|UK university union to vote on Israel boycott|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2007 17:00|
|Britain's University and College Union (UCU) will vote on implementing a boycott of Israeli academia at 4pm today. The resolution submitted by the universities of Brighton, East London and Birmingham, will require union members to cease cooperation with Israeli institutions. This is the third attempt by British lecturers to impose a boycott of Israel academia. The first boycotts were approved by the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE). These two unions later merged to form the UCU, and as a result the boycott resolutions were declared invalid. This resolution, which decries "Israel's 40-year occupation" and states that it has "seriously damaged the fabric of Palestinian society through annexation, illegal settlement, collective punishment and restriction of movement", must be voted on again if it is to be approved. A senior Jewish American Professor has condemned the British boycotts which single out Israel for criticism while Palestinian terrorism is completely ignored. Professor Steven Weinberg states that there is a "widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion". |
Quote: "Last week, Nobel laureate Prof. Steven Weinberg cancelled his participation in a physics conference scheduled for July at London's Imperial College, saying that a call to boycott Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it was hard to find any explanation other than anti-Semitism, Guardian reported. In a letter to the conference organizers, Weinberg said he perceived "a widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion." Weinberg's said his decision was triggered by a call from the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israeli products.
So it seems I have been right in putting the Israeli boycott articles under the heading of "Anti-Semitism". Other British and Israeli academics have echoed Weinberg's claim of institutionalised anti-Semitism, claiming that "something is in the air" in the United Kingdom.
Quote: "Eve Garrard, a Senior Lecturer in professional ethics at the University of Keele, will speak during the conference, and attempt to convince UCU members to vote against the motion. "I'm planning to say that the standard justifications for a boycott of Israel are thoroughly inadequate," she said. "No sound reason has been given for singling out Israel. I'm not going to offer explanations myself for why Israel is being singled out, but it needs an explanation," she added. "What needs explaining is not criticism of Israel but it being singled it out for special ostracism and exclusion," Garrard said, adding: "The likely effect of a boycott will be anti-Semitism. The nature of the boycott is to call for ostracism and exclusion, which are also standard anti-Semitic attitudes." "I hope it won't be passed but it's possible it will be. There's something in air in the UK at the moment," Garrard said," citing other anti-Israel boycotts and petitions being initiated by Britain's National Union of Journalists, an architect's union, and a public service union.
I was going to say in the last article I wrote on the boycotts, that I believe this country is setting itself up for judgement. Prime Minister Tony Blair says he wants Britain to excel in academics, but it seems our universities are more concerned with boycotting Israel than they are about improving academic achievement. By the grace of God Israel excels in this field. You only need to look at the number of Nobel Prize winners who are Jewish for an example of that. And my country wants to sever its academic ties with Israel? We do that at our own peril.