|UK university union approves boycott of Israel|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2007 17:00|
Following this morning's article, the University and College Union in the United Kingdom has approved a motion calling for the boycott of academic institutions in Israel. The vote was passed by 158 votes for and 99 against, with 8 abstentions. The General Secretary of the UCU, Sally Hunt, stated she believed that most members of the organization were not in favour of the union's decision to boycott Israeli academia, and that they should also have their say.
Quote: "Zvi Hefetz, Israel's ambassador to London, slammed the decision, but noted that it did not reflect British government policy. "This decision harms British Jewry, who lobbied hard against the boycott call. A stench of ignorance arises from the one-sided formula and unbalanced language of the decision," the ambassador said. Hefetz also pointed out the fact that during the discussion, a proposal was made, and rejected, that the resolution also condemn anti-Semitism. The ambassador said this fact strengthened his feeling that the ignorance shown by those proposing the boycott was also tinged with anti-Semitism. Education Minister Yutli Tamir said that the decision was outrageous, adding Israel would work to defuse it through cooperation with England's prominent universities, 'which have never approved of academic boycotts.'
As has been said by British and Israeli academics, this resolution is anti-Semitic, and I will be emailing the UCU to express my thoughts. If you live in the UK and wish to do the same, here is a list of email addresses.