Thursday, May 31, 2007

Petition against U.K. union's academic boycott bid

Yesterday, Britain's University and College Union (UCU) promoted a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Now granted, I am not too surprised about yet another anti-Israel boycott coming from England, a country who's record towards Jews and Israel has been horrible over the last half century (White Paper, immigration quotas for Holocaust survivors who wanted to get to Israel, outlawing weapons for Jews in the Mandate, today's ever increasing anti-semitic climate, etc ...), but we should try and take a stand.

Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al-Quds University, talks some sense:
“An international academic boycott of Israel, on pro-Palestinian grounds, is self-defeating: It would only succeed in weakening that strategically important bridge through which the state of war between Israelis and Palestinians could be ended and Palestinian rights could therefore be restored. Instead of burning that bridge, the international academy should do everything within its power to strengthen it.”

The reaction to the boycott:
Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdon Zvi Hefetz called the resolution offensive to the British Jewish community, saying that, "Its slanted phrasing reeks of ignorance."

Adrian Fronda, a senior mathematics lecturer who had joined the union solely to vote against the boycott, was less diplomatic. "I came here to oppose the prevalent anti-Semitism we see all around us here," he said.

Education Minister Yuli Tamir condemned the union's decision, saying she would address British Education Secretary Alan Johnson on the matter.

Please sign the following petition and forward to as many people as possible:

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