especially in Israel and the US, by demanding a programme of meetings to pave the way for a vote on cutting academic ties. The move was approved by 158 votes to 99. Jewish leaders, university vice-chancellors and the government condemned the move.

Yesterday David Newman, head of geopolitics at Ben-Gurion University, and academic representative of Israel on boycott issues, said he was glad the UCU had “seen sense and realised that universities are the place for open dialogue, freedom of speech and liberal thought, all of which a boycott would have prevented”.

Legal advice to the union’s strategy and finance committee said a boycott call ran the risk of infringing discrimination legislation and was also considered outside the aims and objects of the union…

However, Sue Blackwell, a member of the union’s executive and of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, said of the decision: “It is quite ridiculous. It is cowardice. It is outrageous and an attack on academic freedom.” …

That this boycott was overwhelmingly favored by Britaiin’s University and College Union is simply astounding.

We reported on the UCU just a couple of weeks ago, when they voted to refuse to report Islamic terrorists to the government. 

But here is a reminder of who they are, via Wikipedia:

University and College Union

The University and College Union (UCU) is a UK trade union formed from the 2006 merger of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE).

The union was formed on 1 June 2006. For the first year a set of transitional rules will be in place until full operational unity is achieved in June 2007. The union has around 116,000 members and is the largest further and higher education union in the world.

But such is the state of “higher education” in the Western world. An academia that wants to boycott the state of Israel but gives forums to worthies like Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Of course anti-Semitism is at high tide in jolly old Britain. But Ms. Blackwell takes the biscuit.

Here is an encomium to her from the Palestinian Freedom Project

Susan Blackwell

Dr. Susan Blackwell has been active in anti-racist and trade union campaigns for a quarter of a century and sees Palestinian human rights as an essential part of the struggle for socialism to which she is committed. She took part in the anti-apartheid movement during her student days and sees many parallels between South Africa then and Israel now. She is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, has been prominent in the movement for academic boycott of Israel…

Our heroine’s own little corner on the internet, Sue Blackwell’s Links On Palestine And Israel, is a classic case study in anti-Semitism run thoroughly amuck.

Still, who are we to argue international affairs with such an intellect as Dr. Blackwell?

After all, Wikipedia informs us that this Solon obtained a PhD in the use of personal pronouns.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 29th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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