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Britain's National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) has approved an academic boycott on Israeli higher education institutions that do not condemn Israel's "apartheid policy." NAFTHE, which with a membership of 67,000 educators is one of the UK's largest teachers' unions, voted 106 to 71, with 21 abstentions, in favor of the boycott during a Blackpool convention.

This hurts more than usual for many reasons. I was previously assured by a complacent expert that the boycott proposals had little support and little chance of passing. Apparently, there is a false sense of security being cultivated. The vote was even postponed from Saturday to give more Jewish members a chance to participate. The same conference also voted to congratulate the genocidal Hamas, now fighting bitterly against the Fatah, on their electoral victory. ( see Will a British Trade Union Support Genocide? - NATFHE proposal to back Hamas ) At the same time, the Hamas was busy boycotting the Fatah at a conference of non-aligned nations.

The resolution attacked Israeli "Apartheid" policies, a sure sign that the boycott was not directed against the occupation, but against the existence of Israel. That is another reason for alarm perhaps, but we know that the boycott efforts are instigated by anti-Zionists and are aimed at delegitimizing Israel, not stopping the occupation. We know, because they have told the world that is their aim on numerous occasions. For example:


We must understand that occupation will end only after, or simultaneously with, de-Zionization. Doing away with the old dichotomy will also mean fusing together the struggle to end the occupation and the struggle for return

...

We must turn the one-state solution into a relevant political agenda, in Israel, the 1967 OPT, in the camps in Lebanon, among Palestinian exile communities in Detroit, everywhere.

About sanctions/boycott campaigns as a necessary means:

- The legitimacy of Israelís regime must be challenged for its racism on the one hand, and its colonialist character on the other. The only way this regime can be brought to collapse is from outside. We have to call for boycott and sanctions against Israel.


(see Anti-Israel Boycotts for source).

The boycott also hurts because activist campaigns organized against it proved to be utterly ineffective. They may have even backfired. Organizers of the boycott claimed that the letters and petitions only strengthened their resolve.

Boycott organizers claimed it is not anti-Semitic:


Mackney also rejected charges that an academic boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic.

"Criticizing the Israeli government does not make me anti-Semitic, any more than criticizing Bush and Blair makes me anti-Anglo-Saxon," he said.


Well OK Dr. Mackney, that may be so, but please explain then, why you do not organize a boycott of British and American academics who aren't against the occupation of Iraq?

The passage of the boycott resolution shows that at least in the UK, supporters of Israel have gravely underestimated the problem. The passage of pro-Hamas resolutions is an even more chilling development. It is scarcely credible that trade unions will support Islamist fascism, not only against Israel but against the former heroes of the boycott movement, the PLO and Fatah. Scarcely credible, but it is a fact nonetheless. No doubt this is one of those shameful acts that will become infamous in the years to come, and will be swept out of site by the perpetrators, but we have to worry about now, not then, and now, we are losing the battle.

It is also ironic that those who would be the first to condemn loyalty oaths and McCarthyite lists as incompatible with academic freedom are so eager to boycott Israeli academics. I wonder, why don't they extend the boycott to British academics. Anyone who doesn't support the boycott and condemn Israel will be shunned - go for it! Be sure to condemn anyone who supports the Fatah rather than the Hamas too.

Given the success of the motion in NATFHE, there is every reason for a pessimistic forecast about the status of the boycott after the merger of AUT and NATFHE, even though AUT previously overturned an analogous resolution.

Apparently Hamas Islamists are even more politically correct for some British academics than the PLO.

More resources about boycotts and divestment:
The Anti-Zionism boycotts

AUT-NATFHE and other academic boycotts of Israel

http://www.zionismontheweb.org/academic_boycott/

In Dutch - Boycot IsraŽl?


Ami Isseroff




Last update - 16:55 29/05/2006

U.K. lecturers' union approves academic boycott of Israel
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/720796.html
By Tamara Traubmann, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and Agencies

The largest university and college lecturers' union in Britain on Monday voted in favor of a motion recommending that its members boycott Israeli academics and institutions that do not publicly declare their opposition to Israeli policy in the territories.

The motion passed with 106 in favor and 71 against. There were 21 abstentions.

The 69,000-member National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) debated the proposal for the boycott at its annual conference in the northern English city of Blackpool. Two parts of the motion passed with a show of hands while a third went to a vote. Under the boycott, union members also will not submit articles to Israeli research papers.


According to the British newspaper the Guardian, a series of petitions by academics against the motion only strengthened the resolve of the union members to see it pass.

On Saturday, the Guardian published a letter signed by over 600 academics calling for the motion to be dropped.

The NATFHE president, John Wilkin, also received a petition with 4,725 signatures from Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, an American organization whose mission statement includes encouraging academics "to develop effective responses to the ideological distortions, including anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist slanders..."

"I have received literally thousands of emails seeking to 'educate' me on the foolishness of our stance in support of the rights of Palestinians," Paul Mackney, the secretary general of the union said at the association's annual national conference Saturday.

"Many emails berate threats to deny academic freedom for Israeli professors but fail to mention that academic freedom in Palestine is a hollow joke. Even where staff and students are allowed freedom of movement to attend university, the material basis for a functioning academic life barely exists."

Mackney said that more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed since September 2000, the unemployment rate is higher among Palestinians and 185 Palestinian schools have been shelled or fired at, compared to one Israeli school.

"In the face of such injustice," he said, "Palestinian civil society, including the universities, needs support and solidarity as never before, and I will not be bullied into silence."

Mackney also rejected charges that an academic boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic.

"Criticizing the Israeli government does not make me anti-Semitic, any more than criticizing Bush and Blair makes me anti-Anglo-Saxon," he said.




UK educators shun Israeli academics

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3256463,00.html

One of Britain's biggest teachers' unions votes to shun Israeli academic
institutions that don't renounce 'apartheid policies'
Hagit Klaiman



LONDON - Britain's National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher
Education (NATFHE) Monday approved an academic boycott on Israeli higher
education institutions that do not condemn Israel's "apartheid policy."
NAFTHE, which with a membership of 67,000 educators is one of the UK's largest
teachers' unions, voted 106 to 71, with 21 abstentions, in favor of the
boycott during a Blackpool convention.

The move to boycott Israeli academics reopened a front which formerly involved
a different British teachers' association, the Association of University
Teachers (AUT), which advanced a motion in April of last year to shun Haifa
and Bar Ilan Universities. Responding to the urgings of Palestinian
organizations, AUT declared the boycott and decided to exclude the two
institutions from conventions and research projects.

A month later following a wide Israeli lobbyist campaign, the union voted to
cancel the boycott. Soon after Monday's Blackpool summit, the two teachers'
organizations are expected to unite into one association.

At the Blackpool summit, two motions were put to vote. The first called to
help aid, protect and support Palestinian institutions and universities in
light of the continuing attacks by the Israeli government, and to maintain
ties with the Palestinian government to underscore this support. This motion
also accuses Britain of scandalous incitement against Hamas.

The second motion called to renew last year's boycott, and mentions "Israel's
persistent apartheid policy," which includes the construction of the security
fence and other discriminatory practices in the education system.

'Consider your conduct'

The motion invites members of the organization to consider their conduct to
promise equality and non-discrimination in academic ties with Israeli academic
institutions, and to way shunning those that don't publicly distance
themselves from such a country.

Natphe spokesman Trevor Phillips told Ynet that the organization did not take
a decision to boycott Israel, but to recommend to its members to take such a
decision on a personal basis. It seems that the organization decided to soften
the formulation of the boycott to appear as if it is it not forcing its
members to carry it out, but only calling on it to take a personal decision
according to their conscience.

Phillips added that he does not believe he is a member of a racist
organization, and that it was in insult to think this "only because the
organization was criticizing Israeli government policy."

Meanwhile, union members heard an urgent recommendation to condemn a decision
by the EU and the US to end the flow of funds to Palestinian institutions
following the rise of Hamas to power, and called on the restrictions to end.

Vice Chairman of the Higher Education Council, Professor Yehezkiel Teler,s aid
that the decision by a British lecturers' union to boycott Israeli academic
institutions in Israel was reminiscent of the boycott in Nazi Germany.

"Now Britain is politicizing academia, in opposition to every academic value
accepted in the world. This will come back on them like a boomerang. They are
isolating themselves and those who boycott will in the end by boycotted. It is
a shame that England is leading this anti-democratic and anti-academic step,"
said Teler.


First Published: 05.29.06, 15:32
Latest Update: 05.29.06, 16:05

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000081.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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