Here is a short story of how the british ’University and College Union’ (UCU), an organization of about 120.000 members, has become the UK Palestinian branch of the ‘Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural boycott campaign.’, see here
Ron Prosor,the Israeli ambassador the UK, complains in an article on the ‘Telegraph’, I quote:
..”Israel faces an intensified campaign of delegitimisation, demonisation and double standards. Britain has become a hotbed for radical anti-Israeli views and a haven for disingenuous calls for a ‘One state solution’, a euphemistic name for a movement advocating Israel’s destruction.
In 2007 members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted to sever links with Israeli universities in a move which provoked outrage from politicians and academics around the world, and prompted Jewish leaders to condemn it as a “frightening assault” on academic freedom.’..
Union leaders later dropped the proposal but last month delegates at the UCU’s annual conference passed a similar motion condemning the “humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel”, which could pave the way for a boycott of Israeli educational institutions. They claim academics in Israel are “apparently complicit” with what they call the “illegal settlement” of Palestinian land and “killing of civilians, see more.
Ron Prosor speaks an open ’diplomatic language’ . But the boycott’s concrete language are the real daily aims I found on the Palestinian boycott site:
…”Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”…see more.
Now as a humble vassal of the Palestinian boycott, the UCU Congress Agenda to boycott Israel is a rephrasing of the Palestinian aims:
…..”Congress notes the
1. continuation of illegal settlement, killing of civilians and the impossibility of civil life, including education;
2. humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel and the EU;
3. apparent complicity of most of the Israeli academy;
4. legal attempts to prevent UCU debating boycott of Israeli academic institutions; and legal advice that such debates are lawful
Congress affirms that
5. criticism of Israel or Israeli policy are not, as such, anti-semitic;
6. pursuit and dissemination of knowledge are not uniquely immune from their moral and political consequences;
Congress resolves that
7. colleagues be asked to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating;
8. UCU widely disseminate the personal testimonies of UCU and PFUUPE delegations to Palestine and the UK, respectively;
9. the testimonies will be used to promote a wide discussion by colleagues of the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli academic institutions;
10. UCU facilitate and encourage twinning arrangements and other direct solidarity with Palestinian institutions; see more
A commentator on the UCU boycott agenda wrote:
“ [Bill posted on April 17, 2008] How can this NOT affect collective bargaining and general advocacy of academic interests in college and universities. If the UCU is increasingly known for boycotting Jews and only Jews, its officers playing the two-faced shuffle, and being a university union in name only (rather than a front for politically correct bigots), then how do people entrenched in the university as faculty and administrators and students take them seriously when its time to deal with assessment, accreditation, workload, paying the university bills without cutting the faculty raises and of course, creating an effective and free working/teaching environment?
As Brian says, these idiots are bankrupting the union financially and morally, but they are also trashing it operationally. Universities have a mandate to educate. In the battle between a psuedo academic union, misbehaving as element of the UCU wants, and administration, who do you think will come out on top in both the eyes of the law and the public?
Good Luck to Jon!” see here.
From the ‘TIMESONLINE’ (May 29, 2008) here is an additional quote…”The result will further sour relations between British academia and international scholars after a similar vote last year provoked outrage around the world. Steven Weinberg, the Nobel prize-winning physicist, cancelled his visit to Britain in protest against calls for boycotts of Israel by journalists and doctors and the UCU motion in 2007.” see here.
I can not argue with the Palesitian boycott campaign’s wisdom and the UCU their new branch in the UK , ruled by a Union Leadership from old days British Empire,. But where is the wisdom of the UCU’s 120.000 members…..”.