"Those with unprecedented resources to understand this, including many who teach and research in the great universities, suppress their knowledge publicly; perhaps never before has there been such a silence.
... "By keeping silent, they have allowed government to diminish a wealth of knowledge of how the world works, declaring it 'irrelevant' and withholding funding. This is not surprising when the humanities departments - the engine rooms of ideas and criticism - are close to moribund. When academics suppress the voice of their knowledge, who can the public turn to? ... By never recognizing western state terrorism, their complicity is assured. To state this simple truth is deemed unscholarly; better say nothing."
John Pilger, "The New Rulers Of The World", pp. 3, 163.
Sign the petition for his release here
Student trapped in Gaza loses fight to return to study in Britain
Independent, 3rd Oct 2007
Khaled al-Mudallal did manage to reach the UK eventually, but hundreds more are still waiting - see the Gisha report above.
Israel's former military chief is taking a course at Harvard, where students are pursuing him for war crimes.
By Jonathan Scott on the Black Agenda Report website, 10th(?) December 2006.
A good deal of this refers to the plight of Palestinian students, teachers and universities.
A project of dispossession can never be a noble cause Ahdaf Soueif in The Guardian, 17th November 2006
"I wish to thank you all for your tremendous efforts. Thousands of letters opposing the proposed Boycott have reached NATFHE officials in the past two weeks, including letters from institutions, associations and organizations as the NY Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences, ADL, AJCongress, AJCommittee, British friends of Israel, Scottish friends of Israel and more. More than 4300 scholars have signed the IAB / SPME joint petition, urging NATFHE members to oppose all motions to boycott Israeli scholars at their annual meetings on May 27-29, 2006. The full petition has been placed today on the table of NATFHE president John Wilkin at the NATFHE headquarters in London, urging NATFHE to pass this on to its members and to take it into consideration before the vote occurs. I am also glad to inform you that the chair of the IAB, Prof. Yosef Yeshurun, appeared today before the Israeli Parliament committee on Science and Technology to discuss the dangers of the impending academic boycott against Israel on the part of NATFHE. The committee meeting was also attended by members of the Council of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education."
Need I say more?
Confrontation in Hebron
Presenting the case of Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, this paper looks at the importance of education in challenging the foundations of occupation.
Download the paper here.
... read on for more details of what all this is about ....
That's in the words of Ha'aretz. The following post to the Ha'aretz online discussion is of particular interest. I wonder what Prof. Beck could possibly mean by "better defined"?
AAUP Bellagio Conference Name: Edward S. Beck City: Scholars for Peace in the Middle East State: www.spme.net While several major American Jewish organizations played a role in AAUP Bellagio Conference being postponed, the significant part of the story was world-wide cooperation of grass-roots faculty members represented by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, ENGAGE and the International Advisory Board on Academic Freedom of Bar-Ilan University along with faculty from Haifa University who worked together with no resources to convince the AAUP conveners that this conference was planned with poorly defined goals, format and procedures and would not command the respect of their members or of faculty colleagues. From the first invitation, faculty from Israel, the UK and America, from the left, right and center worked to try to get this conference postponed until it was better defined. Faculty worked in conjunction with several groups, to influence this decision, but the decision to postpone was a victory for grass-roots faculty advocacy as much as it was for any major organization.
"About BRICUP" on the BIU websiteIn fact Bar-Ilan seems a tad preoccupied with the AUT boycott. Now they are devoting a whole conference to us:
Bar-Ilan to Host International Conference Analyzing Academic Boycott Attempts
Bar-Ilan hosts conference on academic boycott in Ha'aretz, 31st Jan 2006.
Dershowitz: Boycotts abet terrorism in Ha'aretz, 27th Jan 2006.
I just love the bit that says "No guns, cameras, or bags will be allowed into the Auditorium."
Read the invitation here.
The full text of the motion is here, in the circular which went out to AUT branches calling for nominations. The motion did not specify how the commission was to be composed: the Executive in its wisdom decided that there should be four members appointed from existing AUT national officers, plus a further four to be elected from, and by, members of Council.
There were 12 nominations, resulting in a ballot for the 4 available places. You can read the list of candidates and their election statements here.
Of the four pro-boycott candidates (Sue Blackwell, Kamel Hawwash, Malcolm Povey and Sean Wallis), two have been elected: Yours Truly and Kamel Hawwash, a Palestinian lecturer at Birmingham Uni who like me serves on the local AUT committee and is involved with the campaign to twin Birmingham with Ramallah. I've now seen the full results, and I came second in the first round with 31 first-preference votes against Jon Pike's 26.
There has been predictable dismay on the part of the opposition:
"The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Employment has prohibited a Haifa bookstore from importing books printed in Lebanon and Syria, counter to a policy followed for many years that permitted such imports."
What, you don't mean a .... boycott?? Surely not!
There followed a bit of Biblical banter on the faculty e-list of the University of Haifa. You can read it here, along with my reply.
This was all in good humour, unlike the spin which Jon Pike's "Engage" website put on it: "Now the libel against Haifa U becomes blood libel".
It gets worse: while standing in the queue to register for Special Council I overheard one delegate saying to another "Have you read Sue Blackwell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech yet?" Now I have just two things in common with Enoch Powell: (1) a connection with Birmingham and (2) a Classical education. Just because he wrote a preface in Latin to my edition of Thucydides doesn't mean I shed any tears when the old racist snuffed it.
OK chaps, I know you are desperate to pin the "anti-semitic" label on me but just how low can you sink? Just carry on, you're doing a good job of digging yourselves deeper.
I have heard that Netanyahu did indeed attend the Haifa conference and condemned the "academic terrorism" of the AUT. Apparently the meeting was also graced by a Jewish academic from the UK who denounced Yours Truly to all and sundry. Further information will be very welcome - you know the e-mail address .....
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It was last updated on 19th June 2008.