AUT/NATFHE/UCU and the Academic boycott of Israel
UCU CONGRESS 2008
General articles/reactions about the UCU 2008 Congress decisions
NUT CONFERENCE 2008
UNISON CONFERENCE 2007
UCU CONGRESS 2007
General articles/reactions about the UCU 2007 Congress decisions
Proposed Boycott of Israeli Institutions by British Academics: Response to President Toope
In Faculty Focus, Newsletter of the Faculty Association of the University of British Columbia,
September 2007 (scroll to page 7). Note this in particular:
"Some of the undersigned participated in a boycott of Soviet universities, one aim of which was to
coerce the Soviet government into allowing Jewish academics to emigrate to Israel, and we are proud
of having done this."
British lecturers’ union calls off Israel boycott debate
Alex Miller, on the Green Left (Australia) website, 5th Oct 2007
Boycott ‘defeated’ as union forced into U-turnJewish Chronicle, 2nd October 2007.
A shameful silencePriyamvada Gopal in the Guardian, 5th October,
on the UCU leadership's decision to call off the speaking tour.
U.S. university heads slam U.K. boycott of Israeli academe
Ha'aretz, 9th August 2007
Truth and hypocrisy A remarkably honest and soul-searching piece by David Forman in the
Jerusalem Post, 21st June 2007.
Hickey versus Dershowitz! Debate on Channel 4 News, 11th June 2007.
U.K.'s boycotters of Israel support a single-state solution
Ha'aretz, 15th June 2007. Yours Truly gets a mention. This article
is for entertainment more than accurate reporting!
Fighting 'the apartheid state' - same article with an altered headline,
The Time is NowSuperb article by Colin Green of BRICUP in the Education Guardian, 11th June.
Like oil on flames Michael White in the Guardian, 1st June 2007.
Israeli boycotts show Britain's academic elite has taken leave of its senses Melanie Phillips in the
Daily Mail, 4th June 2007
Motions pave way for boycott debateLetter to the FT from Kamel Hawwash,
4th June 2007
Science is a language of peace - so why are British academics seeking to ban any dialogue?
Letters to the FT from Michael Beenstock and Aaron Ciechanover, 4th June 2007.
A bad boycottLeader in the Sunday Times, 3rd June 2007
This academic boycott is an empty gestureLeader in The Observer,
3rd June 2007
UCU was on a boycott debateLetter from Tom Hickey in The Independent,
2nd June 2007. (You need to scroll down the page).
More perspectives on threats to academic freedom
Letters on the boycott to The Guardian, 2nd June 2007
Boycott of Israel goes against the academic ethosLetters to The Times,
2nd June 2007
UCU Supports Boycott of Israel
Excellent post on the "Lenin's Tomb" blog, 31st May 2007.
U.K. minister slams British boycott of Israeli academic institutions
Ha'aretz, 31st May 2005.
- Academic Union Approves Israel Boycott
On The London Project site, 30th May 2007. Sue and Kamel get quoted.
- UCU response to boycott vote
The official mealy-mouthed comment from Sally Hunt. 30th May 2007
In solidarity with PalestiniansJohn Chalcraft on Comment is Free, 30th May 2007.
"Boycotting Israeli Apartheid back on the Agenda"
"PACBI Press Release, 30th May 2007
Should we vote for a boycott?
Debate between John Chalcraft and Michael Yudkin in the Guardian,
30th May 2007
On the Academic Boycott of Israel
Virginia Tilley on The Electronic Intifada site, 27th May 2007
The only weapon availableHilary Rose on Comment is Free, 26th May 2007.
Israeli Reactions and Zionist counter-initiatives against the boycott
(including those by the British government)
Financial woes silence anti-boycott bodyJerusalem Post, 31st March 2008
"This is not Britain's finest hour"/a>
Benjamin Netanyahu on the academic boycott, on YouTube, 31st May 2007.
Nice to be mentioned in the same breath as Hitler, Hamas and Hezbollah ...
ADL Calls On World Labor Leaders To Reject British Union's Anti-Israel Boycott
ADL Press Release, 20th June 2007.
Coalition launches campaign against U.K. academic boycott
Ha'aretz, 17th June 2007.
"The fight against the UK Boycott"alert on the GIYUS.org site
featuring an article in the Times of 14th June by Anthony Julius
and Alan Dershowitz.
Tory leader calls himself 'Zionist'; U.K. Jews campaign against boycott
Ha'aretz reports on David Cameron, 13th June 2007
Statement on Israeli boycott from Howard Davies, Director of the LSEOn the LSE website, 27th June 2007.
- Stop the Boycott
Well what do you know, a new website, complete with "toolkit".
Launched, apparently, by BICOM and the Fair Play Campaign Group.
Ignored by the Brits
Druze PhD student Amir Hanifes on his visit to the UCU Congress fringe,
in YNet News, 6th June 007.
Double Standard Watch: Bigoted British BoycottAlan Dershowitz (who else?)
on the Jerusalem Post blog, 8th June 2007.
Government to form joint task force to counter U.K. boycotts
Ha'aretz, 8th June 2007. Note the reference to the Histadrut.
House of Commons: Written answers, 7th June 2007Enlightening thoughts by Bill Rammell.
No surprises here.
Israeli ministers discuss British boycott threats amid plans for retaliatory action
The Guardian, 4th June 2007
Israel threatens British boycott
Times Online, 4th June 2007
'If you boycott us, we'll boycott you'Jerusalem Post, 3rd June 2007.
Israel concerned over British boycott bids
Middle East Times, 3rd June 2007
Harvard legal expert vows to sue lecturers boycotting Israel
Jon Boone in the FT, 2nd June 2007, reporting of Dershowitz's threats.
Boycott Britain!A letter from US Zionists to "Friends of Israel", on
the Jews sans Frontieres site. 1st June 2007.
'Boycotts are like burning books'- Conal Urquhart reports from Tel Aviv on the
impact an academic boycott from the UK might have on Israeli universities. In
the Guardian, 1st June 2007.
"Head of UK academic union against boycott of Israel - support her on this issue"
Predictable mobilisation of supporters of Israel by GIYUS.ORG, 31st May 2007.
Statement from The Russell Group on UCU motion on Israeli boycott30th May 2007.
FM Livni meets with British Ambassador Phillips
On the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affiars, 28th May 2007
JEWISH AND ARAB ISRAELI STUDENTS HOST STALL AT BRITISH PROFESSORS' UCU CONGRESS
TO SHOW EXAMPLES OF ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE PROJECTS
On the site of "Scholars for Peace in the Middle EAst", 26th May 2007
NATFHE COUNCIL 2006
NATFHE, the lecturer's and college teacher's union, voted on Monday 29th May 2006
in favour of a motion calling on its members to consider a conscientious
academic boycott of Israel. The votes were 106 in favour, 71 against, with
21 abstentions. Here is some of the press coverage from before, during and
after the Council meeting:
Israeli university boycott: how a campaign backfired
(Tamara Traubmann and Benjamin Joffe-Walt in the Guardian, 20th June 2006)
Revealing analysis of the groups attacking the boycott - nothing to do with
"academic freedom" and everything to do with defending Israel come what may.
End of UK union's boycott is academic
Jerusalem Post, 28th May.
This article was "updated" when factual inaccuracies were pointed out!
Originally it claimed that the boycott had been cancelled.
UK ban of Israeli academics lifted
(Y-Net News, 11th June 2006) - another Israeli newspaper that swallowed
Bar-Ilan's press release whole and undigested ....
Spinning the British Academic Boycott Against Israel
... here is PCBI's Press Release setting the record straight ...
British academic boycott expires after teaching unions merge
- and a more accurate version in Ha'aretz, 12th June 2006.
Another Brick in the (Apartheid) Wall
by Gabriel Ash in Dissident Voice, 8th June 2006.
Cameron Warning Over Boycotts
On the "Totally Jewish" website, 7th June 2006
With a little help from the outside
Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz, 4th June 2006.
US lobby group enters Israeli academic boycott row
(Guardian, 31st May 2006)
Lecturers back boycott of Israeli academicsGuardian, 30th May 2006.
Address by Paul Mackney, General Secretary, Saturday 27 May 2006
(Scroll down to "Palestine" about two-thirds of the way through).
Time to boycott the boycotters
Yaakov Lappin (who else?) in Y-Net News, 19th May 2006.
'Anti-Semitic' boycott planned in UK
Y-Net News, 10th May 2006.
New U.K. bid to boycott Israeli universities, profs
Ha'aretz, 9th May 2006
The need to boycott Israel Bradley Burston's attempt at psychoanalysis in Ha'aretz,
10th May 2006.
U.K. ambassador: Academic boycott of Israel 'not productive'
(Ha'aretz, 10th May 2006)
New call by lecturers for Israeli academic boycott (Guardian, 12th May 2006)
A British Teachers' Union Weighs a Boycott of Israeli Teachers
New York Times, 14th May 2006.
If not boycott, what? Steven Rose in his Guardian blog, 24th May 2006.
Knesset committee holds urgent debate on U.K. academic boycott
Ha'aretz, 25th May 2006
British Teachers Favor Call to Boycott Israelis
New York Times, 30th May 2006
Lecturers back boycott of Israeli academics
The Guardian, 30th May 2006
'Law to be used' to stop Israeli university boycotts
The Guardian, 30th May 2006
Israel boycott and academic freedom > Letters to The Guardian, 30th May 2006
Lecturers' union supports boycott of 'apartheid' Israel
The Independent, 30th May 2006
Major U.K. teachers union votes for academic boycott of Israel
Ha'aretz, 30th May 2006.
Read Gargi Bhattacharyya's report on the debate between David Hirsh
and Ilan Pappe, organised by Birmingham AUT:
Keeping dialogue open (Guardian, 18th Nov 2005)
Naturally my remarks that the boycott was defeated following a "well-funded
campaign by the Zionist lobby" have been met with the usual hysteria. Please
note: I said "Zionist lobby" not "Jewish lobby".
And if it wasn't well-funded, then please tell me who paid for the following -
in presumed ascending order of expense?
- The glossy leaflets distributed at Council and Special Council arguing against
- The scores of T-shirts worn by UJS members outside the meeting of Special Council
stating "I'm proud of Israeli academics ... I'm ashamed of the AUT". Some of them even
found their way to a Birmingham Guild of Students meeting recently, and I'm glad to say
I am now the proud owner of one after a generous donor hung one on my office door handle.
- The many and various anti-boycott websites which sprang up remarkably quickly in a
matter of days, including:
Campaign Group for Academic Freedom
What a surprise - it's set up by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
"BOYCOTT THE BOYCOTTERS" petition, which can't even spell the AUT's name right. It's on the Simon Wiesenthal
Centre website - another surprise then.
- Links not Boycott
- Inter-Senate Committee
for the Protection of Academic Independence - at the Weizmann Institute,
- Academics for Israel
- The anti-boycott telephone hotline.
- The air fares of Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University and his counterpart
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who signed an agreement at the Royal Academy in
London just a week before the boycott. (Why couldn't they sign it in Jerusalem - was the
Wall in their way?)
- The air fares of Jonathan Rynhold (Bar-Ilan), Wendy Sandler (Haifa) and Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan
(Haifa), and their travelling expenses around Britain, as they jetted in to do their anti-boycott
So all these efforts were un-co-ordinated contributions by unconnected groups and individuals?
Not according to the Jewish News of 5th May 2005:
"At an anti-boycott meeting addressed this week by Dame Ruth Deech, the former principal of St.
Anne's College, Oxford, the Zionist Federation decided on a four-point plan to combat the ban.
Among the measures to be taken will be a telephone hotline, funded by an anonymous donor, which
will allow interested parties to be kept updated on the ban's wider implications.
"A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: 'If you are a student, academic or concerned parent
please keep in touch with the Campaign Group for Academic Freedom, which is working very closely
with the Academic Friends of Israel and the Academic Study Group.'"
I rest my case m'lud. And if any "anonymous donors" out there would care to redress the balance
a little, you know where to send the dosh.
Call upon Israeli academics by European Jews for a Just Peace
Statement on the EJJP website, June 10th, 2005
Call upon Israeli academics
and here is PACBI's response to the above.
Here's the Middle East Labor Bulletin, Vol. 4 No. 3, dated Fall 1993. Yes,
more than a decade ago. Plus ça change ...
"The occasion was the annual membership meeting of the American Library
Association and answering the call to the colors were hundreds of Jewish
librarians who descended on New Orleans for a dual purpose: to overturn a
resolution criticizing Israeli censorship that had been approved at last year's
convention and to demonstrate to their fellow librarians that judging Israel was
not only not the business of the ALA, but also was not without
Now read the whole sorry story and spot the resemblances to AUT Special Council,
26th May 2005:
"An Act of a Censorship: American Library Association Becomes Another Israeli
Occupied Territory"By Jeffrey Blankfort.
Just found this report from the Birmingham Post is now on the web. Hilarious.
My mate Alex, aka "camcorder man", is described as if he were a Muslim rather
than a white English anarchist. Some of it is accurate though. What a
disgrace that meeting was - half an hour for the anti-boycott speakers,
after which Yours Truly was told she could speak for just two minutes.
Uproar as Israel
fuels pub row - originally in the Birmingham Post, 24th May 2005, reproduced
on the Muslim News website.
LEGAL THREAT FROM HAIFA UNIVERSITY
Here is the letter from Mishcon de Reya to AUT, in .PDF format
... and here's something that makes interesting reading in comparison:
"Severe Inaccuracies in the (Haifa) University's Response to the AUT Decision"
Letter to Rector and Staff of Haifa University, April 2005, by Dr. Yuval Yonai, lecturer in the
Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
... and here's one of the other legal threats to AUT, also from Mishcon de Reya.
This one is on behalf of 4 individual AUT members - shame on them.
Material dating from before the vote at AUT Council, 20th-22nd April
Lecturers to vote on boycott of three Israeli universities (Independent,
22nd April 2005)
defends Israeli boycott plan on eve of vote Guardian, 22nd April 2005.
"Politicide, no less" Jonathan Spyer's
none-too-sympathetic report in Ha'aretz on 22nd April 2005.
British teachers set to boycott Israel Al-Jazeera, 20 April 2005.
we ask for a boycott"Omar Barghouti and Lisa Taraki of PACBI, in the
Guardian, April 20th, 2005.
"Boycotting Israeli academics" Letters to the Guardian 19th April, both
pro-and anti-boycott, including a supportive one from Faculty for
Israeli college boycott debated Matthew Taylor, the Guardian, 19th April, 2005)
- An Open
Letter to the AUT from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of Universities'
Professors and Employees and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and
Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Don't boycott us, plead Israeli academics (Polly Curtis in the Guardian,
18th April 2005)
Boycott threat to Israeli collegesObserver, 17th April 2005.
- Academic boycott proposal (Jewish
Chronicle, 8th April 2005)
- British lecturers
renew call to boycott Israeli academics(Ha'aretz, 6th April 2005)
Boycott call resurfaces (The Guardian, Education section, 5th April 2005)
Lecturers may boycott Israeli academics (The Guardian, 5th April 2005)
Reports dating from during or after AUT Council, 20th-22nd April 2005
The most recent come first.
Material relating to or following Special Council, 26th May 2005
General articles/reactions about the AUT 2005 Council decisions
Reports about Anti-semitism on campus
- which of course should not be mentioned in the same breath as the academic
boycott of Israel but tends to be ...
Scurrilous attacks on Sue in the Press
Inept Anti-Israel Activists: Self Defeat
by Efraim Karsh & Rory Miller, in The New Republic Online, 1st March 2006.
No flies on controversial Blackwell (Guardian, 11th May 2005)
Actually not so scurrilous though bizarre in places. It probably gives my
research more credit than it deserves! LOL.
The academic ban - Nazi connection Yaakov Lappin in the
Jerusalem Post, 1st May.
Why Israel will always be vilified David Aaronovitch in the Observer,
Sunday April 24, 2005
Describes Sue as "a former Christian fundamentalist turned revolutionary
socialist". Ah well, I'm proud to be in the same company as Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, who is also slagged off by Aaronovitch.
- Good luck, Ms. Blackwell
Angela Bertz in Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, on 10th April 2005
"The campaign is lucky to have at its disposal terrorist apologist Sue Blackwell, a
lecturer at Birmingham University." etc. etc.
Scurrilous attacks on the boycott in general in the Press
The Lamentable Case of Joan Scott
An attack on the Vice-Chair (I think) of the
American Association of University Professors (AAUP), in the notoriously
Zionist US magazine Frontpage.
The boycott of decency Melanie Phillips's Diary (who else?), 11th Feb 2006.
Dershowitz: Boycotts abet terrorism
In Ha'aretz, 27th Jan 2006.
Freedom of thought at stakeby Ada Spitzer, vice-president of the
University of Haifa, in the Guardian, 24th May 2005.
Calls for Israel's destruction in LondonYaakov
Lappin, Jerusalem Post, 22nd May. This is in fact a report of the PSC annual
rally, at which Sue spoke this year. The boycott is prominently featured and
Sue gets quoted extensively.
War by other meansGerald M. Steinberg (director of the Program
on Conflict Management at Bar Ilan University) in the Jerusalem Post, 22nd May
and ill-timed Leader in the Times Online, 25th April 2005.
boycott: Bashing IsraelBy Abraham Foxman (head of the Anti-Defamation
League) in the International Herald Tribune, 22nd April 2005.
NB This article was reproduced in the Hebrew edition of Ha'aretz.
AUT boycott: Jewish lecturers resignJerusalem Post, 24th April
Europe blinded by anti-Semitic bigotryJoseph Farah in WorldNet Daily, 20th April 2005.
The Fire Last Time: AUT Council 2003
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It was last updated on 20th June 2008.