Last year the British Association of University Teachers (AUT)
adopted and then reversed a decision to boycott two Israeli academic institutions: Bar Ilan and Haifa universities.
A great deal has changed since last year. The Hamas came to power in the Palestinian Authority, a reactionary and genocidal organization which declares it will never recognize Israel and wishes to impose Islamic Sha'ria law on the Palestinian people. Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip and is contemplating a partial withdrawal from the West Bank.
Nonetheless, this year the NATFHE (National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education)
, due to merge with the AUT in June, will consider an even more far-reaching boycott resolution to be considered at its annual conference. It is aimed at all Israeli universities and criticizes "apartheid" - a code word used by anti-Zionists and anti-Semites to discredit the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
The conference will also consider a motion condemning the "outrageous bias" displayed by the British government in opposing Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections.
It is self-evident that the boycott initiative never had anything at all to with the occupation, or with any progressive cause. The initiators are willing to back the blackest sort of medieval fanaticism and racism represented by the Hamas in order to wipe out Israel.
With no fear of exaggeration, we can state that the Hamas stands for everything abhorrent to Western liberal tradition. Support of this genocidal and racist group by a British Labor union is unthinkable. Here is a revolting action that should turn the stomach of every decent person. It should unite Zionists, honest progressives, conservatives, Tory and Labor.
Sadly, we must face the possibility that nonetheless the motions may pass. If they pass, will they do more harm to Israeli universities, or to the good name of the British Labor movement? Will this be the hour of ignominy of the British Labor movement, when, in order to advance dubious and outmoded ideological goals, it sells its soul to an organization that promotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?Ami Isseroff
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Replies: 4 Comments
Hey people, this is what democracy is, an organisation is free to vote for a boycott if they want to.
Paul, Thursday, May 25th
The archive of material from the AUT action is now being extended to include this new NATFHE threat. You can access the archive at:
Contributions of content welcome, e-mail scopus AT zionismontheweb.org
Oboler, Sunday, May 14th
THis is horrific, but there is a sliver of hope. It comes a year after the AUT (rescinded) boycott, and the pro-Israel forces are better organized, and ready to fight, at least according to an article in Ha'aretz, at:
I'm not sure what non-academics can do, except write in to our newspapers. Still, that just gives the boycott initiative publicity and momentum. And this is the UK--what will happen in FRANCE? Or Sweden? It's quite discouraging to fight the boycott last year and to have to do it again this year.
At least it's post-Passover.
I agree with the person who posted above. Daniel Pearl's father wrote a beautiful article in the Wall Street Journal Europe about the role of the press in all this--in vilifying Israel so that people and organizations who want to appear to be "good" should boycott. It's sad and infuriating at the same time.
Wendy Leibowitz, Tuesday, May 9th
Someone has to get into the roots of this problem. the primary culprit is the european media (especially British). There is this mainstream mindset in the european world that Islam is oppressed and hence their out of the way pro-arab actions. The media in Europe is 'extremely' liberal which essentially means a mindset which emanates out of an inherent sense of moral superority of their stand.
its a mix of mindless liberalism (which identifies Islam as a victim), oil money, and fascist nature of British media which is at work. Equally important issue is that the British people are probably going through an identity crisis. They want somehow to be 'there', seen on the global stage.
Anubhav, Tuesday, May 9th
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